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Does anyone here have experience with a solid fuel heater on a medium size yacht?  I have a 31' and am considering that, all things being equal, the easiest and warmest and driest heat, with the most convenient fuel storage and availability, might be coal.  Any estimates on how much coal you go through over given periods of time?  

My second bet is for a small diesel.  I don't want propane - I don't use it for cooking either.

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I used puck sized chunks of compressed wood logs in a Newport by Dickenson  https://www.stevestonmarine.com/dickinson-heater-sld-fuel-newport-00newsf on a Crown 34' sailboat many years ago, it was mounted on the side of the chart table, opposite the galley, just inside the companionway.  We used it while cruising in the winter from Vancouver, it did a pretty good job of keeping me warm, but I slept closest to it in the quarter berth, the V-berth would have been cooler.  

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The cheap Chinese diesel heaters are hard to beat.

I had a 2kw in my 24', now a 5kw in my 28', both more heat than I need but controlled.

I have installed a few in other boats, with a 5% experience of faulty parts, which are readily available and cheap.

If you are handy, they are a good thing.

Be aware that the exhaust mufflers that come with the kit are dangerous and should not be used on a boat.  Built to leak.

Cheers

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Where are you getting coal?  We've got a Refleks diesel stove and it's been amazing - runs on the same fuel as the engine, no mess and dust, heats the boat wonderfully, and can boil a teakettle too.  We burn wood in our house for heat, and I can't imagine doing that on a boat - we don't have nearly enough space to store enough for a reasonable time on board (I guess coal is a bit more energy dense than cord wood, but still) and it's messy enough going in and cleaning out ash that I wouldn't want it on the boat.

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I was thinking coal because it has tremendous energy density - it burns hot, and a couple of bags would last a long time.  

I am also considering a Sig100 diesel heater.  I know diesel is hot and dry and there is of course already diesel on the boat, but it seems like most diesel heaters require a gravity feed.  I suppose a deck mounted tank is one option.  My Contest 31 is a great, tough boat but is small inside so every square inch counts.  An interior elevated diesel tank would be really difficult to arrange.  Kevin Boothby has a red plastic tank on deck but it looks like a hard wave would take it right the hell off.

The Dickinson solid fuel heater says you get 3 - 5 hours from a "load" of fuel, which I take to be probably along the lines of a double hand full.  I have cut wood and heated with wood for years so I understand that world intimately.  I would start a little coal fire, stoke it up good and hot, and then every couple of hours drop in another lump or two of #9 coal.  But then I would owe my soul to the company store.

Tennessee Ernie Ford Sings 16 Tons - YouTube  

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The Chinese heaters all have a fuel pump in the kit.  Bleeding the lines using the pump takes a minute or so and the heater runs happily with air in the lines.

Mine has the heater mounted about a metre above the 10 litre tank, uses about 1/4 litre per hour.

The digital controller shows an error reading when it is unhappy, so you know you have a fuel issue, low voltage etc.  The analogue controller is simple and cheaper but gives no feedback.

I burn wood at home so I'm not a diesel heater obsessive.

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2 hours ago, hdra said:

Where are you getting coal?  We've got a Refleks diesel stove and it's been amazing - runs on the same fuel as the engine, no mess and dust, heats the boat wonderfully, and can boil a teakettle too.  We burn wood in our house for heat, and I can't imagine doing that on a boat - we don't have nearly enough space to store enough for a reasonable time on board (I guess coal is a bit more energy dense than cord wood, but still) and it's messy enough going in and cleaning out ash that I wouldn't want it on the boat.

Could you answer a few question for me.

How have you found the odor at start up and how often do you have to clean it?

Diesel seem by far the best fuel source. But how is it for intermittent use for 3 season sailors. I foresee us wanting a blast of heat in the mornings or on a rainy day to dry out cloths etc when on our multi week adventures. I know the propane dickerson is far easier to light but ..propane. The solid fuel option seems to fit the bill for intermittent use. The diesel would seem to me to excel for long running. How are my assumptions?

My wife is very sensitive to the smell of diesel. It makes her feel instantly sea sick. I have worked hard to have a spotless engine room.

NW summertime sailors with 3 season ambitions. 32" boat.

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15 hours ago, rustylaru said:

Could you answer a few question for me.

How have you found the odor at start up and how often do you have to clean it?

Diesel seem by far the best fuel source. But how is it for intermittent use for 3 season sailors. I foresee us wanting a blast of heat in the mornings or on a rainy day to dry out cloths etc when on our multi week adventures. I know the propane dickerson is far easier to light but ..propane. The solid fuel option seems to fit the bill for intermittent use. The diesel would seem to me to excel for long running. How are my assumptions?

My wife is very sensitive to the smell of diesel. It makes her feel instantly sea sick. I have worked hard to have a spotless engine room.

NW summertime sailors with 3 season ambitions. 32" boat.

There's definitely a bit of diesel smell when you light it, but it goes away pretty quickly once the stove starts drafting.  Neither of us are that sensitive to diesel smell (we have an old leaky perkins 4-108), but I would say that the diesel stove is definitely the least smelly thing in the boat once lit.

  Cleaning is pretty easy - scrape the gunk in the bottom loose with a screw driver, then wipe it out with a paper towel.  Sometimes I'll let a little diesel in to make the ashy stuff stick to the paper towel.  We maybe cleaned it once every two weeks when running it 24/7, less often with intermittent use.

Lighting does take a bit of getting used to, and we found that using denatured alcohol and a match there was a fine line between burning off your eyebrows and not getting it to light off at all.  We've ended up switching to using a blowtorch to light off the alcohol, and it's much easier than the "squirt some flaming alcohol over a match down into the heater" thing that the manual and many recommend.  A propane heater would definitely be easier to light off.  I'm not sure how it would compare to a coal heater, never having burned coal, but can say that it is easier and faster to start putting out heat than our woodstove in our house..  Once it's lit it can put out a lot of heat pretty quickly if you crank it up.  It does work really well for running continuously as well - our setup has a gravity feed tank about 1' above the heater, which we can refill with a fuel transfer pump from the main tank, so no mess inside the boat.  I haven't burned solid fuel on a boat, so can't speak to a direct comparison, but we're pretty happy with it for both occasional 3 season use and when we've run it more full time for winter cruising.

If you have the space and enthusiasm for things electronic, the forced air diesel heaters that some of the others here are extolling are quite nice - I've used them on other boats.  No smell to speak of either.  Only downside is they use electricity, and there are electronics to break, and they also require a bit more ducting/air intake/etc.

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18 hours ago, low bum said:

I was thinking coal because ...it burns hot, and a couple of bags would last a long time.  

I am also considering a Sig100 diesel heater....   but it seems like most diesel heaters require a gravity feed.   

When you think about carrying bags of coal, and feeding the fire with it, coal becomes gravity feed too. But a lot more tiring than diesel that you could pump into and then from the main tank.

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@hdra, how well does the Reflek's work when heeled?  I've seen several contradicting reports.  One said that it would become unreliable if there was more than 10 deg. of heel. Other places I've seen people say they've had no issues, but they don't mention at what heel angles they've actually used it.

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1 hour ago, MFH125 said:

@hdra, how well does the Reflek's work when heeled?  I've seen several contradicting reports.  One said that it would become unreliable if there was more than 10 deg. of heel. Other places I've seen people say they've had no issues, but they don't mention at what heel angles they've actually used it.

We've found that it works fine heeled when we're in flat water - not sure on exact angle, but I would say at up to 10 degrees of heel for sure.  Depending on tack, we do find we sometimes need to adjust the flow rate/heat setting on the regulator between tacks.  Our chimney is off center and just behind the slot for the jib, so on starboard tack in more than about 12 knots of breeze we find that we can't use the reflex's because the air flow off the sails screws with the draft and it either blows out or gets super smoky.  

We have also found that it's not great when it's rough, so when we were regularly sailing in colder places we wouldn't run it offshore, only inshore, because it tended to either burn too hot (regulator letting too much fuel in) or choke itself out when we were actually in offshore sailing conditions.  We used it quite a bit coastal cruising in Maine one November/December and it worked pretty well - mostly flat water, mostly low angles of heel.

I know they advertise them as being used on fishing boats, which definitely see some weather, so maybe it's the combination of heel and waves?  Also our sailboat maybe has a more lively motion than a heavy displacement danish trawler.

It originally came with the regulator mounted on a bulkhead off of the stove, and we have now moved it onto the actual heater to the location that it comes in from the factory - haven't used it enough yet with the new position to see if it makes a difference.

 

The other thing we have had to learn (by doing it way more times than I'd like to admit) is that if the Refleks is burning to make sure to open the companionway door or a hatch before starting the engine.  On our setup boat draw air from the interior, and even with a 3" blower pushing air into the engine room when the diesel fires up and the boat is shut up it sucks air down the chimney, putting out the stove and smoking out the interior....

We ended up installing a bus heater off the engine hot water to heat the boat on days when we were doing a lot of motoring in cold weather and wanted to be able to shut things up.

There is an option where you can plumb the refleks to have an external air supply, which would avoid this issue, but it's not feasible with our layout.

 

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Another negative to coal is you would get coal dust on the deck and sails.  I have one of the Chinese diesel heaters in my sprinter van and I think it's great.  And used a Espar on a 38 foot boat during a delivery. and it was very nice on mornings when the temp was in the 30s and 40s. No diesel smell from either inside. 

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why diesel it has oil in it to lube injectors so more smell and soot

if we could find it in bulk cheap we burned mineral spirits in lights or the blue flame heater

lot cleaner and less smell or soot

if not burn kerosene  basic diesel without the oil added

diesel is for motors not heat or light

we never mess with coal and now it must be trumpian to want to use it

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On 12/20/2021 at 5:42 AM, Zonker said:

With the Reflecks did you mount the metering valve fore/aft in line with the burner. This was important to Dickinsons

When we bought the boat, the prior owners had mounted the valve on a bulkhead forward of the stove, but about 2 inches above the burner.  We ended up moving it back onto the stove to the location that Refleks says it should be - have had fewer issues with overfilling the burner with diesel, but haven't really sailed in cold places enough since we made the change to know what the difference is - my comments above about our experiences with the heater were with the valve on the bulkhead, not with it in the "correct" location.

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10 hours ago, allweather said:

Why not spring for an Airtronic (or equivalent) if you can afford it? Those are widely used and rated for boats as well.
Can pump diesel from your regular tank and heats air with no fuss.

They use a good amount of electric to run though. I see the appeal of the stand alone diesel / solid fuel heaters for certain types of boat. 

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They don't though? Well, I suppose that really depends on battery size, regeneration(solar etc.) and other drains on board.
The airtronic for example quotes 40W in use power needs at full heat(3800W), decreasing 10W per setting. And of course a relatively high starting load of 100W for the... five minutes of start up.

Which isn't nothing, but actually quite good overall?

I agree that stand alone has its own uses and applications, I am just not sure if the arguments outweigh the convenience of an integrated unit. Especially as those take outside air as fuel and vent emissions outside of the cabin.

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After grinding the gears here at mission control I'm thinking that the Grizzly Cub stove may be the way to go.  There are some other solid fuel options, including the Dickinson, and frankly they both have a lot to recommend them.  Coal can be messy and has its own unique aroma that some love and some hate (like stockholm tar) but as a recovering blacksmith I like it.  I am planning an Atlantic crossing in the next couple of years using the northern route, up by Nova Scotia to Scotland, and heating and drying will be important.  Plus when I go south to the Spanish Main I can just cap the flue and unbolt everything and leave it at home for a few months.  Currently the stove space is occupied by a 45 quart fridge that I will need in the hot sunny south where solar is at its optimum input - I can leave it out when I go north and replace with a stove. The forced air diesel Webasto-style knock offs are tempting but they tend to need a fair amount of power on start up.  I have 200 watts of solar, and will have about a 400+ amp 12v bank.

Plus I'll need a chick with big knockers to wear a bikini and push a sanding block back and forth, so I don't have to pay for my own sailing.  Apparently, that's all it takes.  If one of you could hook me up there I'll make sure you get a t-shirt.

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20 hours ago, nota said:

 

if not burn kerosene  basic diesel without the oil added

diesel is for motors not heat or light

we never mess with coal and now it must be trumpian to want to use it

Trumpian, that's funny.  You can burn kerosene in the Sig100 heater.  It uses between 1 and 2 gallons per 24 hours which for a 30 day trip I can see it using probably 20 gallons of kerosene or diesel (not sure if both fuels burn at the same rate.)  Not an insurmountable problem but I hate stuff lashed on deck.  

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8 hours ago, allweather said:

They don't though? Well, I suppose that really depends on battery size, regeneration(solar etc.) and other drains on board.
The airtronic for example quotes 40W in use power needs at full heat(3800W), decreasing 10W per setting. And of course a relatively high starting load of 100W for the... five minutes of start up.

Which isn't nothing, but actually quite good overall?

I agree that stand alone has its own uses and applications, I am just not sure if the arguments outweigh the convenience of an integrated unit. Especially as those take outside air as fuel and vent emissions outside of the cabin.

I mean its fine if you're on shore power or have an engine running / generator use. 
But smaller boats like the ops 31' then it adds up to be significant if you're running it a lot. Even at half power that's 30 amps every 20 hours, add in some instruments, cabin lights, stereo etc then it soon adds up. 

But yeah in a lot of use cases a blown air one makes sense as well (its what I have), I kind of assumed the OP would have already considered all this. 

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The Webasto clones seem to use a lot of juice on warm up, then settle down to a more modest consumption.  Part of the problem is I have a really nice rock solid mounting set up for 2 x 100w solar panels but future panels would be in sketchy locations, like the forepeak, or laying around on the deck, or on the lifelines.  I'd rather limit consumption than become a floating solar barge.  

A "wood" stove can burn a variety of fuels, from driftwood to coal to charcoal briquettes to the new wood pellets which are cheap and as I understand it burn really hot and efficiently.  I have no experience with them personally. The kero/diesel problems of extra tanks, the copper lines, the smell, the pressure pumping, working at all angles of heel, etc. etc. make solid fuel seem really elegant in comparison.  I hate the thought of drilling a 3" hole in my lovely solid fiberglass deck (no coring anywhere on the boat - all solid glass) - that really pains me - but I'll get used to the idea.

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8 hours ago, low bum said:

The Webasto clones seem to use a lot of juice on warm up

Guess that's why they're knock offs? And yes, depending on how long you'd be running it(just fans once ignited I think, so the initial draw is to heat it enough) that could become a significant power hog. Though if run for select hours it does seem a lot more reasonable to me.

Then again, cold also implies less than and power, right? Either way, sounds like it could be worth it to take a close look at your expected use hours(and not once in a blue moon scenarios) and crunch basic numbers.

8 hours ago, low bum said:

diesel problems of extra tanks

Ah, so you don't already have an inboard diesel tank you could have used? In that case it sounds much more like a non starter.
I brought up the units specifically because they are to run in any orientation and have been used on boats before. (Pogo offers to put them on their boats, and one of the anarchists that got a new 50? had one installed too)

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I haven't found the knock-offs too greedy for power.  For 90 seconds, 10 amps to run the fan, pump and glow-plugs, then 0.9 amps when the glow plugs cut out.  Another 10 amp cycle for 90 seconds when the glow plugs fire up for the shut-down cycle when you're done with it.

They work in any conditions in which I'd want to be at sea.

Installation is probably easier than any alternative; can be installed in a locker, fore and aft or athwartships, ducting to the accommodation, fuel from the supplied tank or your existing lines, exhaust through the transom or deck,(a 1" stainless tube that is not supplied), insulated with exhaust wrap.

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15 hours ago, low bum said:

The Webasto clones seem to use a lot of juice on warm up, then settle down to a more modest consumption.  Part of the problem is I have a really nice rock solid mounting set up for 2 x 100w solar panels but future panels would be in sketchy locations, like the forepeak, or laying around on the deck, or on the lifelines.  I'd rather limit consumption than become a floating solar barge.  

A "wood" stove can burn a variety of fuels, from driftwood to coal to charcoal briquettes to the new wood pellets which are cheap and as I understand it burn really hot and efficiently.  I have no experience with them personally. The kero/diesel problems of extra tanks, the copper lines, the smell, the pressure pumping, working at all angles of heel, etc. etc. make solid fuel seem really elegant in comparison.  I hate the thought of drilling a 3" hole in my lovely solid fiberglass deck (no coring anywhere on the boat - all solid glass) - that really pains me - but I'll get used to the idea.

Yes and no.  They don't burn that efficiently on everything.  It's like a Swiss army knife.  The best will be one that is designed for the product.  Wood stoves for wood.  Coal for coal stoves.  Pellets are for houses.  They hate humidity and to have a hopper big enough to feed it for hours and you're taking up too much space.  Trever off the ironbark has one that will do a variety of fuels, but he's trading off maximum function for ability to burn whatever is available.  

If I was rich, I'd buy one of these: http://www.marinestove.com/herringinfo.htm

 

Coal is to put it bluntly, fucking awful to deal with, it's messy, the dust sticks to everything and floats like crazy.  I love the smell of a coal fire, used it for work forging steel for a while.  But it's still awful to deal with and hard to get a good quality at a decent price unless you're buying a train car load.  I have sometimes thought it would be funny to have a coal stove and a small forge to run on deck, but that will have to wait until I'm back in the 50ish size range like my old powerboat.  So probably never.  

If you insist on wood, then get something with a secondary burn(wood gas).  way less smoke, more heat per lb of wood you feed it.  Biolite bricks are excellent and cheap as chips.  Better than pellets in a boat and they are often available individually wrapped, so only the one you're putting in the stove is exposed.   Very little ash in a stove with a secondary burn.  

A whole brick will fit(just) in most of the small boat/van stoves like the cubic.  You can actually fit two on top of each other but you need to make a good bed of kindling to get it going if you want to do that.  Light kindling with propane torch.  The cheap camp stove 1lb bottles are fine for this.  Not as hot as map gas but a fraction of the price.

Diesel heat is where it's at.   As much as I want a wood stove I probably won't go that route.

I suspect that that high draw on start up is glow plugs.  If the only difference in power draw between the real and knock off forced air heaters is the glow plug, perhaps retrofitting a webasto/espar one would resolve it.  They're the best at not smelling inside though, and even a 60A draw for 30 seconds is only .5 amps actually used, which is irrelevant over the course of a day.  When starting an old school diesel with glow plugs the old school way I learned was key on, watch the voltmeter until it spikes back up meaning the glow plugs are up to temp and no longer pulling high amperage.  

Now all that being said.  Diesel heaters don't have to smell.   It will cost you a boatload more to run, but running kero instead of diesel means little to no smell, I've done that with big blast heaters(400,000 btu diesels) when I had to run them indoors, not safe or proper but needs must sometimes.  In the right area you can often find gas stations with barrels of kero out back and pay by the volume you put in your jug.  That's much cheaper than buying it at the store in a sealed container every time.  

I know a guy who runs a pair of QSM11s on a mix of 60:40 diesel to 5 micron filtered used motor oil, and does the same in his expensive dually diesel.  He reckons that it improves lubricity, and uses something he has an unlimited free supply of.  I'm not brave enough to try that on an engine yet, but I'm going to try it with the heater next year if I add a day tank for it.

In the back of my mind as well for a while has been to experiment with kero and waste vegetable oil to see if I could get down to running say a 1:4 mix, then see how much used oil I can get away with adding, and a splash of acetone.  Running just the kero/WVO mix would have little smell, certainly no diesel smell.   You can't mess about as much with the powered heaters in my opinion because they are fussy.     Pot heaters are not very fussy, and if the jet gets dirty it's simple to clean.  

It's sacrilege to many, but since I'm the one cleaning, I gets to decide.  I don't bother with the propane torch and fussy lighting procedure, I simply squirt a bit of 99% isopropyl alcohol in the bowl from a mayo squirt bottle I keep for the purpose, leaving the plate installed, turn on the diesel, wait until I have a bit of a puddle, then light and throw in one of the dollar store fire lighter wafers and shut the door.  The cheapest fire lighter wafers wick the fuel up, and burn for a long time on their own, more than long enough to get the diesel burning, and I don't have to keep the door open and get the smell in the cabin.  This worked fine all winter in the Dickinson stove and the ancient diesel furnace on my old boat.  Not as clear perhaps as the recommended method of starting with the plate out, lighting with a torch and letting it come up to temp and then putting it in, but fast and easy.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

A note of thanks for all the replies.  I'm cooler on wood than I was, and may go with a diesel forced air.  Minimal outlay, no big holes in the deck, etc.  Much to recommend it.  If I don't like it, it's a small investment that can come out easily with no scars.  

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I have a forced air diesel heater in a boat about your size. It works great and I would do it again. I have less solar and a smaller battery bank but do not find that limiting. Keep in mind instal is a medium level project. Routing the 60-90 mm ducts is the hard part, but you need both fuel and 12v supply as well. Finally, the fuel pumps are loud, spring for a better one and watch a few videos about how to install them to reduce noise and knocking,

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  • 1 month later...

Cubic Grizzly log burner.

https://cubicminiwoodstoves.com/collections/grizzly-cb-1210/products/cb-1210-br-cubic-mini-wood-stove

Solid tick heat. Diesel is best used to take the vessel forward. Have to admit Refleks got a good reputation.

I am finally about to install a Cubic Grizzly on my Grand Soleil 42. Not many Grand Soleil's out there with a log burner. 

 

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On 12/14/2021 at 6:03 AM, Zonker said:

Are you in the UK by any chance? They're the only place I think you can find coal easily available.

Sealed bagged straight coal was banned on 1st May 2021, processed low emission coal is currently available. Further restrictions come in in 2023, when remaining stock of loose coal will be banned from sale, so from then only low emission coal / coal substitute will be available.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Despite the coal issue, solid fuel heater is still a perfect option to heat your vessel. First of all the heat you get is tick, solid heat. It will quickly heat up your boat without generating damp and condemnation. There will always be wood available to burn. 

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On 12/15/2021 at 2:08 PM, hdra said:

There's definitely a bit of diesel smell when you light it, but it goes away pretty quickly once the stove starts drafting.  Neither of us are that sensitive to diesel smell (we have an old leaky perkins 4-108), but I would say that the diesel stove is definitely the least smelly thing in the boat once lit.

  Cleaning is pretty easy - scrape the gunk in the bottom loose with a screw driver, then wipe it out with a paper towel.  Sometimes I'll let a little diesel in to make the ashy stuff stick to the paper towel.  We maybe cleaned it once every two weeks when running it 24/7, less often with intermittent use.

Lighting does take a bit of getting used to, and we found that using denatured alcohol and a match there was a fine line between burning off your eyebrows and not getting it to light off at all.  We've ended up switching to using a blowtorch to light off the alcohol, and it's much easier than the "squirt some flaming alcohol over a match down into the heater" thing that the manual and many recommend.  A propane heater would definitely be easier to light off.  I'm not sure how it would compare to a coal heater, never having burned coal, but can say that it is easier and faster to start putting out heat than our woodstove in our house..  Once it's lit it can put out a lot of heat pretty quickly if you crank it up.  It does work really well for running continuously as well - our setup has a gravity feed tank about 1' above the heater, which we can refill with a fuel transfer pump from the main tank, so no mess inside the boat.  I haven't burned solid fuel on a boat, so can't speak to a direct comparison, but we're pretty happy with it for both occasional 3 season use and when we've run it more full time for winter cruising.

If you have the space and enthusiasm for things electronic, the forced air diesel heaters that some of the others here are extolling are quite nice - I've used them on other boats.  No smell to speak of either.  Only downside is they use electricity, and there are electronics to break, and they also require a bit more ducting/air intake/etc.

There is always a short blast of diesel smell when you start them up 

once running and up to temp the diesel smell disappears 

it’s not an issue 

the electric powered diesel heaters are fantastic..  but they use electricity 

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2 hours ago, slug zitski said:

There is always a short blast of diesel smell when you start them up 

once running and up to temp the diesel smell disappears 

it’s not an issue 

the electric powered diesel heaters are fantastic..  but they use electricity 

Noting wrong with diesel heaters. Not my preference, and they are not solid fuel heaters. If you forget coal, lets call them “log burners”.

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1 hour ago, Mogle said:

Noting wrong with diesel heaters. Not my preference, and they are not solid fuel heaters. If you forget coal, lets call them “log burners”.

I grew up with coal wood stoves on a farm 

no thanks 

Hard to justify a wood, coal stove on a boat 

space consuming and it makes a mess 

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On 4/2/2022 at 7:31 PM, slug zitski said:

I grew up with coal wood stoves

So did I. We had paraffin heater, log burners, fire places and more. Sad discussion this. 

Going back to the original poster asking about solid fuel heaters. Diesel is a dying product, coal is difficult to source and parity illegal to sell and use. We still need to heat our boats. There are very few alternatives.

Long term: I would like to replace my diesel engine with a solution from Oceanvolt. Diesel will be used for a generator (and possible heating). A solid fuel heater will be used to burn everything except coal. There are boat owners successfully heating their sailing boat with log burners. Tom Cunliffe is a strong advocate for that. 

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7 hours ago, Mogle said:

So did I. We had paraffin heater, log burners, fire places and more. Sad discussion this. 

Going back to the original poster asking about solid fuel heaters. Diesel is a dying product, coal is difficult to source and parity illegal to sell and use. We still need to heat our boats. There are very few alternatives.

Long term: I would like to replace my diesel engine with a solution from Oceanvolt. Diesel will be used for a generator (and possible heating). A solid fuel heater will be used to burn everything except coal. There are boat owners successfully heating their sailing boat with log burners. Tom Cunliffe is a strong advocate for that. 

Well, you can do anything you like 

for the non snowflake boat owners  the Webasto , eberspacher  type diesel heaters work very well 

they are also compact and not difficult to install… do it yourself 

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