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Monday, May 29, 2017

Dickinson Bulkhead Mounted Stove

This was definitely one of the biggest bang-for-the buck-projects we've done in a while.
We installed a Hurricane diesel-fired hydronic system when we built the boat and that is still running great, keeping the entire boat warm and dry in the winter and providing hot water on demand year-round. Hydronic is very efficient but lacks a certain charm that we felt you can only get from open flame radiant heat sources. To this end, we installed a Dickinson Newport diesel wall mounted stove in the little sitting area forward of the galley. The hardest part of the job was cutting a big hole in the 1/4" steel deck and fabricating /installing the stovepipe. I didn't want to remove a bunch of interior for torching out the opening, so I went with a hole saw (and lots of cutting oil). This stack has to be done right, with proper air gaps and insulation for the pipe, and proper length with as few bends as possible. We were fortunate to have a clear path straight up through the deck, while maintaining the recommended stack height. I made a stainless adapter ring for our compound cambered foredeck from 304 stainless. This provides a flat pad for the top fitting on the stove pipe to attach to.We initially used a straight rain cap but quickly learned that the H-cap is much better at preventing backdrafts so that is what we have on deck now. The barometric damper option that we bought with the stovepipe parts from Dickinson also assists in keeping a good strong draft up the pipe. The fire box and stovepipe create quite a bit of radiant heat, so some attention has to be paid to shielding inside the boat. We mounted the heater on a stainless plate held out a couple of inches from the bulkhead. We also mounted a similarly designed heat shield behind the stovepipe. Both heat shields have an airspace behind them and are open at the top and bottom. This creates a kind of chimney effect that carries hot air away from the bulkhead behind the heat shields. Seems to work pretty well. The fuel hook up was easy due to the fact that the elevation of our day tank in the engine room will gravity feed to the stove nicely down to about 25% tank level. This means no fuel pump needed. We run the built in fan on the heater for a few minutes at start up to get the draft going, then the fan goes off and all you hear is the light sizzle of the flame. Very nice.

Finishing the Shower

So the shower is pretty much done. Glass ordering and installation was about as tricky as I anticipated. Only one right angle to work with on the shower opening, otherwise all custom cuts. You only get one shot when ordering heavy duty tempered shower glass, so we spent a lot of time measuring and figuring out the best way to relate what we needed to the glass supplier. The fit-up was decent, but I ended up cutting out and resetting a couple of the shower sill tiles that stood a little proud from the others in order to get a nice tight gap all the way around. The gap is critical for a frame-less enclosure that doesn't leak. Overall happy with the results. All that's left is a way to latch the door in the closed position for cruising, and fabricating a rail for the little triangular shelf behind the shower pipe: