I initially wrote this post in 2009, but I continue to update the post so all the links are accurate. The good news is that 7 years after the install, I have no leaks and I'm still heating up the cabin with wood burning fire!
|freshly installed Dickinson marine fireplace in my Newport 30 sailboat|
The Dickinson marine fireplace installationSteve and I mounted the heater unit on the starboard teak bulkhead in the main cabin with a sheet of stainless steel behind it - the stainless sheet acts as a heat guard to protect surrounding wood. This 3 inch stainless steel flue pipe fits over the stove top. I think, all told, I used 3 of these 22 inch sections of flue pipe, in order to connect my heater with the cabin ceiling. I hack-sawed them to the right length, then you can fold and squeeze one end into the reciprocal end of the other.
All the flue pipe and other fittings mentioned in this post are Dickinson brand. You may be able to get away with buying 3 or 5 inch stainless pipe from a metal shop and save some cash in that regard.
You want to run the 3 inch flue pipe up to the ceiling of your cabin in a way that allows at least 4 feet of exposed stove pipe. This serves to get the most heat out of the pipe and also to prevent the pipe from being too hot when it runs through your deck. To achieve this, I used the 45 degree stainless steel elbows to curve the pipe to the exact spot I wanted the pipe to exit the roof. As seen in the above picture.
|5 inch hole drilled through balsa core deck|
To install the 3 inch flue pipe through my fiberglass deck, we first drilled out a 5 inch hole with a 5 inch circular drill piece. This gives an inch of space surrounding the flue pipe - which serves as a heat break, it keeps the hot pipe from touching your boat deck. Next we epoxied over the exposed balsa core of the fiberglass deck - to seal against rain that might sneak in (i live in Seattle..).
|teak winch mount sanded to lay flush on deck|
Then I ran the flue pipe through the deck using a 3 inch deck fitting with dress ring. This is a critical piece. There's a rubber gasket that comes with this deck fitting that also helps keep out rain. Here's the link to the deck fitting. It comes with circular steel plates to flush it up clean with the deck and ceiling surface.
|we drilled in holes, then coated base with 4200 marine sealant|
Then I popped on this medieval looking clover leaf smoke cap, that keeps out the back-draft. I found this at a used boat shop.
|clover leaf smoke cap fit on a teak winch mount|
Dickinson Marine HeaterIt's now 2016 and I have nothing but cozy fires to report. The only downside is you need to keep well stocked with small pieces (6-8 inch) of wood or wood pellets, or my favorite - chunks of duralog. Any type of compressed fuel log, is nice because you can just use a big screwdriver to break off baseball size chunks. This means not having to wield a hatchet in the rain while you're standing in your fiberglass cockpit at 10 pm (I've been there...)
Additional Dickinson units
You can find product spec. info and pricing for additional heater models and all the accessory parts I talk about below at the Dickinson Marine store on Amazon. Certain high quality boating stores may also carry these parts. I found everything I needed at Fisheries Supply in Seattle. If you don't have a store like that where you live, then online is probably the way to go.
Good luck with the install and stay warm!
|still keeping the cabin warm 7 years later|
My dock mate just dropped off a pile of dense, chopped up burl wood. We burned these while out on anchor on a chilly evening in Mariner's Cove. You can see this dense fuel burning in the picture.
The heater still works fine. The pretty painting of a Spanish galleon on the ceramic tile has faded. But aside from that, the structure remains un-compromised.
My girlfriend and I spent the evening drinking wine and reading books on old trading ships. We found a few articles that list historic ship names and recounts classic nautical adventures. All in all, a pretty cozy evening.