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Diesel heating

We have recently bought a 30ft trad with a very small multi fuel stove which is messy and akward to use. I would like a diesel fitted. It`s purely for heat and not water. How difficult is this to do and what does it involve? Also our last boat had a living flame gas stove buut they don`t seem to be available. Are they outlawed by BSS?

Asked by: Rosemary Hale  | 12.59pm, Sunday 20 January

WW says:

If you want to fit a diesel burner to your existing solid fuel stove, then you will need to see the manufacturer of the stove to see if a burner is available. Otherwise, there are new models which can be fitted- and might be a bit easier than trying to retrofit a diesel burner, as you would have to possible change the flue diameter, relign the stove and fit a larger exterior chimney to give a good draw.
As for the open flame gas fires, I am sure my colleague Rupert, as a BSS examiner, will be able to give more information, but I am not aware of any model currently being fitted to a boat, and can see why they may fall foul of the boat safety standards.
An alternative for quick, easy to control heat, might be at consider installing a diesel fired blown air heating system- they work very well on shorter boats, and give quick heating, without high electrical consumption. They also come as a very easy to install DIY kit with all the fittings needed. 4 major producers make them- Eberspacher, Mikuni, Webasto and Wallas. They are also ideal where yeast heating, but not hot water. They might also be cheaper to fit than a drip feed diesel burner stove.

Mark Langley  | 7.08PM, Sunday 20 January

Where just, not yeast heating, sorry! Apple autocorrect strikes again!

Mark Langley  | 7.10PM, Sunday 20 January

The BSS do not outlaw gas fires on boats, as long as they have flame failure protection and the control switch has an OFF position (not just "pilot only").
The reason that they are not often found on boats is due to the condensation produced by their slightly damp heat. The ventilation requirement for a un-flued gas appliance is 4x that of a multi-fuel or diesel stove.
The main points to consider when fitting a diesel stove are:
Is the existing fuel tank suitable to run a supply from, or would a new tank be better.
Will the fuel feed by gravity or will it need to be pumped.
Where will the pipe run, and will any joints be accessible for inspection.
There needs to be a readily accessible fuel shut off valve within easy reach of the appliance (but not where the user would have to reach over or around the stove to operate it).
Lastly you mention the mess associated with your current stove, drip feed diesel stoves can be fickle beasts on boats. In the wrong mooring or poorly installed they can burn badly; filling up with black oily wispy soot that needs to be cleaned or burnt off before normal operation will commence.

Rupert Smedley  | 11.09AM, Monday 21 January

It seems to one of those chicken and egg situations; they are not outlawed, and a redistered Gas Safe fitter will be happy to instal one that is manufactured for boats. It may however not be possible to find a gas fire made for a boat, only caravans.

Rupert Smedley  | 1.23PM, Wednesday 23 January

I have to say that warm air heating does give almost instant heat- with very good air circulation on a smaller boat- very good at keeping moisture levels low as well. Either diesel or gas fired systems work well and can be quite cheap to run, both from fuel and electricty points of view.

Mark Langley  | 3.54PM, Friday 25 January

Readers say:

Patrick Moran

Patrick Moran  | 7.26PM, Sunday 20 January

Thanks for your help. We found the gas fire excellent on our last boat and didn`t have condensation problems, The only problem we had was lighting the pilot when the boat had been unused for a while. Diesel doesn`t sound perfect either, it`s just that instant heat is more convenient.

Rosemary Hale  | 3.28PM, Tuesday 22 January

A question for Rupert. Can you recommend anyone who could fit a gas fire. I can`t find any info online

Rosemary Hale  | 3.31PM, Tuesday 22 January

I will look into the warm air heating and thanks for your help

Rosemary Hale  | 11.17AM, Saturday 26 January

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