Our day started bright and early with a trip to fill up the propane tanks. It was Dani’s first time seeing propane tanks filled instead of exchanged.
Filling up new Fiberglass propane tanks

And off to the boat with our usual truck load of crap in the back. I’m beginning to wonder if all of our dock mates believe that all we do is lug stuff to our boat. It seems like every time we go to the marina the dock carts cringe in anticipation of the coming abuse. Today’s tally was a heavy stove and a couple of propane tanks.
Hauling the Dickinson Caribbean stove to the boat

The first order of business was to make a place for the propane hose to pass into the boat. You know I really hate drilling holes in the boat. Man I hate it. But this time it wasn’t so bad because I repurposed an old hole for a GPS antenna that we don’t use and just made it bigger.
Drilling a hole in the boat for propane hose

This allowed me to install a fitting designed for propane hoses that is air tight. It works with a big nut on top that compresses a rubber gasket seal around the hose. Uncompressed the hose with the end fitting can fit through, but once tightened the hose cannot move.
Propane line secured on top of the fuel tanks

I pulled the hose up through the fitting and attached it to the propane tank before finally snugging it up. The line is below the passage of the tiller and fixed to the boomkin. I wrapped the propane hose with some old water hose to prevent chafe where I fixed it to the boomkin. In this photo we haven’t cleaned it up, but it is the photo we have since it began raining afterwards. I also wrapped the propane bottle with a length of old hose which prevents it from actually touching the sides of the pot.
Propane tank installed

I sent the monkey below into the engine room to route the propane hose above the fuel tanks and then down through the bulkhead to the galley. She was able to do this because she is small and nimble. We were also able to use some clamps along the ceiling of the engine room to secure the hose. At each attachment point we wrapped the propane line with the old water hose to prevent any chafe.
Dani squeezing her way into the engine room
Ubolt on top of the fuel tank for the propane line

The hose exits right behind the stove, perfect for the connection.
New gimbal mounts for the Dickinson Caribbean stove

Unfortunately the old gimbal mounts would not work for the new stove so I had to mount the ones that came with the new stove. The directions specified that the distance between the mounting surfaces be exactly 22″ apart.
Instructions to mount the Dickinson Caribbean stove

Our cut out for the stove was 21.5″. That turned out to be perfect since I had some scrap 1/4″ starboard laying around. The measuring was done carefully with a full size cut out of the side of the stove positioned in the space. We left exactly 2.5″ behind the stove (called for in the manual) and tried to level the top of the stove with the top of the fiddles. For any other Westsailors out there installing a Dickinson Caribbean stove… The top of the gimbal fitting needs to be approx 1/2″ below the bottom of the fiddles.
Gimbal for the Dickinson Caribbean stove

And while it was difficult to lift the beast into place, it fit, and just right too. The bolts in the stove to grab the gimbals were *just* right.
View of the Dickinson Caribbean stove from the companionway

And check out that swank dish towel that my brother in law’s mother, Pam, gave to us.
Dish towel with Sundowner Sails Again embroidered on it

She lives!
Propane flames on the new Dickinson Caribbean stove

Before actually igniting the stove, I mixed up some dish soap in a bucket of water and put it all over all the fittings and checked for leaks and there were none thankfully. Dickinson had very strict directions not to use teflon tape in the compression fittings for the propane so I did not. Still a little worrisome on the first go, but in the end it all worked out.

And so Dani and I retired to the cockpit, with hot tea to drink.
Dani drinking tea made on the stove

This project has been a long long time coming. We’ve never had a stove work on the boat before. Once we used the little magma bbq pit, but never since we’ve had Sundowner have we been able to just use a stove or an oven. But now we can and it feels really good. Running water. Working stove. Its starting to feel a little bit like home. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself once we wrap up “project mode”.