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Old 29-03-2008, 08:24   #16
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If you can't depend on your boat AC wiring then develop a plan to upgrade it.

Boatsafe ( BoatSafe - home ) makes engine room heaters that are intrinsically safe for use on gas boats. I'd put an appropriately sized one in your engine space for starters.

Follow up with a small ceramic heater as noted earlier with controls that let you run the fan high and the temperature low. Put the heater on the floor.

Watch the current draw, also as noted above. Put the Boatsafe heater on the a/c circuit (since you won't use both at once) and the ceramic on the house circuit.
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Old 29-03-2008, 16:10   #17
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If you want to get elaborate you could use automobile or truck fan heaters. You can get them cheaply at an auto wreckers. You need to run insulated pipes in a loop circuit with the radiatirs in the loop in parallel so closing one off does not close off the other. The master heater is either an external gas or electric outside the boat cabin. A small electric impellor keeps the water moving. When the engine is running the coolant can also be run through the heaters if the vessel has a heat exchanger and not raw water cooling, before going through the heat exchanger. The safest system there is--no open flames, no heavy current electric faults possible, and a cheap electric hot water storeage service will do the job if you use power. They draw about five to eight amps when on--and will be on about ten percent of the time. If you wish to use gas, a more elaborate small storeage system is needed but it is still do-able with all the gas outside. The battery drain for the impellor pump is quite low--it is only necessary to move the water slowly.
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Old 29-03-2008, 18:28   #18
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Kill two birds with one stone ...... get a small 110v dehumidifier from home depot, sears, lowes or the likes. It will keep down the mold & mildew as well as put out enough heat to keep the boat from freezing. Good luck!
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