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Old 22-10-2011, 07:27   #46
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

had a dickenson Bulkhead heater nothing but a pain in the !!!! Soot everywhere impossible to use under way and not any better at anchor. installed an espar 15 yrs ago and nothing but joy ever since. Acutally increased storage area with the installation. Other forced air systems are equally as good.
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Old 22-10-2011, 07:30   #47
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

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Originally Posted by cburger View Post
I am getting ready to move on board my boat. The winters can get really cold in NY, the plan is to install a bulkhead mounted diesel heater. I know that the makers advise against leaving the heaters burning when you leave the vessel,. . . Would appreciate opinions on the safety of leaving a burning heater unattended for 8-10 hours a day?
If the heater is permanently mounted to a bulkhead and adequately insulated so that the bulkhead does not get "cooked" and the chimney stack and outside vent cap is securely fastened so that it cannot be knocked over or blown over or buried in snow, - then leaving it running does not seem to be to me an unreasonable risk.

- - But here is the problem - portable open flame heaters, propane, diesel, or paraffin that are not vented to the outside - that is, the exhaust fumes are not routed to the outside ** and ** outside air is not piped to the combustion chamber - then you have a serious risk. Not only for catching the boat on fire, but for building up lethal dosages of carbon monoxide and ambient oxygen depletion.

- - Even catalytic propane heaters which do a good job reducing carbon monoxide generation "eat up" about 2/3rds of the oxygen in the cabin air. This is enough to cause hypoxia and when combined with the carbon monoxide - death. On average 8 people die each year from propane heaters being used inside a closed space. See: http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia05/os/co03.pdf

- - Of course the solution is easy, leave open hatches/portholes/companionway so that "fresh air" can enter the cabin. But that also allows in all the cold outside air and allows the heated inside air to escape.

- - So, bottom line, install a proper heating system with vent piping to the outside for combustion gases and pipes to bring in fresh air to the heater's combustion chamber. Several have been mentioned by posters already.

- - Trying to go "cheap" with a shop or outdoor heater or camping heater can most likely permanently solve your aversion to the cold - dead folks don't get cold.
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Old 22-10-2011, 07:46   #48
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

Well, dead people get cold, they just most likely don't know it...
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Old 22-10-2011, 07:56   #49
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Thumbs up Re: Best Diesel Heater

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Well, dead people get cold, they just most likely don't know it...
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Old 22-10-2011, 08:39   #50
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

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open flame heaters, propane, diesel, or paraffin that are not vented to the outside . . . have a serious risk. Not only for catching the boat on fire, but for building up lethal dosages of carbon monoxide and ambient oxygen depletion. . . "eat up" about 2/3rds of the oxygen in the cabin air. This is enough to cause hypoxia and when combined with the carbon monoxide - death.
Hmmm . . . I understand the theory . . . but in practice most all of us have unvented propane stoves/ovens (left on for hours when baking or slow cooking) and many have kero/paraffin lamps (left on all day). These unvented applications are allowed by all the safety/certification authorities, and I am not aware of any mass deaths cause by marine propane stoves.
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Old 22-10-2011, 09:22   #51
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

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Hmmm . . . I understand the theory . . . but in practice most all of us have unvented propane stoves/ovens (left on for hours when baking or slow cooking) and many have kero/paraffin lamps (left on all day). These unvented applications are allowed by all the safety/certification authorities, and I am not aware of any mass deaths cause by marine propane stoves.
I think that the instructions for use with propane stoves and paraffin lamps tells us to keep a vent opened when using.
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:03   #52
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

My boat came with an ESPAR diesel heater. It worked well keeping the cabin nice and toasty underway in early spring and late fall. Dried out wet clothes pretty good too. But, since I converted to electric propulsion I don't carry a drop of diesel on board anymore. So I will probably pull it out and just go with the Honda 2000 Generator and a ceramic heater to warm things up on my 30 foot monohull. Maybe add a small toaster oven to bake bread or Lasagna (mmmm)and add a little heat inside too. Kill two birds with one stone there.
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:05   #53
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

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I think that the instructions for use with propane stoves and paraffin lamps tells us to keep a vent opened when using.
The major propane stoves instructions do include a recommendation of opening a 3" vent. Our trawler lamp came with no instructions or warnings.

Again, I do understand both the theory and also the stove manufacturers desire to avoid any potential liability, but my point was somewhat more practical. Many of us will cook (and light our lamps) in cold weather with the boat closed up. Are you aware of any boating deaths caused by this?

I just thought a real world perspective was a useful counterpoint to the rather dire post above suggesting that any 'open flame, unvented' appliance was almost sure death. 'open flame, unvented' Kero lamps have been used on vessels for centuries and propane stoves for decades and are in fact allowed by the various authorities (as are similar propane cabin heaters).

Of course you need to be careful, as you absolutely need to be with any flames. In fact the serious boat fires we are aware of have instead come from vented pot heaters (where the lit diesel has spilled out of the pot) and electrical heaters (shorted or fallen over).
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:17   #54
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
The major propane stoves instructions do include a recommendation of opening a 3" vent. Our trawler lamp came with no instructions or warnings.

Again, I do understand both the theory and also the stove manufacturers desire to avoid any potential liability, but my point was somewhat more practical. Many of us will cook (and light our lamps) in cold weather with the boat closed up. Are you aware of any boating deaths caused by this?

I just thought a real world perspective was a useful counterpoint to the rather dire post above suggesting that any 'open flame, unvented' appliance was almost sure death. 'open flame, unvented' Kero lamps have been used on vessels for centuries and propane stoves for decades and are in fact allowed by the various authorities (as are similar propane cabin heaters).

Of course you need to be careful, as you absolutely need to be with any flames. In fact the serious boat fires we are aware of have instead come from vented pot heaters (where the lit diesel has spilled out of the pot) and electrical heaters (shorted or fallen over).
Carbon monoxide deaths from propane heaters: carbon monoxide risks from camping heaters can turn a fun outing into a deadly ordeal. When tragedy strikes, plaintiff attorneys must ensure that manufacturers are held accountable. - Free Online Library
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:20   #55
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

Well first that's not a boating incident, and second it's with a clearly 'outdoor only' appliance, unlike the various indoor spec heaters and stoves and lamps I thought we were discussing. And even in this case its noted as "a difficult products liability case", as the user was not following the instructions nor due care.
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:25   #56
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
January 21 2004; Two deaths occurred aboard a 24 foot power boat on the gorge in Victoria. This sad and senseless tragedy could have been avoided. For a number of years now I have been offering a free brochure on this subject with the hope that more boaters would become aware of the risk inherent in operating machinery or heaters in confined spaces. Sadly not every one gets the message. These two deaths are directly as a result of a lack of awareness of this problem. Please don’t let your relatives, friends or customers become statistics. Be aware of the possibility of CO. Do not operate combustion heaters, stoves or engines without adequate ventilation. Yacht clubs, Insurance brokers or anyone who would like to distribute this brochure is welcome to it. Copies of the brochure are available at no charge. Just ask.
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:42   #57
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

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risk inherent in operating machinery or heaters in confined spaces. . . . . Do not operate combustion heaters, stoves or engines without adequate ventilation.
Excellent, one power boat example. Do you have any more details, it would be useful to know what equipment in fact were they operating? The text is not clear but sort of suggests they were running an engine.

I have already acknowledged that one must certainly exercise due care with any sort of flame appliance but in fact believe you will find MORE incidents with closed flame/vented appliances.

So, is your opinion/point that you think one should in no case use any sort of 'open flame unvented appliance on a boat' (including your stove)?
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:42   #58
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

The above post was taken from a news letter that is no longer published. Almost every year in BC someone dies from Carbon monoxide poisoning on boats from heaters. That is why there is a big push for CO detectors on boats. Luckily most boats are not very air tight because of various built in venting systems. Also I am sure that the boats of old were even less airtight than the present day boats.
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Old 22-10-2011, 11:54   #59
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

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Excellent, one power boat example. Do you have any more details, it would be useful to know what equipment in fact were they operating? The text is not clear but sort of suggests they were running an engine.

I have already acknowledged that one must certainly exercise due care with any sort of flame appliance but in fact believe you will find MORE incidents with closed flame/vented appliances.

So, is your opinion/point that you think one should in no case use any sort of 'open flame unvented appliance on a boat' (including your stove)?
I have an electric stove on my boat. By not using any open flame appliances other than a BBQ on the aft rail I don't need a CO detector and I get a discount on my insurance. I also have solar powered vents that run 24/7. If a person feels safe by running an open flame appliance inside a sealed container and wishes to stay in that enclosure he definately enjoys a game of Russian roulette.
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Old 22-10-2011, 12:16   #60
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Re: Best Diesel Heater

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Almost every year in BC someone dies from Carbon monoxide poisoning on boats from heaters.
Can you back that statement up with factual evidence? The reason I ask is two-fold. First, I read the USCG (and Boat US) fatality statistics and this is NOT a significant factor in the US. and Second, the one incident you managed to find was from 7 years ago and it is not clear if in fact they were actually running a heater or instead an engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancerbye View Post
I have an electric stove on my boat. By not using any open flame appliances other than a BBQ on the aft rail I don't need a CO detector and I get a discount on my insurance. I also have solar powered vents that run 24/7. If a person feels safe by running an open flame appliance inside a sealed container and wishes to stay in that enclosure he definately enjoys a game of Russian roulette.
Given that we have not yet found a single incident of CO death from propane stoves, and can in fact find incidents of electrical fires (although probably not due to the relatively rare electric cookers), I am not sure that you have actually empirically improved your safety from using an electric stove rather than propane. But if you are happier with an electric stove that's terrific.

I still ask . . . are you trying to state that you don't think it is at all safe for anyone to use any sort of 'open flame/unvented appliance' like the common propane stoves and lamps, and is 'Russian roulette' to do so? If so, then its certainly your right to have such an opinion, but I will again point out that these devices are approved for internal marine use by all the relevant experts and authorities.
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