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Old 04-11-2013, 11:58   #16
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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
This is a little out of my normal bailiwick. I have an unfortunate amount of personal experience.

Most of the forced-air heaters cut back on fan speed once the boat reaches a steady temperature. For weekend use that's fine. For liveaboard application it doesn't work so well.

I had to do three complete rebuilds on a Webasto in four years. I replaced the Webasto with an Espar and have had a much better experience.

After lots of time on the phone with Webasto (in the US and Germany, limping along with high school German) and Espar (US only) I learned a lot. What I was told aligns with my experience. I had no issues with performance in Europe. Both companies said that US diesel was a problem, exacerbated by liveaboard use.

As the fan is stepped down combustion efficiency declines which leads to carbon build-up in the combustion chamber. The Webasto is tougher to rebuild. In addition it easier to get an Espar to recover without a rebuild.

Running a gallon of kerosene (based on recommendations from Webasto, Espar, and two different technicians at two companies that work with both Espar and Webasto) through the heater every four to six weeks has really helped to keep the combustion chamber clean in continued liveaboard use.

I don't have enough data to reach deterministic conclusions. Based on my experience, I'll buy Espar over Webasto, plumb in a one gallon kerosene tank with a Y-valve into the main diesel tank, and turn the heater down or off when I leave the boat so it runs full on when I turn it back up.
Yeah this is the same problem we have with gasoil in boats as opposed to DERV.


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Old 04-11-2013, 12:13   #17
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Re: Espar vs webasto heaters?

I like the Webasto It may not be a fair comparison though. Installed quite a few new Webastos with no issues. Customers loved them. Installed a few Espars. Good too but one customer who previously had a Webasto wanted his back!
Had to repair Espars now and then in a fleet i was involved in. Seemed too frequent to me... but dont know about older Webastos to compare.

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