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Old 05-01-2018, 11:18   #16
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Yes -- the fuel drips into the "pot", where it burns. But you don't need a gravity tank necessarily -- as Sailor Chic mentioned, you can feed it with a fuel pump. But inside the heater, the fuel is simply passively dripped onto the fire, as opposed to being sprayed into a combustion chamber with a force draft burner. It's much simpler and requires no electrical power.
Almost, on the refleks the fuel comes in the bottom of the burner where it evaporates then the flame burns at the top of the burner. The 'drip' feed is a bit of a misnomer.

You can just see the little patch of mist as the diesel evaporates coming in the feed hole here -



(Flame would be blue with the lid shut)
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:20   #17
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

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I wonder if this provides enough insulationÖ?
How quick does the snow melt?

Always a dead giveaway for liveaboards in a marina.
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:38   #18
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

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When you say ďdrip potĒ I assume you mean something with its own tank? Like this one:
https://ca.binnacle.com/product_info...oducts_id=8391

Can you tell us more about the challenges of installing and operating one Robert? Iím leaning towards something like the linked one. I would love to install a forced air diesel system, but the cost is prohibative now that Iím officially poor.
Hi Mike,
Others have answered some of your questions so I'll pass on them. By the way the little Origo heater is fine in a pinch on cool evenings but it burns alcohol and because it's not vented it puts out quite a bit of moisture which we all try to get rid of when heating a space.
Drip pot heaters all have a bit of a personality depending on location, venting etc. I've never been successful in using one underway because of the back drafting coming off the sails. Soot on the deck can be an issue depending on how clean it's burning and to burn clean they have to burn hot..The flame should be blue with just a bit of color at the tip of the flame if it's really working well. I've used gravity and the little inline pump that makes a click every so often. I like the gravity fed units but there are issues with those as well sometimes. On one boat I mounted a very thin tank behind the head door which shared the same bulkhead that the heater was mounted on, this gave me almost 48 hours of fuel which I replenished with a Jerry can. As the heater became hotter the heat was slowly transferred thru the bulkhead into the day tank which was just enough to thin it out and I had to adjust the flame for the first few hours until it settled down, then start all over when I relit it...personality. The big trick is to get the flue really balanced. Some manufacturers added a fan to pressurize the draft but a really well set up doesn't require this. Others had two stacks, one exhaust and another intake both from the exterior, these worked quite well but your now cutting two holes thru the deck. The drip pot has to be very well preheated before you start really throwing fuel at it or you will get a flair up or at minimum some deck shooting. How much preheat, it's a learned thing but I used alcohol and got used to exactly how much to use but these days some folks might use a propane torch. I liked the little clear window that showed the flames, gave it a homey feel. In the end I found that for burning really clean it was hard to beat Kerosene or first grade stove oil and I preferred that over diesel but that's only an option on a day tank install.
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:43   #19
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Almost, on the refleks the fuel comes in the bottom of the burner where it evaporates then the flame burns at the top of the burner. The 'drip' feed is a bit of a misnomer.

You can just see the little patch of mist as the diesel evaporates coming in the feed hole here -



(Flame would be blue with the lid shut)
Thanks for the correction, for the explanation, and for the cool pic!
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:35   #20
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
Hi Mike,
Others have answered some of your questions so I'll pass on them. By the way the little Origo heater is fine in a pinch on cool evenings but it burns alcohol and because it's not vented it puts out quite a bit of moisture which we all try to get rid of when heating a space.
Drip pot heaters all have a bit of a personality depending on location, venting etc. I've never been successful in using one underway because of the back drafting coming off the sails. Soot on the deck can be an issue depending on how clean it's burning and to burn clean they have to burn hot..The flame should be blue with just a bit of color at the tip of the flame if it's really working well. I've used gravity and the little inline pump that makes a click every so often. I like the gravity fed units but there are issues with those as well sometimes. On one boat I mounted a very thin tank behind the head door which shared the same bulkhead that the heater was mounted on, this gave me almost 48 hours of fuel which I replenished with a Jerry can. As the heater became hotter the heat was slowly transferred thru the bulkhead into the day tank which was just enough to thin it out and I had to adjust the flame for the first few hours until it settled down, then start all over when I relit it...personality. The big trick is to get the flue really balanced. Some manufacturers added a fan to pressurize the draft but a really well set up doesn't require this. Others had two stacks, one exhaust and another intake both from the exterior, these worked quite well but your now cutting two holes thru the deck. The drip pot has to be very well preheated before you start really throwing fuel at it or you will get a flair up or at minimum some deck shooting. How much preheat, it's a learned thing but I used alcohol and got used to exactly how much to use but these days some folks might use a propane torch. I liked the little clear window that showed the flames, gave it a homey feel. In the end I found that for burning really clean it was hard to beat Kerosene or first grade stove oil and I preferred that over diesel but that's only an option on a day tank install.
Thanks for sharing your experience Robert. I like your general description of these burners having "personality.Ē I used a pressure alcohol stove for years, and prior to that have extensive experience with one-burner camp stoves; all require some sort of pre-heating and basic maintenance. So I suspect Iíd get along fine with one of these pot burners.

Is there one brand or heater youíd recommend based on your experience?

BTW, I like the Refleks burners, but Iím having a hard time sourcing them here in Canada or even USA. Anyone got a good source?

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
How quick does the snow melt?

Always a dead giveaway for liveaboards in a marina.
So far, Iíve avoided having to learn the answer to your question

P.S. Jammer, I didnít mean to commandeer your thread. Itís just that your query is front and centre for me right now. I hope I havenít annoyed you with all my questions.
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Old 05-01-2018, 13:03   #21
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

According to this page https://refleks-olieovne.dk/en/kontakt/

The Canadian distributor is:
Stright-Mackay, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia B2H 5E1
Email: info@stright-mackay.com
web: Stright-MacKay Ltd.
Phone: (902) 928 1907

and the US distributor is Hamilton Marine, http://www.hamiltonmarine.com/.
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Old 05-01-2018, 13:20   #22
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

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maintenance. So I suspect I’d get along fine with one of these pot burners.
The diving club used to have an old fleet tender 80ft and abut 80 tonnes. Some decades previously the large diesel fired cooker had obviously had a melt down and the diesel feed had been bodged by the then crew. So we inherited a large metal cooker with a thin brass pipe and a brass valve to regulate the flow from the day tank above the cooker. Inside the lower chamber the pipe now squashed, appeared and stopped above an ordinary house brick with a frog in it (v shaped cut out). To light the cooker we had a brass meths bunsen burner which was used to heat up a splash of diesel fuel in the frog until it caught fire. Temperature was adjusted by the brass valve and the number of drips per minute plus a plate in the flue. A hand written table on the bulkhead gave a rough temperature according to the number of drips.

We cooked 3 meals a day on that cooker for up to 16 people. It was the sort of thing you would want sailing in the Arctic because repairing it would be simplicity itself.

At home we dry wood for a whole summer before burning it, I just can't see how you could store enough to use on a boat. A couple 12" hardwood logs last an hour and gives a couple of Kw of heat. Those little wood burners for boat could only take a couple of 5" blocks giving off ? heat and needing constant feeding. The amount of heat in a gallon of diesel is in comparison astonishing.
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Old 05-01-2018, 13:22   #23
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
P.S. Jammer, I didnít mean to commandeer your thread. Itís just that your query is front and centre for me right now. I hope I havenít annoyed you with all my questions.
Nope, it's all good.

Thanks to everyone for the insightful replies. Food for thought.

The drip pot burners have been, since the 1930s, a technology used in those immovable stick houses people build on land. Jungers was the local favorite -- I've hauled a couple to the scrapyard. I call them drip pots because they all function by having a fuel reservoir with a constant level maintained by a float valve, with a small orifice at the bottom through which the oil passes at a fixed rate, which is kinda like dripping. The fact that it then is collected by a tube and vaporizes is the rest of teh story, I guess.

https://archive.org/details/JungersH...RangesFurnaces

The local HVAC contractors still have service parts. The float and metering assembly used on the Sig/Newport units is the same on these higher-BTU residential burners, the only difference being the size of the burner pot. Some of the residential ones I've seen have a ceramic or refractory burner pot, rather than a metal one. They are all tempermental with the two recurrent themes being inconsistency of draft and variable viscosity of the fuel oil.

Noise is something not mentioned upthread. I've heard that the forced air and hydronic systems are loud.

Is it common to plumb the coolant lines from the auxiliary engine to a heater core or two, or is that practice mostly limited to motorboats?
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Old 05-01-2018, 14:01   #24
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

A few things I havenít seen mentioned yet:

With bringing wood on board comes the risk of bringing bugs or their eggs, that will then happily eat away at your boatís woodwork.

If you want to heat your boat while under way, then you have to make sure the system you install works while heeling. I abandoned my plans of installing heating on my boat partially because of this. I just couldnít find a cost effective system that was specified to work with more than a few degrees of heeling.

The brand Walla manufactures combo diesel heater/stoves. The good thing about them is that they just fit where youíre stove used to be. You donít need to find room for them. The bad thing is the price, and also last time I looked at them (probably 4 yrs ago) the stove had only two positions: on (very very hot) or off. You ďset the temperatureĒ for cooking by moving your pot away from the center of heat. Not exactly a gourmet galley.
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Old 05-01-2018, 14:34   #25
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

Had a look at Wallas and it seems they now have variable power for both heating and cooking which means you no longer have to cycle the units, or move your pot away.
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Old 05-01-2018, 14:42   #26
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

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...Noise is something not mentioned upthread. I've heard that the forced air and hydronic systems are loud.
Not sure about inside, but I have a friend who has and Espar onboard. I was anchored downwind of him one time and was quite shocked at the high noise level coming out the exhaust thru hull.
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Old 05-01-2018, 15:23   #27
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Is it common to plumb the coolant lines from the auxiliary engine to a heater core or two, or is that practice mostly limited to motorboats?
Not common, but it's been done:

Tech Wiki – Catalina 34 International Association
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Old 05-01-2018, 15:46   #28
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

I'm a lifelong resident and liveaboard in Alaska (three winters on a boat, so far--when the hell are we sailing south again??)

We have an Espar (Eberspacher by another name, FYI) Airtronic D4. I've been drafting a post for it on our blog, but *shrug, I'll sketch some of the contents out here. It is noisier than a drip stove, for sure, though properly installed Espar heaters should have a muffler which makes them whisper-quiet. But for some reason, people will pay in excess of a $K, then balk at paying 100-200 for a muffler. We would probably be one of those people, but the heater came with the boat (1989 Catalina 36). Lower-priced units are sold by Planar, among others.

It takes up to 40w to run the fan and fuel pump, and puts out 4KW or 13,600BTU.

Based on our records (at average winter temperatures of about 20F, windspeed 10-15 mph) we use 0.06 gal/hr diesel. Or approximately 10 gal per week. Before we started insulating our boat, the heater would be running flat out to maintain a 30 degree temperature differential. So at 30F outside, we can keep the boat at 60F inside. Any colder, and we HAVE to use our electric space heater. Although we didn't count these as insulation, we did shrink wrap the windows, and block off the unconditioned spaces from the main cabin.

Our last trip (October 2017), we left Seward with 70 gallons of diesel aboard, and motorsailed to Cordova. We worked our way back slowly, gunkholing in a few stunning anchorages along the way, motorsailing, running the heater when we were cold. Upon our return to Seward a month later, we still had 35 gallons of diesel.

We've just finished adding closed cell foam insulation to as much of the vberth as feasible. The heater can now maintain a 32 degree temperature differential, and the ambient temperature in the vberth is 3 degrees higher than before. Considerably reduced condensation to boot. We are planning on insulating other areas when time permits, though our priority is kicking off for three months of sailing in Prince William Sound in February. Insulating the whole boat will really decrease the load on the Espar, and potentially lower the runtime, fuel, and power consumption overall.

We have dined with friends on their boats who have, respectively, a Reflecs, a wood stove, a diesel drip stove, and a diesel cooker/heater. These are all great, except for two issues: they MUST be located centrally Iin extremely valuable liveaboard real estate) to partially address the poor heat distribution in the classically long narrow volume of a sailboat, and installing the chimney both correctly and clear of all rigging and the dinghy on the foredeck is a real challenge. Every one of them has had smoke fill the cabin when the notorious Seward winds kick up from the wrong direction. The hot water jacket on the diesel cooker perks my ears, but I'm an avid cook, and the responsiveness of propane is hard to beat!

If and when we go to a wood/biofuel heater, I want a gasifier stove, similar to the Kimberly. I think Venture Lives, originally based out of Juneau, installed a Kimberly. Don't do the install the way they did, but the stove itself looks like a great idea. I have loved the camping downdraft gasifiers, and several aquaintances use rocket mass heaters to heat their greenhouses and cabins. Similar concept--secondary combustion of exhaust gases means cleaner burn, higher BTU/hr, smaller kindling size wood, less/no soot topside or backdrafted. Much easier to collect and store dry kindling/sawdust than dry logs.

Propane and alcohol heat are terrible ideas in cold climates. I once had a Force 10 propane bulkhead heater on a 25ft Ericson, and the first night I slept aboard in winter, condensation literally rained in the main cabin. Propane combustion involves the release of enormous quantities of water.

If anyone wants pics, message me through the turtletravels.com contact page, sending images through Cruisersforum drives me nuts!
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Old 05-01-2018, 16:26   #29
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

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Propane and alcohol heat are terrible ideas in cold climates. I once had a Force 10 propane bulkhead heater on a 25ft Ericson, and the first night I slept aboard in winter, condensation literally rained in the main cabin. Propane combustion involves the release of enormous quantities of water.
Just wanted to qualify this, true for unvented heating only.

Propex HS2211 is a counter example, can be mounted outside, all exhaust vented in any case.

Not saying I'd use propane heat on a boat anyway, just clarifying an overgeneralization.
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Old 05-01-2018, 19:12   #30
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Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

Mike as far as brands many have come and gone over the years unfortunately one that is gone probably made the best one. These days in Canada the only option is Dickerson Heaters. You'd have to look but they used to make a smaller bulkhead model called the Newport and they made a larger sort of free standing one called the Arctic. They have been around forever and most people that use them find them OK. Still reasonably popular I guess. Price wise they are probably your best bet and of course they are Canadian, eh!
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