Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-01-2018, 20:55   #46
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5,144
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

If you use a drip pot heater which usually doesn't work well under sail and takes awhile to heat your boat when it's cold and you do lots of late fall, winter, and early spring sailing go down to the auto wreckers and buy a hot water heater thats used in a car and install that in your boat. Anytime the engine is running you get lots of heat. Sometimes it makes sense even if you were sailing to turn it on when you arrive at your anchorage and are putting around setting your hook and get the boat preheated. Once your drip pot heater is putting out it will only have to run for a short time to have the boat toasty warm.
__________________

__________________
robert sailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2018, 21:19   #47
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Minneapolis area
Boat: Morgan 250, 25'
Posts: 168
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

Thank you all for the continuing, insightful discussion.

Having lived in Minnesota for many years I know a thing or two about heating, and about various fuels.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Meanderthal View Post
I don't think you should use exploding fuels in CONTINUOUS DUTY applications unless you are absolutely certain the equipment is rated for it.
This has been an objection to propane heat (in those boats made of 2x4s, that have run aground, that we sometimes hear about) since its introduction. There was a time when propane was considered too dangerous to use in basements because of the risk of explosion. Time has borne out the fact that its safety as a fuel is similar to fuel oil/diesel and electric systems, and better than solid fuel systems.

Quote:
Reason 2: Propane is less energy dense than diesel or biofuel, so you need to carry more of it.

Propane: ~91,000BTU/gal

Diesel: ~138,000BTU/gal. (151% of the thermic capacity of propane)
The BTU content by weight is roughly similar especially when you adjust for the relatively higher typical overall efficiency of propane systems. The problem, as I see it, is handling. You can't (well, shouldn't, it can be done at -44 degrees, great way to get all the mercury to the bottom of the thermometer but I digress) pour it from one container to another. Tanks have to be thick walled. Regulatory compliance is nearly impossible when cruising internationally.

Quote:
How much would you need for a week in winter? Well, the Propex HS2211 suggested above is rated at 2KW heat input (approx. 6800 BTU), or suitable for up to 24ft sailboats, with a burn rate of 150g/hr (0.33#/hr). So a 24ft sailboat, in the same (relatively mild) winter climate as mine, with a heater similarly maxed out as ours, will require the Propex to operate 18 hours a day. 41#/week. Most propane tanks are filled 90% or less in winter, in case the users bring the tanks into warm buildings and the gas expands. So plan on (3) 20# tanks a week. Most boats don't even carry a standard 20# bbq tank, so be prepared for this as an additional requirement of installing a propane heater for anything more than a day sail. Propane storage is regulated--you will need to have room on deck for a secured tank with gravity drainage overboard, build a box meeting the safety requirements somewhere on the boat, or buy (for $$$$$) and install a box.

If you have a larger boat, the Propex isn't suitable, but scale up the calculations relative to the increase in internal volume, and you'll get a ballpark idea of how much propane you'd need to carry. This isn't doomsday thinking, just practical provisioning calculations.
Believe me, I get it. Some real world facts to consider.

I have an RV trailer with two 40# propane cylinders and a 34,000 BTU/h propane furnace. I can use up a 40# cylinder in a 3-day weekend in the fall. It is sealed combustion.

I have a truck camper that has an older (1970s) sealed-combustion propane furnace that is 18,000 BTU. Requires no electricity, but it does go through the fuel also.

My previous house was multi-fuel but when we were mainly using propane we would go through around 1500 gallons a winter. We had forced air which we later replaced with hydronic.

Quote:
It's not just storage, though--it's availability and simplicity. Mosey up to the fuel dock, and you've got heat and fuel for a few weeks. Grab a jerry jug and head to shore--any gas station will have diesel, and a thousand other places will as well, and one jug will heat the hypothetical 24ft boat for a week. Install a gasifier stove, and any pine cone is heating fuel--go to shore with a five gallon bucket.
Yes, this is the problem with propane heat on a boat, as I see it, at least for cruising. For weekends around here it would work.

The counterpoint is that I've also lived in houses with fuel oil (=diesel for most practical purposes) heat. It is my observation that even the most carefully designed, installed, and maintained systems will eventually leak. The damage, the fire hazard, and the lingering stink are all considerable when this happens. The higher flue temperatures for these burners also create a greater hazard that propane does not have.

Quote:
(Also, damn, I spent way too long on this post, so I hope it was helpful in some way, lol.)
Yep.
__________________

__________________
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2018, 21:50   #48
Registered User
 
sailor1924's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Boat: Pearson Countess 44
Posts: 135
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrior 90 View Post
I further add on:

The drip pot systems give a nice and comfortable heat but I believe the distribution is a real issue and the location is many times complicated. I heard they can also be looped to the system of the engine but could not find any info on the topic.

Do You have more info on that ?

To me that would make a big difference.
When I run the engine I also charge the batteries. That means I have two sources of heat and one is already on the boat. With an additional electrical resistance in the hot water tank I also have a third heat source when plugged into shore power
Cheers
I've got both a drip pot and a bus heater fan coil that is plumbed into the engine loop that also exchanges heat in the hot water heater.

The hot water tank does not contribute to heating the boat, I don't think trying to add it as a heating source could be economically be accomplished. I had a system that did that in a house I had and you had to have a very large water tank (I'm talking 2 @ 600 gallon storage tanks) to be able to use the heated water as a contribution to the space heating.

There is an extensive thread that discusses the design of engine loop systems. Try Googling "hydronic heat".

On my old boat I was able to install a water coil in a drip pot stove and run hydronic radiators throughout the boat under the sole and get heat to the furthest points. To me that was the best heating system, it combined the reliability of the drip pot with wide distribution and even heat under the sole, so no cold feet. It was also pretty frugal electrically using a single small circulating pump that could be shut down after establishing a convective flow.
__________________
sailor1924 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2018, 22:22   #49
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 1
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

I installed a Dickinson Newport Solid Fuel Heater last summer and so far I'm really happy with it.

We live aboard on our Hunter 33.5 in the PNW where our temperatures don't often drop much below freezing. While we're at the dock we use an electric space heater to keep the boat between 55-60F which means running it at either 600 or 900W. We're both out during the day so we're usually lighting the stove in the evening which keeps us toasty for 3-4 hours at about 75-80F.

For our lifestyle it works perfectly but I can see for others it being a bit of a hassle.

Good bits:

- It's quiet. The sound of diesel forced air is not for me.
- It's cheap. One box of compressed fire logs keeps us going for a week @ $7.
- I'd much rather deal with wood than diesel.
- The heat it puts out really keeps the boat dry. The radiant heat warms the surfaces of most of the boat keeping them well above the dew point.
- Doesn't draw any amps
- Cheap installation (compared to diesel stover or forced air)
- The wood I use doesn't use any binders (it's fused under pressure) so it's clean. It's also a renewable source.

Bad bits:

- I don't like the soot on the deck. But, it's not that bad and it cleans up.
- It needs feeding every half hour or so. Personally I don't mind this.
- Keeping the fire going overnight would be a problem although I haven't experimented burning coal.

Hope that helps!
Attached Files
__________________
parallax83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2018, 04:19   #50
Registered User
 
Dougtiff's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: San Rafael, Ca.
Boat: Gaff rigged Ketch[Spray]37' on deck
Posts: 187
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

I installed a drip diesel heater on the bulkhead of a 44 footer i built year's ago in washington and added a slow turning fan that worked off of heat, had it attached to the exhaust chimney, helped move the air [ made in canada], it ran 24-7 and kept the whole boat warm, burned a gallon a day, this was in the winter, in fact out of curiosity, [we were in a marina], i did a test, comparing electricity to diesel for a month and it was pretty much a wash, if i was going to purchase a new drip heater, it would be a Sigmar, because it has a special exhaust chimney that incorporates a fresh air intake, thereby eliminating opening a hatch or whatever for fresh air, thereby keeping the interior warmer.
__________________
Dougtiff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2018, 20:52   #51
Registered User
 
JDOradio's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 11
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

good thread. it's been single digits for a few days...
__________________
JDOradio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2018, 22:11   #52
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 136
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor1924 View Post
I've got both a drip pot and a bus heater fan coil that is plumbed into the engine loop that also exchanges heat in the hot water heater.

The hot water tank does not contribute to heating the boat, I don't think trying to add it as a heating source could be economically be accomplished. I had a system that did that in a house I had and you had to have a very large water tank (I'm talking 2 @ 600 gallon storage tanks) to be able to use the heated water as a contribution to the space heating.

There is an extensive thread that discusses the design of engine loop systems. Try Googling "hydronic heat".

On my old boat I was able to install a water coil in a drip pot stove and run hydronic radiators throughout the boat under the sole and get heat to the furthest points. To me that was the best heating system, it combined the reliability of the drip pot with wide distribution and even heat under the sole, so no cold feet. It was also pretty frugal electrically using a single small circulating pump that could be shut down after establishing a convective flow.
A coil taking heat from the drip pot stove and running hydronic radiators !
That is an interesting concept to me)) Mmm Yes and heat under the cabin sole. That is the best. That is the concept of the radiant floor. If I remember right from the early days it only takes about 2-3C temperature differential at the human height of the eyes to feel comfortable. This to say.... the floor has to be only 2-3C warmer then at lets say 180 cm height of the eyes. Now the big advantage of a radiant floor is the low temperatures it requieres. Of course lower temperatures also requiere a lot less fuel. Lets say an ambient temperature of 25C is comfortable. Then the floor needs to be 27-28C. However, if the temperature at height of the eyes is 30C and Your feet are cold then You are still not comfortable.

You mentioned......
with wide distribution and even heat under the sole, so no cold feet. It was also pretty frugal electrically using a single small circulating pump that could be shut down after establishing a convective flow.

I believe You experienced the concept of a radiant floor/cabin sole. Well that takes us to the next thought. What max temperature do we need for such a concept. Speculating I would say a max of 35C with a decent flow rate of the water or whatever medium is used for heat transfer, should do the trick. I think at least it is a lot lower then any other heater requieres. Of course the next problem is incorporating the heat under or in the cabin sole which might not be convenient in some locations. How ever, distributing the heat eaven under the cabin sole and directing it to certain areas might not be such a challenge. That would also mean.... the lower the heat source is in the boat the more efficient it will be to distribute. Another thought that comes to my mind is... the engine with its coolant system is the biggest storage of thermal mass on board and many times in a convenient location for such thoughts. What if we keep the engine... lets say at 30-35C and use this water for under the cabin sole heating. Using this thermal mass would be a very stable system and maybe we get away with some 10-15 minutes of heating the water every hour. Now the heat source for the engine could be anywhere on the boat close to the coolant hose. The only energy required would be a small pump that compensates for temperature fluctuations of the engine block. I believe in a catamaran with the engines under the bed that could open up new dimensions. The saloon where the highest temperature is required would be the most benefited area.
Hahaha yeah, that is a lot of speculation. I admit it.
But on the other side... today the concept of a radiant floor is the most efficient way of heating a space. I see all the other forms of heating a boat and there are lots of trade offs. Maybe this is easier then it looks at the first sight. What about sandwiching the radiant tubing in the cabin sole ? I think in small and close loop systems with anti freeze coolant they use tubes of inside Dia 1/4". The rest is a question of sufficient surface area in the different locations of the boat.

Well sorry, dont wanna Hijack the thread
__________________
Now or Never
warrior 90 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2018, 22:58   #53
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: the Med
Boat: Nauta 54' by Scott Kaufman/S&S - 1989
Posts: 1,103
Images: 3
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

Why do some write Dickenson or Dickerson???

The company name in DICKINSON MARINE,CANADA.


Like parallax, l am a happy user of their Newport solid fuel stove.
I live at pleasant latitudes (Med)
l wanted a toy to play with, not a diesel burner in the saloon
I wanted no smell, no noise
I can disassemble the stove in 2minutes

Yes, it is small. Radiation of the pipe dries up and heats up surfaces, not AIR, for real comfort.
I also dislike sleeping in a heated environment.

Thanks ANNK for suggesting anthracite for longer heating..

Yes, carrying over wood logs and sawing some is part of the game...

In any colder climate, I'd consider a diesel cooking hob/stove,with a heat exchange and possibly hot water tank/circulation. And a heat exchanger on the main engine.

with generator, I run electric fans in the heads.

I recommend the best possible insulation, ALL AROUND the boat. (ISOVER is great)
__________________
TheThunderbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2018, 05:24   #54
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,738
Images: 240
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, parallax.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2018, 05:35   #55
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 20,144
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
. . This has been an objection to propane heat (in those boats made of 2x4s, that have run aground, that we sometimes hear about) since its introduction. There was a time when propane was considered too dangerous to use in basements because of the risk of explosion. Time has borne out the fact that its safety as a fuel is similar to fuel oil/diesel and electric systems, and better than solid fuel systems. . . .
This statement may be true on land, but it is definitely not true with regard to boats. Propane/butane explosions are one of the leading causes of death of sailors in the UK, and I suppose the same must be true everywhere. Someone is killed here every year, sometimes several people. Number of people killed from fires started with diesel fuel systems? Or explosions of diesel fuel? Never heard of such a case.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-tre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2018, 07:44   #56
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: the Med
Boat: Nauta 54' by Scott Kaufman/S&S - 1989
Posts: 1,103
Images: 3
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

Yap, diesel fuel burns very well , but its gas does not get ignited.

Forced ventilation is needed for gasoline.

Soon, rules will ban the use of open flames around. I prefer induction hob (genny) for boiling water and quick heating up
......

Btw,
Having a heating system working under sail and heeling, is possible at best electrically (heat pumps)
__________________
TheThunderbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2018, 08:38   #57
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Hunnter Legend 37.5
Posts: 175
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

I use an alcohol heater for a few days at a time when it's cold. I use grain alcohol in it to avoid the condensation (100% ethanol, no water). Not suitable for long term use, in my opinion, like for a season, but for the cold snaps, it had been just fine.
__________________
bensolomon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2018, 08:50   #58
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Minneapolis area
Boat: Morgan 250, 25'
Posts: 168
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
This statement may be true on land, but it is definitely not true with regard to boats. Propane/butane explosions are one of the leading causes of death of sailors in the UK, and I suppose the same must be true everywhere.
It varies regionally. In the state of Minnesota, where there is one boat for every seven residents, we average 15 boating fatalities a year. In 2016, the last year for which data is available, none of the fatalities involved fire or explosion. There was one collision, and the rest were either MOB incidents or vessels that capsized.
http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/educati..._summary16.pdf

In the past there has typically been one bad accident a year due to ignition of gasoline vapors, usually involving stern drive boats with gasoline engines. I wonder whether such accidents are in decline due to the fact that there are fewer such boats on the water, due to the widespread switch to pontoon boats with outboard motors.

Then again we have fewer liveaboards than England, and propane systems here are built differently, whether in boats, RVs, or stick houses.

Quote:
Someone is killed here every year, sometimes several people. Number of people killed from fires started with diesel fuel systems? Or explosions of diesel fuel? Never heard of such a case.
Perhaps so. Then again, fires from diesel, like electrical fires, are blamed on equipment not on fuel. I can remember a few notable fires -- the Carnival cruise ship comes to mind -- but perhaps none involved fatalities.
__________________
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2018, 09:15   #59
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 20,144
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
It varies regionally. In the state of Minnesota, where there is one boat for every seven residents, we average 15 boating fatalities a year. In 2016, the last year for which data is available, none of the fatalities involved fire or explosion. There was one collision, and the rest were either MOB incidents or vessels that capsized.
http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/educati..._summary16.pdf

In the past there has typically been one bad accident a year due to ignition of gasoline vapors, usually involving stern drive boats with gasoline engines. I wonder whether such accidents are in decline due to the fact that there are fewer such boats on the water, due to the widespread switch to pontoon boats with outboard motors.

Then again we have fewer liveaboards than England, and propane systems here are built differently, whether in boats, RVs, or stick houses.



Perhaps so. Then again, fires from diesel, like electrical fires, are blamed on equipment not on fuel. I can remember a few notable fires -- the Carnival cruise ship comes to mind -- but perhaps none involved fatalities.
We don't have all that many fires on boats here, but we regularly have propane explosions, and also asphyxiation deaths from various sources.



Here's a gas explosion on a yacht which happened just last August:

Two people taken to hospital after gas explosion on boat by Bristol Harbourside - Bristol Post

Sunk the boat, but fortunately no one killed.

Here's another gas explosion on a yacht, from July:

Man injured as gas explosion blows roof off boat | UTV - ITV News

Blew the boat to smithereens; fortunately the crew escaped.

Another boat completely destroyed by a gas explosion, last January:

UPDATE: Huge fire and gas explosion on Deptford arts boat | News Shopper


That's just a casual Google search; there were others. And just one year -- 2017. And just one small country, the UK.

LPG on a boat is bloody dangerous. Not remotely comparable to dangers from other fuels except, perhaps, gasoline. LPG can be made reasonably safe, to be sure, if you are very careful, and if you spend the necessary time and money on replacing and updating parts and hoses and seals and parts, and following very good procedures using it, but isn't life too short for all that? And no matter how careful you are, there is always a risk -- see the Lord Trenchard incident for an example of very, very careful sailors who got blown up (one lost a leg) despite superb procedures. I discovered on my own boat that my gas locker doesn't drain gas at all (!) because the hose was installed with a dip in it! After 7 years of using her!


My next boat will have all-electric cooking. And never in a million years would I HEAT a boat with LPG, which is just nuts in my opinion. YMMV.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-tre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2018, 09:38   #60
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Probably in an anchorage or a boatyard..
Boat: Ebbtide 33' steel cutter
Posts: 3,617
Re: General advice for cabin heat in northern lattitudes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
We don't have all that many fires on boats here, but we regularly have propane explosions,
Haven't the time to dig it out, but somewhere on the RYA site ISTR there were some figures, explosions due to refilling outboard motors was roughly on par with propane. Thankfully both very rare but enough if you're there.

Using either with care and attention takes the risk to much lower than the danger of driving to your boat.

Probably.

Quote:
see the Lord Trenchard incident for an example of very, very careful sailors who got blown up (one lost a leg) despite superb procedures.
From memory the procedures would have worked had they been adhered to.
__________________

__________________
conachair is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cabin

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Experience with Composting head in High Lattitudes lamadriver Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 11 01-03-2016 19:32
Onboard Heat for Northern Climes rognvald Polar Regions 70 15-12-2012 21:09
Why Can't a Cat Sail High Lattitudes?? ssullivan Multihull Sailboats 39 15-04-2008 17:50



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:06.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.