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Old 29-12-2014, 10:54   #31
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
We use an "ECO-TEMP" L5 on demand hot water heater.twice every morning plus dishes.. even when its cold, its only turned up 1/2 way........best ever..
I've had these and they are great... with the usual "safety " caveat mentioned. I don't see them as any less safe than your typical propane stove... if you only use them in an on and off mode (not left on constantly) at maybe $110 US they are great. I mounted mine right below the companionway hatch so no venting was required.

Having said that, I really like your typical small marine engine heated hot water heater. A short time running and they heat up water fast and it will hold overnight fine. But if you don't run your engine often then I guess you need another alternative. At maybe $250 US well worth it.

Anything black will work in the sun... black plastic pipe with a tank and a tiny circulating pump. The problem is do you really want a bunch of crap hanging on your boat?
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Old 29-12-2014, 11:29   #32
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

..Instead of fight about the ABYC thing you can install a webasto diesel water heather and use for heat the boat too.. expensive but utterly safe...
..but I don't mind to use the Eco propane on demand...
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Old 29-12-2014, 12:09   #33
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

If going solar, a double row of black tubing attached to the toe rail should suffice, attached to a holding tank below and a circulation pump. Supplemental heat exchanger of on demand, wouldn't require as much fuel in any event. Reducing cruising budget consumption.


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Old 29-12-2014, 12:31   #34
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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Firstly Canada cannot afford it's own comprehensive Standards. The cost of metrification and bilingualism alone is exhorbitant. Transport Canada is also grossly undermanned and their staff at Marine Safety is comprised of largely ex feighter captains who know little of pleasure craft systems.

You seem to have missed a few things in my post. Many of the ABYC Standards are already Law in Canada as authorized under the Canada Shipping Act 2001 and Transport Canada, Small Vessel Construction Standards (TP1332E, April 2010). You can also search the Canada Gazette (Legislative Newsletter) and the Transport Canada Marine Safety bulletins which confirm that the entire ABYC standards (all 31 of them) manual will be an optional legal requirement as of July 2015. The Canadian members of the RCC have already announced that TP1332E will be retired in the near future in favour of ABYC.

You are also mistaken as to the need for legistation from Ottawa.. These are regulatory changes not legislative changes and Transport Canada already has the authority to make these changes (or any others for Small Vessel Construction Standards) as authorized under the legislation of CSA 2001.

And yes if you read ABYC "Liquid and Solid Fueled Boat Heating Systems" A-7 it clearly states that all such appliances must be fitted with room sealed combustion chambers which none of the instant water heaters or catalytic or alcohol heaters have.

PS. I am ABYC certified, have taken a number of Transport Canada seminars on these issues and have also presented seminars to Transport Canada Marine Safety.

PSS. My latest seminar with Transport Canada was a two day event presented by Robert Freakes, Marine Safety Division in Chamblay Quebec in August of this year.

Yes now I am confused.. TP 1332E is for "Construction Standards for Small Vessels- in force since 2010.. The ABYC will serve as a Common body of knowledge to sustain a Standard in Construction of Small Vessels. (yet to be amended and support by CSA) Now in other news, the CSA Canada Shipping Act which received Royal Assent in 2001 is the regulatory instrument that will release maritime documents if compliance is met, and enforced by/only Maritime Safety inspectors.


While the Governor may make changes to the Act, it still will be required to go through Parliament. This is Canada !
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Old 29-12-2014, 12:57   #35
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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Yes now I am confused.. TP 1332E is for "Construction Standards for Small Vessels- in force since 2010.. The ABYC will serve as a Common body of knowledge to sustain a Standard in Construction of Small Vessels. (yet to be amended and support by CSA) Now in other news, the CSA Canada Shipping Act which received Royal Assent in 2001 is the regulatory instrument that will release maritime documents if compliance is met, and enforced by/only Maritime Safety inspectors.


While the Governor may make changes to the Act, it still will be required to go through Parliament. This is Canada !
You still don't get it. The CSA already gives Transport Canada authority to make regulatory changes. Regulatory changes do not require legislative approval. Tp1332 is a REGULATION.

You are also incorrect about CSA receiving Royal assent on 2001. The 2001 assent was simply an updated version of CSA which has been on the legislative books for decades.

PS. Royal assent has not been a part of our legislative process since the repatriation of the British North America Act in 1974 (?) and Confirmed by the constitution Act of 1982. We are no longer a colony.
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Old 29-12-2014, 16:24   #36
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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You still don't get it. The CSA already gives Transport Canada authority to make regulatory changes. Regulatory changes do not require legislative approval. Tp1332 is a REGULATION.

You are also incorrect about CSA receiving Royal assent on 2001. The 2001 assent was simply an updated version of CSA which has been on the legislative books for decades.

PS. Royal assent has not been a part of our legislative process since the repatriation of the British North America Act in 1974 (?) and Confirmed by the constitution Act of 1982. We are no longer a colony.
Quote:
Canada Shipping Act, 2001

S.C. 2001, c. 26

Assented to 2001-11-01

An Act respecting shipping and navigation and to amend the Shipping Conferences Exemption Act, 1987 and other Acts

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
This taken directly from Canada Shipping Act, 2001 For Royal Assent please read the following :Senate Procedural Notes - Royal Assent
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Old 29-12-2014, 16:44   #37
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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This taken directly from Canada Shipping Act, 2001 For Royal Assent please read the following :Senate Procedural Notes - Royal Assent
Exactly !
and that Act authorizes Transport Canada to make regulatory changes ! You do understand the difference between "regulatory" and "legislative" changes, right ?

You can lead a horse to water ............
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Old 04-01-2015, 19:58   #38
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

Well, it looks like the demand water heater debate has reared its ugly head again.

I've got a 1980 Nonsuch 30 Classic with the original Paloma demand propane water heater and it still functions perfectly. If they are installed properly and inspected and adjusted regularly they are no more hazardous that your propane range.

I disassemble and clean mine pre-season without fail.

When my boat was surveyed and the survey was forwarded to my insurance company they didn't say squat and continue to renew my policy.

So, for all of you singing "The sky is falling," sing on. In the meantime, I'll enjoy a nice hot shower without the inconvenience of having to run my engine or hook up to shore power.

Cheers,

Bob
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Old 04-01-2015, 20:15   #39
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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Well, it looks like the demand water heater debate has reared its ugly head again.

I've got a 1980 Nonsuch 30 Classic with the original Paloma demand propane water heater and it still functions perfectly. If they are installed properly and inspected and adjusted regularly they are no more hazardous that your propane range.
From the Paloma Installation Manual ...... what do they know that you don't ?
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Old 16-04-2015, 20:51   #40
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

Just thought I would post that there is an article in the April edition of Cruising Helmsman magazine on how we installed the Heliatos Solar hotwater on our Lipari. Works a treat
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Old 16-05-2015, 20:55   #41
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

Getting back to the original questions -

Here is some information on hot water for your boat. I am not relating these to you as facts, but as my opinions to do with as you like. You can research the accuracy yourself. It's your boat, you decide.

Fist on solar hot water, I purchased two of the Heliatos Solar collectors, the marine grade ones. I have not had them long enough to say how well they will hold up. I would say they are impressive, and made well. I have two, 2 X 2 foot panels. One would probably do in the tropics. A small pump circulates the water, and is powered off a small 10W solar panel making the system rather automatic in operation. You do need some space for the panels.

I have them connected to a 12 gallon Solaris water heater. Solaris makes many sizes. The tank material is copper. I know of no other manufacture that uses copper. Do a little research and you might come to the same conclusion I did, copper rocks. It is expensive, and most will not want to pay for it. Mine has two heat exchangers in it, one for the engine, and one for the solar collectors. The water in it can also be heated with the generator or shore power, via a heating element.

For those that have the budget this is a nice system of high quality components.

I would say you could easily get the same results with a coil of black PVC of your own making for less money.

On making a fiberglass hot water tank, sure, but it might cost you more than you think, and I'm not sure I'd want to drink out of it. Epoxy, some 1708 fiberglass cloth, some core, and you can make some strong tanks that will outlast the boat. I've made diesel tanks, holding tanks and even some water tanks from the above. It is not difficult once you have some practice. Trouble is, there are some skills that you have to acquire, and the materials are not cheap or readably available to the public. Then you may not want to use epoxy, as it does not perform as well when it is heated to the high temperatures one might see in a marine water heater. You could use Vinylester resin; some are formulated for quite high temperatures. Trouble is, when constructing potable water tanks there are even more things to be aware of, and precautions to take. West Systems have some recommendations about how to go about it, but don't endorse it because they can't control the outcome. I don't think they would want you to build a hot water heater using West epoxy. All-in-all, unless you were doing it to fit a strange space that a purchased water heater would not fit, I'd say don't bother.

Now, about the propane flash heaters. I used a Wolter 300 for eight years. That included several showers a day, dishes, and more. It worked flawlessly and was more than up to the job despite its diminutive size of not much bigger than a lunch box. A 20 lb bottle of propane lasted at least three months with two full time liveaboards bathing, cooking, and more. We often had guest too. This was a real convenience and removed the camping aboard feeling of the typical boat. It was installed in a cockpit locker and had a flue that vented overboard.

As to ABYC, well, just like the many requirements/inspections that any home built in the US requires, their recommendations fail to protect boat buyers from much at all. You must understand that they are just that, recommendations, and boat builders are not required to follow them. Boats have few mandated requirements at all, until you get into inspected vessels carrying passengers for hire. So, we end up with a mess, since boat builders do what they want, and buyers get stuck with their crap. To be fair, they have improved. The boat builders that is. I bought a new boat years back, thinking it would be built to good standards. I insured it, and it did not require any survey since it was new. Years later I sold it, which did require a survey. I got hit with a list of things that were not compliant with ABYC. These I needed to fix. Thank you boat builder, and thank you ABYC. Like buying a home, you better be an informed consumer and do your own inspections, because the so called home inspectors and surveyors come in many varieties, some good and some bad. All seem to have outs in their contracts when you hire them for things they miss.

As far as to the validity to the ABYC requirements, well, I don't think the people there are stupid. They do however have opinions that everyone in the industry do not agree with, and they do seem to be going a bit overboard, so to speak, with the amount and complexity of their rules. Oh, and if you'd like a set of their recommendations, be prepared to pay a hefty fee for them, thank you very much.

I don't think many boats are built where something in the ABYC requirements was not missed or not followed. It is the rare surveyor that knows all the rules, or surveys a boat to the degree necessary to check the vessel for compliance to this "voluntary" set of recommendations. Each surveyor seems to certainly have their pet peeves.

So much for ABYC, and if you see that I don't see them as the saving grace for the boat buying and boat using public, well, you'd be right. We got by without them for decades, and boating is one of the safest sports there is. There are very few deaths in any given year. More people die of from lightning strikes, or tripping and falling.

Propane flash heaters for boats -

In a word, yes. Let's first look at them as to how they are used. Why does ABYC see them as an unattended device? This is stupid. It would be a very unwise person to turn on the propane system and leave it on unmonitored, for any reason. Who would leave their boat with it on? Who would leave it on when not using it? How is a stove used? You open the propane tank valve, turn on the propane solenoid, and use the stove. Hopefully, your system has a solenoid control panel that has propane leak detection to shut off the gas if it detects a leak. Now, once you are finished cooking, you shut off the solenoid, and turn off the valve at the propane tank. These are the same steps we took when using the flash water heater. The propane system was only turned on during use, while we were using it. Sure sounds like an attended device to me.

Installation -

I do think flash heaters can be safely installed in boats, sometimes without supplied outside air, or vents for the flue gasses. Still, I think this is a bad idea and could, actually it did, lead to accidents and people being killed. That is precisely what drew a proverbial target onto the back of the flash heaters. It resulted in ABYC drafting rules that are nearly, but not impossible to meet. I do think the intent was to prevent them from gaining acceptance.

The gas stove gained acceptance because insurance companies found that they had a better safety record than the diesel and alcohol stoves they replaced. Not so with the flash water heaters. However, I think if you look into the accidents involving flash water heaters, you will find improperly installed and non vented heaters. One I know of was installed in a shower in the head, and used in the winter with the boat closed up. The result was someone died.

I believe someone mentioned they knew of no approved flash heaters for boats. Really, well who would approve them? I am unaware of any equipment being specifically approved by ABYC. That would be an enormous undertaking.

If you do want to install a flash heater, I do think you can do it meeting all ABYC recommendations. Some are a bit tricky, like it can't be in the engine room, it can't vent into the cockpit, and it must be supplied with outside air.

One heater can meet these requirements, Precision Temp. It has powered venting and can be vented over quite a distance to the transom. It has a sealed combustion chamber and has a combustion air intake. However, you must create a shelf with the ducting for it to bring in the outside air. Not terribly difficult. So yes, this heater can be installed and meet the ABYC requirements, if you have the space and skills. Trouble is, this heater cost over a grand. One is installed on my boat and it was not terribly difficult. It is installed meeting all the ABYC recommendations. Of course, this does not mean every insurance company will insure a boat with a flash heater, even if it is installed per ABYC. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

What if you want to do it for less than the pricy Precision Temp? I still think it can be done, and meet the recommendations. Buy one of the less expensive units that have venting. Install it into an enclosure that is airtight. Aluminum would be a good choice for making such an enclosure. Bring in outside air via ducting to the bottom of the enclosure. Duct the exhaust out the top and overboard. Be careful to follow manufacturers recommendation for the venting. Seal wiring and plumbing going in and out of the box. Make a removable cover on your box so you can service it, and don't forget a gasket. Simple, you've meet the requirements. Hold on, not so fast. The Precision Temp was designed with power venting and a sealed combustion chamber. It has many safety interlocks. Your home brewed system better be well designed, especially the venting, to ensure it works properly, and this might mean you need to bring in the air via power venting. You might want to use a Murphy temperature gauge, so you could interrupt the gas solenoid if your enclosure gets too warm (like the heater had a problem). Murphy gauges have a set of contacts that open at a user settable point. So it could be done, not so difficult really.

Or.....you could just do like many, install what you want, how you want, and don't ask and don't tell. Life is full of risk, who can say what risk is too much for you. Certainly not I, but you sure will get an earful around here if you talk about it much.

Finally, I disagree with the guy that says no flash heater has been made that can meet the requirements. In his mind yes, not so if one follows recommendations carefully, and get creative doing the install. Hogwash to the naysayer! Fact is, you could install it underwater, hanging off the keel, and someone would still say it's unsafe. Makes you wonder how man had the courage to invent the wheel some 5000 years ago.
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Old 17-05-2015, 09:41   #42
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

Yeah, I've never seen the issue with Flash water heaters.... if you use it like the cook stove. It's really no different: Both use the air in the space it's in, needs to be turned on/off when you use it.
I agree, I doubt any boat is built 100% to ABYC, although many try.
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Old 17-05-2015, 10:37   #43
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

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From the Paloma Installation Manual ...... what do they know that you don't ?
Probably how much it would cost them in a lawsuit when some dummy incorrectly installed or used one and took them to court.

Have you seen a new ladder lately?
You can hardly even see it for all the danger labels plastered all over it!
Just more CYA required by ambulance chasing lawyers.

BTW, I mostly use my boat during the summer, but have hot water from my single 200 aH lithium battery bank, solar panels and inverter.
No noise, moving parts, minimal risk of fire etc.
Posts here about the system in the LiFePo4 for house bank thread.

Thanks for the Helios link. I may add that to our home.
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Old 17-05-2015, 11:09   #44
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

Cooper tanks, hmm, why not stainless steel?
I have been thinking of using corny kegs to store all my water.
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Old 17-05-2015, 13:05   #45
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Re: Solar hotwater and fiberglass tank?

Those heliatos systems look pretty simple. We've had a 50 gallon solar water panel on our house for seven years now, and it's been wonderful. The electric heater in series with it was not turned on for the first three weeks we were in the house, and we didn't even notice until we had four cloudy days in a row.

The heliatos panels store six gallons of water in the tubes. That's the same as the Atwood LPG heaters in every RV I've owned, and they were always big enough for two people. Granted, the propane keeps on heating after dark but the solar tubes maintain heat until the next morning. I'm thinking of just putting two of the heliatos panels on the boat without worrying about trying to store hot water in a separate tank.

I'd go with the on-demand gas heaters if we lived in a cold climate, using common sense.
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