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Old 03-10-2010, 17:04   #1
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Safest, Least-Finicky Propane / Diesel Heater ?

Hi,

Who can recommend a good, reliable and safe non-electric heater for our sailboat?

Thanks.
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Old 03-10-2010, 17:50   #2
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Welcome to SigMarine.com - Products - SIG-120

I have a sigmarine (back when they were fab-all) from the 1970's and it still heats up like a blowtorch and consumes .3 - 1.3 gallons a day, fed by a gravity tank.

Rebel Heart - Sailing, cruising, liveaboard blog and website - Eric's Blog - a couple steps closer with the diesel heater gravity*tank

The installation takes a lot of effort but it's worth it.
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Old 03-10-2010, 18:04   #3
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Thanks, Rebelheart
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Old 03-10-2010, 19:20   #4
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Propane.... Force 10 flued Heater... if they still do them
The Taylor's Paraffin heaters are excellent
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Old 03-10-2010, 22:13   #5
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Lot of variables there, like where you are, where you want to go, what type of boat you have, what you want to keep warm, all of them unknown.
I have a Dickinson Antarctic:
http://www.dickinsonmarine.com/heatersmain.html
it is 28 years young and still cranks out the Btus. It does have, however, a small DC fan underneath it to get a whorl of flame going, so it is not totally non-electric; it will work without the fan, but with the fan it can go into "turbo" mode and make me sweat... Also uses a gravity tank which requires a small DC diesel pump to fill, but I suppose one could make a hopper and top off from a jerry can...

Michael
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Old 04-10-2010, 03:33   #6
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I'm plumbing my day tank to a deck fill. As "convenient" as it would be to run the low pressure fuel pump (I even could have plumbed the line when I had the fuel tank open the other day), one nice thing about the deck fill that works for me is that I can burn off iffy diesel with it. Not absolutely bad diesel, but diesel I wouldn't put into the racors and yanmar.

Here's a 1 1/2" reducer bell fitting for anyone interested:

Black fittings - malleable iron - from FAMOUS PLUMBING SUPPLY

You need to drill a vent hole for the day tank anyway so no matter how you slice it (no pun intended) it's either one hole (the vent) or two (vent and deck fill). Considering that a day tank is around 5 gallons and they burn ~1 gallon a day you would have to run the heater a lot in order for deck filling to get annoying.

But different strokes for different folks; if I was an engine/systems guy I could totally see the low pressure pump thing making a lot of sense. I'm sure the first time I need to deckfill in the rain I'll appreciate the idea of flipping a switch to refill.
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Old 04-10-2010, 03:41   #7
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This is a real opportunity to do that fuel polishing circuit. Using the day tank as a header with filtration and water removal going to or from one an overflow return circuit. Any doubts about the engine fuel and you can just recirc it.
If you do access the main tank make the engine take-off a little higher (out of the sediment) than the recirc take-off.
Put a coarse filter in the line to the day/heater tank and engine quality filters in the return to the main tank. Might be worth fitting a by-pass so you can use the lost drops of fuel for the engine, even the heater tank contents might be useful on a bad day ! ! !.
I've got the unreliable make of heater, great when it's running, but - .
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Old 06-10-2010, 22:50   #8
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Dickinson solid fuel. We use wood and charcoal and tell folks about our "fireplace".

Dickinson Marine - Newport Solid Fuel Heater
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