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Old 02-04-2013, 04:35   #16
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Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

I would agree, forced air , Espar( Eberspacher) or Webasto, The hydronic systems are far too temperamental. Installation is simple, well within DIY limits, operation is simple and generally problem free. Spares available many places. The are somewhat noisy, but that can be mitigated an silencers are available for the exhaust.


Carry a few spare parts, they are easy enough to disassemble and clean/repair etc.


You can get ex used from truck dealers sometimes ( or truck breakers)

Dave
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:56   #17
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Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

I second the woodburning stove. The Sardine from Navigator Stove Works has kept us warm and dry this whole New England winter (temps as low as 4 degrees F, and sub-freezing for weeks on end). Last winter we burned lots of driftwood and fallen sticks; this winter I worked in a wooden boat shop, and had all the oak offcuts I could use. A small fan works wonders to circulate the warm air around.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:39   #18
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I have used all types of heating. I have swapped out diesel drip heater for a wood heater in tassie.

I think the choice is pretty personal. Depends where you sit on the ease and complexity scale and how warm you want to be.

Wood is the simplest least trouble to maintain and most cosy and romantic. But it's messy and collecting and feeding wood is a lot of work, but often free. Some marinas and wharf's don't allow them. They can be used when sailing with care if set up right.

Drip diesel is great when it works, horrid to clean when it clogs up. (for the dickenson I used it was about once a month. The smoke is foul. But nothing provides silent cosy 24hour heat quite as well. They can be used at sea if set up right and used with care. Messy but easy to fix.

The webasto type are super easy but (to my mind) lack the cosyness and the radient heat. The one I used drew alot of power, but when all was said it was completely reliable if it had enough battery power, and sometimes kept us warm when the drip heater was due for a clean out or otherwise playing up due to backdrafts. I wouldn't know where to start fixing one if it died internally where as we always got the drip heater running easily.

The kero ones are effective and easy but the burners wont take continous 24hour running for long. Easy for occasional evening use. I wouldnt leave one unattended or sleep with it on.

For what it's worth I started with kero. Then diesel drip. Now I have wood which suits me best. If I head back to antactica or north I will fit the diesel drip. If had unlimited funds I would also fit a webasto.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:09   #19
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pirate Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Espar, but not bulkhead.

The installation can be pretty simple, don't start with a lot of duct work. Add it later if really needed.

If you must have bulkhead.....kero//parrafin

Taylors heaters and cookers
I'll second the Taylors.... the forced air units are not worth the space on small boats (-35ftish)... Force 10 do a gas fire that mounts on the bulkhead and chucks out great heat but you can end up like this.. Yahoo! News UK & Ireland - Latest World News & UK News Headlines
Any form of heating MUST HAVE a suitable and efficient flue and good ventilation to remove the dangerous by products...
I'd rather a hole in the ceiling than a hole in the ground.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:13   #20
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Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

We have an ITR Huricane 35,000 BTU diesel fired hydronic heater. We love it. See the link in my sig for a description of the installation. It also has the options to pre-heat engine and on demand hot water. We plan to cruise cooler areas rather than the Caribbean so this heater will run on 12v at anchor when needed. It has kept us toasty warm through 3 Maine winters now.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:28   #21
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Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
From a BTU per gallon perspective, Diesel contains more heat at 136,567 BTU/gallon vs 91,333 BTU per gallon for propane.

From an efficiency standpoint, propane heaters are more efficient at 94% versus Diesels 85%.
....
I'm try to figure an approx of how much propane a bulkhead will use in practice. Using your numbers on a 6,500 BTU bulkhead propane system, I get
91,333BTU/gal * 94% / 6,500BTU/hr = 13.2hr/gal. Say use it at 50% duty cycle and use a 20gal bottle, you get 13.2hr/gal *.5 * 20gal = 132hrs / 24hrs = 5.5 days per bottle.
Does this sound right in practice?
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:41   #22
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Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

I've recently asked the same question myself , and I'll go for a Glembring stove, called Nordicstove in the US.

They work without power , can be used at night, works when heeling if mounted EXACTLY according to instructions, cooking plate, water heating coil as option..

They have three different thermostat solutions to choose from too.. And they are made 15 minutes from where I have my boat.. They are making me one , with stainless water coil, AND window, wich they dont have in their catalogue..

Their biggest customer is the swedish forces , by the way..

Kaminer | Ingenjörsfirman Glembring AB Swedish site
NordicStoves US dist.

.manitu
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Old 07-04-2013, 00:19   #23
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I just put a wood burning stove in my Cal 20 and it is incredible. Right now I am cruising the inside passage in the PNW and it is very damp. That little stove drys the boat right out and I can make a pot of coffee on it. Its called a fatsco pet, http://www.fatscostoves.com/

Pretty much the cheapest and simplest way I could find to heat a boat with a vented heater.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:26   #24
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Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

Shiva has an Espar Airtronic 4 - forced air, diesel fueled. In LIS and southern NE it makes a big difference in the shoulder seasons... 3 outlets heats the boat up to comfy temps pretty quickly. It's noisy... compared to the ambient noise level. It's thermostatically controlled and goes to a low energy mode when designated room temp has been reached.

The unit is small and uses combustion air from outside and exhausts thru a transom fitting. Install is plug and play... the most difficult part being running the 3" Ø flex ducts to optimum locations. I use the V for closet and sleep in the aft "cabin" so the three swivel outlets are in the head, main solon under the settee, and at the foot of the bunk above mattress height by 10". The T stat is in the aft cabin.

For sleeping I close the salon supply grille and the heat is delivered only to the single forward head and the aft cabin. The main cabin still is comfortable.

This heat can almost heat the cabin to comfy levels with normal NE winter temps. The forced warm air also keeps the cabin dry and the condensation is minimal... mostly only the aluminum of the ports or hatches.

The fuel consumption is reasonable and it has a pick up at the main diesel tank. The control is pretty sophisticated and will shut down if there is any out of spec conditions... low voltage for example. Power consumption is pretty low... but you need to have big strong batts or charge your bank or you'll run them down.

I think it will cost a DIYER about $2,000.

This is a great heater for a 36' boat.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:58   #25
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Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

Oh, forgot to state wich fuel the glembring/nordicstove uses: It runs on diesel , kerosene, and heating oil.

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Old 07-04-2013, 07:12   #26
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Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

Hot waterbottles .

Low purchase cost, heat specific areas as needed, absolutely minimal fuel required, no external flue, no toxic fumes, space saving, reliable .......

We have had six winters in the med now heated only with hot water bottles (body heat and down bedding helps as well) .
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:32   #27
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Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

I have a Dickinson bulkhead mounted propane fireplace/heater. It is very clean and efficient. Burns 10-12 hours on 1lb of propane. Has a direct vent (intake and exhaust both through the chimney). Been using it for 8 years. No problems. Enough heat for a 33 footer in central California, but that is, IMHO, probably about the limit.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:30   #28
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Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

Whichever heater you choose there will be a learning curve. I have a Dike son diesel bulkhead mount unit. I have no soot problem. You need to closely monitor the combustion and allow the whole system to get up to temperature before asking for a lot of heat. The stack gets very hot, I use a double wall stack to mitigate some of the danger of being burned. Mount unit low in the boat..no problems with use under sail. Not closed system..ventilation a must along with Co detector. Dirt simple unit. Works good, lasts a long time.

Todd
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:48   #29
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Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

I think I plan to go with a woodstove from Navigator's Stove works. Just need to decide which one. Probably a Little Cod.
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:10   #30
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Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

I'm not going to argue which is best. I installed the Dixon P9000 mostly because I had a good propane system and not diesel. This report explains several years of winter expereince.

Sail Delmarva: Let There be Heat!

Wide open it burns about 3 pounds per day in very cold (freezing) weather, much less in 40-50 weather. It is a bit loud if the fan is run high, but not bad if it is run 50%. It does not distribute heat well, but we have a small fan mounted nearby that is run on low over the top and that does well. Zero mechanical problems, but it is only used about 15 times per year.

I would not chose it for a live aboard in Boston, but it might serve well in a fundamentally warm place that suffers from occasional chill.
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