Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-04-2013, 16:42   #1
Registered User
 
Crimea Cruiser's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Crimea
Boat: Colin Archer 36', steel
Posts: 358
Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

Which Cabin heater do you recommend or carry in your boat? What are pros and cons? Propane? Diesel? Pellet? Coal? Which keeps boat nice and toasty warm and dry with least headaches?
__________________

__________________
If it floats it's a boat, or perhaps it's f#cal matter!
Crimea Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 17:05   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Kenomac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Adriatic Sea
Boat: Oyster 53 Cutter
Posts: 8,515
Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimea Cruiser View Post
Which Cabin heater do you recommend or carry in your boat? What are pros and cons? Propane? Diesel? Pellet? Coal? Which keeps boat nice and toasty warm and dry with least headaches?
Webasto diesel heat system. It works great, just like a central forced hot air heating system in your house.
__________________

__________________
Kenomac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 17:12   #3
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: 19,752
Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

There is no ideal cabin heating system. Every one of them has significant disadvantages. You have to set priorities and make up your own mind.

Webasto & Eberspaecher (Espar) hydronic -- plusses are -- efficient transfer of heat all around the boat, and will heat water. No soot on deck as the exhaust is forcibly blown out the transom. Minuses: expensive, complicated to install, unreliable, requires professional service so no good for cruising in remote areas. Very noisy from the outside, much more so than a generator.

Webasto & Eberspaecher (Espar) air heating -- plusses are -- simpler than hydronic. Minus: limited distribution, noisy inside, will not heat water. Otherwise all plusses and minuses like above.

Bulkhead mount drip heater -- plusses are -- totally simple, no electrical power required, simple installation except for flue, professional service not required so good for cruising in remote areas. Minuses -- single point heat source so effectively warms only one space, soot on deck, must cut a hole in your deck for the flue.

So pick your disadvantages!
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 17:31   #4
Registered User
 
Crimea Cruiser's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Crimea
Boat: Colin Archer 36', steel
Posts: 358
Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

yes. I should have defined more clearly that looking for a bulkhead mounted model.
Noise I can do without!
__________________
If it floats it's a boat, or perhaps it's f#cal matter!
Crimea Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 17:52   #5
Registered User
 
Amapola's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Florida
Boat: Matlack, Trawler, 48 ft
Posts: 809
Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

We attempt to stay out of situations requiring heat. However, on extremely rare occasions we've used the heat pump of our Mermaid A/C. We also carry a small electric space heater.
__________________
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
—Jacques Yves Costeau
Amapola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 18:20   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 3,900
Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

Well, there is propane, and diesel drip. Old fashion but I like kerosene.

How much heat you looking for? Just to take the nip off, or to melt the ice off the deck?

Live aboard or weekenders?

Diesel drip are generally limited to something like 15 deg heal, thus with bulkhead your options are propane or kero, if you want heat underway.
__________________
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 18:38   #7
Registered User
 
mischief's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Port Stephens Australia
Boat: Nantucket 33
Posts: 221
I have read all the threads on this subject and I'm still making up my mind.

I have bought a LPG forced air unit like the diesel ones. I got a good deal on it and thought it would be a nice addition to a bulkhead heater.

I was dead set on a Newport P9000 propane unit. Due to compactness and the chimney is much smaller. No soot either. But I've heard different comments some say they use little others say they are fuel hogs and the rating by factory is not the best. We will be full time liveaboards so YMMV
and of course we are in Oz now but plan to cruise some cooler areas.

Using diesel is good keeping less fuel sources but we cook with propane already. (BTW some are very Leary of propane on board. It should be used with caution). Carrying extra propane tanks on long cruises can put weight where you don't want it. Of corse you can use composite tanks which will help. Then there's the hauling of tanks for refueling vs just putting diesel in the tank. Oh but then there's soot from diesel and larger exhaust. But wait some say no soot if its working proper. But there is some maintenance too.

Then there's wood, coal or pellet. More messy and wood can be bulky to carry while on passage. Do you want to use your heater whilst underway? I'm not even sure about diesel drip while healing but I think they are built to use underway? Wood can be too but the safest is likely the Propane. Feeding a wood stove if it s bit rough could get exciting. Propane can burn at a multitude of angles.

The Propane unit is not incredibly warm and many like it more for ambiance. The Newport is a closed circuit so condensation is not a factor. But someone was telling me the other day that Dickenson diesel heaters are not a closed circuit? The diesel is rated with more BTU.

Today I was designing a more efficient stainless wood burner. But I don't know if I would build one or just get something else like the P9000

Our criteria are warmth for down to about 0c 33 center cockpit. Insulated deck and wood lined. Most times we will want it, it will be around 10c minimum and rainy. Liveaboard with family of 4. We need a certain amount of cost efficiency in usesage. We want it to work while on passage. Have a nice ambiance not take up too much space. We also have the forced air unit to get the boat warm quicker. Maybe we just need 2 bulkhead heaters.

Decisions decisions...........
Sorry what was my point oh yeah. The only right answer is the one you come up with. What's best for one is not best for all. Think about what you really require what you can and can't live with and then see if anything fits the requirement. Some people just use their stove or a Petro max and some ventilation.

I hope that helps somehow.
__________________
mischief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 18:41   #8
Registered User
 
mischief's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Port Stephens Australia
Boat: Nantucket 33
Posts: 221
Man it took forever for my post to through on my phone. I've ended up repeating what some other have mentioned. (Hangs head in shame)
;-)
__________________
mischief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 18:52   #9
Registered User
 
Pete the Cat's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Maine and California
Boat: Tartan 37 "Velera"
Posts: 338
Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

Used my Wallas forced air diesel heater for 15 years. Love it. Even used it on a Central America cruise to dry out my wet boat during rainy season. Next to my windlass, the best boat improvement.
__________________
Ray Durkee
S/V Velera
Tartan 37
Castine, Maine
Pete the Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 18:58   #10
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimea Cruiser View Post
Which keeps boat nice and toasty warm and dry with least headaches?
Fewest headaches? Go with a forced-air diesel furnace. The biggest problem I have with my Webasto is that the cat always claims the spot closest to the vent.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 19:18   #11
Registered User
 
Crimea Cruiser's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Crimea
Boat: Colin Archer 36', steel
Posts: 358
Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

Mostly for liveaboard in a sometimes brutally cold and windy winter in Crimea where the concept of marinas and liveaboards are both non existent. So self sufficiency without shore power is the idea. Trying to get Ukrainian wife to buy into cozy home idea in a society where you are considered a bum if you are trying to liveaboard. In fact their laws do not view a boat as a legal residence.

Ok, so where was I? Ah yes, a lack of recreational marine services such as marinas sort of rules out space heaters. Can get propane and diesel without problem, but I like the ambience idea of wood, and think that in most areas should be able to find something suitable to burn. However it would also be nice to have something that would suitable for passages as well.

Once saw a Swedish schooner with a mini AGA wood burning galley stove which seemed disproportionally large to size of boat and made me wonder about balance and safety issues with such a goliath stove at sea, but I am sure they were warm when it operated.

Basically something small enough to take off chill without being overkill, and without ending up being wasted space in warmer climes or seasons. We are used to doing without in Ukraine, but would like to keep toes and fingers attached in winter! And need to stay in Ukraine for next few years before heading to warmer climates.
__________________
If it floats it's a boat, or perhaps it's f#cal matter!
Crimea Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 21:27   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,152
Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

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%.

From a cost per parcel of heated air perspectice, it depends on what you pay for propane vs Diesel, but knowing the above numbers can allow you to make that calculation.

From a convenient to store factor per BTU, I think diesel is easier to store in a tank than having to figure out where to safely and conveniently store cans of propane. I think propane cans look really ugly sitting out on deck. They make what would otherwise be a nice looking yacht look more like an old Winnebago.

The latter, convenience of storage per BTU, would seem to be the greatest factor. If it were my decision I would go with Diesel.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 21:55   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 3,900
Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

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
__________________
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 22:00   #14
Registered User
 
boat_alexandra's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: chesapeake bay
Boat: bristol 27
Posts: 2,816
Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

wood burner is best. You can pick up driftwood floating or washed up anywhere. Also simple to construct from empty gas bottle. Also works for cooking and baking.
__________________
boat_alexandra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 22:22   #15
Registered User
 
TacomaSailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Burnt Store Marina, SW Florida
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,148
Re: Cabin Heaters: Which is Best and Why?

We've had an Ardic 091DM 16,000 BTU diesel heater for over 18 years and a lot of cruising. Ardic is out of business but it is very similar to the current Webasto heaters.

It is installed aft of our Yanmar in the engine room of a 40' sloop. It is only a little noisy when starting but after a couple minutes you can hardly hear it. The blower that pushes 98 degree air into our forward head, main cabin, and galley makes more noise than does the heater.

The really nice thing about a diesel heater is that, IF properly plumbed, it can make nice hot water for showers and dish washing without heating the cabin. We used it for three years in the summer desert heat in the Sea of Cortez.

I do all the maintenance on it myself. I purchased all the repair parts from Scanmarine in Seattle about 10 years ago when Ardic went out of business.

I have cruised on boats with Dickson bulkhead heaters and they are nice but prone to draft problems in adverse wind, snow, hail, and rain conditions. I've seen minor cabin fires due to bulkhead mounted diesel heaters on a Tartan 42 and Alberg 30.

I also cruised on a Columbia 38 with a pellet fueled bulkhead heater that worked very well but the pellets took up some room on a one month cruise.

I love our Ardic and am confident a good boat mechanic can maintain it as do I.
__________________

__________________
TacomaSailor 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




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:05.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.