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Old 18-09-2018, 14:21   #1
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Cabin Heater for Winter

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-...00?recordNum=1

Has anyone had experience with this West Marine Cabin Heater? It is on sale and I am looking for something to keep the boat above freezing in VA winters when I am away.

I also plan on draining the water pipes but want some protection just in case.
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Old 18-09-2018, 16:06   #2
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

I have a couple oldest is 20 years the 2nd is at least 10. Probably the best electric heats Iíve ever used. Theyíve been used every winter Iíve had them sometimes 24-7.
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Old 18-09-2018, 16:32   #3
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

Besides the heater Thermocube handles 1500 watts and turns on at 35į and off at 45į. There are other versions for AC. About $15 on ebay or Amazon.
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Old 19-09-2018, 04:36   #4
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

It is exactly as efficient as every other electric heater, including the $20 ones at WalMart.

If you like the looks, and think that's worth the extra $60, go for it. It'll work fine.
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Old 19-09-2018, 09:00   #5
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

Looks just like the Caframo I've had for the past three years. Has worked well so far through PNW wet winters
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Old 19-09-2018, 09:14   #6
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

Lived aboard my Ingrid 38 for several winters in Port Moody, BC and used a small diesel heater that was attached to the bulkhead. I believe it was a Force 10 but not certain.
I also had a 100 watt bulb in the engine room and between them both everything was warm, dry and easy to start. This was back in the Ď60ís and 70ís
Iím sure much has changed...
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Old 19-09-2018, 09:16   #7
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

The WM heaters have a built in thermostat down to pretty low temps. We had a couple, worked as advertised.

“Antifreeze setting is a great winter storage solution that automatically turns on when the weather drops to 38įF (3.3įC)”
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Old 19-09-2018, 09:38   #8
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

It is the Caframo. We've had a few of them quit over the past 5 years and I've come to the conclusion that they will last a long time if you don't put them at the highest output. This overheats the overheat safety and it fails after a short time.
The warranty is great and I'm sure that if you use it at a lower setting you will be happy with it.
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Old 19-09-2018, 10:05   #9
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

They are great!
I’ve got both the Caframo & the re-branded WM.
Love the low profile/CG - no way in heck these suckers will tip over!

Got the 2nd one (WM) this past winter in MD to augment the Caframo and they kept us nice & cozy, so one should be more than enough to keep your boat above freezing in VA.

hope this helps,
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Old 19-09-2018, 10:38   #10
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

I've always used, and been happy with, the oil-filled radiators. They do not get too hot and cannot start a fire. I put one in the galley in front of the open sink cabinet, set to 900watts; I put the other in the head, in front of the open sink cabinet, set to 600watts. I open the engine room to the cabin. I keep both thermostatic dials at very low settings. They keep the entire interior of the boat above freezing all winter, (I've seen it get down to 17 deg F outside). Biggest disadvantage: a little large and sometimes in-the-way.
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Old 19-09-2018, 10:40   #11
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

I prefer ceramic heaters. They are cheap (about $30 on sale) and safe. They work on the principal that as they get hotter the resistance goes up and the power draw and heat produced goes down. The fan moving the heat effectively regulates the temperature and they do not get hot enough to ignite anything around them. I use Palonis heaters but there are many brands. Some of them have tilt switches that turn them off if knocked over.

If you have a water heater attached to your engine fresh water cooling system and it is close to the engine using the electric heating element will warm the engine block to prevent freezing. Finding incandescent bulbs is harder these days and it can burn out. Plus the heat output isn't that great.
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Old 19-09-2018, 10:53   #12
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

It's nothing more than a typical space heater at 2-3 times the price.
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Old 20-09-2018, 04:07   #13
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

Iíve used WM heaters for 10+ years and like them. Canít tip over... theyíre like a Websterís Dictionary laying flat. But in an abundance of caution I do use a bit of blue painterís tape (rolled backwards so the sticky side is facing outwards all the way around) on each of the four feet so there is no chance the heater can shift from vibration or rough water (if left in at dock over Winter.
Their biggest feature that other heaters donít have are the low Ďanti-freezeí setting AND their various power levels (1200w, 600w, 250w, as I recall). I have had one or two of these heaters have an issue with their built in thermostat and because Iím a big believer in redundancy... having two heaters set at 250w or 600w in a over winter/ marina environment is essential in my book.

FYI- All electrical 1200w heaters produce about 5,000 btu regardless of whether they are WM, ceramic, radiator type. Since I still use/ putter around on my sailboat over almost the whole Winter... I soon learned I was always colder when using radiator type heats... why? Their heat drifter straight up to the ceiling... while I and all critical systems where down at floor/ fellow floor level. Heaters with fans, while producing a little more noise... immediately can blow heat on me when first coming aboard... and able to direct the heat toward the engine/ under the floor,...
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Old 20-09-2018, 04:29   #14
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

Quote:
Originally Posted by stormalong View Post
I prefer ceramic heaters. They are cheap (about $30 on sale) and safe. They work on the principal that as they get hotter the resistance goes up and the power draw and heat produced goes down...
INDEED.
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Old 20-09-2018, 11:35   #15
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Re: Cabin Heater for Winter

The West Marine heater is a good unit. I have been using mine for three years now. A blanket fell on it and restricted the air flow. The heater got hot then shut down and would not work. I was ready to throw it away and look for another solution. I opened the unit and found a thermal fuse had opened. I went to Radio Shack and found a suitable replacement fuse and repaired the heater. It has been working fine since. Do not restrict the airflow from or to the heater.

When at anchor I run it in the mornings on low power for a half hour or so using power from my lithium batteries thru a 1500 watt inverter. Works great to take off the chill in the saloon without having to light my force ten kerosene heater.
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