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Old 20-12-2010, 16:32   #31
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Originally Posted by Bright Eyes View Post
Warmth:
We have about 80 hand warmers to be used everyday. Lots of layers: multiply thermals, sweater, winter coat and weather gear">foul weather gear all to be worn. We have face masks and gloves. We plan to run a heated blanket off of the inverter while the engine is running for the helmsmen to wear. The deisel engine and/or our alcohol stove are the only way to heat the cabin. We have lots of blankets.

We do not have alot of money and this is only a one month trip to warmer weather so we are not buying an expensive generator heater. Any practical and useful advice would be very welcome!

Wish us luck
If you have an inexpensive inverter, that is one that puts out a modified sine wave, you must be very careful using things like electric blankets. Their control units are not compatible with a modified sine wave and will catch fire. I know this because it happened to me. If you read the fine print in the inverter instructions, you will find a vague warning about it.

If your engine is fresh water cooled you can use waste engine heat to heat your cabin. I put in a unit made by heater craft that. You plug it into the ports on the cooling system that you use for hot water heating. The unit is similar to a heater core in a car. It cost me about $225 with all the parts, but I did the installation myself. It really heats the cabin when we're running the engine. It's way better than heating the ocean. It puts out enough heat that you can leave the companion way open and stand in it to stay warm.

Here is a link to the one that I used.
5-H Series

Good luck.
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Old 20-12-2010, 16:34   #32
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Something I used to do when really cold was use clay flower pots inverted over the burners... give them a couple of minutes then turn the heat down low.. they radiate the heat a bit more efficiently... also when at anchor.. a dozen tea lights on a plate under the saloon table can be quite comforting.. huddle together under a blanket and trap the rising heat..
Its just a shame no ones come up with a way of circulating the raw cooling water from the exhaust round some radiators yet...
When one is cold every little helps... used to stick my feet by the engine vents when motoring...lol
I didn't think this was that uncommon. I've seen this plumbed on both a raw water and fresh water cooled engine. My Yanmar has plugs in the block for taking off a heat source. One of the two people mentioned had both the hot water heater and cabin heater.

John

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Old 20-12-2010, 17:22   #33
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boatman61,

You are absolutely right about the condensation and propane heaters. Cold air, cold water and a warm boat, it can get ugly. Another reason we do not leave ours on all the time. A diesel heater would be better, but if time is limited....
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Old 20-12-2010, 18:19   #34
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We've been cruising down the ICW this week. It's lonely out here -- didn't see one other boat today. We're anchored in TopSail, NC now and it's freezing. Even with layers, the wind at 20K is very cold during the day. If you don't have an enclosure, see if you can rig something up to protect yourself from the wind while sailing.

Another godsend is that someone lent us a little camping alcohol stove and it does a good job keeping the cabin above freezing.


Good luck and be safe.
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Old 20-12-2010, 18:23   #35
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I live aboard in NorCal on a steel boat and have done plenty of cruising (and camping) in cold weather, as I'm originally from Canada.

Underway - stay dry and overdress. It's hard to warm up once you get cold. Foot and head wear are crucial. On my boat I can keep the companionway open and sit in it behind the dodger when keeping watch. I can stay dry and out of the wind this way, and yet I am partially in the cabin. However, I can close a second door a few feet in front of the gangway, which helps to keep the main cabin even warmer and drier. My diesel is in the main cabin and this makes a huge difference. If the weather is rough and crew is " standing by " they should be sleeping/resting geared up so they don't end up rushing up top under-dressed.

On the dock with power available it's easy - an electric space heater (I prefer the oil circulating no-fan type) works great.

On the hook or on the dock with (very) calm conditions, my solution is cheap, simple and effective, and I have been using it for thirty years in everything from boats to vans without an issue. Buy a Coleman portable propane heater (about $30) - the cheapest, most basic model with the large, round base for stability is the best. Others will likely jump all over this and cite Carbon Monoxide threats, but as mentioned I've never had an issue, nor has my detector gone off (despite the fact that my propane stove has set it off). There is enough ventilation (via gaps in hatch boards, louvers, dorades etc) in my boat to vent the cabin. If that is not the case with your boat, just crack a window/hatch as necessary. These heaters are so effective that you only need to run it for a short time to get the cabin really warm, so before you go to sleep you can shut it off. Then, fire it up first thing in the morning and go back to bed for 15 minutes. Never leave it on when underway, when unattended, or when asleep, and make sure there's a large enough open space on the floor to set it that you won't set your boat on fire. In other words, just use common sense.

San Diego cold? Not in the three years I spent there....cool, windy and wet at times - sure. It's all relative I guess.
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Old 20-12-2010, 18:41   #36
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You will be motoring a lot so if you have the time try to find an auto heater core and switch at an auto wrecker and plumb it in to your hot water tank circuit. Your boat will be nice and warm all day anyway.
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Old 20-12-2010, 18:47   #37
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Don't use the clay pot things, they don't work. Fill a pressure cooker 2/3 full of water, heat it up to pressure, wrap it in a towel and put it on the floor between your feet. Wrap yourself in a blanket and cover the pressure cooker so heat rises inside the blanket. This will keep you warm for hours.

Lake Michigan experience here. Your cold days are our good days.
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Old 20-12-2010, 19:07   #38
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You really ought to take the time to add a heater to your boat. Engine heaters are not that hard. Hypothermia affects judgment and reaction time. Some element of caution is really a good idea this time of year.
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Old 20-12-2010, 19:10   #39
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I hope you guys know I was just joking. But my definition of cold is different. When I lived in MT for ten years here is how it went. They didn't talk about the low (at night it got down in the double digit negatives) I remember a week where the highs for the day were -12 -10 -9 etc. When it got up to 38^ we would open up all the doors and windows in the house. Since then my blood has thinned and when it gets below 50^ I don't like it. BTW I was staying on my boat in SD last week in the South Bay. The days went from a high of 82^ to a high of 60^ nights were in the 40's

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san diego gets freeking kold. 38 degrees is not warmth. also i have lived in noo jork state-- near albany. many many years. lol so dont PRESUME kalifornikatiors are natives LOL..water temps here are very cold-we have 50 degree water yr round in our ocean-- sometimes 4 ft under surface, sometimes at surface. so--donot presume sd is warmville.
and donot presume sd folks donot know cold. try living on board in winter with 90+kt winds in wet and windy storms that last 4 says then another one comes 3 or 2 days post that one-- alll winter long--from the north with VERY COLD(in 30'sF) winds measuring over 30 kts in most cases.. granted isnt as long as back east-- but it is righteous., come live here for a few winters before knocking the knowledge of cold .ROFL. when i went to louisianha last yr to get warm, was 29 degrees for mardi gras, i left here in 38 degree weather with impending storms..LOL....
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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
My former boat, based out of Connecticut, working primarily the North Atlantic.

I would think those things were a bit warm under water. Pretty good heaters and AC I imagine.

I was amazed how quickly my blood thinned after moving back to California.
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Old 20-12-2010, 19:15   #40
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Quote:
you must be very careful using things like electric blankets. Their control units are not compatible with a modified sine wave and will catch fire.
This ain't no joke. Surge protectors can be made to smoke in seconds too. Heating of any kind off inverters can be asking for problems. Some sooner than later. Electric heat is a bit expensive on a boat except at the dock where dry heat is most comfy.

The auto heater core sounds goofy but that could really work while motoring if you get the blower to go with it.

Ultimately the story is the water temperature. You put a boat in 50 F degree water and the hull will be 50 F. Adding heat inside the boat is a losing battle. Unvented combustion condenses very easily. The moisture soaks all sorts of things and can make for a very unpleasant sleep.

Staying dry, layers of clothing ,and staying out of the wind are the keys. Just sitting there you just don't burn much energy to keep the internal fires stoked.
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Old 20-12-2010, 19:30   #41
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herein sin diego on our 50 degree water, i wear uggs,sweat pants, bathrobe(fleece) light my lamps, and cook. i cook a lot-- wish i werent single-- but then i get to feed the world on my own. on really cold days i leave my jammies on under the robe as they are warmer than my clothes....
is difficult at bet to warm totally a boat in cold water.
i already burned up a generator(honda 3000 wtt) trying to keep a heater in my boat to warm me--lol aint doin' that again..LOL
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Old 20-12-2010, 19:44   #42
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Perhaps something I have taught when I lived a different life wearing Green and sleeping in the mud, and snow. Use the Acronym C.O.L.D
c= keep your clothes clean they will have better insulating properties
o= avoid overheating, when you are doing laborious work remove a few layers so that you dont sweat, the sweat will become very cold when you return to a more sedintary state, this is also true when you go to bed leep in your nickers and not in your coat/sweater ect.
L= loose layers, wear loose layer so the air between will insulate you
D= keep as dry as possible, use your foulies and change your socks often.
ive lived aboard during winter in Maine the coldest day i can remember it was around 18 or 20 below not counting wind chill, we did fine although i must confess I did have to peel my pillow from the ceiling after it froze to it. I hope this helps and good luck
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Old 20-12-2010, 19:55   #43
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howdjer pillow get stuck .......

charlie--i wont go to mpntana as it is waaaayyyyy toooo cold-- a different kinda freezeyerassoff kold.....todabone cold.....izzat why sheeps are nervous????
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Old 20-12-2010, 20:06   #44
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+1 on the Heater craft. Here's one for $199 from Defender - 28K BTU! Much better than just a warm engine. Figure out a temporary installation and then take it out when you reach Florida. Safe - no AC voltage, fire or fumes hazards. 5/8" hose and a little 12v wiring (remember a fuse!). To avoid an airlock in your coolant loop put a little "T" hose fitting at the highest point with a cap to bleed.

Heater Craft Auxiliary Cabin Heater

Be very careful of those cheap electric heaters. They catch fire a lot. Help your odds by running them only on their low setting.

Make sure there's a permanently rigged boarding ladder that can be reached from the water.

Carl
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Old 20-12-2010, 20:28   #45
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Zeehag,
I can only guess I drool in my sleep dreaming of those places that the trees have the leaves only at the tippy top and the sound of ice bumping against the hull is non existant..hahaha
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