Originally Posted by BrieGrande
I'm new to the forum this morning! I am planning to move back onto a boat within the next couple of years. I lived on a 42 Chris when my oldest son was younger. I'm a single
mom: my boys are 7 & 4 now and I am eager to get them back to living aboard
. Before, I winterized everything to avoid pipes freezing. So we had no running water for a little over two months each year. That is not going to work for us now with the boys older and school
and everything. So, I am looking for good heating options that are efficient and safe. I am thinking propane heaters or pellet stoves in the main cabin
areas and electric to help in the bathrooms.
I am looking at 42 to 53 foot motor
yachts. I'm used to a 42 but would like a bit more space as my mom will be staying with us often and I am hoping to have a third child.
Any thought on heating efficiency and safety? This seems to be a big problem for a lot of livaboards! I'm hoping to solve it! :-)
And is solar something that could really help me with electricity?
I've spent a few decades staying warm and comfortable on my boats in higher latitudes.
Generally speaking, any safe heat source that moves air around the boat and draws outside air for combustion is best. Ventilation is also key, then insulation
I like forced air diesel heaters [e.g., Webasto, Espar, etc.] for the dry heat and secondarily for the air circulation they provide. Hydronic systems are even better efficiency and are sometimes easier to install on larger vessels, but then you would need a secondary system to move the air around.
To that end, I would strongly consider a Heat Recovery Ventilator for that purpose. [I'm in the planning stages to add a small unit to our 43' sail boat...] They replace the air with far less heat loss, and keep the humidity under control- eliminating the need for a dehumidifier. [I have and HRV in my home in central Alaska
and speak from years of experience.]
You mentioned a pellet stove. We put one in our home where it can reach -40 [doesn't matter F or C, they are the same at that temp...] and love it. It turns itself on and off and maintains the temperature you set.
Based upon that experience I can say a properly fastened and vented pellet stove might not be a bad choice for a larger powerboat at the dock
or on a mooring
. However, I wouldn't want to use it when the vessel is moving or underway just because it isn't designed to work at some of the angles you might achieve, nor to be bounced around while lit... If you go this route
, be sure to get one that is designed to draw outside combustion air since you are in a small space air volume wise... [e.g., Harmon P43
or the like.]
The problems with the pellet stove approach are:
-It is made of steel
, with circuit boards, etc. and corrosion
will likely be an issue over time.
-It also may not be well accepted by your insurance
-Cost more than a marine
grade forced air diesel heater
-Require AC electricity [110v] full time to operate [And can easily be run from a small inverter
I have several blog posts on this topic
if you are interested- several of which link back to discussions on this forum.
Best wishes finding the boat you desire!