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Old 27-01-2006, 19:03   #1
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Question Cabin Heat?

So here we are in the PNW and BOY its cold. I been thinking about installing some kinda' cabin heating system.

But there's Espar, Wabasto, Force 10.. Forced air, hydronic, just sitting on the wall and burning.. All sorts of options. And I'm completely out of my pond.. Any sggestions? Comments? Please? Help?

Its a light weight, simple 35' cored hull with few bulkheads. I can sit on the forpeak and see the transom.

Many thanks in advance!

-jim lee
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Old 27-01-2006, 20:33   #2
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I prefer wood heat, but then it's not for everyone. I've been heating with it all winter this year, and find it to be the best, as long as you enjoy exercise.
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Old 27-01-2006, 21:07   #3
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jim lee

Since you live in the PNW. You should find areas up there. Were you could find free wood.

Just bring with you a small chainsaw. Or an axe. And a way to bring the wood back with you. And you can have wood to burn. Providing, that you have a wood burning stove?
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Old 27-01-2006, 21:32   #4
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Another proponent of wood heat. There are a few threads here, including one started by Sean when he was thinking about wood heat. There is some great comparitive info there, and I will not get into repeating it, but the bottom line is, for cost, and ambience, wood is the best choice. Dickensen makes a reasonably priced stove. It should work well for your boat. If you have the space, and don't mind spending a bit more, the Little Cod is a better choice for wood heat. What Kevin was saying about free wood is also a good point in your location. There are branches down alongside the road all the time, and a cheap pruning saw will keep you set all winter.
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Old 27-01-2006, 23:09   #5
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Wink Forgotten About Pruning Saw

Yeah Kai. I didn't think about the pruning saw. Forgot all about that little device.

I'm just use to using chainsaws & axes to do the job. And believe me. You'll be getting some exercise from chopping and saw wood.
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Old 28-01-2006, 04:02   #6
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Burning Deadfall:
Cruising the wilderness shoreline of Lake Superior, Ive never had use for an axe, but (after the saw) a small splitting Maul is priceless.
Estwing #E3FF4 ~ 4-1/2 Lb, 14" Long Wood Splitting Tool ~ About $35
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Old 28-01-2006, 06:20   #7
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My dad lives in a marina in Annapolis on his Morgan 416 and has used two ceramic heaters for three winters now. I know they have had a bad history of starting fires, but the new ones have a temperature sensor and an alignment sensor so if it falls over, it shuts off. I spent a week with him over Christmas and was amazed how well they heated his boat. He placed one just out of the way under the nav desk and the other just aft of the forward cabin. So long as he kept some small fans running to circulate the warm air, it stayed at a comfortable ( and uniform) 70 degrees or so.

Now he does have shore power, so it wouldn't work well anchored out due to the high load on the electrical system. However, he also has a metal propane heater mounted low on the port side bulk head, right where you would brush it after dark and mostly asleep. He said it puts out A LOT of heat, so much that he can't keep it on at it's lowest setting.
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Old 28-01-2006, 07:23   #8
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Jim, I just don't see your boat - or the guy who would own such a boat - finding a wood stove to be optimal. It's great that others find it comfy, and of course Sean also benefits by its ambience from a chartering perspective...but for your boat, I think it's a disconnect.

Espar (Eberspracher) changed their start-up coil some years ago, which makes the earlier reports of hard start-ups irrelevant. They are commercial lorry (semi's) heaters which have been adapted to boat use. Ditto Webasto, which suffered from a terrible rep and is now considered very reliable. Also, Mikuni is now branching out and produces a variety of models that are dedicated water heaters and/or cabin heaters. All of these are pricey, all of them are owner-installable, all of them provide dry, thermostatically controlled heat, all can be used at anchor (for a time, dependent on bank capacity) and a very common remark I hear is that they extend one's sailing season in cold climates. They are almost standard equipment in Europe.

Having said that, if you'll be at the dock AND you can rely on the dock power, have you given some good AC heaters a decent trial? We wintered aboard 3 years in Annapolis and couldn't rely on such heaters due to 'iffy' dock power, so we used an Espar...but AC heaters would be where I'd start.

Jack
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Old 28-01-2006, 20:25   #9
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espar heater

jack,
what model espar heater do you use?
did you buy the thermostat with the built in error code reader?
What repairs/maintenance have you done to your heater?
i am trying to make a decision as to what heater to install in Kimberlite.
fair winds,
eric
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Old 28-01-2006, 20:43   #10
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We are a big volume boat and we use a Force 10 LPG heater. It works for us, but if you start world cruising, getting the gas could become an issue in some countries. The Force 10 looks good.
I have also seen the Deisel versions in use and I would say they are an excellent choice. These also look good and I have seen a model with flame on the inside behind a glass. So it looks a little like a wood fired one.
The new Desiel fired central heating units like Wabasto are excellent at producing an enormouse amount of heat, but the boats in my Marina that are using them, produce a lot of noise on the outside. The blowers must be fairly hard on power long term I imagine. The one major advantage is the it blows the heat around the interior, so everything gets warm quickly and the other advantage is you don't see it. A major plus for smaller interiors where the luxury of wall space is small.
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Old 28-01-2006, 22:33   #11
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Well.. Euro crusier is correct, I just don't think a wood heater would fit the "image" of my machine. Small and light would be the key here. Hauling firewood and mounting a chiminy just gives me the heebe jeebies.

This is for anchorages and sailing. I already have some AC cheapies for sitting on shorepower. Right now I'm leaning tward the Espar forced air diesil one. Wabasto sells one pretty simular. Anyone have experience with any of these?

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Old 29-01-2006, 03:33   #12
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Espar

I had an Espar system installed in my last boat and had no trouble for 12 years. We were on the hook most of the year and wintered at the dock. Though we did not live aboard full time, we spent many a winter weekend aboard with excellent results. The only difficulty encountered during the 12 years was when the exhaust plug was left in and it failed to start until the problem was rectified.
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Old 29-01-2006, 08:22   #13
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I have to conceed that Jack is right. Your boat wouldn't (at first glance) lend itself to wood heat. -Although I have seen other smaller boats with no bulkheads with a wood stove in the center, but that's more of a "rustic" thing.

Diesel heaters are all around me here this winter. As one poster said, they are loud... and they are extremely expensive (to me at least). But... if you just want to flip a switch, set a thermostat, and go... listen to Jack. He's right.
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Old 29-01-2006, 12:35   #14
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not much discussion about diesel drip heaters - we're looking at a Refleks diesel heater that has a copper coil inside that can warm water and send it to your water heater and/or to heat exchangers (fans) in separate berths. These heaters have very low power consumption, are quiet, very efficient, use a fuel that can be found most places and are less expensive than the Espar/Webasto set ups, and installation is easier - routing copper pipe is esaier than sending 3" or 4" air ducts throughout the boat. Combine this system with a "bus heater" plumbed into your engine cooling system and you can have heat anytime you run the engine and then fire up the stove for more... Seems like a slam dunk to me - any thoughts??
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Old 29-01-2006, 15:33   #15
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Not noisy

I did not find the Espar to be noisy. If you think that a fan is noisy then how will you disperse the heat that the Refleks spews. The area around the heater will be warm, but how do you get the heat to the far reaches of the boat. There are several hydronic systems available including Wabasto, Espar, Wallas, and others that use miniature boilers (same technology used in home systems) to produce hot water.
You need to do more research into the solution. Drilling a 3 or 4 inch hole through the deck to accommodate the chimney is not the best solution for your problem eventhough it may be the cheapest.
p.s. It would be helpful if you gave us some information in your profile to assist you in your search. The heating system necessary in Maine is probably not necessary in Georgia. Help is good, informed help is better.
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