I've had the Alaska
model for almost 20 years and I love it and have nothing but praise for it. Since coming to Florida
it does not get as much use, but I love a cold front when I can go down to the boat and enjoy being aboard with the heater. In the last couple of years there has been a few weeks of 30-40 degree weather
and I actually prefer to spend the nights on the boat instead of the house.
Soot? None. And I mean almost zero--not inside the heater or on the deck
. I followed the installation
instructions carefully and I think flue length is probably the key. I mounted it at the lowest point in the cabin
(as recommended for good convective circulation) and the flue length up to the deck
is about six feet--maybe a bit longer because I had to offset it with double 45 degree bends to get the stack outboard
of the mast
I feed it from a gravity feed header tank of about one gallon that I fill up daily with a diverter valve from the electric engine fuel pump
. It uses about a gallon per 24 hours of running.
The only problems I've had are with old fuel. I can tell when my fuel is getting old (about 4-6 months) by the lack of intensity and color of the flame. I've learned to drain it of fuel completely in the spring because it will gum up the float valve and cause it to stick after about a year. (then you will have big-time soot and other problems)
Because the fuel flow is controlled by an internal float valve, it can be sensitive to heel if you mount it with the wrong orientation. I didn't follow the instructions exactly in this regard, so when sailing if I tack I also have to adjust (tack?) the heater control valve to keep the intensity constant. I don't sail with the rail in the water
, so I've never considered it more than a minor problem.
Even at half throttle, it puts out a lot of heat and I usually leave some hatches cracked open to keep comfortable unless the temperature is near freezing. I sleep with it running with no worries, but a few years back I bought a CO2/fire alarm
and mounted it nearby just in case. (A household fire alarm
that also has a CO2 detector--about $20)
If that is not enough, feel free to post your questions and I'll be glad to respond.