I just installed one. If it were critical, I'd have bought (for 3-4 times the price) a brand name. But this was more of a nice-to-have, so I gave it a shot.
I've only had a few chances to test it out. Some lessons learned:
gets HOT. Keep it as short as possible. I ended up buying
(sold for exhaust
manifolds on race
The manual is translated - poorly - from Russian. It's all there, but it takes some time to figure out. I re-wrote the section on using the controller, if anyone's interested in a native English-speaking version.
It came with a long fuel
line, which helped, but placement of the fuel tank
was still a challenge. I ended up using the tank that came with it, rather than trying to tap off one of the main diesel tanks
. The solenoid-based pump makes a clicking noise
that some may find annoying. The manual also suggests (in a round-about way) keeping it higher than the tank so you don't get any leakage if a seal fails. So mounting the pump also requires a lot of thought.
A couple of times, mine went into a cool-down mode with a code indicating the unit got too hot inside. But it'll run fine at a low setting. Perhaps it only works on high when fed Siberian air temperatures.
I'm not yet ready to recommend this as the only or even primary heating
system if heat is critical. I haven't yet had to buy parts, so I can't help there.
I already have reverse-cycle AC and could even plug
in a couple of portable electric
heaters to run off the generator
in a pinch. Better still, take the boat somewhere warm.
I'm hoping the Planar allows me to take the edge off the cool evenings when on the hook, and extends my season a little. If it does that even most of the time, I'll be happy.