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Old 04-11-2012, 17:24   #16
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

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I had a Wallas diesel forced air heater for 15 years and just bought another to replace it. They are not without some maintenance after a couple years, but there is nothing like being able to hit that switch and have it be like your living room in some deserted cove. You can have a two or three hot air ducts and it is fundamentally different than having the hot spot in your boat generated by a fireplace or standing unit. Really extended my cruising period each year both here in Maine and in California where we came from. I even used the heater in the tropics to blow the wet mildewy air out of the boat in the rainforest of Panama. Personally, I have no idea why more folks do not have them. Makes a lot more sense than most of the the other cruising gadgets folks pay more for.
But what's the power draw on forced air? I like that a dickenson will work with gravity.
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Old 04-11-2012, 17:51   #17
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

Not sure, but it's pretty low I think. unless you want to bake in one cabin and freeze in the ends of the boat, a Dickenson "space heater" will need fans running to move air around also....
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Old 04-11-2012, 18:08   #18
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

I've had Dickinson and Webasto forced air and the like on a number of boats. The present boat came with Webasto 2010 forced air. I replaced it with an OL-60 hydronic unit. It has nine fan heaters with seven zones, and a defroster with plenum for the pilothouse windows, as well as an Ever Hot on demand hot water heater. It keeps the engines in the engine room warm as well as the rest of the boat, which really helps keep condensation own in a wet environment. It's been a really nice system, but hydronics are definitely big boat gear. The Olympic series was recommended to me by a friend who outfits very high end yachts because it is 125 volt instead of 12v. This makes the system much more robust and reliable. They install many and never get service calls on them, unlike some other big brands. Two years in mine runs like a champ.
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Old 04-11-2012, 19:03   #19
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

We have a Dickinson Newport something, we're not that far north but it gets cold in Maine at night! It heats the cabin very comfortably, but we need to run fans and I think it's a little smelly. I light with vegetable oil lamps, and that helps, too. I'm a little worried about the diesel fumes, and working out the bugs. That said, we've dried our stuff on lines and gotten too hot sitting on cold nights in the cabin with that thing cooking!
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Old 04-11-2012, 21:50   #20
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We have a Gravity fed Force 10 (now sigmar) diesel cabin heater and that little thing really puts out some heat. They key is to prep it well w alcohol and make sure all the parts are free of build up. I've found that the key is making sure you follow the directions for mounting it to a tee. If it is mounted too high you end up with cold feet. But the rest of you is warm. We also have a forced air heater but never use it as it draws electricity where the diesel cabin heater draws nothing.
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Old 04-11-2012, 23:01   #21
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

I'm looking at the Dickinson Newport propane 1200 for over nights out on the hook. Anyone had experience using one.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:26   #22
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

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But what's the power draw on forced air? I like that a dickenson will work with gravity.

Power draw of a Wallas 30DT is 1 amp at max power setting (which I use infrequently on my Tartan 37 because it will roast us), but it uses much more (9 or 10) for a minute or two to start it up initially when the glow plug is working to start the unit, but it does not go off and on--you just set it at the temp you want. My estimate from my LinkLite on my boat in normal Fall here in Maine is 4-8 amps over night--the start up draw does not last long enough to figure into any meaningful drain. They need to be installed correctly and require some maintenance over the long term, but I consider it a great investment in the extended cruising comfort both here in Maine and in California. Forced air is great on a boat.
I have no financial interest in Wallas.
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Old 08-11-2012, 21:55   #23
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

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Power draw of a Wallas 30DT is 1 amp at max power setting (which I use infrequently on my Tartan 37 because it will roast us), but it uses much more (9 or 10) for a minute or two to start it up initially when the glow plug is working to start the unit, but it does not go off and on--you just set it at the temp you want. My estimate from my LinkLite on my boat in normal Fall here in Maine is 4-8 amps over night--the start up draw does not last long enough to figure into any meaningful drain. They need to be installed correctly and require some maintenance over the long term, but I consider it a great investment in the extended cruising comfort both here in Maine and in California. Forced air is great on a boat.
I have no financial interest in Wallas.
Thanks, that's great info.
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Old 24-11-2012, 14:03   #24
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

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We have a Gravity fed Force 10 (now sigmar) diesel cabin heater and that little thing really puts out some heat. They key is to prep it well w alcohol and make sure all the parts are free of build up. I've found that the key is making sure you follow the directions for mounting it to a tee. If it is mounted too high you end up with cold feet. But the rest of you is warm. We also have a forced air heater but never use it as it draws electricity where the diesel cabin heater draws nothing.
Several posters have mentioned prepping with alcohol, could you please expand on the reasons why and how to go about lighting the heater this way.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:07   #25
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

I am looking for simplicity in design and operation and the gravity fed diesel heaters (Dickinson, Reflex) appear to be the best choice with one possible caveat: many respondants who have owned these units lament the accumulation of soot that despoils their cabin top and sails. Is this an anomaly or is it part of the price to pay for these heaters. We are hopefully nearing our next planned departure and will exit the St. Lawrence and cruise Newfoundland and Labrador before heading South. A simple and effective heater is a necessity. Is this a concern? Are these the best choices?
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:17   #26
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

cb, it sounds like they are using alcohol (which burns clean) to heat things up so that the initial diesel burn will not be cold, and will not produce suet/carbon buildup.

If you do that I'd suggest the same precaution some use to preheat alcohol stove burners. DO not use alcohol (the invisible flame and control issues) but put diced paraffin wax and alcohol in a jar, let it marinate someplace warm for a week or two until it forms a waxy paste. Then use the easily controlled paste as the pre-heat "fluid", from a refillable toothpaste type tube, etc.

"Firepaste" or some name like that was being commerically sold, but plain white paraffin turns into a paste very easily when allowed to mix with plain naphtha as well.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:42   #27
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete the Cat View Post
Power draw of a Wallas 30DT is 1 amp at max power setting (which I use infrequently on my Tartan 37 because it will roast us), but it uses much more (9 or 10) for a minute or two to start it up initially when the glow plug is working to start the unit, but it does not go off and on--you just set it at the temp you want. My estimate from my LinkLite on my boat in normal Fall here in Maine is 4-8 amps over night--the start up draw does not last long enough to figure into any meaningful drain. They need to be installed correctly and require some maintenance over the long term, but I consider it a great investment in the extended cruising comfort both here in Maine and in California. Forced air is great on a boat.
I have no financial interest in Wallas.
Hi there

Im thinking of getting one of the new Wallas heaters, the 40DT . Are they truly as quiet as they claim? I had an Espar and found it very noisy.

Regards .
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:30   #28
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

Not exactly "simple", but probably the easiest to run when installed is a forced air or hydronic. I have a Hurricane hydronic unit and love it. Easy to maintain with great customer service, as well. Just has a lot of bits all over the boat. Fuel use seems to be pretty efficient, the burner is loud (but tucked away in the engine room), and it does use a fair amount of electricity (I'm guessing 3-5 amps??). We shut it down at night to conserve power.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:14   #29
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

We installed the Dickinson Newport Propane furnace and fireplace and really love it. Very very little soot and just on the exhaust if it is operated on high all night. We use a std 4.5 gal propane bottles and on low a bottle will last 5 - 6 day and nights. No electricity needed unless it is on high and use the low wattage fan.
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Old 11-12-2012, 13:46   #30
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

Aboard Windfall (from cold and rainy Oregon) we have (1) Esbar forced air diesel heater, and (1) Dickinson diesel stove heater.....although, now we are currently in warm Panama and haven't turned either on for over 2 years! Whew! We don't miss that cold weather at all!
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