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Old 15-05-2012, 15:29   #1
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Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

For those who have sailed north of 45 degrees north, what is the best heating system to use for your boat in regards to dependability, efficiency and cost when marinas are not an option?
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Old 15-05-2012, 15:35   #2
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

multi fuel wood burner,like a morso squirrel,simple cheap to run,uses logs and coal.

diesel drip feed kabola a close second but starting to get expensive to run using 1-2 gal per day
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Old 15-05-2012, 17:51   #3
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

Wallas heaters are OK. However, when they fail, they are not the easiest to fix. Ours had to be serviced.

There is also a Wallas diesel galley that converts into a heater. I like this solution very much.

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Old 15-05-2012, 18:14   #4
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

Imho, webasto are the best forced air type. A big diesel cook stove heater,always running ,works great inthe commercial boats. Dickenson etc.
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Old 15-05-2012, 19:06   #5
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

We have a "Cole" solid fuel stove, burning wood and charcoal. Low tech, 100% reliable.
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Old 15-05-2012, 19:57   #6
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

We have a Fabco diesel heater. The predecessor of the Dickenson. Very well made and yes a bit on the expensive side but creates a nice dry heat. We have lived aboard since Feb 1/12 N. of 49* and did not see much condensation at all in the boat.
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Old 15-05-2012, 21:31   #7
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

See pdf at this link, bottom of pg2.
http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/SimpleBoatsystem.pdf
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Old 15-05-2012, 22:32   #8
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

I have an Espar D5 which has too many smarts and not enough reliability. It has cost me way too much to maintain. When it works it is great but it has a lot of ways to not want to work. It also requires a fair bit of power with a fan in each of the 4 zones. (hydronic type) I wouldn't recommend them for live aboard. I know others who have various other brands that all have some type of problems when used on a continuous basis. One of the problems is that though we live North of the 49th (barely) the diesel we get is summer diesel which tends to thicken and soot up when used at colder temperatures. This causes coking in the small furnace boiler chamber. We were told to use kerosene occasionally to clean them out but this has not been too successful. I would like to change out the system if I can find something more bullet proof.
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Old 15-05-2012, 22:44   #9
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

We had wood/coal on our Colvin, with a hot water coil inside heated enough water to use in bus heaters in the remote state rooms, also helped for washing and bathing hot water. Just a thought
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Old 18-05-2012, 12:21   #10
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

We are currently sat 50.49N and thankfully have the Webasto running. We have just fitted the smallest version (ST2000) to a 31ft yacht and its perfect.

Low cloud, drizzle and rain all day has meant everything was wet. Me, the wife and both dogs. Came back to the boat after a walk and turned the heating on. We are now drying out nicely. It has made a real difference and the inside temperature is now 77f, positively scorching for someone in England.

AT £800 ($1260) it wasn't cheap but worth it.

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Old 18-05-2012, 12:25   #11
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
We are currently sat 50.49N and thankfully have the Webasto running. We have just fitted the smallest version (ST2000) to a 31ft yacht and its perfect.

Low cloud, drizzle and rain all day has meant everything was wet. Me, the wife and both dogs. Came back to the boat after a walk and turned the heating on. We are now drying out nicely. It has made a real difference and the inside temperature is now 77f, positively scorching for someone in England.

AT £800 ($1260) it wasn't cheap but worth it.

Pete
Yep, we installed many of those, they sip fuel ... we elected to use Kerosene though if the owner permitted.....
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:38   #12
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Imho, webasto are the best forced air type. A big diesel cook stove heater,always running ,works great inthe commercial boats. Dickenson etc.
We have a diesel cook stove (Dickinson Bering, http://www.dickinsonmarine.com/stoves.php), it keeps the boat warm and dry. There is always a pot of hot water on it for an occasional cup of tea or coffee. Can highy recommend it.
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Old 22-06-2012, 04:40   #13
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

Regarding carburettor-fed diesel heaters:

They don't mention the brand in the article linked to on p1, but I seem to recall Beth & Evans had a Refleks heater on Hawk.

Dickinson also do a good unit.

Rather than occasional use of kero as mentioned above for forced-draught units (which are not highly regarded in high latitudes): Generally you can improve the interval between major burner cleaning for the drip burner units, especially in cold climates, by cutting the diesel with kerosene: if you go to 50/50, you can push it out to maybe three to six months in situations where it would otherwise be required monthly.

Kerosene / jet fuel is more expensive and more difficult to get in remote areas, naturally.
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Old 12-08-2012, 16:23   #14
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

I'm a big fan of the Dickinson as well. We have a Dickinson Pacific onboard our 50' and we are living 365 days a year onboard in nova Scotia, Canada. In the summer we sail up to the Arctic. as far as 80 degrees north.

I had a wood/coal burner onboard, but the weight and size of what you need to carry is huge. Diesel is not the most inexpensive system these days, but it has the best ratio in weight/volume/energy.

The reason that I love heaters like Dickinson, rietpol or reflex is their simplicity. They cannot fail, no matter what happens, you can always get them going within an hour with just a few simple tools and minimal technical knowledge.
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Old 04-11-2012, 15:27   #15
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Re: Onboard Heat for Northern Climes

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.
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