Here's a really good analysis of different heating
"In summary, both systems have their pros and cons. I think that if we were fitting out an expedition boat from scratch we would have a Refleks with a heat exchanger
and registers, and an undersized Eberspacher hot air system; the first for long periods in port or at the anchor
and the second to knock the chill off at sea and on brisk mornings. As both Polaris and Morgan’s Cloud have, I would also install a heat exchanger
hot air blower off the engine cooling
system, since this delivers what is essentially free heat whenever the engine
is running. This is a lot of mechanical stuff for one function, it is true, but being cold in the high latitudes is at best a trip spoiler and at worst dangerous."
As with so many boat systems, there is not an ideal answer.
But for sure if you think about high latitudes, even Northern Europe
, pay a lot of attention to heat, which is a crucial system.
With no generator
and not even shore power
, you have no backup electric
heat -- one of several drawbacks of your KISS electrical system
. Partially compensated by your choice of the REFLEKS, which is the most reliable possible furnace.
We heat year round up here, so have some experience with heating
I can share.
The best heat by far is electric
, run off shore power
. It's the major attraction of being in a marina in the winter (which is usually cheap
because it's the off season). If I were building a new boat, I would have an electric resistance heat unit built into the hydronic central heating system, with a separate shore power lead.
Eberspaecher hydronic is just like Morgan's Cloud describes it -- functionally superior but high maintenance
and not reliable enough to be your only heat source in cold remote
places, unless you have a whole redundant furnace. But one of several big advantages it has is that you can splice in other heat sources, including even a REFLEKS heat exchanger, also waste heat from engine.
Using waste heat to heat the interior
is really useful for cold climates. I don't have this yet but it's high on my list. You just splice in a bus heater into the engine coolant
loop you are using to heat your calorifier
, simple, and very effective -- you can take 10kW or more of heat out of your engine fresh water cooling
circuit with no problem. Highly recommended.
I am right now using my generator
and electric heaters as backup heat at anchor
, as my Eber is down (I didn't manage to do the biannual maintenance
and it is coked up). One of many, many things you can do to backup other systems with abundant AC power, hint, hint.
Someone else mentioned reverse cycle AC and we talked about it some. Not relevant for you, I guess. We had it on the last boat, which was used in a warm climate (Florida). With no generator, we could only use it on shore power. But it is extremely efficient and is a Godsend when you're cold, even if you have to find a marina to use it. We actually used it quite a bit.
Like you, I have never found the need for air conditioning
at anchor even in the tropics. But I have wanted it in hot ports
, and you might die in an urban port in the tropics without it. I don't have it on my boat, but would probably install it if I built a new one. Unless you plan to stay in the Aegean the rest of your life, you should be careful not to assume that all your cruising will be at anchor like in Greece
-- in many parts
of the world, the ports are a large part of the attraction.
For heat, I would probably do what Morgan's Cloud recommends, with a REFLEKS or solid fuel
stove on a bulkhead in the salon
, but with hydronic distribution and a separate Eber furnace. If you're going to insist on being KISS with heat, or if you don't plan to spend much time in cold places, then your solution is probably ideal. I'd add the bus heater, though.