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Old 25-10-2015, 15:53   #1
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Heating water without shore power?

How do you heat your water for showers etc when staying aboard long term? I am staying aboard my Beneteau Oceanis 40 for the European winter months.

What are my most cost effective options for heating water? In spring next year I will be heading to the Med.

I guess any practical wind or solar power devices will not generate sufficient electricity to power my boiler.

I do have shore power at the moment, but I am looking for self sufficient alternatives (if any).

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Old 25-10-2015, 15:55   #2
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

My engine coolant is plumbed through my water heater, so running my engine for a bit heats the water.


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Old 25-10-2015, 18:04   #3
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

My thought is that the ideal configuration for cool or cold weather would be a diesel-fired hydronic system that heats both the domestic water and baseboard space heaters.

If you don't need, or can't retro-fit, baseboard heating then the engine coolant loop in the water heater is great for times you're underway. Other times a generator, even a portable Honda, to run the electric element for about 30 minutes is the simplest solution. You can put some Amp Hours back in the house bank at the same time if you have a decent battery charger.
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Old 25-10-2015, 18:24   #4
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

Move to the tropics
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Old 25-10-2015, 18:45   #5
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

I have a propane on demand water heater, works great. also have propane heat and stove that is nice. easy to fill, cheap enough and with the proper safety sensors, its safe.
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Old 25-10-2015, 19:04   #6
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

Kettle on the stove. Like the olden days. That's for when there's not enough sun for the solar shower.
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Old 25-10-2015, 19:09   #7
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

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Originally Posted by fisherman.ben View Post
I have a propane on demand water heater, works great. also have propane heat and stove that is nice. easy to fill, cheap enough and with the proper safety sensors, its safe.
I would think this is the best overall solution for a modern production boat with limited space......

Ben.... Can you describe your system........Does the propane heat generate a lot of condensation?
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Old 25-10-2015, 22:23   #8
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

The propane demand heater is probably the best way to heat the water. Since it will only be on for short periods of time, the 'making' of water shouldn't be a big thing. You could vent it to the outside but that would be a pretty big hole in your deck.

Another choice would be a diesel bulkhead heater like the Dickenson Newport. They can be ordered with coils built in for heating water.
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Old 25-10-2015, 23:18   #9
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

the Paloma (water heater) is mounted on the bulkhead in the aft stateroom, with a vent to the back side of the cockpit, 1 force 10 next to it, using the same vent. it can get the aft stateroom and head as warm as you want, the stove is a 3 burner with oven on the starboard side, just about mid-ship, my other force 10 is on the bulkhead that seperates the forward stateroom and salon, and that gets the rest of the boat warm, just need a fan to get it all the way into the forward stateroom. with both of them running I can keep the boat toasty warm even in one of new englands lovely nor-easters.(about the only time I lose power) not to much of a condensation problem, they seem to put out a dry heat. just have to keep the closet doors open so they get some air moving in them, and I hang dry packs in the storage lockers behind the seats in the salon and under the sinks in the heads (2) and galley. works pretty good for me.
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Old 25-10-2015, 23:52   #10
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

Thanks for the replies. Regarding the coolant loop, I have that already. It will be perfect for when we are underway in spring. But I would not want to clock up the engine hours that I think would be nessesary for daily showers for two people. Plus I thought regular running of the engine in idle is not recommended? It's a Yanmar 29.

I have got plenty of space in two huge lockers for installing kit.

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Old 26-10-2015, 01:06   #11
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

Our neighbor in the marina has a Webasto heater which also heats domestic water. Sounds like a good solution.


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Old 26-10-2015, 02:20   #12
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

I bought a 48volt 1000watt water heater that i plan to install in my small hot water tank. I also have a webasto that I'm consider mounting, and then there is the diesel stove solution (Dickinson/Refleks and alikes)
I'll be running using my 48volt bank, and have a 220volt/48volt charger for my setup when I'm plugged into 220volt.

I was thinking of buying a 12 volt heater element, but that would either kill my batteries (1000watt), or take forever (300watt), and still kill my battery. Then I needed 48 volt for my EP, and everything got simpler.
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Old 26-10-2015, 03:04   #13
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

A Refleks or similar, with internal coils built in for heating water, & or powering a radiator type heating system for the vessel.

As mentioned, any of the on demand, in line, water heaters.

Kettle on top of the stove, or your heater, & pour it into a garden sprayer.
The type which has the kind of handle which you pump to pressureize it. And, it'd probably be wise to add a bit of insulation to it so that your water doesn't get cold, if you're a slow in the shower type of person. But even without that mod', it worked fine for me when I lived aboard.
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Old 26-10-2015, 04:48   #14
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

You didn't mention what kind of heating you have.

As others have said, hydronic heat will kill two birds with one stove -- domestic hot water and heat.

You can also heat water with a generator, but it's extremely inefficient compared to using a hydronic furnace. That being said -- it can be done. My hydronic heat has been down the last couple of months (on my list of things to work on today in fact). I've been on board most of that time and mostly without shore power. I combine heating water with battery charging and other power intensive tasks, and so it's probably not all that bad efficiency-wise.

If you don't have a generator, then you can also run your main engine to make some hot water. If you put the transmission in gear to produce some load, it's not harmful, and you can charge batts at the same time. Lot of wear and tear on the machinery, however, for that one task.
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Old 26-10-2015, 04:54   #15
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Re: Heating water without shore power?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
My thought is that the ideal configuration for cool or cold weather would be a diesel-fired hydronic system that heats both the domestic water and baseboard space heaters.

If you don't need, or can't retro-fit, baseboard heating then the engine coolant loop in the water heater is great for times you're underway. Other times a generator, even a portable Honda, to run the electric element for about 30 minutes is the simplest solution. You can put some Amp Hours back in the house bank at the same time if you have a decent battery charger.
I like baseboard radiators a lot, but sailboats don't have space for them. You would typically use fan coils in sailboats with hydronic heat. At the expense of power draw and some noise, but saving space.
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