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Old 15-07-2015, 14:36   #1
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We have a heater, but is it needed?

Howdy Folks,

When we bought our boat, she came with a nice propane Force 10 Cozy Cabin heater. While we did find it welcome coming across the Gulf of Mexico in January, living in Texas it's not really needed. In addition, our cruising plan is to start with an up and down of the East coast (spring summer) of the US, then into the Bahamas to the Caribbean and eventually (who knows how long) through the canal and into the pacific. The plan is open ended but currently is planned as primarily trade-winds sailing. Of course like all cruising plans they're written in sand and subject to all kinds of changes.

Couple that with the fact that the heater is currently mounted on the port bulkhead right over the port settee and it's in the way. We have electric heat, as a byproduct of our need for AC to survive the Houston summers. So, while we're in the marina heat is not an issue.

All that leads us to think we want to remove the propane heater and either store it or sell it. I don't want to keep it just to keep it, but am curious for those of you out there cruising the trade winds route, do you have heat and if so, do you ever need it?

If you had a nice little propane heater, that was in the way would you keep it just in case future locations require it? Or just remove and sell now and buy something later if plans require it?

Thanks in advance,
EB
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Old 15-07-2015, 17:39   #2
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

Does your AC unit have reverse cycle heat?
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Old 15-07-2015, 17:51   #3
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

Cruising plans change, and most folks leave the tropics for cyclone season too, so a heater isn't such a bad idea. We have a diesel heater and use it often in our summer excursions to Tasmania, and even here in the near-tropics (~27 degrees south) in our winter. Here in the marina in Manly our electric heater is on even as I type, but that is unusual.

I can't offer you specific advice about your installation 'cause I don't know how much of a nuisance it is, but staying warm is important to us.

Jim
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Old 15-07-2015, 18:01   #4
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

Our friends from the PNW sailed to Mexico.

He wrote:

- diesel heater - never would have believed how cold it is. You expect it offshore in Washington and Oregon, but California has been very cold.

Unless it's horribly and totally in the way, why take it out?
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Old 15-07-2015, 18:25   #5
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

A good heater is at the very top of my refit list, now that I've acquired AIS, Chart plotter and kerosene lighting. We do sail in very different places, but I thought Texas could be cool in the winter?

The Force 10 I think is the invented propane unit with the naked flame? That might cause me some worries. Propane in general worries me though- I've attended a couple of boat fires and don't like what pressurised gas brings to the table, so that is likely just a personal bias, because most people swear by it.

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Old 15-07-2015, 18:33   #6
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

I'd say no you don't need it. It's not great provider of heat anyway.
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Old 15-07-2015, 18:35   #7
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErBrown View Post
Howdy Folks,

When we bought our boat, she came with a nice propane Force 10 Cozy Cabin heater. While we did find it welcome coming across the Gulf of Mexico in January, living in Texas it's not really needed. In addition, our cruising plan is to start with an up and down of the East coast (spring summer) of the US, then into the Bahamas to the Caribbean and eventually (who knows how long) through the canal and into the pacific. The plan is open ended but currently is planned as primarily trade-winds sailing. Of course like all cruising plans they're written in sand and subject to all kinds of changes.

Couple that with the fact that the heater is currently mounted on the port bulkhead right over the port settee and it's in the way. We have electric heat, as a byproduct of our need for AC to survive the Houston summers. So, while we're in the marina heat is not an issue.

All that leads us to think we want to remove the propane heater and either store it or sell it. I don't want to keep it just to keep it, but am curious for those of you out there cruising the trade winds route, do you have heat and if so, do you ever need it?

If you had a nice little propane heater, that was in the way would you keep it just in case future locations require it? Or just remove and sell now and buy something later if plans require it?

Thanks in advance,
EB
What we found is that we readily become "tropicalized"--comfortable in tropal heat--and then, if we go somewhere cold (like La Paz, Mexico in December) or Tasmania, which is about 42 deg. S, plus and minus a little, yes, at anchor (which is how we live usually), we use the heater, unabashedly. If you ever want to go to Alaska for their summer, you will want them. If you stay around TX and the Bahamas, you may not ever want one, especially if you're staying at a dock and don't have to generate your own electricity for heat. Our heater is a diesel, fed by an electric fuel pump. Also have a computer fan above it to blow the warm air towards our feet. Pretty nice, when it's chilly to us.

Ann
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Old 15-07-2015, 19:08   #8
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErBrown View Post
If you had a nice little propane heater, that was in the way would you keep it just in case future locations require it? Or just remove and sell now and buy something later if plans require it?

Thanks in advance,
EB
If it was more in the way than needed I would get rid of it.
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Old 15-07-2015, 21:31   #9
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

Sailing California offshore and inshore in the winter heat is really nice to have. Sailing the East Coast probably useful everywhere in the winter and in the summer in Maine and further north. Sea water temperature in most temperate areas just doesn't get all that warm so inclement weather and nights even in the dog days of summer can be cool. Unless you know you were going to sail exclusively in the Tropics, you should keep it.
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Old 15-07-2015, 21:42   #10
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

I agree keep it.

We have a diesel heater and that sucker can pump out the heat. When it gets down into the 40's here in Florida we may light it for a few hours before bed and maybe a little in the morning. We keep a pot of water on the top so we always have hot water for coffee/tea or for washing up.
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Old 16-07-2015, 01:48   #11
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

Get rid of it. I would not want a propane heater inside the boat -- just not safe.

In Texas, reverse cycle AC would be the hot (so to speak) ticket, as someone has suggested.

Otherwise, diesel heat of some kind or another. For occasional use in a small boat, an Eber or Webasto air heater is good and doesn't take up any bulkhead space, so doesn't get in the way. Or a pot heater if you prefer simplicity and already have a chimney from the propane heater. Nice free heat when the engine is running can be had with a bus heater.
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Old 16-07-2015, 04:01   #12
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

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Get rid of it. I would not want a propane heater inside the boat -- just not safe.
So your saying that my setup is not safe?! I do fire it from the cockpit into the saloon.... gets toasty I do need to replace one or two curtains though. a bit charred.



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Old 16-07-2015, 04:28   #13
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

EB

I have a propane cozy cabin heater that came with the boat. I am planning to check out NZ.

Dockhead is right. If the heater is in the way, toss it out and get a bus heater fed by the engine coolant.

I will be tossing mine out next month to put in either a hydronic or FHA. May have to bite the USD 8k bullet.

Eric
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Old 16-07-2015, 04:44   #14
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

If you have it, and it is not in the way, and it is good, safe operating condition, why not keep it for a few seasons, just in case you change your mind? I know many folks who made changes to their boats when they first got them, only to regret the decision later.

Chris
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Old 16-07-2015, 04:57   #15
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Re: We have a heater, but is it needed?

for us North of 50, a heater is a must have. I have the force 10 and it works fairly good. Every year there are many boats that come up from the south having no heater and make the comment of wishing they had one.
Mine is mounted also on the port bulkhead and a bit in the way as you said, so i have purchased a Espar D4 which will provide better distributed heat and be hidden freeing up the bulkhead, plus its diesel, will install this fall.
Maybe that would be an option for you, better to have and not use then to need and not have!
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