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Old 11-10-2008, 20:13   #16
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I installed an Espar diesel forced air heater in my machine. It was the most complicated and toughest install to get "right" I've ever done. But now that its all installed and working, we LOVE it! It came with a pump and we just tapped into the main fuel tank.

Its not all that bad on the power draw. I does burn up its share of diesel though.

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J/35 No Tomorrows
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Old 16-12-2008, 06:22   #17
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Ughh- only use with diesel #1...

Originally Posted by Tom Spohn View Post
If you have a gas engine then take a look at the Wallas heaters. They run on kerosene--a small container fits under the galley. If you have a diesel engine then have a look at the Toyoset NS-2800
For your furnace, heater, and stove needs. Rural Energy Enterprises, Inc.
I have a CSY 33 which doesn't have a lot of wall area to install a heater. I thought the Toyoset would be a good match and I purchased it to install in the bookcase above the port diesel tank to plumb directly into the tank.

After cutting a hole in the deck to install the flue and running a fuel line back to the tank- it wouldn't work.

I called tech support for where I bought the unit and a couple of things came to light.

1- The unit needs a min of 10v to operate, no drop in voltage allowed during startup at 8 amps. The closer to the battery bank the better.

2- The unit is shipped with a 1/8" clear polyethelene fuel line that has compression fittings that are metric! Ughh- try converting that to standard compression fittings here in the US. The suggestion was to order the copper line set and cut and braze on standard 3/8" copper tube to make standard fittings. Did I mention they ship from Alaska?

3- The specs say Kerosens or ruby red Diesel #1. My ignorance- I didn't realize there was a difference and the big reason I ordered the Toyoset was I didn't want a third fuel source on the boat (Propane and Diesel). Some users report that they can use the diesel #2 if it is fresh. Now I am faced with the reality of having a day tank with Kerosene and storing a bigger tank in the cockpit (ughh).

The Toyoset is nicely built and appears to be of quality construction. I ordered the 20" flue extension, the water proof cap (cough- $250!) in addition to the standard kit. The total price was around $1500. I would definitely order the copper fuel line as well. The installation part was pretty simple and I like the thermostat feature and that it can be ducted using 3" duct.

Once I get it operational I let you know how the heater works.

1993 Gemini 3400 Catamaran
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Old 16-12-2008, 12:40   #18
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I lived on a 30ftr on SF. Bay a decade. Sounds like you want to keep warm at the dock, and not cruising. Buy a ceramic heater from Wal-Mart for less than $40, and be comfy. I use 2 for my 46ft. cat in the same weather. You only see frost maybe twice a year, and an hour's worth of snow ever 20+ years. Save your money for making ther boat handle easier.....BEST WISHES in keeping warm......i2f
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Old 27-12-2008, 01:26   #19
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Toyoset NS 2800 Cabin Heater installtion

We finally got the kinks worked out in the installation of the Cabin heater and it is working great!

Right after I got it running the temps dropped to the mid 30's and the cabin heater did a fine job.

Here's a picture of the installation:

IF you are thinking about ordering one in the US- do yourself a favor and get these accessories:

1. Watertight flue cap
2. copper fuel line (they use metric connectors- the copper you can cut and adapt to whatever fitting you need.
3. inline fuel filter
4. The "Y" duct splitter- hard to find in the 3" size locally
5. Get 2 vents- they are adjustable and you can close them down to get more airflow where you want it.

6. depending where you install the unit- you will likely need the flue extension. It comes in two lengths.

The only problems I had with the installation was the darned little fuel line and its metric fittings and making sure the voltage never drops below 10v during operation (wire corrosion, length, other appliance loads, etc...)

The unit is nice and compact, well made, and sips ruby red diesel at a rate of 0.06 gallons an hour at full blast.
1993 Gemini 3400 Catamaran
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Old 27-12-2008, 04:51   #20
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If your heating needs are confined to dockside I would get electric heaters. But if you have a power down or you leave the dock you will be without heat.

I have an Espar Airtronic4 which is a diesel fired forced air heater. The install itself is not complicated but there are a lot of parts to it. The exhaust hose is a high tech insulated hose about 4cm ID and must be no longer than 2 meters from heater to thru hull. You run another 3" diameter hose around that because it gets hot and you want to protect anything which might be in contact with it.

You will have to connect the small pump to a pick up in your diesel tank or add a seaprate tank. My tank was already drilled for a second pickup so dropping that in place was a piece of cake.

Wiring is a piece of cake since it all harness and made up cables except the main power which you connect to your 12v system. It has a thermostat and a program to drop it down to a very lower power and consumption mode once things reach design temp, as opposed to cycling on and off in temp swings. This is a nice feature and keeps a balanced room temp.

Then there are the ducts which you need to run and connect to the supply grilles. We have 3 which I believe is the max number for this unit: one in the head, one in the main cabin and one in the aft cabin. Running the duct can be challenging. Mine runs under the aft cabin, then under the the galley then under the stbd settee in to the head with the outlet grilles along the way with "Y" branches. The duct is 3" flexible insulated high tech and rugged yet easy cut.

And finally you need to connect a separate 3cm fresh air hose for combustion air. You can connect a separate return air duct or as I have done draw the air from the bilge under the aft cabin berth where the unit is mounted.

Forced warm air mitigates the accumulation of moister because the moister is removed from the air as it's heated.

This system is very comfortable and attractive since it does not take up interior real estate, but uses (in my case) inaccessible volumes for the components. It's very quiet, but not so quiet that you would not hear it go "off".

The fuel consumption is less than .1 gal / hr. It heats the cabin from very cold to comfortable warm in 1/2hr or less depending on the starting room temp. If you ran this 24/7 it would not be cheap at about $6-8/day. But chances are that you would use it not more than half that except on passages I suppose.

The other consideration is electrical consumption. In start mode it draws about 4 or 5 amps to heat up the glow plug to ignite the fuel, but after than the power use drops and then drops again as the motors which move the air go into the quiet/maintenance low draw mode when design temp has been reached.

The unit has some sophisticated monitors which will shut it down (properly) when a fault condition is sensed. The shut down sequence takes several minutes and is completely automated.

Once installed, I have found the unit trouble free and it enables me to work aboad in the coldest winter days with the unit set a mid setting. The settings are variable, but the scale does not have temp indications it more like the settings on a cook top burner.

I got the unit as a kit from a supplier UK and it was about $1,500 IIRC and then there were the odd bits that I need to get locally which amounted to a hill of beans except some additional duct from a supplier in PNW IIRC.

Having heat really extends my sailing, makes my wife very comfortable when the weather is not perfectly warm and that is the Spring, Fall and even some summer days and keeps the boat dry when it's cold, rainy and humid.

I like not having to deal with another fuel source. I like that it does not take up space. I like that I can close and direct the grilles to balance the system to my heat needs. I like that there are no open flames or flues going through my deck (the exhaust is on the transom). I like that there are no very hot things to burn someone if they touch it accidentally. I like the thermostatic control. I like the forced air which keeps the interior air moving and mitigates mildew growth.

Is this system worth the cost? In my opinion is it. This is a complete furnance and heating system, including ducts, furnace, fuel pump, thermostat, wiring harness, grilles and so forth. Yet it's small and fits inside the unused spaces in my boat. Since I get more use from my boat, and I am using this heater a lot, it's cost / use keeps going down and down. Let's see how long it lasts. Going on 5 years now. It replaced another one that lasted about 8 or 10 of the same make, but a more primitive design.

I recommend this unit, but not Ocean Options who sells them on the US East Coast.
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Old 16-01-2009, 09:48   #21
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does anyone who has the dickinson propane unit have anything in the 'con' list?

of all the heaters i've looked at, this one looks like the best for my situation, but field notes on what's not to like won't show up in the advertising. comments, opinions, defense, complaints, rants?
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Old 19-01-2009, 15:47   #22
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I too have an Airtronic D-4 on a 33-foot insulated steel hull in Newfoundland.

I second all that defjef said. I have not used the unit much but when I did, it was wonderful.

I also would NOT recommend the fellow who installed my unit. I had to do some of it over and other issues.

The one disadvantage would be if you had a failure on the unit at a time you were very reliant upon it. I was looking for a spares kit but did not find one.
I would appreciate some help in that direction.
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Old 19-01-2009, 16:36   #23
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You can pick up used Eberspacher Airtronic diesel fueled heaters on fleabay for arounf 300.00 GB pounds,these are reconditioned units that usually have come out of one of our Postal services trucks.

My buddies who have these on their boats all rave about them,they are a must have item for early and late season sailing over here
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Old 19-01-2009, 16:44   #24
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A Newport 30 on SF Bay I can relate to. As usual, there are LOTS of good suggestions here so I will only say what I have on my Golden Gate 30 here on the Oakland Estuary.
As a dockside liveaboard I mainly use a AC "oil-filled" heater (from Ace Hardware) on shoreside power. It's quiet (no on/off fan), can be set to what you need (low overnight or higher in the morning) and it's a dry heat.
While out for local cruising I use a bulkhead-mounted Newport solid-fuel heater. It requires a 2-inch vent pipe (Charlie knoble) and is impractical for continuous heating but is fine for taking the chill off in the evening and first thing in the morning, uses "presto" logs, heater pellets (also from Ace), scrap dry wood or junk mail :-) and it puts out a very pleasant dry heat and pleasant glow.
Hope that helps.
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Old 19-01-2009, 17:42   #25
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If I were at the dock with electric, I'd go with the Ceramic heaters...
I work on my boat in the winter...they keep the cabin nice and toasty and they're cheap..and the deck....Or go with the oil filled variety.....cruising clearly needs another strategy...
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Old 19-01-2009, 19:35   #26
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Or go with the oil filled variety.....cruising clearly needs another strategy...
Boat US surveys say these are the number one specific source of boat fires! Most boat fires are electrically ignited (80%). These heaters are maybe the most poorly built products on the market. But they are cheap so get a few! They don't hold up to the duty cycle of heating an exterior environment. Most residential heaters don't hold up on a boat. It's the wiring that causes the fire not the heat from the heater. Save it for that back room in the house that gets a bit chilly. It's what they do best.

If your boat starts on fire there is a very small chance they won't cut the dock lines and shove it loose. It's the first thing any dock master does with a boat fire. Once the fiberglass starts to burn it's all over. The heat and smoke are amazing. It takes a long time to put the fire out at that point. You get to pay to have the hull hauled and disposed of. Boat fires are not trivial.
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Old 19-01-2009, 19:38   #27
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I just did a search on the following; "fires caused by ceramic heaters", and was quite amazed at the number of hits.
The Blue Dot Campaign. This Changes Everything.
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Old 20-01-2009, 16:47   #28
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HALLIE - I have a detailed response from another sailor regarding the Dickinson Propane heater that may be helpful
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Old 14-06-2009, 10:26   #29
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i use the dickenson 9000 series propane heater with a medium sized oil heater onboard. last winter in consistent -7C kept my boat nice and warm. my boat is only a 27footer one something over 30ft i would probably go with the 12000 series. the fireplace window is really nice option very nice ambiance.
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Old 14-06-2009, 12:22   #30
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Anyone know of a small pellet stove that would work in a boat? seems like an inexpensive easy to stow fuel thats getting easier to find.

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