Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-04-2006, 18:44   #16
Kai Nui
Guest

Posts: n/a
I have the Dickenson solid fuel unit in Kittiwake. I do not have a fan, but from the height of the heater up, the temp will get unbearableif you let it. These are great units for a small boat, and are fairly inexpensive. Of course, you will come ome to a cold boat, and all of Sean's points are valid, but for those that consider it relaxing to cut wood, and play with a fire, there is no better way to heat a boat. It also really adds to the ambiance when hanging out with guests aboard. A nice wood fire, and a good bottle of port makes for a great evening. A small 12v fn should solve the heat distribution issue very effectively.
__________________

__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2006, 18:54   #17
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Nui
I have the Dickenson solid fuel unit in Kittiwake. I do not have a fan, but from the height of the heater up, the temp will get unbearableif you let it. These are great units for a small boat, and are fairly inexpensive. Of course, you will come ome to a cold boat, and all of Sean's points are valid, but for those that consider it relaxing to cut wood, and play with a fire, there is no better way to heat a boat. It also really adds to the ambiance when hanging out with guests aboard. A nice wood fire, and a good bottle of port makes for a great evening. A small 12v fn should solve the heat distribution issue very effectively.
And... don't forget. That little reality check I was posting comes from someone who has just spent all winter living aboard with only the Little Cod to heat us. I cut and split wood constantly, as well as foraged for it. My heating bill was $0.

There is also another advantage to wood. I have no idea if it's the sense of satisfaction, or what, but when you fire the thing up, it creates a sort of penetrating heat that just knocks you out. It loosens up the muscles and relaxes you like no other.

Also, you can cook on it! I made many of our stove-top meals on the Little Cod this winter for FREE. No fuel for my galley stove to buy. I have made pudding, popcorn, stir fries, rice, pasta, etc... all on the Little Cod.

PS: Kai... didn't mean to quote you above.. I was going along with your points.
__________________

__________________
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2006, 21:29   #18
Kai Nui
Guest

Posts: n/a
You are welcome to quote me any time Sean
The Dickenson is limited as far as cooking options. It does have an iron top, but the only thing I have found that would fit was a very small copper teapot I found in an antique store, and it leaked so bad I couldn't use it for anything. I keep a pruning saw aboard to cut up small branches to burn. One of our weekends at Santa Cruz, we collected drift wood and cut it to burn. Lots of fun. Since we do not live aboard that boat, our wood consumption is not very high, but when I need it, and have the time, I just stop on the side of the road and pick up some free wood. THe Little Cod is far more suited for cooking than the Dickenson.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2006, 22:24   #19
Registered User
 
John Drake's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Stuart, FL
Boat: Wauquiez Hood 38, S/V Invictus
Posts: 341
Images: 11
Hi Kai and Sean

Nice to hear from you both and thanks. You have both given me some very good info, I hope for the original poster too.

The heater I was referring to (now just looked it up) is the Dickinson Newport solid fuel heater. $250 at Defender. Says it puts out 6000-8000 btu. Kai...you said that was plenty to heat the cabin and I appreciate your experience.

I have to say that I, like Sean, like the ease and utility of wood. It is easy to find, easy to stow and use. Not as volitile as propane and not the smell or diesel or kerosene. I assume you could use charcoal and cut up pieces of artificial fireplace logs.

I found this unit while roaming through Fawcett's one day and thought it really pretty attractive and even decorative for the boat, with its ceramic tile in front. And nice price. I almost got it...but since I have been in a slip...the electric heaters are perfect.

The only drawback is the 3" hole in the roof for the flue. I really don't like that at all, but ...it is what it is.

I also wonder about the soot blowing back onto the dodger....is that an issue for anyone?

My best to all.

Sean...your posts always remind me of my time living in Rhody and the many days and nights spent in Newp. Hope you are enjoying...what a gorgeous and really underrated and undiscovered gem rhody is. It was great to be there in the 'day'....77, 80 and 83 defenses...you really missed it!

Best

John
s/v Invictus
__________________
John Drake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2006, 22:39   #20
Kai Nui
Guest

Posts: n/a
When it is tuned right, I get very little smoke. It is not enough to bother me. I discussed the charcoal idea a while back, and have been told it works great. I will try it soon. Need to dry out after all the rain. I picked my heater up at a nautical swap meet for $75. The flu was already in place from a home made stove that was installed when I bough the boat. It was made from a stainless fire extinguisher. Finally burned a hole through the back (rusted/burned).
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2006, 06:15   #21
cruiser

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Drake


The only drawback is the 3" hole in the roof for the flue. I really don't like that at all, but ...it is what it is.

I also wonder about the soot blowing back onto the dodger....is that an issue for anyone?

My best to all.

Sean...your posts always remind me of my time living in Rhody and the many days and nights spent in Newp. Hope you are enjoying...what a gorgeous and really underrated and undiscovered gem rhody is. It was great to be there in the 'day'....77, 80 and 83 defenses...you really missed it!

Best

John
s/v Invictus
Couple quick replies (I am shooting a lot of photos for a website update today, so I have to be quick):

Depending on the location of your stove and/or hatches, you might be able to get away with a temporary steup like I did. I took off a hatch in the salon and routed the stove pipe, deck iron, and "Charlie noble" up through it. This avoided cutting any hole at all in my deck, and allows me to easily take the unit apart for cleaning and to stow in the summer. I will stow all fo the chimney stuff, but leave the Little Cod where it is.

As for smoke on the dodger... I had the ultimate test for that this year. We face west, and the prevailing winds are westerly here. Our dodger has no noticeable smoke residue on it, nor does the mast which is only 3 feet away from the Charlie Noble. We ran all winter too.

If the stove is installed well, and you plug up a lot of holes in your boat, the stove will not back up into the interior. The key to a good installation (that doesn't back up into the cabin) is to make sure there is no other opening anywhere on the boat that will create a suction. As in... if you have wind blowing from bow to stern, you wouldn't want your companionway slats out. This would cause a negative pressure inside the vessel and draw smoke back down the chimney. You could, however, have say the V berth hatch open without any problem, since the wind would be forced down into the boat, creating a positive pressure. A positive pressure (or neutral pressure) is just fine with the wood stove.

I keep the place buttoned up tight and have no smoke in the cabin - ever.

Gotta go... time for the photos.
__________________
ssullivan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2006, 12:18   #22
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Boat: Hans Christian Christina (40') in March 09
Posts: 198
Cold Annapolis Winter

My dad lives on his 42' Morgan in the Marina just north of Annapolis. He keeps two ceramic electric heaters with an adjustable temp. thermostate going all the time. One in the Bow ( on the seat of the head) and one under the nav station facing into the galley. Between the two of them and the little air circulation fans and some window insulation I'll talk about in a moment, he keeps the boat and nice 72 degree regardless of the outside temp and without condensation.

He lost shore power in a storm a few weeks ago and turned on his propane heater (adjacent to the keel stepped mast) and stayed warm the rest of the night and following day.) He said the biggest issue in heating is not so much the volume of heat that you can get ( allthough there is a practical minimum) but the circulation of air the to keep everything heated evenly.

He salvaged a piece of 1" thick pink insulation from the Home Depot trash dumpster and cut it to fit hatch doors bellow the companion way overhead slide hatch. (It fits in the grooves where the regular panels would go.) Besides an occasional insulation squeak when moved, it limits condensation and air loss/ heat exchange through the ~1/2 in wood door tremendously. It gets put in place after everyone is in for the night or if he's heading up to the showers or will be gone for more than just a couple of minutes.

He filled all the overhead deck hatch space with the big clear 1" bubble wrap with several layers cut to width and folded over (you can get from any pack-and-mail kind of store) and then put the mosquitoe screens in place to hold in all there. He still gets a lot of sunlight during the day but zero condensation. He hasn't found a good solution for the small side hatches and estimates that he looses most of his heat through them at the moment but has reduced his heat loss by 50% from not having done anything. The best can do about the condensation if it gets bad is to turn the fans up and cook dinner. The additional heat from dinner allows the air to absrob the moisture and then the place is usually to hot and he opens the companionway hatch a few inches and vents it and everything is good again.
__________________
2divers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-04-2006, 17:23   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
I purchased an Espar diesel fired forced air unit for about $1500 and did the install myself. Pretty straight forward stuff. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to get one of these babies working and they will keep the boat warm and dry and do it pretty quickly.

We have heat to extend the season and it certainly makes some of the Early Spring and Fall evenings pretty toasty...

This is not a small expenditure, but the value it adds is enormous and we get so much more use from the boat... which lives now in NE waters.

Our system has 3 outlets one for the forward head, the main cabin and the aft cabin. It provides very even heat... and sitting on a warmed head in the morning is indeed a memorable experience!
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-04-2006, 12:29   #24
Registered User
 
Raven's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Lake Champlain, Vermont
Boat: Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34 - "Raven"
Posts: 213
Images: 6
Espar heater

1) What is the electrical draw for the Espar heater? (ignition? fans?)

2) How do those of you who winter aboard deal with the condensation issue?
__________________
Kevin Rose
Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34 - Raven
Burlington, Vermont
Raven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-04-2006, 14:11   #25
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
The Espar unit I have is Airtronic 4 rated at 4kw. It has different amounts of draw.. At start up it draws about 6 amps to heat up the glow plug and get out lots of hot air.. then it drops down and consumes about 1.5 - 2 amps once the conditioned space gets into the designed temp range. There is a thermostat to control the room temp.

There is little condensation on my boat as this unit seems to dry out the interior by circulating warm air. Espar is sold in the US by Ocean options... on the East Coast (don't like em) and there are West Coast dealers too. Go Google.
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-04-2006, 15:46   #26
Registered User
 
coot's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 367
Images: 2
I have an Espar D5LC. It is an 18,000 btu forced air heater. I don't recall the power draw, but it says 3.3 or 6.7 amps on www.espar.com

I find it suitable for a 42 foot sailboat in Baltimore, MD. It works fine except when the outside temperature goes below about 25 F, then it can only sustain about 65 F inside. It would work fine then too, if I had better insulation, a smaller boat, or a larger heater. As is, I'm happy with it.

The computer implements various safety features (e.g. shuts off fuel flow if the flame goes out), so I don't worry about leaving it unattended. (I wouldn't do that with a regular drip heater.)

The blower motor needs to be changed every 2000 hours or something like that. That means that along with diesel fuel, the blower motor is a principal consumable. If I use the heater all winter, I need a new blower every year. (There is usually time left on it, but not enough to last a second winter.) A new blower motor is something like US$700; I once estimated that it cost roughly US$0.20/hour to run this heater.

In spite of the inconvenience of the blower motor, I like that it works away from the dock.


I also have two Cruiseair reverse cycle air conditioners, 12000 + 16000 btu. These run on a single 30 amp 120 vac circuit. They work well until the water temperature drops to about 40 F. There is an automatic shutoff triggered by the freon pressure.

The water in Baltimore was very dirty this year. I got tired of cleaning the strainer during air conditioning season, so when it came time for heat, I didn't use the reverse cycle this year.


I also found that 4 of 1500 watt oil-filled space heaters can keep the boat very comfortable. Each needs its own 15 amp circuit, so I have two on each of my two 30 A shore power cables. It means turning off a heater when I run the microwave oven, but it isn't that inconvenient. The portable heaters are pretty big, so they get in the way a bit. They keep the boat very warm.

(I'll come back and write about condensation later.)
__________________
Mark S.
coot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 07:13   #27
Registered User

Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 30
We also use a 1500 Watt heater. Thirty Amp shore power. Wood heat is a pain in all respects. Away from shore we use a small diesel heater.
__________________
lilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 19:12   #28
Registered User

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rota, Spain
Boat: Sceptre 41
Posts: 59
Hi folks,
We have lived aboard now for about 15 years on the California coast and have tried a variety of ways to stay warm including a small bulkhead woodstove, a large wood and coal fired cookstove, electric heaters, flowerpots on the stove burners, and a diesel bulkhead heater.

Our current boat came with an Espar forced air heater installed, but it didn't work. The more I read about that heater, the less I cared about overhauling it. I tore it out and got rid of all the piping that was stealing storage space. We put in a Dickenson Newport bulkhead diesel heater with some nice Mexican tiles behind it. It burns around 1/8 gallon or less per hour. We always run it at the lowest possible level and it is really toasty. The chimney exits right next to the mast and I was concerned about heating up or smoking up my running rigging. It stays so cool that I could sit on the Charley Noble. It is totally simple and reliable. I think it cost about $600 for the heater and parts.

Now when we are dockside, we use electric heaters. Why not? We are paying for the electricity. But because electric heaters don't dry out the boat, we got a dehumidifier this year and my wife now says that she will never go anywhere without it because it keeps things so dry.
We keep the humidifier in the head and when taking a shower, the mirrors don't even fog! So the number one best system is electric when you have it.
Diesel is second and everything else way down on the list. That is of course only an opinion and your milage may vary. But, at least I have tried all these options before opining.

A little yarn for no extra charge: when my kids were small, we were living on an Owens Cutter (a very fast 40' wood boat) with a woodburning galley stove. We had no electric appliances. When the kids got home from school, one of them had to trim the wicks on the oil lamps and the other had to fill the wood bin next to the stove from a stock on the docks. In the morning, the first one up had to light the woodstove with trash and some "frying wood". They put a tea kettle on top of the stove and went back to bed. When the kettle sang, the whole family got up. The boat was all warm and there was hot water ready for washing up, coffee and whatever.
It makes a nice memory, but whenever one of those "lanyards and deadeyes" types tries to ridicule those of us with luxury cruisers, I just think, "been there, done that!" And I could do it again any time I want.
Regards,

Richard Black
S/V Saeta
Sceptre 41
__________________
Quijote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 20:16   #29
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Shiva has an Espar Aitronic 4 with 3 outlets and does a very good job keeping the boat warm and especially dry.

This is the second Espar... the first lasted too few years and cost too much to keep going so we were without heat... and Shiva was in the tropics in that period anyway.

The system heats the boat very quickly, uses very little diesel fuel and goes on a low fan level to save amps and is much quieter once the system reaches the design called for temp. It has a thermostat.

The blower is a bit noisy as all forced air systems are.. not unlike the heater in an auto. The fuel metering pump ticks like a heart beat and if you don't insulate it can be "annoying".

The install could be daunting... running ducts, cutting outlet grilles... running the exhaust hose... and fuel lines... not to mention the controls. Did the install myself and nothing was terribly complex... certainly easier than doing and autopilot or a refer.

We are happy with the Airtronic 4.. but it has been working perferctly since it was installed... no problems yet. If this performance continues.. I would give it an "A" rating.

Ocean Options are creeps. Buy it from any other place you can.

Jef
sv Shiva
Contest 36s
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2006, 03:35   #30
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,579
Images: 240
The prime causes of “noisy” forced-air systems are:
~ High air Velocity, caused by ducts (or grilles/diffusers) that are too small (for the air volume).
~ Air Turbulence caused by corrugated ducts & sharp bends.
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
water heater Ray Hunt Construction, Maintenance & Refit 8 23-01-2009 11:34



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:54.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.