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Old 09-01-2007, 11:08   #46
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Don't know if anyone's looked at the Trucking industry for heaters... like here The air heating system
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:22   #47
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Your link is to the same company which does the marinized "Espar" units... same units in fact.

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Old 09-01-2007, 15:20   #48
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OK, thanks... just trying to help
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Old 09-01-2007, 17:42   #49
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I use a 120V portable heater on my 33 NewPort during the winter in Portland Oregon. This is great keeping the boat above 60 most of the time. If the temp drops below 30 it gets really chilly on board but still keeps the dampness down. I keep the heater at a low setting when I'm gone and this does a great job of keeping the inside of the boat dry.

This is a great solution for day-sasiling in colder/wetter climates. After a wet day of sailing it is nice to dry out the boat and weather gear">foul weather gear with a heater instead of leaving it wet. Cost is nill, maybe 15 bucks a month on the power bill? Even if I had a Espar I would use this solution as it is cheap and bomber reliable.
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Old 09-01-2007, 18:03   #50
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You only pay $15 a month to run an electric heater??? That is the best deal on power I've ever heard of. We use ours when the weather is too warm to warrant cutting and splitting wood (assuming we're at a dock) and we have seen bills of $200 per month.

One important safety point about the electric heaters. They are credited as being the #1 cause of fires aboard boats at docks. Last year, several boats in the next harbor over from us burned to the waterline as a result of one. It is safest to purchase 2 units and use each of them on the lower power setting than it is to crank a single unit up to full blast. Also, separate the 2 units to different AC circuits if possible.

They aren't bad to get you by. As it drops well below freezing, they start to lose some of their appeal. They just don't warm the boat through and through at those temps. Tonight is one of those nights for us. We just turned off the electric that was on today and fired up the woodstove. Ahhh... pretty relaxing.
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Old 09-01-2007, 18:20   #51
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Heater

I've lived aboard in BC for most of the last 35 years with a wood stove. I found out early that any heater has to be airtight, and thus controlable to be worth putting on a boat. My first woodstove a cast iron "Gypsy" was a disaster. The firebox was tiny and not airtight . A load of wood would last only about 20 minutes . With an airtight stove damped well down I get up to 12 hours without adding any wood.
I've considered having a second heater. I could load it up , douse it with diesel and leave it. When I came home and the boat was cold , or if it went out overnight I could simply light it and leave the wood chopping till things warmed up a bit.
I switched to stainless stoves in the early 80's . No more rust falling off in sheets. They last forever on beach wood.
A stainless beer keg makes a good start on a stove bulding project and they are cheap , just pay the bar owner his deposit.
Make sure your stove pipe is watertight and thus creosote proof. Otherwise it dribbles down the outside and is extremely smelly. Fit the upper ones inside the lower ones to keep the creosote in . The other way around it dribbles out.
An outside air intake , letting one completely seal the stove from the inside of the cabin, makes downdrafts a non issue.
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Old 09-01-2007, 19:12   #52
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Quote:
One important safety point about the electric heaters. They are credited as being the #1 cause of fires aboard boats at docks. Last year, several boats in the next harbor over from us burned to the waterline as a result of one.
The reason these are so bad is 99% due to the cheap wiring inside them. The fires are not caused by heat but from the excessive duty cycle imposed on the wires. The number one offender are the ones that look like radiators filled with oil. They don't really get hot but the really poor wiring eventually gives out and starts a fire. 55% of all boat fires are electrically ignited.

We had three marina fires last year in this part of the world. The worst took 26 boats. In talking with most of the dockmasters I know the feeling is the insurance companies may put an end to it by refusing coverage. Of note is in the two where only one boat was involved. They cut the dock lines and cast the boat adrift. They both burned till they sunk and the owners were left to recover the wreck. That is standard procedure in any marina.
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:11   #53
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According to BoatUS, AC appliances & heaters are the cause of about 4% of boat fires.

”Why Boats Catch Fire”: ~ BoatUS Seaworthy Magazine
BoatUS.com Seaworthy magazine

then:

#1 Cause: AC and DC wiring & appliances
Seaworthy Magazine: Why Boats Catch Fire - AC and DC Wiring

and:

”12 tips to prevent a marina meltdown” ~ BoatUS Magazine
12 tips to prevent a marina meltdown Boat/US Magazine - Find Articles
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Old 10-01-2007, 13:31   #54
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We are stuck living aboard in Baltimore this winter due to circumstances beyond our control but we are dealing with the heat question real time.

We have a reverse cycle unit that has been keeping the boat warm until now but cannot keep up when it drops below 30 at night.


We looked at using space heaters but ruled them out for us as we would need 3 or 4 for the boat and don't have a way to run that much electric into the boat.

We are finalizing the installation of a Webasto forced air system, it's in but we were utilizing some old ducting etc from a previous install which had been presenting some problems [hopefully solved today as the weather is getting cold unfortunately].

Anyway during the few days we ran the Webasto which is now on again there is no question a full boat forced air system will keep the boat warm and comfy.

An order of magnitude better than the reverse cycle unit.
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Old 10-01-2007, 14:49   #55
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No quesiton about that, Jon. You can't winter over with any less than the proper BTU output for your boat. Most small ceramic electrics can't put out enough to keep the boat warm once it gets below freezing. How many BTU is the Webasto? Our wood stove does 26,000... or was it 29,000. It's a similar number to my displacement, so easily mixed up. Yes... 29,000 BTU.
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Old 08-02-2007, 23:35   #56
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Reviving this thread

For a question now that we're most of the way through northern winter:

We've hemmed and hawed for two winters, and the only time the boat leaves the dock is when I'm alone for an overnighter in my toasty winter sleeping bag. Not the most fun, but yah gotta go sailing sometimes.

The problem is the cost of two things: a heater system, and a stove. The boat has an alcohol stove, and clearly must go. And there's no heater whatsoever.

I'd love to add a heater, preferably a solid fuel, but there's no down-to-the-sole bulkhead available, in fact no bulkhead even down to settee level. And I honestly don't want to carry wood or charcoal aboard, ashes out. (Been there, done that, and still prefer that to most everything else.)

I also would love a propane stove, instant-on and all, but I'm really uncomfortable about having propane aboard. Not only is it a danger in and of itself, but the install is additional costs, and uses scarce stowage on a very small boat (25', 6000 lb.)

I've used kerosene, an original primus, but that would add kero in addition to the alcohol and diesel I already carry on board. And I'm tired of priming stoves.

Cost-wise, combining the heater and stove, ála the Dickinson Bristol, seems to be the best choice for the local climate. It will require modification of the furniture to install it, and probably an additional diesel fuel tank as the "main tank" is a mere 12 gals. Even so the cost is well below that of the propane stove plus a heater (solid fuel, diesel, or propane.) There are serious drawbacks to the diesel stove, like needing to start it 30 minutes before cooking on it, and having lots of heat produced whenever it's in use - summer or winter.

Now, the long round-about return to my questions: Do you think the drawbacks outweigh the benefit of ease of installation (there actually is a place where it will fit, unlike all bulkhead heaters)? The addition of the stove with oven and heater would be substantial upgrades for a boat in the PNW; could I expect them to add to the value of the boat (presuming a neat installation, of course)
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Old 09-02-2007, 00:20   #57
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Here is a calculator for BTU required to heat a boat, about half way down the page. The multiplier is given in west coast regions, you'll have to figure out what your equivalent is.

Espar Sizing 2


As an aside:
There is a propane heater, the manufacturer gives the BTU output and the fuel consumption. By my calculations, the BTU output was impossible for the fuel consumed. I called a dealer and they said that since this heater had a fan, the manufacturer had a conversion factor to equate it to a passive radiator like their other heaters!

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Old 09-02-2007, 04:19   #58
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The link you posted to the Bristol indicates this is a small stove / small oven and not a heater. You really can't use a stove / oven as a heater. but of course it gives some heat. It does look like a nice unit. We have Sigmar diesel heater that runs off the main fuel tank. They work very well and can heat the boat so you can't stand it in any weather. They do require a chimney and have a cap when you are not using it. It mounts on legs and uses a fuel pump or a gravity fed tank. Dickinson makes one too. Dickinson is a well respected manufacturer and you could expect it to last a very long time.

The stove looks like a great product and if it fits it seems like a great way to go. These types of stoves do work well. You prime them with about 1 oz of denatured alcohol and let that burn until just about out (a few minutes). Then you turn on the fuel, it starts up and burns quite hot. You can adjust the damper to suit conditions. The low pressure fuel pump eliminates a gravity tank. So it does take a bit of fussing with to get it preheated and ready to use. Not instant on and that would be the one trick you have to master and watch all crew not familiar with it.
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Old 09-02-2007, 05:57   #59
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Amgine, might I suggest dropping more money? I know you don't want to hear it, but if wood is out, propane is out, then you are left with diesel.

The stove you are looking at will cause you to go mad when you are starving and really need to eat. Why dont you get at Webasto or Espar heater (or a Dickinson floor standing oil furnace) to heat the boat, and also a new ceramic diesel cooktop or cooktop and stove?

Wallas Diesel Ovens and Hobs

They also can be used as a light-duty heater for balmy summers up where you guys are.

Seriously, cooking when it's warm out with the other diesel cookstove will make you very uncomfortable. I know from experience trying to cook on the woodstove when it's 50 degrees and up outside. You have to turn the stove way up to get the food to cook. You definitely need a dedicated stove that is separate from your heating system.

Question: What kind of alcohol stove is that you are scrapping? I am searching for extra GalleyMaid burners. Galley Maid by chance? If not, is it a pressurized alcohol stove? I'd like to get my hands on the burners and valves if it is.

The only other source I can find for them is the Smithsonian Museum.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:32   #60
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Sean just found this thread again.

We installed a Webasto Airtop 5000. Nominal output is variable between 5,100 and 17,000 Btu however it also has a boost mode which puts out 18,700 for a limited period [30 minutes].

FWIW it has been doing a stella job of keeping us warm especially in this last cold snap. I am sold on forced air heaters
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