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Old 09-02-2007, 13:19   #61
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The alcohol stove

SSullivan: I hate to say it, but I don't know what the make of the stove is off the top of my head and the only thing in my todo list about it is "Replace stove" (and, in my inventory, "spare burner 4 alcohol stove", yes, brand new and in the blister package, if I can find it in locker #6.) I'm fairly sure it is not a galley maid model, but it is a pressurized alcohol stove. I'll get the make/model this weekend for you.

The after burner is not in working order, and I'm not sure it's repairable. I remember taking it apart once, and getting quite frustrated trying to repair it. Decided to replace the stove rather than use the replacement burner.

I have a sea-swing-type stove which uses those little camping tanks of propane, as well as a magma grill. I plan to use that when it's too hot to fire up the diesel or too long to wait for it to heat. In my experience that's usually when I'm making an instant meal (boil water, pour in, wait 5 minutes... eat noodles) or blundering around of a morning looking for coffee.
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Old 09-02-2007, 13:36   #62
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To my mind, forced air diesel heaters are the way to go. But, there's no question that they are expensive. To purchase and install, that is.

For the past week, we've been having the coldest weather in over 10 years. It's been between 8 degrees and 18 degrees F at night, and days have averaged between 22 and 30. During this period I've been watching my Espar D5L diesel consumption closely. It has burned just about 1 gallon per day. I keep it's setting at 59 degs F which is a bit cool for liveaboards but not by much. The Espar has been very reliable since installation 3 years ago. It has 4 levels of heat, and adjusts as needed. I believe it's rated at 18,000BTU, and it has the power to heat my 42' sloop easily.

By comparison, I also have electric heat aboard in the form of a large diameter coil in each of two air conditioning units. These draw 2000 watts each. Usually, when it's not bitter cold, I just run one of these and it keeps the boat at 58F easily. It's clean, efficient, and doesn't burn fuel or require maintenance in any way. Heat is distributed through the a/c ducts.

Haven't compared the running costs yet, but I think the diesel and the electric costs are not widely different. Say, 30 gals for 30 days of the very coldest weather vs. 2,000 watts continuously for 30 days = 1,440 KWH.

But, whatever the cost, the diesel forced air heater can keep the boat warm on the very coldest nights, while the single 2000 watt electric heater can't quite do that.

BTW, I leave the door to the engine compartment open, and heat the entire boat belowdecks, not just the cabin area.

Bill
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Old 09-02-2007, 15:46   #63
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I use an airtight stainless box stove buring wood. Those stainless beer kegs make a good start to building an airtight woodstove. The pub owners pay a deposit of only$35 so give the pub owner his deposit and you are off to a good start.
Brent
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Old 10-02-2007, 18:51   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors
To my mind, forced air diesel heaters are the way to go. But, there's no question that they are expensive. To purchase and install, that is.
And operate, in my experience, because of repair costs. But they work safely both under way and unattended.

Quote:
For the past week, we've been having the coldest weather in over 10 years. It's been between 8 degrees and 18 degrees F at night, and days have averaged between 22 and 30. During this period I've been watching my Espar D5L diesel consumption closely. It has burned just about 1 gallon per day. I keep it's setting at 59 degs F which is a bit cool for liveaboards but not by much. The Espar has been very reliable since installation 3 years ago. It has 4 levels of heat, and adjusts as needed. I believe it's rated at 18,000BTU, and it has the power to heat my 42' sloop easily.
How many times have you replaced the blower motor in those 3 years of use? Ocean Options told me that the blower is only good for 2000 hours of operation. I eventually realized that I have to have it replaced at each yearly service or else expect it to go bad in the middle of January. I say "have it replaced" because they won't sell me a new blower unless they perform the service.

I have to be amazed by your tolerance of the cold. For me, 60 F is freezing my butt off so I try for about 70 F and wear warm clothes.
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Old 10-02-2007, 20:27   #65
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"How many times have you replaced the blower motor in those 3 years of use? Ocean Options told me that the blower is only good for 2000 hours of operation."

Mark,

I haven't replaced my blower motor at all. But, then, I don't run the Espar continuously, either. Fifteen years ago I had another Espar aboard and never had a problem with the motor.

The advice from Ocean Options is disconcerting, to say the least. Two thousand hours of operation represents less than 3 months constant use. I think that either they got it wrong or something else is amiss. I can't imagine that a German manufacturer of a top-quality product, with top-level prices to boot, would provide a blower motor which only lasts less than 3 months under continuous use. Something is wrong, here!

Bill
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Old 10-02-2007, 21:21   #66
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Many marine furnaces are not designed for liveaboard use. They are for weekend sailors. That's why I invested in a Hurricane hydronic system when we were full time liveaboards. That's one of the few systems even designed with marine use in mind. The rest are truck units. Not cheap up front to buy the Hurricane but you don't have to spend as much later.

Regarding Ocean Options. Tell them to pound sand and buy your blower motor from a vendor in the trucking industry. I'm not sure what type of heater you have but the ones I've seen are usually not hard to figure out how to work on.



Your best bet would be to procure a spare blower motor and just carry it in inventory. If it's not hard to get to why bother changing a part that's still working? We're not talking about a standing rigging component.
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Old 10-02-2007, 21:29   #67
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I just thought of something fun to do with Ocean Options. Get one of your buddies to call them and say he wants a heater. Ask if it's owner serviceable since the cruising plans are to take the boat to remote areas. Ask if they'll sell spare parts along with the unit.

How much you want to bet that Espar or whatever magaically becomes owner serviceable. I'd bet money that the truckers that use the unit change out their own blower motor if it goes out.
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Old 10-02-2007, 21:33   #68
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Ocean Options is not very strong on customer service. If you want to go with Espar... find another retailer.. or buy the
"kit" and do it yourself. The install instructions are very clear.
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Old 10-02-2007, 21:48   #69
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We had an Espar d3 diesel forced air furnace on our old boat, but it needed constant repair.
Our current boat has an Ardic, (also diesel forced air) and other than a fuel pump replacement it's been wonderful.

All the previous comments you've read about cozy, fast, dry heat apply in spades.

Steve B.
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Old 11-02-2007, 04:46   #70
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To add to the body of knowledge... a liveaboard on my dock right now had his diesel heater quit also. It is a forced air unit, (Espar, I think?). I saw him outside working on it yesterday. It's in his aft locker. There is a lot of ice around his boat. Looks like it's still not back up and running. I think he's waiting on a part.
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Old 15-02-2007, 21:15   #71
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I have a Formosa 51. The little electric heaters just dont cut it. I have a Kabola Hydronic heating system. It has radiators like you might find in a car heating system except larger. I have 3 for under floor heat and 3 for above floor heat. Not only does the heat keep the cabin warm it heats through all of the cabinets and drawers. I also run a Whirlpool dehumidifier to keep condensation down on bad days. I had 1 foot of snow standing on deck, temps in the teens and we were warm. Back it up with a couple of those small area electric heaters for the bathroom when showering. Great. If your going to do it do it right.
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Old 16-02-2007, 10:30   #72
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I second Island Planet's comments about the Hurricane ITR hydronic heater and Jack's comment about having warm cabinets and lockers whereever the hot water lines go. I'm on a 41' cat and have used the heater for the last 10 months, both for hot water and for heat as needed. (Surprisingly more than expected all summer in Maine!) I can't say enough good things about it. The only negative that I've found so far is a bit higher electrical consumption than I'd like. About 5-6 amps for the cirulation pump and a bit more for each of the 6 blower fans. They are thermostatically controlled however, so only run as needed on either hi or lo speed (manually selected). I was also able to install a vent/blower in the system to defrost my fwd windows on the bridgedeck! I actually couldn't run the system all night because it was too hard to cool things down enough to sleep even when it was 32F outside. But kick that thermostat switch on a half hour before you want to get out from under the covers and there was heat and hot water ready to go.
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Old 16-02-2007, 10:43   #73
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One thing I will say for the Espar Aitronic4 which I installed to replace the D3L.. is that its temperature controls are great. Once the desired room temp is acheived it goes into a power saver mode and the blower goes way down and it is very quiet and does maintain even heat.

I placed the thermostat in the small aft cabin where we want the heat most of the time. When we're awake inthe salon, heat is not as much an issue, but we can close the register in the aft cab and this supplies more warm air to the salon. We have one outlet in the head and this makes it pretty comfy on a cold morning as the register blows at the head and this stays nice and comfy. Wifey likes to sit on a warm poddy seat too!

The forced air system is a pretty rapid heat up. When I visit the boat in the dead of winter it can be brought to a comfy indoor temp in 15 inutes it seems... and the lockers where the ducts pass are also warmed up... though our ducts do not run through but one locker.

If the system doesn't have too many serivce calls..I would certainly recommend it and the install was not too complicated. I especially like that it runs on diesel from the main tank... so I don't need to have another fuel source. Going on yr 3 and so far so good. But I don't know that continuous duty for a live aboard would work with this high tech engineered electronically controlled forced air heating system.
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Old 16-02-2007, 17:20   #74
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While in Tonga I hear on Radio New Zealand that ceramic insulating beads used in supertherm insulating paint are available in Auckland for $15 per pound. Wish it were that available here in BC. I've heard good stories about the effectiveness of this product. It sounds like a good way to easily insulate your boat before winter socks in, and eliminate condensation.
Brent
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Old 26-02-2007, 21:34   #75
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As an Alaska liveaboard, we use three electric heaters at low setting. Total draw about 13 amps. We supplement with hydronic diesel-fired heater, needed below freeezing. Heater is Webasto DBW-2010. Once per year, I have the dealer service the heater. Usually costs about $250. Heater works flawlessly.

Recommend dehumdifer to reduce interior moisture. We use two units, one in aft and one up forward. At times, we pull 3 gallons per day out of the boat. Also recommend insulation. We took interior of boat apart and insulated with high quality foam. I also installed about 25 60mm computer fans in enclosed spaces to provide air flow. We are condensation free.

Diesel-fired heater installations need to be properly engineered. The reason people have so many problems is because they buy the wrong heater for the job, do not install it properly, and never service it. There relatively few heaters made for liveaboard applications. Over the years, I have used forced-air and hydronic diesel heaters from four manufacturers and only recommend the Webasto DBW series and the Proheat heaters. I have used Hurricane and Wallas and can not recommend them for liveaboard. There are people up here with bigger boats that use monitor type heaters with good performance but they are limited to #1 heating fuel.
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