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Old 08-08-2015, 11:45   #16
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

Thanks guys, all good advice. I don't want to install a wood burning stove, though I love the smell. So will look into diesel and oil filled.
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:58   #17
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

I have heard Espars are more reliable than wabasto.

I would Anot Look at a Dickinson or other "pot burner" type. I have one in a cabin, it works ok there. It must be difficult on a boat.

Wallis comes to mind but I have no direct experience.
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Old 08-08-2015, 14:45   #18
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

Arguably the pot burners are the best solution: they require no electricity if gravity fed, and can put out a lot of heat; and drawing from the main tanks they can operate for weeks between refills. Forced air and hydronic systems also can provide a lot of heat, are thermostatically controlled, also use diesel, but need a modest amount of electricity which could be replaced with the engine or generator, or possibly even solar panels.

With the usual 30A circuit it is possible to run two electric heaters, which will do the job in places like Portland, OR, but I doubt will be adequate for NYC during a typical winter. What often happens is that as the temperature drops sailors close up the boat to keep the heat inside, thus trapping moisture leading to condensation, discomfort, and rot. It is essential to have enough heat to keep the temperature up with a significant rate of ventilation. If you are getting winter snow storms then two electric heaters won't do it - you need another source. Ventilated propane is another option, but will require hauling around the tanks to refill frequently.

I spent the winter aboard in Gothenberg, Sweden, and the combination of electric heat and the bulkhead pot burner just kept up when the boat was frozen in ice (the thick blanket of snow was a useful insulator). When relying on just electric or diesel it was not enough.

Thumbs up for the oil-filled radiator - quiet and effective.

Greg
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Old 08-08-2015, 15:12   #19
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

I've spent a long time on the water and in some very cold places. For comfort you can't beat some kind of vented combustion heater like diesel. Because you are constantly drawing air in for combustion and out thru the stack, the boat stays dry. Otherwise all your cooking, breathing, showering moisture builds up inside the boat covering the inside surfaces and settling in your clothes and could ruin wood paneling. Some zippers and buttons will rust.
Keep some rock salt for the dock and decks. Make sure your engine is protected from freezing.
The worst winter I ever spent was in a boat with a propane stove for heat. Half way thru winter I bought a diesel stove.
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Old 09-08-2015, 00:23   #20
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

I had my (larger) sailboat in NYC harbor (Liberty Landing/ Jersey City) for 10 yrs and lived aboard for the last 5 yrs. It was a wonderful experience. Yes it snowed, yes the docks were icy sometimes, yes the water froze 5" thick two years... but it was a great experience and I'd do it again.

Here's what I learned...
- Get an electric mattress pad!
Pad is better than electric blanket
Once a bed is 50 degrees it will
suck all your heat out of you for an
hour or more! Just turn it on high
30 minutes before turning in and
climb into a warm & toasty bed.
Once in bed... I'd turn mine off.
But I did sleep with socks on.

- Cut a carpet to fit your floor and put a non- wicking rubberized mat under it... what a difference! You'll
have to cut out accesses for anything you might need to under the floor ( bilge pump, through- hulls,...).

- Get bubble wrap or foam packing sheets and line any area of the outside hull you can (behind bookshelves, galley storage,...)

- If there is just one of you figure a way to close off your V-birth on coldest days and sleep on setee. You lose 50% of you heat in the v-birth.

- You MUST have an alternative emergency heat in case power goes off for extended duration. My larger boat had both a generator and I eventually installed a diesel heater (because I liked Winter sailing/ anchoring out and needed good heat w/o having shore power... and didn't want to run a noisy generator all night. I'm down in the Chesapeake Bay area now and now have a 30' sailboat w/o generator. I still enjoy stretching the sailing season on both ends and use a 10,000 btu kerosene heater with heats it up very nicely w/ V-birth closed off. I believe it would take 15,000 btu to heat the whole boat.

- Every 120v electric heater (ceramic, heater/fan, oil fill radiator)... if the label says 1200-1500 watts... puts out abt 5,000 btu. While the oil filled radiator heaters have a reputation of better safety, my experience was I liked the fan/heaters much better. With the oil radiator heaters (unless you also run a separate circulating fan... ALL the heat from passive oil filled radiator type heaters drifts slowly straight up to the ceiling and I'm still cold sitting right next to it. Heaters with fan can be oriented toward you and whether you just came in and chilled to the bone or also on the boat and getting a chill... You can get in front of the heater/ fan and within 10-20 seconds... you!re feeling the warmth. Since every heater style draws about 10a at 120v... and you will need three at times (or be cold inside)... you'll be pulling 30a from a 30a shore cord/ 30a breaker in the power pedestal.
That's it... you are maxed out. Before you can run the microwave, hair dryer, turn-on the hot water tank... (which each also pulls 10a) you will have to turn off one of the heaters during their operation time.

- Wear long sleeve T shits under whatever else you might be wearing including... laying around sweats or business suit. And I always wore either a sweat shirt or sweater during the clod months.

- Long underwear bottoms make a really big difference too for daily dress, but I didn't need/ want them in bed.

- Having a microwave to easily warm up coffee, tea, soup, piping hot meals is a great help too.

- Wear a good hat or 'Navy' watch cap AND SCARF on colder Winter days/ night to/ from the boat... once chilled to the bone... it's hard to warm up again when on the boat.

- Dress in layers... it almost worse to get too warm, because that will cause you to perspire and that will cause you to be really cold.

- ALWAYS CARRY AN EMERGENCY WHISTLE AROUND YOUR NECK. If you fall in getting on/ off it may be the only thing that can get you attention in a sparsely populated Winter marina. Remember everybody's boat is closed up with heaters/ fans, TVs. They will never hear you w/o the whistle. Keep it around your neck where you can easily/ quickly get to it. No other location be as easy to carry/ effortless to remember. Falling in the water on a windy dark Winter night is a life & death situation.

- Carry & use a flashlight any time you are outside on deck/ dock... even if you dock has (some) lighting. It's not enough to see black ice, lines. cleats and other things to trip and fall.

- Wear appropriate shoes! Don't even think about wearing leather sole 'dress' shoes (ladies - no heels/ pumps). Take shorter/ more deliberate steps. In the Winter the winds are heavier, you are tensed up because your cold, you think you want to get to/ from the boat fast... but don't. Also it is very likely going to be dark on the morning when you leave and in the evening when you return. When it get cold- really cold any step you take could be on a icy patch.

- Try to plan all your provisioning on the weekend when there is daylight/ ok weather.




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Old 09-08-2015, 14:35   #21
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

What about this Dickinson Marine, Newport Propane (LPG) Boat Heater/Fireplace, P12000 ?
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:27   #22
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
Arguably the pot burners are the best solution: they require no electricity if gravity fed, and can put out a lot of heat; and drawing from the main tanks they can operate for weeks between refills. Forced air and hydronic systems also can provide a lot of heat, are thermostatically controlled, also use diesel, but need a modest amount of electricity which could be replaced with the engine or generator, or possibly even solar panels.

With the usual 30A circuit it is possible to run two electric heaters, which will do the job in places like Portland, OR, but I doubt will be adequate for NYC during a typical winter. What often happens is that as the temperature drops sailors close up the boat to keep the heat inside, thus trapping moisture leading to condensation, discomfort, and rot. It is essential to have enough heat to keep the temperature up with a significant rate of ventilation. If you are getting winter snow storms then two electric heaters won't do it - you need another source. Ventilated propane is another option, but will require hauling around the tanks to refill frequently.

I spent the winter aboard in Gothenberg, Sweden, and the combination of electric heat and the bulkhead pot burner just kept up when the boat was frozen in ice (the thick blanket of snow was a useful insulator). When relying on just electric or diesel it was not enough.

Thumbs up for the oil-filled radiator - quiet and effective.

Greg
You'd be doing very well to run two electric heaters on a 30 amp circuit. If you run a bubbler, which you should, you will only be able to run a single electric heater. My fridge compressor coming online will trip a 30 amp breaker if I have two heaters on. The plus being, my fridge puts out almost as much heat as a 1500 watt heater on low.

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Old 10-08-2015, 13:03   #23
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

With a 30A 120V circuit you have 3600W available (absolute maximum); heaters typically draw 1500W so it is quite possible to run 2 at a time providing other loads are minimal. I built, and improved, Carina such that she is very power efficient and mostly operates on 12VDC. The 12V fridge/freezer uses a keel cooler so is not a problem. However, even the smallest microwave will require one of the heaters to be turned off, or at least down to low. Sitting in the marina, watching TV and working on the computer, with the battery charger running and a few other low-profile loads it is possible to trip the breaker if not paying attention. The laser printer has a high enough intermittent load to prevent both heaters running on high.

In short it is quite possible to run 2 heaters most of the time, providing an efficient use of other power and temporarily shutting 1 down when certain loads occur (microwave, printer, etc). It is not possible to leave them on high and ignore the effect of other loads - that will lead to breakers tripping. As long as the loads are actively managed and the boat has efficient systems then it is possible. Just another reason to focus on energy efficiency.

Greg
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Old 10-08-2015, 17:45   #24
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
With a 30A 120V circuit you have 3600W available (absolute maximum); heaters typically draw 1500W so it is quite possible to run 2 at a time providing other loads are minimal. I built, and improved, Carina such that she is very power efficient and mostly operates on 12VDC. The 12V fridge/freezer uses a keel cooler so is not a problem. However, even the smallest microwave will require one of the heaters to be turned off, or at least down to low. Sitting in the marina, watching TV and working on the computer, with the battery charger running and a few other low-profile loads it is possible to trip the breaker if not paying attention. The laser printer has a high enough intermittent load to prevent both heaters running on high.

In short it is quite possible to run 2 heaters most of the time, providing an efficient use of other power and temporarily shutting 1 down when certain loads occur (microwave, printer, etc). It is not possible to leave them on high and ignore the effect of other loads - that will lead to breakers tripping. As long as the loads are actively managed and the boat has efficient systems then it is possible. Just another reason to focus on energy efficiency.

Greg
It can be done- I've done it. But I was friggin cold. Really friggin cold. Snotcicles on my moustache cold, inside the "heated" boat. Just because it can be done, doesn't make me recommend it.

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Old 10-08-2015, 20:56   #25
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

I was only responding as to whether 2 heaters can run on 30A. As I said earlier, to live aboard through a Northeastern winter really requires additional heat, preferably diesel of some sort or possibly propane - and certainly ventilated. Trying to do it only with electricity isn't enough, so either you will be cold because of the ventilation (or just conduction) or you will be miserable from the moisture trapped inside, or very likely both. Two electric heaters suffice in Portland, but this is not a cold place.

Greg
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Old 11-08-2015, 14:50   #26
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

I liked the post where the author mentioned btu. This has been an invaluable tool in calculating heat requirements for my boat. Currently with 20 amp service I am running a 1200 watt forced air heater.

DURAFLAME | TWINSTAR INTERNATIONAL

This is my summer heater for the NW coast. I like it because it has a remote control, which I keep in the galley. When I want to use my hotplate, microwave, toaster, or electric kettle I just shut it off / turn it on from across the salon. Real 2015 living kind of stuff.

I have an oil model for winter heat in the foc'sle that I run on half power and I run the electric 1200 watt as well. But for heating in the winter I need an additional heat source, approx. 20k more btu. I purchased a forced air diesel model intended for heating houses for this purpose.

I looked at Espar and Webasto, and found both to be troublesome, with the admonition on the respective websites that the heaters are not intended for liveaboard use. Working for a company that uses these in their boats, I have found that about half don't work. These are 40 ish foot boats with about 4 heaters per boat.

* The reason for this is the use of #2 diesel. #1 should be used, and to this intent I am fueling my stbd tank with #1 before the heating season begins.

Hydronic heating seems to be a nice solution, however I wonder if that cost could be cut down DIY. Also where to stick the things. I imagine in a sailboat your only choice is that verticle mount Dickinson model @ 15k btu ? Or that propane Force 10 model @ 10k btu ?

HERRING - Diesel / Biodiesel
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Old 11-08-2015, 16:57   #27
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

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Originally Posted by robert644 View Post
I liked the post where the author mentioned btu. This has been an invaluable tool in calculating heat requirements for my boat. Currently with 20 amp service I am running a 1200 watt forced air heater.

DURAFLAME | TWINSTAR INTERNATIONAL

This is my summer heater for the NW coast. I like it because it has a remote control, which I keep in the galley. When I want to use my hotplate, microwave, toaster, or electric kettle I just shut it off / turn it on from across the salon. Real 2015 living kind of stuff.

I have an oil model for winter heat in the foc'sle that I run on half power and I run the electric 1200 watt as well. But for heating in the winter I need an additional heat source, approx. 20k more btu. I purchased a forced air diesel model intended for heating houses for this purpose.

I looked at Espar and Webasto, and found both to be troublesome, with the admonition on the respective websites that the heaters are not intended for liveaboard use. Working for a company that uses these in their boats, I have found that about half don't work. These are 40 ish foot boats with about 4 heaters per boat.

* The reason for this is the use of #2 diesel. #1 should be used, and to this intent I am fueling my stbd tank with #1 before the heating season begins.

Hydronic heating seems to be a nice solution, however I wonder if that cost could be cut down DIY. Also where to stick the things. I imagine in a sailboat your only choice is that verticle mount Dickinson model @ 15k btu ? Or that propane Force 10 model @ 10k btu ?

HERRING - Diesel / Biodiesel
I'm not sure how your boats laid out, but a Dickinson Lofoten would fit nicely in my stove cut out. However, that would mean no more propane range.

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Old 11-08-2015, 19:21   #28
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

Great advice and will heed it all! Thank you.
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Old 12-08-2015, 14:30   #29
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

Quote:
a Dickinson Lofoten would fit nicely in my stove cut out
I consider the Lofoten a floor heater, as well as all those other Dickinson models like it. The galley stoves are the ones with the ovens.

I considered installing the Bristol or some other model in my boat, however I have a big disadvantage with my 'L' shaped galley in that heat get trapped there. The bulkhead near the mast in a sailboat is a good central heating location, I would think.

I would sacrifice heat in the galley for heat in the salon area. I mean, I've got the refrigerator in there already trying to keep my food cool so heating it up again doesn't make much sense.

There is a stove top insert available that is a forced air diesel heater. And looking at the website it seems they have several other interesting heating products available. The Safeflame 800T Mini Cooker bears further investigation. However again, anything in my galley will heat the galley and not so much me.

I think I would look in to Hydronoic and that space under the cockpit. It seems when you are filling a boat up to it's capacity, such as 8 people on a 40' boat, there isn't so much a care about all the creature comforts. But when it's just a few people on the same size boat it's different I realize.

But, as you said everyone has a different boat and a different situation. Perhaps posters to this forum could have a profile and put pictures of their boats so we know where they are coming from. And a map so we know where they are at.
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Old 12-08-2015, 14:39   #30
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Re: Can I Use This Heater?

My friend kept a small "Stirling cycle" fan on top of the cabin heater. This is akin to having an externally fired steam engine powering the fan, any heat source under it will start a gas flowing in a closed system, which then turns the fan.


So, if the heater is turned on, the fan soon powers up and circulates the heat, no extra power needed.
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