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Old 07-08-2015, 12:41   #1
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Can I Use This Heater?

Thinking of living aboard in NYC over this winter. 1971 Bristol 30' Do you think this would be enough of a heater to make it comfortable for the winter. If not, any suggestions? Thanks for all replies.

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Old 07-08-2015, 13:31   #2
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

Given your choice, it seems that you will either be at a dock or on the hard, where shore power is available. In that case, almost any good quality fan forced heater should work fine. Or two smaller ones, one in the forepeak and one in the salon.

Just be sure that they cannot be easily tipped over and nothing near them can be set afire....
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Old 07-08-2015, 13:37   #3
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

Dyson anything tends to be expensive. Arguably unique, but expensive.


One of the oil-filled radiators, popular from a number of Italian companies, is a fairly good, safe, inexpensive way to get electric heat. No exposed heating element to start fires, commodity pricing. Will take a little longer to "fire up" and get started, but the heat is just as good as any other source. Should even be available secondhand in the thrift shops.
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Old 07-08-2015, 13:38   #4
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

That particular one doesn't look very stable. Size of heat load depends on how well your boat is insulated and how cold the water and air are.
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Old 07-08-2015, 13:54   #5
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

You don't want the fan heaters for the boat. You want oil filled electric on shore power. Insulation and shrink wrap help of course too.

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Old 07-08-2015, 14:38   #6
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

Yes, to answer your question...but NO !
First talk to someone who spent last winter there in the exact place. Are there other liveaboards in the winter? Did anyone clear the ice and snow for dock access? Did the water freeze? Did the electric supply get turned off at any time?
You may have to winterize your head and galley water. Is there a dock toilet and shower maintained all winter?
Prev. posters pointed out that the oil filled one are best to keep on all the time, I agree and you could supplement with fan forced flame less while you are watching for faster temp rise ( not when sleeping ). But that's only if your electric service is reliable, a couple of hours in the below zero NYC winter without heat and you can have damage.
Sorry if I'm sounding negative but I brought my boat up from FL and kept it in the water in nyc for the last winter and many times went to try to work inside only to see her frozen solid in ice and unreachable due to ice and snow on docks. Glad I had a place to live. I am bringing her down south at least to the carolinas this winter!
Living aboard can be done in NYC, Many do ....So just be prepared if you choose to do this. Good Luck !!!
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Old 07-08-2015, 14:45   #7
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

For winters on board you real are better with a proper heating system, deisel or wood. But both can be expensive and difficult to use for some people. I used to live aboard in Toronto, which is well north of NYC with only an electric oil filled heater. I was at times cold, I wouldn't do it again without wood or diesel, probably a refleks or Dickinson deisel.

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Old 07-08-2015, 14:58   #8
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

In the 1770's the Hudson and the lower harbor froze over solid. People walked and skated from Brooklyn to Staten Island.
In the 1980's people got spoiled and didn't even need bubblers in parts of LI Sound.


Just bear in mind, a winter in NYC can be a very different thing from year to year.
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Old 07-08-2015, 15:20   #9
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

Actually, come to think of it, I was always cold, from December to April I was cold, it was just a matter of how cold. January we had a week of -25 and gale force winds. I was really cold that week.

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Old 07-08-2015, 18:04   #10
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

Lived aboard over winter in Norfolk, VA with two electric forced air heaters. Never got warm all winter and that's in a much more moderate climate than NYC. Big problem was condensation keeping everything in the boat coated with a sheen of moisture as soon as the heaters went on. Would go with a Newport bulkhead diesel heater or a forced air heater if you want to have any chance of being warm and cut down on condensation.
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Old 07-08-2015, 18:21   #11
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

I don't understand the "docks inaccessible due to snow" comments. If you live on the boat, you shovel, just like anywhere else (with the advantage of pushing down). No different that a driveway or sidewalk. Slippery and risk of falling in? Yes, you need your wits about you, and Yak Trax or similar can help. It is docks with no live-aboards that are tough.

Definitely 2 sources of heat, one not dependent on shore power.

Pump-out of holding tank is a problem. You can't move if the water freezes, and the pump-out is closed. I'm sure most just "let it go" since there are no swimmers!

---

I don't have any trouble keeping the boat warm (propane + electric) or with condensation, BUT I have insulated, fixed drafts, and installed storm windows. I have a dehumidifier, but only use it in the summer when not there.

No question, though, this is an experience for a person that is comfortable with the outdoors and a few challenges.
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Old 07-08-2015, 18:40   #12
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
I don't understand the "docks inaccessible due to snow" comments. If you live on the boat, you shovel, just like anywhere else (with the advantage of pushing down). No different that a driveway or sidewalk. Slippery and risk of falling in? Yes, you need your wits about you, and Yak Trax or similar can help. It is docks with no live-aboards that are tough.

Definitely 2 sources of heat, one not dependent on shore power.

Pump-out of holding tank is a problem. You can't move if the water freezes, and the pump-out is closed. I'm sure most just "let it go" since there are no swimmers!

---

I don't have any trouble keeping the boat warm (propane + electric) or with condensation, BUT I have insulated, fixed drafts, and installed storm windows. I have a dehumidifier, but only use it in the summer when not there.

No question, though, this is an experience for a person that is comfortable with the outdoors and a few challenges.
To prevent falling off the dock I constructed proper railings, stairs and a door frame to enter the shrink wrapped deck. In addition to shoveling the snow.

Pumping out wasn't a problem either, the marina had a portable pump out they brought down to all the boats every two weeks.

My boat is insulated above the waterline with good thick cored decks, she's still a bugger to keep warm at -25 with the wind howling, I don't think propane and electric would cut it, I would definitely go for diesel or wood the next time.

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Old 07-08-2015, 19:32   #13
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

Zen,
We lived aboard much of last winter in Delaware. We have an espar D4 on a much larger boat, but I often closed off the v berth and act cabin. It worked to 0F.

The heater ran off the batteries and diesel. If I lost shore power I had some hours to get the gen running. If Iost the heater I had electric backup available.

One source of heat is not a good idea, you need a back up.

My 2.
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Old 07-08-2015, 20:06   #14
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
To prevent falling off the dock I constructed proper railings, stairs and a door frame to enter the shrink wrapped deck. In addition to shoveling the snow.

Pumping out wasn't a problem either, the marina had a portable pump out they brought down to all the boats every two weeks.

My boat is insulated above the waterline with good thick cored decks, she's still a bugger to keep warm at -25 with the wind howling, I don't think propane and electric would cut it, I would definitely go for diesel or wood the next time.

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Obviously the unit needs sized to the local. The water temperature is fixed, but I've never seen below zero on the Chesapeake, at least not while I was on the boat.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:52   #15
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Re: CAN I USE THIS HEATER?

Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
Given your choice, it seems that you will either be at a dock or on the hard, where shore power is available. In that case, almost any good quality fan forced heater should work fine. Or two smaller ones, one in the forepeak and one in the salon.

Just be sure that they cannot be easily tipped over and nothing near them can be set afire....
Looks like a high dollar outlay for a Dyson?
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