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Old 05-10-2015, 19:43   #1
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Heater Options For The Winter.

hey guys, I'm in the midst of a boat refit. she'll be out of the water all winter up here in maine and I'll be doing interior work of various varieties all though the winter. I'm looking for a heater for the boat though the winter. I won't be living aboard but I will be aboard working most days. I don't need the boat to be toasty warm but I would like to get the boat into the 50's. any suggestions? my initial thought was to get one of those electric oil filled fin type heaters. thanks in advance guys.
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Old 05-10-2015, 21:03   #2
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

also, just so we're clear, this won't be left on all the time. it will only be on when I'm on the boat
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Old 06-10-2015, 05:32   #3
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

I lived aboard full time in Toronto, and used nothing but oil filled electric heaters for a while. They do the trick, they are slow to heat up for the type of work you're talking about, but should do the trick. I hesitate to recommend an open flame type heater because you will likely be shrink wrapping?

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Old 06-10-2015, 07:52   #4
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

yes I'll be shrink wrapping so I'm very wary of any sort of open flame heater
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:14   #5
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

I like the oil filled because it can't set fire to things, it doesn't get hot enough.
I think any space heater that glows red from intense heat, is unsafe

Ones i have have a setting that keeps the room above freezing, I've left them un-attended for years, but they are the only type of space heater I will do that with
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:17   #6
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

It really depends on the weather.

If it's windy, cold and overcast you will have trouble heating the boat.

Sunny, calm, not too cold and a little electric space heater can make it comfortable.

The big problems with winter work are caulking, painting, varnishing and glueing, which all have temperature and time constraints.

Cheers,
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:48   #7
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

I worked all last winter year on a 30 ft boat. Most days I got by with one small electric forced air heater. On really cold days (<10 degrees F) I used a portable propane heater called Heater Buddy to bring the temp up and then kept it up with the electric heaters. most nights one electric heater was enough...on a couple of occasions I turned on a second one.
Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Radiant Heater - Walmart.com
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:57   #8
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

Make that another vote for oil filled electric heaters. I had not encountered them before and there were two aboard when I first moved on. I bought forced air heaters because I was familiar with them. After getting annoyed with the constant noise of the fan I decided to try the oil filled and much to my surprise the heat produced was gentler and more pervasive and my dock electric bill was reduced by about $20!

They take about 10-15 minutes to heat up properly though, so plug them in and have a coffee while it warms up.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:21   #9
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

I haven't needed a heater on my boat in the tropics but when I lived on land in a much colder climate I found an oil filled electric heater great.
Buy a model with a timer and thermostat. You can set it to operate just before you arrive to work or if you have humidity or drying out needs it will safely operate when you are not there.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:42   #10
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

Keep in mind that working in a enclosed area where you have your propane heater that you will need plenty of fresh air ventilation.Otherwise you may die from carbon monoxide or lack of breathing air.
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:13   #11
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker37 View Post
Keep in mind that working in a enclosed area where you have your propane heater that you will need plenty of fresh air ventilation.Otherwise you may die from carbon monoxide or lack of breathing air.
I had plenty of cross ventilation but this type of heater is approved for use inside. Granted, the cabin of a 30 ft sailboat isn't large but with three vents in the companionway hatchboards and the 3 dorade vents, I felt pretty safe for the relatively short period I needed it to bring the temp up to a point the electric heaters could keep up. I also have a functioning CO detector onboard too.
I second the vote for the oil filled as a good solution. I just happened to have two of the electric forced hot air heaters left over from an office move. I use the oil filled at home to take the chill out of our enclosed patio during the fall and early spring.

WHY CAN THE BUDDY HEATERS BE USED INDOORS SAFELY?
6/25/2014 12:05 PM
There are a couple of required safety features needed for ventfree heaters to be used indoors safely. A BURNER that is 99.9% efficient at burning all the gas is consumes so that very little CO or carbon monoxide is emitted. The heater also requires a ODS or Oxygen Depletion System that will shut off the heater if the Oxygen level drops to a still safe 18%. Because these heaters are portable, they also require a TIP SWITCH so if it they are knocked over the gas flow stops shutting off the flame and gas. Last there is a FLAME SENSOR safety shut-off system that will shut off all gas flow if the flame goes out.
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:23   #12
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

I wouldnt trust any propane heater bought at walmart thats made in china with my life in a enclosed boat or room.China made products have been known to fail at anytime.
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:28   #13
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

We use the Portable Mica Panel Heaters. Two for a 43' ketch. They look much the same as the oil filled heaters but they heat up very quickly. We use the lowest settings on them but our boat is well insulated. If you can afford the electricity leave them on low when you're not aboard. Each burns about ten amps at 110vac. We do not care for the noise associated with any heater with a fan.
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:35   #14
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

Shrink-wrap will make it surprisingly warm inside on sunny days. Some places use clear shrink for even better solar heating, but that's harder to find.

For off-and-on day use, I'd recommend a heater with a fan. It'll warm up more quickly.

Condensation can be a big problem. Once the hull, bulkheads and machinery get cold, every breath you take on board will condense somewhere. The heater fan may help a little, but you run the risk of causing rust on everything from cans of WD-40 to the main engine. You'll find drips coming from overhead hatches and others running down the inside of the hull.

There will be weeks at a time when it's just not practical to work on board. There's a reason why so little gets done on boats stored outdoors during a Maine winter.
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Old 06-10-2015, 15:19   #15
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Re: Heater Options For The Winter.

If you cover your windows and ports with double sided tape and shrink plastic , you can heat your boat with any heat source, including a candle. That will also eliminate sweating.
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