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Old 03-10-2016, 04:22   #16
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Re: Heating the boat

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
I'd pass on the wool. Spent my childhood frozen in wet wool clothing.

Technical clothing in layers will beat wool any day. Not to mention the itching with wool.

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I have found for real cold stuff its pretty hard to beat the technical wool base layers like Icebreaker gear for use on a boat. The synthetics get too smelly after a few days. Not a big problem if you can wash them regularly, but on a boat FW is often in short supply.

The wool stuff seems to go for weeks without getting horribly smelly. And the new good quality merino fine base layers are very pleasant to wear. And not at all scratchy like some of the older woolen stuff was.

I really like polerfleece and equavalent synthetic stuff for middle and top layers. It is much lighter and drys very quickly. Also polypro base layers are ideal as emergency gear, its very lightweight and its easy to wring out and dry at a pinch.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:15   #17
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Re: Heating the boat

I think the one most important item in keeping a boat warm and comfortable in winter is good insulation. Start with the interiors of lockers, especially hanging lockers and ensure all lockers are well ventilated. Then insulate the cabin top. This will help extend the time between refueling.

When burning propane for cooking you will release a lot of moisture into the boat so you don't want it sealed tight. Good ventilation and proper insulation are keys to healthy comfortable living.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:28   #18
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Re: Heating the boat

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post

When burning propane for cooking you will release a lot of moisture into the boat so you don't want it sealed tight. Good ventilation and proper insulation are keys to healthy comfortable living.
Actually you don't put that much moisture into the air from burning propane. The exact amount is one ounce per hour per thousand BTU.
You will release more than that just by breathing. But yes good ventilation is necessary for safe cooking.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:34   #19
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Re: Heating the boat

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Actually you don't put that much moisture into the air from burning propane. The exact amount is one ounce per hour per thousand BTU.
You will release more than that just by breathing. But yes good ventilation is necessary for safe cooking.
Good to know. However there is the moisture released from the food, boiling water, coffee etc. as well as from yourself and the propane.
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Old 03-10-2016, 08:30   #20
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Re: Heating the boat

Great Advice - Thanks! Back when I lived in Minnesota I had a great union suit that was lined with cotton. Could sit on the ice fishing for hours!


I know the stove will add moisture to the air, but the Dickinson heater is a direct vent - so combustion air is pulled from outside the boat. This shouldn't contribute to internal moisture, correct?
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Old 03-10-2016, 08:41   #21
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Re: Heating the boat

Propane heaters go thru propane pretty quickly. I've lived aboard in Seattle. The real problem is distributing heat thru the boat. If I were you I would supplement the propane heat with small electric heater(s), But don't put them on hi as it will burn up your power cord in one year.
Better yet would be a small Webasto diesel or kerosene forced air heater, but they aren't cheap. Don't store your propane tanks in lockers. Get a big one and put it on the pulpit.
Any heat you produce will rise to the top 2 feet in the cabin, cold feet, hot ears.
Also, put some Dri Dek or similar under your sleeping mattress... it will get soaking wet under there.
Another option: there are flameless catalytic propane heaters sold for RV's that work exceedingly well.
My best simple solution was a Japanese kerosene forced air heater that I bulkhead mounted. It had one outlet which I directed under the table and a small diameter chimney .. Kept me warm and toasty and used almost nothing in fuel. The smallest Webasto simple bulkhead mounted would be similar.
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:12   #22
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Re: Heating the boat

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Great Advice - Thanks! Back when I lived in Minnesota I had a great union suit that was lined with cotton. Could sit on the ice fishing for hours!


I know the stove will add moisture to the air, but the Dickinson heater is a direct vent - so combustion air is pulled from outside the boat. This shouldn't contribute to internal moisture, correct?
Correct, it vents all the moisture outside.

Can you get a marina space? Anywhere? I live in the same area and this time of year it gets so damp, having a dehumidifier really really helps - but you need AC power for that... you'd also be able to use a little space heater and save your propane.

I love sailing that time of year though, hardly anyone else around and the cold is manageable if you layer up. Better wind to than in the summer.
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:18   #23
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Re: Heating the boat

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My boat is moored in Seattle. It appears that come this December I will be unemployed. I'm planning to move on board sometime after that and start sailing around the sound for a few months. I know that Jan/Feb is not the most perfect for weather - but that's the hand I've been dealt.

My boat is a Tashiba-31 in pretty good shape. By January I will have done the bottom, upgraded the electronics and replaced the rigging. That should make her ready for almost anything.

I have a question about heat. My boat is using propane for the stove (force10) and the cabin heater (Dickinson). I have locker space for (2) five gallon tanks.

The heater runs at 7,500 BTUs. By calculation that means I can run the heater for 61 hours per tank. Obviously, I won't be running it at full power or all day, so that number should be between 60- & 120 hrs - at best 5 days for a tank. (assuming the stove is used only 3hrs/day)

I plan to be on the hook most of the time, and the prospect of fueling up every 7 days or so isn't encouraging.

Can anyone else who cruises in similar weather (rainy and temps from 40-50F) and with propane stove/heater tell me if my estimates are sound?

BTW - I grew up in Minnesota and actually feel comfortable in cool temps.
If you are cruising the sound, you will have access to propane. If you are comfy with cooler temps, then set the heater at a lower level and dress cozy. Even turn the entire thing off at night. Maybe you can get some extra burn time.

I taught english in Japan in Nagano, and our house had ZERO insulation and no heat. It got cold! We came back from skiing over the weekend once and our toilet-bowl water was frozen. We'd turn off the little portable kerosene heaters for fear of dying from carbon monoxide through the night. We bought some high quality down comforters and dressed warmly. But we loved our electric blankets! I didn't look at their consumption, but I'd guess they're an energy pig.

Either way, you'll get used to whatever situation you're in, and will damn well appreciate when spring and summer come back around Best of luck and stay warm!
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Old 03-10-2016, 15:16   #24
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Re: Heating the boat

All the high end "techinal gear " companies have been selling wool for years now. Patagonina, Smartwool, Icebreaker, Ibex. Most of it is of high quality construction and lasts for years. I have some Icebreaker stuff that is 17 years old.........

Simply you cant beat it in wet climates.

Ever spent 21 days in a tent with a guy wearing the same polypro?

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Old 03-10-2016, 15:42   #25
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Re: Heating the boat

I grew up on the Canadian west coast and worked towboats and commercial fish boats for many years. The staple for heating, cooking and staying warm was a diesel stove with a full hot hot plate on top. These went out of vogue except on working vessels for some reason but I have never experienced anything that came close to replacing them.
If you can find one that fits your boat... buy it! Phil
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Old 03-10-2016, 15:57   #26
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Re: Heating the boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
I have found for real cold stuff its pretty hard to beat the technical wool base layers like Icebreaker gear for use on a boat. The synthetics get too smelly after a few days. Not a big problem if you can wash them regularly, but on a boat FW is often in short supply.

The wool stuff seems to go for weeks without getting horribly smelly. And the new good quality merino fine base layers are very pleasant to wear. And not at all scratchy like some of the older woolen stuff was.

I really like polerfleece and equavalent synthetic stuff for middle and top layers. It is much lighter and drys very quickly. Also polypro base layers are ideal as emergency gear, its very lightweight and its easy to wring out and dry at a pinch.
I know there is a bit of thread drift here but, yes, wool is the only way.

Being totally unfrugal I only have icebreaker and swanndri.... no synthetic within three layers of my skin. Rotate them next to your skin and they can go for weeks... not that you would do that in port.....

Polyprop pongs...

Back towards the original question.... just live as close to ambient as you can...12*C works for me.... that will reduce your fuel bill.

Did I mention possum fur gloves?
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Old 03-10-2016, 16:07   #27
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Re: Heating the boat

That's the same temperatures as here. I spent a few winters here a mooring with no electrical power.

You run the heat in the morning -- turn it on before you get out of your bunk then snooze for an hour before getting up. Then run it again in the evening. In the meantime, stay warm by moving around. Once or twice a week spend a night in a marina hooked up to power and enjoy the luxury of electric heat which runs all the time.

It works ok.

As others have said -- diesel heat will be far more practical and economical.

A school bus heater hooked up to the main engine will give you the chance to heat up and dry out the boat whenever you're motoring.

And find a marina with cheap winter rates, where you can go when it's really cold and nasty.

Good luck.
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Old 03-10-2016, 16:51   #28
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Re: Heating the boat

Diesel forced air... Espar or Webasto.... dry... fast... no extra fuel to store. ... or explode.
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Old 03-10-2016, 17:07   #29
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Re: Heating the boat

on anchor--omy you gonna die. not--oil lamps do amazingly well on west coast in winter.
if your nose aint froze to pillow you awesome. minnesottta is freeze nose to pillow cold.
in a marina--lil sopac multi setting heater--works well.
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Old 03-10-2016, 17:17   #30
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Re: Heating the boat

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Actually you don't put that much moisture into the air from burning propane. The exact amount is one ounce per hour per thousand BTU.
Ah, but that oz per MBH adds up. A 9mbh (9000 BTU) heater is making about 8 oz of moisture per hour. Figure 0.8 gallons of water per gallon of propane of propane. From personal experience using a catalytic heater, it's a lot of moisture in an enclosed space in winter. Why I designed a vent system for it, which solve the moisture issue nicely.
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