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Old 22-11-2014, 18:06   #16
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

I've burned mineral spirits/paint thinner in Kerosene stoves forever. Works fine, cheaper than Kerosene and available anywhere there's paint. It used to be cheap buying in bulk 5 gallon cans but doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Hard to find in 5 gallon tins and 1 gallons are quite expensive, damned latex paint. If you are looking at occasional use, a paraffin heater would work fine. Wouldn't want to pay for the fuel if you are talking live aboard heating in the winter.

Diesel pot heaters are quite efficient, diesel is relatively cheap and will work at sea up to a point. Dickensen offers some kind of a mod to operate at sailing angles of heal but don't know what that consists of and how much heal it will work with.

Non vented heaters are worthless when temps get much below 50 degrees. Without a vent, anything that produces moisture will result in condensation. Unfortunately, have developed a fondness for breathing. Lived aboard one winter and the boat had a constant sheen of condensed water everywhere even pooling in low spots with electric heaters. Same would probably go for a catalytic heater though haven't used one below 45 degrees. Worked okay down to that temp but the idea of a non vented combustion heater always made me nervous though had no problems.
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Old 22-11-2014, 18:12   #17
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

Well, that's interesting. Paint thinner is not the same as kero, that's for sure.

And I've never used it in a kero stove, so I'm not arguing with you on that.

I DO use it in place of alchohol to preheat the burners. It works fine for that.

But you can't substitute kero for alchohol to preheat the burner. That I have tried, inadvertently. Nasty yellow flame.

What kind of kero stove are you using? Primus burner?

A winter live aboard down the dock runs an Espar on kero all winter. Cleaner and less maintenance he says.
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Old 22-11-2014, 18:13   #18
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

in a standing type heater I'd go Paraffin; (I think most the world calls Kerosene Paraffin) easier lighting, and cleaner. However it is a bit harder to find in some places than diesel. A small heater like that will burn little though. It has also been my experience that diesel forced air heaters burn cleaner, and much more trouble free on kerosene.
It maybe depends on where you are, kerosene readily available in northern climes here in the US in winter. many hardware stores have 5 gal cans.
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Old 22-11-2014, 18:20   #19
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

Paint thinner in a Kerosene Stove?
Before I could afford a sailboat, or really anything for that matter, I did a flaming devil sticks street act. I experimented with different fuel sources. One of those was Kerosene another was mineral spirits. Very different burn qualities (admitted, my experiment was not very scientific in nature, but was fairly practical).
Cooking with paint thinner doesn't really seem like something that I would want to do. Aren't there fumes?
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Old 22-11-2014, 18:44   #20
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

WE lived aboard and cruised for three years with a Primus burner Kerosene stove. No issues burning paint thinner. It burned as clean as kerosene, didn't clog up the burners, and put out equal or better heat than kerosene. Use it in the kerosene stove in the current boat as well. Big advantage was cost. Still usually cheaper than kerosene but way way more expensive than diesel.

Do not use any form of diesel in a Primus burner that's not designed to use diesel. Gunked up and ruined a number of burners trying to burn #1 diesel in them.

Mineral sprits does not work in mantle and and trawler lamps. Mineral spirits has a lower vaporizes at a lower temp than lamp oil and causes really ugly flare ups when the lamp is turned up enough to produce decent light.
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Old 22-11-2014, 23:12   #21
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
As far as I know, no electric heater deplete oxygen. As long as they are not burning anything, electric heaters do not consume oxygen. High temperatures alone won't do that.

I think electric heat is great as long as your wiring is good, and the heater is installed in such a way as it can't catch anything on fire. Only problem is you have to have shore power. But if you do have shore power, I think it's the ideal heat source for a boat.
I managed to run an electric heater from a wind generator in windy (20+ knots) conditions.

Quote:
If you want ultimate safety, then after electrical heat, I think diesel fired central heating is probably next.
The ultimate for safety, lowest cost, as well as availability of fuel everywhere has always been wood.
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Old 23-11-2014, 06:16   #22
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
Paint thinner in a Kerosene Stove?
Before I could afford a sailboat, or really anything for that matter, I did a flaming devil sticks street act. I experimented with different fuel sources. One of those was Kerosene another was mineral spirits. Very different burn qualities (admitted, my experiment was not very scientific in nature, but was fairly practical).
Cooking with paint thinner doesn't really seem like something that I would want to do. Aren't there fumes?
What Roverhi and I are discussing are Primus burners. The burner is arranged so that the fuel is heated by the burner and squeezed through a small office onto the hot underside of a some. The hot fuel vaporizes and mixes with air producing a hot flame reminiscent of a propane flame. Very efficient, none of the lazy yellow flame you are thinking of.

To get the burner going you put some alcohol or mineral spirits in a built in pan under the burner. Alternatively you can use a propane torch.

The stoves are not vented and put moisture into the air. The heaters are vented through a 1" SS chimney. It's just standard 1" steel tube, like on a Bimini.

Roverhi, in my area I can get kero at a gas station for a bit more than diesel. For me much cheaper than spirits. But I'll keep the spirits in mind.
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Old 24-11-2014, 08:04   #23
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

Over the years I've tried a few different ways to keep warm. I had a diesel pot type heater which once it got going was great but you had to keep it near full blast or would put out a lot of soot. and there was always a little bit of soot at start up,and put out odor when you shut it down. Real pain to keep the boat clean. I had a Primus type kerosene heater with a 1 to 2 gallon tank that had a bicycle type pump on top and you had to pump it up every couple hours, could not put out a lot of heat, seemed like most of it went up the chimney but it burned clean. I have a propane catalytic heater which is fine for Florida it does not put out carbon monoxide it does burn oxygen but you just have to make sure you have ventilation for that. But I would not want ti use it as a full time heater in colder climates. There's a YouTube video where someone took a wick type blue flame kerosene heater and modified it so that it went inside of wood stove. if I was going to live someplace cold I would try and do that. I have enough solar to run a refrigerator and when its cold I have extra electricity and I use that to run a heating pad, its amazing how much difference it makes having one under a comforter, and I was pleasantly surprised how little electricity it used. And if you're at a dock with electricity, quartz heaters are the way to go. They heat up objects which is a much more comfortable. feels like the Sun. just make sure they're not somewhere that they can catch something on fire. The ceramic forced air heaters just heat the air which is very uncomfortable heat my opinion. The original post is pretty old I'm wondering what choice you made and how do you like it
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Old 24-11-2014, 09:37   #24
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

One of the best little heaters I had was a Japanese made Toyoset forced air kerosene. Essentially like a free standing Espar/Webasto etc. Cheaper though. They were somewhat problematic for some people, but once I had the rep out to adjust things when new it worked like a charm... it burned almost no kerosene and I only had a 1 gal tank. Super quiet fan. only 1.25" diameter stack.
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Old 26-11-2014, 17:11   #25
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

I have a Taylors paraffin heater installer in 1976 and still working, paraffin is the same as kerosene which is aviation fuel they use in jet engines, you can get it in the UK in I gallon containers but is a little expensive, however if you search out a supplier for domestic heating oil they can usually supply it in 5 gallon jugs at a much better price (much less VAT in the UK).
I have read in the boating press this month that there is a new burner for the Taylor stove that is much more efficient and self pricking, as far as I'm aware the stove burner is the same part as the burner for the heater so it may be worth upgrading.
I also reckon the esbatcher heater would be good as it uses diesel and if you find a truck engineer to install it it could save.
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Old 26-11-2014, 17:23   #26
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

New burner, had to look it up.

Paraffin burner HANSE N1 by HANSE at Toplicht

I bought a couple of burners through St Brendan's Isle a couple of years ago. They were of a new type, heavier than the old. Instructions suggested lighting with a propane torch and they provided a wick to make the alchohol burn better for preheat. I Mohave one of each on a cooker and can't tell the difference. The wick made the alchohol burn longer but cooler, county productive. I pitched and am happy once again.

Taylor bulkhead burner 2.1kW
Espar D-4 4kW
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Old 13-08-2016, 22:00   #27
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

This is an old thread but it's dealing with a subject I'm researching. I am looking at extreme low latitude cruising so I'm interested in economical and effective heating solutions.

Has anyone had experience with this model I found on a site in Denmark?

Diesel heaters WALLAS DT by WALLAS at Toplicht

It's a Wallace diesel heater.

Any suggestions on this subject most welcome. Thanks.
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Old 14-08-2016, 02:48   #28
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Walkabout View Post
I am looking at extreme low latitude cruising so I'm interested in economical and effective heating solutions.
I sail in low latitudes all the time and don't use any heater.
(Preferably nothing higher than about 23)

I presume that you really meant high latitudes?
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Old 14-08-2016, 12:47   #29
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

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I sail in low latitudes all the time and don't use any heater.
(Preferably nothing higher than about 23)

I presume that you really meant high latitudes?
Hi StuM. I'm talking about Antarctica and parts of Patagonia. I have since yesterday done a lot of research on reverse cycle ac units that at the end of the day will be better than running the risks associated with individual heaters.

I watched yesterday a YouTube vidblog by Drake Paragon. It spent a lot of time talking with a Dane and his two boys. The Danish father couldn't remember the name of his favourite sailor who he had read many of his books. It was embarking watching him seriously struggle to remember this sailor/authors name. Which he couldn't. My initial thought was perhaps this was a sign of early dementia caused by early onset alzheimers or another degenerative brain disease. He was a middle aged sailor.

At the end of the video it showed his two sons sitting around a parafin/kerosene un vented, no flu, large heater. His vessel was 32'feet and even the afternoon cockpit was fully enclosed with zippered covering/walls.

I realized then that this poor soul was most likely indeed suffering from brain damage caused by his non fluted, no chimney, heater. As I'm writing this, and I feel ashamed I haven't already done so, I'm going to message Drake Paragon in the hope he can talk to this sailor from Denmark.

I digress. Sorry.
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Old 20-08-2016, 05:42   #30
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Re: Paraffin or Diesel Heater?

Be careful when considering reverse Ac systems. Heat pumps work by moving warm to cold and back. At a certain water temp they can't produce enough to work.


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