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Old 02-04-2013, 06:20   #16
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Re: Propane or Diesel Heater

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
You may want to read this earlier thread on various diesel heater issues. I have lived aboard in New England through various winters, and electric heat is the way to go if you are at a dock.
Agreed if you only need heat at the dock. In Maine we cruise from May 1 to December 1. Our heater works when at anchor.

Another limiting factor to electric heat is the reliability of the power source. If you live in a metropolitan area it should be no problem but how do you heat if you loose power?
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:24   #17
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Re: Propane or Diesel Heater

I lived aboard in Norfolk for a winter with electric heaters. Condensation was a BIG problem. The boat had a liner and every surface would be covered with a film of moisture after a short time of going aboard. Condensation was so bad that the mattress in my berth mildewed and bedding always felt damp. Once the outside temperature climbed above 40 degrees or so, it wasn't much of a problem. I wouldn't want to live aboard in a cold climate without an outside vented heater.

Espar, etc. hot air heaters give the best heat distribution but they like their electrons. Know a 40' boat that 45' boat that races year around in Puget Sound. They put aboard a Honda generator to feed the heater's thirst for amps on overnight races. If you are going to be away from a dock and/or don't want to have to run a generator, the wall mounted heaters are the only way to go. Also, the ducting takes up space and can be a problem to run it to where you want it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 14:50   #18
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Re: Propane or Diesel Heater

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Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
Agreed if you only need heat at the dock. In Maine we cruise from May 1 to December 1. Our heater works when at anchor.

Another limiting factor to electric heat is the reliability of the power source. If you live in a metropolitan area it should be no problem but how do you heat if you loose power?
Our friends are living aboard in Quincy Mass. this winter. They are primarliy using an electric, oil filled heater they borrowed from us. During the blizzard we had this year they lost power for almost 24 hours. For most of that time they used their alcohol stove to heat their boat. Not a good option. We brought them a propane heater I use in the garage once the driving ban was lifted (actual went out a couple of hours before it was but they needed heat).

We are planning to move aboard as soon as our house sells. I will be installing a diesel heater. Besides the benifit of using it early and late season, i don't want to be left without heat.
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