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Old 21-10-2008, 23:19   #1
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Still unsure on the best choice for heat...

I have been looking online for the most convenient and effective type of heater for my 30' Newport. I've looked at several types and was wondering if anyone had any experience with something like this onboard: Gas Space Wall Heater: 18K BTU NG/LP Vanguard UltraSlim.

I was originally looking for a more traditional propane or diesel heater with a thru deck escape, but I have herd from several people that they can be quite a hassle. Either because they can blow out easily or because of the risk of a slow leak and the lack of any sensors or alarms in such case. Ultimately I would prefer an electric heat source because I have free, constant shore power and because I don't do much sailing in the winter. I found this awesome heater system "Craft Heater 301" which has multiple outlets that can be diverted to different parts of the boat.(pretty sweet huh?) But then found out that it runs off the engines cooling system :-(
If anyone has any advice at all, it would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 22-10-2008, 09:18   #2
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Why not buy a $30 ceramic heater from Wally World?
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Old 22-10-2008, 09:28   #3
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I can vouch for the ceramic heaters. I lived on a 32 westsail and a small ceramic heater was more than capable of keeping it nice and toasty even on days below freezing.

Jason
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Old 22-10-2008, 09:35   #4
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Seeing you've got shore power go with the little ceramic heaters. They work fine.
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Old 22-10-2008, 10:42   #5
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I have a small space heater at the time, but it's not capable of keeping both the main cabin and the V-berth warm. I am kinda tired of having to drag that thing into bed every night, and then out to the cabin every morning. And its quite large (big radial dish shape, with a foot light) does any one have a specific brand or type of ceramic heater u might suggest? Or maybe the proper wattage for a 30 footer. I know I'm asking a lot, but I'm 20 years old, and trying to juggle full time work and college. So the little money I have must be as wisely spent as possible.

Thanks again to every one, your responses are greatly appreciated.
Amigo
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Old 22-10-2008, 12:08   #6
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Then the ceramic heater is ideal. It has a fan, and can be directed from one end to the other. I use 2 in my 46ft. cat, and it gets down in the 30's at times.
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Old 22-10-2008, 13:41   #7
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I use wood...bio bricks...steamed and compressed white wood sawdust....40 cents a piece.Two of them burn for 10-12 hrs....1.60 a day.That is the upside

The downside is thefabricating and installation .As it is complex . I had the stove made out of 3/8 plate 10 inches by 10 inches by 14 inches long with a 3 inch collar for the pipe.

Installation of the stove properly with correct distances from walls and lots of fireboard makes this quite impractical for a lot of vessels.A lot I would imagine some just don't have the space.
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Old 22-10-2008, 13:50   #8
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just get a little space heater. I used one for 3 winters aboard in Seattle on a 44 ft boat. Simple , clean and easy. You may burn up a 30 amp shore power cord end receptacle over a full winter and have to replace the end fitting though. Make sure the connection 'prongs" in your boat shore power fitting are clean and not corroded to avoid heat buildup at the fitting.The little flat plastic heaters like West Marine sells tend to be quiet. or any just make sure you get a quiet one. Not too many watts due to the shore power cord issue. Maybe 1200 watts max. run on the lower setting when possible.
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Old 22-10-2008, 13:56   #9
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My 2 are 1500watts, and I put them in the middle when I get home from work. They are actually turning off, and on through the night. I haven't had a problem with my cables yet. Although they are on 2 seperate power sources at 30 amps each.

When I used one on my mono. I put it on a timer, so it would turn on just before I got home......i2f
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Old 22-10-2008, 14:09   #10
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timers a good idea. I found finding the sweet spot where the heater would keep it warm enough and yet not turn off and on constantly was tough. Prbably amatter of heater quality I suppose.
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Old 22-10-2008, 14:40   #11
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We use a ceramic heater ($19 - Lowes) in our 38' Ingrid. Works just fine.
We also have a Dickinson Newport propane heater which works quite well with little or no hassle. But for what you are saying you do, go with the little ceramic heaters. Two of them for $40 - $50 total and no problem.
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Old 22-10-2008, 19:37   #12
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Ditto the Ceramics...we had one going 24/7 on the hard last winter it kept the chill off the whole boat..not shirt sleeve, but you know sweater or light jacket..our model rotated so it moved the air really well..shot if its free powere get 2 or 3 dont bother moving them...really small maybe 10"tall 7" wide 4" deep...bought at Lowes

very close to this ( same brand but ours osculates..and had thermostat setting and remote control ) I think it was 69.00

All the protection features..tip over..overheat ..etc

Quartz Tower Heater with LED Thermostat

FWIW non venting propane would be very wet so dont go there...I am having the same off grid heating dilemma myself on which way to go...aint it great..
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Old 23-10-2008, 01:18   #13
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The unit you are using now sounds like a radiant heater which is not what you need in a boat. You need one that heats and moves a lot of air.

I like the heavy ceramic heaters made by Pelonis. They are much more costly than the cheapo "ceramic" bought at department stores - and are worth it. Ace Hardware carries Pelonis. The 1500W cubes have heating elements made up of several discs. The 1100W triangular unit has 3 of the disc elements. These are very safe units as the elements and grill do not get hot enough to ignite anything. They move a lot of air and will last for years.

A second choice is the Caframo unit sold by West Marine with their store name on it. It's about the size of a telephone book lying flat. Has selectable power usage and temperature. Can usually be found on sale.

If you have a 30amp feed then you want to be able to use one heater up to 1500W and a second that uses less, perhaps 900-1100W. That will keep you under the load limits.

Btw, don't overlook an electric throw blanket. Those less-than-full-size blankets can warm you nicely while using little power. And at the least, I have used a heating pad in my berth to pre warm it, and on really cold nights with the pad down by my feet. Makes a big difference.

If you don't like the idea of the electric pads you could get two big cats.
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Old 30-10-2008, 13:35   #14
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All Hydro Carbon fuels (diesel, coal, wood,charcoal,plastic rubbish) produce water vapour.

If your heater/stove is flued to the outside there won't be any condensation from the fuel. You will get condensation on cold surfaces(windows) from the heat differential.

With any Hydro Carbon burning appliance, be very careful about Carbon Monoxide, which can kill you. Open flued heaters that draw the air for combustion from within the cabin are the biggest risk. If the flame doesn't get enough air, then CO will occur.

With CO after getting a "thick head" the next part of your body to be affected is your legs. You can't get out even if you realise you are being poisoned.

Not sorry to be melodramatic, but I'm a heating engineer and CO and open flued appliances scare the **** out of me.
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Old 30-10-2008, 19:47   #15
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Ive got a little propane heater that i use. I know that its not the safest thing in the world, but ive been useing it 2 years and im still kicking. Ive got a vented door for use when its being used and i also leave one of the hatches cracked about an inch.

Ive got a fan mounted on the bulkhead above it and it helps alot. It will keep the boat 70* inside when its 35* outside.

Dont mind the hole in the bulkhead, im working on that.
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