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Old 23-01-2010, 06:54   #16
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Toni,

Not sure where you are; but, there are a couple of us liveaboards over on H dock (Alden 50, Endeavour 42, HC 43, B First 42, custom 36 and the of course the token power type people). If you get the chance come over.....

Curt & Kathy on Five & Dime
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Old 23-01-2010, 11:35   #17
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Toni,

Not sure where you are; but, there are a couple of us liveaboards over on H dock (Alden 50, Endeavour 42, HC 43, B First 42, custom 36 and the of course the token power type people). If you get the chance come over.....

Curt & Kathy on Five & Dime
Thanks very much; I will PM you!
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Old 23-01-2010, 14:44   #18
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Could I ask, are your boats insulated at all? Do you have a liner, or carpet, or bare hull for walls and ceiling?

Being so dry makes me think you are doing it right. We originally were just heating air from inside the cabin. It would suck up moisture, and soon as it hit the skin of the boat or deck (uninsulated) it would cool and condensate. I learned then you have to bring in cold dry air and warm it up, it will absorb the moisture, then it has to vent out to remove it permanently. Sounds like you have it going on!
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Old 24-01-2010, 06:48   #19
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Could I ask, are your boats insulated at all? Do you have a liner, or carpet, or bare hull for walls and ceiling?

Being so dry makes me think you are doing it right. We originally were just heating air from inside the cabin. It would suck up moisture, and soon as it hit the skin of the boat or deck (uninsulated) it would cool and condensate. I learned then you have to bring in cold dry air and warm it up, it will absorb the moisture, then it has to vent out to remove it permanently. Sounds like you have it going on!
I can only speak for our boat. We have no insulation. We do have large area rugs on the floors, except for the port hull, since we don't really "live" over there. We do plan to have rugs made for that side, but right now, it is not a priority.

Our diesel heater is vented so that it pulls air from the outside. When we had an issue with it right before Christmas, a rep from the company where we purchased it came out and got it running again. He was impressed with Steve's (hubby) installation, and told us that when they (the company) install them, they do not configure them to pull air from outside. We can only assume this is because it is easier for them to install it so that it pulls air from the inside.

It only became an issue when we had all the snow, and some got sucked into the vent.
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Old 24-01-2010, 07:34   #20
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We left the Inner Harbor Marina on Oct. 30th and headed South. Don't need no stinkin' heater here in Oyster Pond, Sint Maarten!
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Old 24-01-2010, 09:22   #21
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SG5,

Thanks for that last post. I live in Philadelphia but have a boat in Newfoundland. At first the boat had a Cozy Cabin type kero heater which works well if you are just working on the boat. But I had a cold wet summer and could not get dry. I had a Airtronics D4 installed after hearing good things about them. The installer did a miserable job in some respects and I had to spend the best part of a day putting things right. My heater is mounted in my Port cockpit locker and thus pulls in "outside" air. Happy accident.

One thing about Airtronics is that they do not seem to offer a convenient "off shore" spares package. I have thought that if I were to take a trip North I would buy a whole spare heater (just the "black box") as it might be sanest to just replace the whole thing rater than trouble shoot upside down in a cockpit locker. Even that would be uncomfortable at best.

While not a boat my Dad had a small hunting cabin, a 20x12 trailer really, in North Central PA. It was totally electric. Mom would cook up a storm and the place would be just soaked with condensation. Mom and Dad are gone now but we go there periodically. About every 3rd time there the power is out, the fuse on the pole to our transformer is blown even though the cabin disconnect is thrown. I picked up a Dickenson Adriatic stove on ebay a few years ago and finally got around to installing it in the cabin. We have only used it once so far but it gave us over 40F of temperature rise over outside on the lowest setting. On the lowest setting it does not use the fan and thus uses NO electricity. Gravity feed. Virtually nothing to break. And, I cooked a great heaping meal on it. I put in a battery and solar panel to trickle charge it just the same. It's a little fussy to start but sure seems to do the job. I fear it might be difficult to start if the temp is very low when we arrive, but I have not tried that yet.

We have just made deposit on a second boat, this one at White Rocks Marine down the bay from you. It lacks a heater. I will be installing another Airtronics or Webasto but I'm not sure which or if we will include hot water (hydronic) in the mix. Your notes about sucking outside air are appreciated. Thanks.

There is something to be said about having independent and overlapping systems. I think I will also try to find room for a Dickenson diesel cabin heater, the one with the hot plate on top to back up the stove and heater.

We will probably move the boat between the Chesapeake (summer) and Philadelphia (winter) over the next two years. While I don't see being full time live aboards we may want to give it an experimental go for a few weeks, just to see how we feel before committing. Kinda like "playing house" only "playing boat." Hummmm, I wonder if I can get Wife to play "Doctor?"
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Old 24-01-2010, 10:18   #22
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This is very interesting real life info,thanks for sharing. I live in northern minnesota where it gets very cold and while im not living on my boat i often think of it but not here. I own a triplex and i installed a natural gas Rinnai space heater in each apartment when i bought the place 10yrs ago when i rehabed it and every winter i am continually impressed by these heaters (i live in the building) and often wonder if they would work in a boat,probably not in a mono due to mounting issues but in a cat or trawler. They are available in propane,direct vent through the wall,the combustion air is drawn from outside around the exhaust so it is warmed as it enters,the exhaust is only 1.25" so the whole fitting is not large and is SS.My unit is onlt 21000 btu and heats an 800ft apartment very evenly in our misserable climate even though it is not ducted at all,it is installed under a bay window in the dining room,the reason for the even heat is that as it draws air from outside it is not creating drafts,and this would be especially true on a boat which is far from airtight.If your heater draws air from inside it is in effect trying to draw from anywhere air can come into the boat causing drafts.Winters here are actually very dry so i actually keep a bowl of water in front of the heater to raise the humidity which greatly enhances comfort.There are smaller versions available that would be more suitable on a boat maybe. Also Monitor make similar units that are very popular in Alaska which run on kerosene so they may also run on diesel.Just food for thought.
Steve.
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Old 24-01-2010, 10:37   #23
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I wote this on the Searunner Forum. Thought I might throw it in here.

The number one thing (you probably already know this) is warm air absorbs moisture, and cold air cannot. This is why clouds condense as the air rises and cools. It is why the wettest side of a mtn. range is on the windward side. The warm moisture laden air comes in warm and low and is forced up the side of the mtn, and cools and squeezes all the rain out, and the leeward side of the mtn. or Island is dry.
I will tell you a short story about something very similar to your boat. (I know I lived aboard 25 years ago on a 37' in the winter with a wife and 2 year old)
On my boat in Alaska (123' Steel boat) we have two "shelterdecks" They are rooms that are about 40' Long and 8' wide or so. Made of steel. They were added to the boat on the port and Stbd. side to increase ultimate stability. The idea is if the boat heels over to where the Shelter deck is in the water, the added buoyancy will act like a big buoy fender, and hold the boat up.. They are water tight if the door stays closed. They were also air tight until I got involved.
The crew "customized" the rooms to be the hang out place out of the weather. They are in there soaking wet with their rain gear on all the time. The installed a couple heaters also. The floor is bare plywood. With the heater cranked up, the place became warm enough, but was soaking wet all the time, walls wet, floor never got dry etc. It was like a sauna.....I knew what was wrong. All they were doing was warming up the air inside, which would come in contact with the cold floor and wall and ceiling, and the warm wet air would condense as it cooled, So all the cold surfaces were wet. Any frame or anything that was in contact with the outside cold air, was like a heat sink, and would be cold in this room.... Lots of wet.
The crew thought I was nutz. I took a 4" PVC pipe and marine tex'd (epoxy) in place to the outside and piped to to the back of the heater. I covered the back of the heater with foil so the only air it could suck was from outside.
I put an exhaust pipe at the other end of the room. I swear within 24 hours this place was bone dry. All the rain gear they hung up was dry, their boot got dry, sweatshirts....on and on. The floor was dry enough after while they could paint it.
All well and good. But as I get new crew (or one stubborn Portuguese guy) or if it gets real cold and dry out. They will remove the pipe and open the heater up. Sure enough I can spot it right off when the floor is wet.
If I was heating a Searunner. I would pipe some air in from outside. Should be easy to do, from an underwing. And move it through the heat source. You do not need an exhaust as that boat has plenty of ventilation I bet. If you are bringing in cold dry air, you arfe creating a postive pressure inside the boat, and the warm wet air will escape.....
But the concept. The rule is. Cold air is dry. You need to warm up dry air and move through the boat and it will absorb water as it finds its way out.
If all you are doing is warming up the same air that is inside the boat, it will not excape, and only become stale without movement, and condense on your cold spots.
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