Originally Posted by Macblaze
I did ask. He said something along the lines of why would you use an expensive, delicate piece of equipment
when you could just use electric
heaters. And yes, since it was warm and spring and I wanted to go sailing, I left it at that :-)
His statement is mostly why I am enquiring. What I took as fact and general best practice then now seems a bit specious...I just couldnt find anything to contradict him.
What he told you makes sense. As others have told you, you can run the Webasto 24/7, but every hour of use puts you closer to the time when you need to service
it ($$$) and replace expensive parts
like glow pins, flame sensors, etc. ($$$). On top of that, diesel fuel
is very expensive compared to electrical
power, especially if it is unmetered and included in your berthing cost.
fan heaters are zero maintenance
and cost peanuts. One down side for you, however, is that using electric heat with 110v shore power
produces quite high amperages, which can be somewhat dangerous if your shore power
connectors and other electrical gear
are not in top condition. Here in Europe
, we use 230v which is half the amperage for the same power, so better suited for a heavy use like electric heat. If you have 240v power available where you are, you might consider using that, instead of a wimpy 30 amp 110v single
I live a fair part of the year on board, rarely South of 50N, so in a fairly high latitude. I have no electrical power on my mooring
, so I use my Eberspacher hydronic system (similar to your system) quite a bit. But in the depth
of winter I usually spend two or three months in a marina with an electrical connection, and one of the several reasons for doing that is so that I can run heat all the time without racking up hours on the Eberspacher.
Note well one peculiar thing about these:
They soot up and require service
much, much faster if run at a low heat setting. When running full blast, the temperature of combustion tends to keep them clean -- they like that.
For that reason, I don't really like leaving mine on all the time except in very cold weather
, because it will end up idling a lot, which is bad for it. So in the fall and spring, I tend to put on sweaters during the day and crank up the Eberspacher only in the evening, letting it run full blast and heat up the boat, then shut it down again when I go to bed
As someone else said -- they will not soot up if run on kerosene, and it is said (I haven't tried it) that running them for a couple of hours on kerosene will clean them out.
Could be worth installing a small kerosene tank for this purpose.
As to dampness -- if you heat up the air by 20 or 30 degrees, you will reduce the humidity automatically. Also the warm air will tend to escape through your dorades and produce some air circulation, which is also good. You should not be having problems with damp in really cold weather
, unless it is due to condensation
. If you read the archives
on here, you will find different techniques for fighting with that. Obviously a well insulated hull is extremely desirable for living aboard
in cold weather.