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Old 19-12-2018, 13:20   #31
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

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I tend to cruise in colder areas (Lake Superior and now Newfoundland). At the dock, and when we’re living on the hard, we use a 1000w electric heater. Off the dock we use an Origo alcohol heater. We spend most of our time off the dock.

This is not the best heater. It throws off a lot of heat, but the fuel is bulky, and it involves an open flame which needs to be treated carefully while underway. There is also CO considerations to be very aware of. But as far as heat goes, this has always been more than adequate for our rather northern cruising.

Of course, being a tough Canadian I suspect I am more comfortable living with cold than most global cruisers.



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Old 19-12-2018, 13:50   #32
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

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And to you!

Yes, good thermies are great. A fleece or two. And at night we use a decent duvet and snuggles to stay warm.

BTW, how’d you get my picture? I see you got my best side
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Old 19-12-2018, 13:53   #33
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

My boat has a portable LPG gas heater. It uses the disposable gas cans (5 for $5)
Must admit its seldom cold enough to turn the heater on here in Sydney as I too just rug up when it cools down.
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Old 19-12-2018, 16:12   #34
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

I just put on a shirt...sometimes a jacket or even trousers. All are cheap and effective.
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Old 19-12-2018, 16:18   #35
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

My answer is a bit different possibly. I have an Espar forced air system. It uses a lot of electricity even tho its 12 volt. It can be finicky as well if not used for a while.
If I had it to do all over again I would just get a 2.0 Honda or Yamaha generater and a good efficient 110 heater that draws no more than the Honda can handle. 1500 watts I think. That honda generater will come handy for so many other things and will even run a small AC unit. Then there are the days when you don’t get enough sun to keep the house bank charged.
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Old 19-12-2018, 16:39   #36
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

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My answer is a bit different possibly. I have an Espar forced air system. It uses a lot of electricity even tho its 12 volt. It can be finicky as well if not used for a while.
If I had it to do all over again I would just get a 2.0 Honda or Yamaha generater and a good efficient 110 heater that draws no more than the Honda can handle. 1500 watts I think. That honda generater will come handy for so many other things and will even run a small AC unit. Then there are the days when you don’t get enough sun to keep the house bank charged.
sounds like you don't have enough solar . Or the heater is undersized for your boat or a combination of both.
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Old 19-12-2018, 16:59   #37
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

Powerboat 38’ has 3 small built in wall heaters, 1000 watt thermostat controlled. 1 kerosene radiant 10 for salon and galley, I leave all heat off anytime I’am not on the boat. When I’am aboard I only heat the area I’am in. I will start the kerosene heater in the morning for 30 to 45 minutes to warm up the salon area, after that the electric will maintain temperature. The reverse cycle units will work till water temperature is 37f-38f, I’am on the upper Mississippi and have been on the boat when overnight temperature went into the mid teens and stayed comfortable.
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Old 19-12-2018, 17:40   #38
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

Buy a honda or Yamaha 2.0 generater and a nice little electric heater that isnt to much wattage for the Generater. Probably no more than 1500 watts. There are plenty around and you will have many other uses for the generater. I have a Espar that is nice but uses so much electricity I would not be able to run it on the battery bank alone anyway. Of course if you are in a marina just buy any heater that strikes your fancy. The radiator style are the most efficient...
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Old 19-12-2018, 17:42   #39
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

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sounds like you don't have enough solar . Or the heater is undersized for your boat or a combination of both.
No solar to be had at night when it is coldest.
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Old 19-12-2018, 17:45   #40
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

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No solar to be had at night when it is coldest.
I don't have any power issues I run my furnace at night till bed time then fire it back up when I wake up in the morning no need to heat the boat when I'm deep in goosedown .
100ah Lfp and 400 watts solar.
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Old 19-12-2018, 17:49   #41
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

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Buy a honda or Yamaha 2.0 generater and a nice little electric heater that isnt to much wattage for the Generater. Probably no more than 1500 watts. There are plenty around and you will have many other uses for the generater. I have a Espar that is nice but uses so much electricity I would not be able to run it on the battery bank alone anyway. Of course if you are in a marina just buy any heater that strikes your fancy. The radiator style are the most efficient...
This news about the Espar surprised me. How many amp-hrs does it take to run? I thought they were fairly low draw devices. No?

I also can’t imagine running a generator just to produce heat. A simple propane heater would be more efficient, cheaper, and a lot less noisy.
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Old 19-12-2018, 18:12   #42
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

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This news about the Espar surprised me. How many amp-hrs does it take to run? I thought they were fairly low draw devices. No?

I also can’t imagine running a generator just to produce heat. A simple propane heater would be more efficient, cheaper, and a lot less noisy.
don't know about the expat but my Chinese version draws 9 amps on startup ( glow plug )
then once its up to temperature and the fan slows down to maintain temperature its more in the .25 amp range
Ie run for 12 hours I use about 3ah
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Old 19-12-2018, 18:25   #43
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

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don't know about the expat but my Chinese version draws 9 amps on startup ( glow plug )
then once its up to temperature and the fan slows down to maintain temperature its more in the .25 amp range
Ie run for 12 hours I use about 3ah
Thanks .

That sounds perfectly reasonable and easy to manage. I hope philiosophy can add his data to this. It seems that (s)he is using a lot more power that you.

I researched Espar-type heaters a while ago. Haven’t jumped due to cost, and whether I really need one, but I do recall they were pretty energy efficient, both with the diesel and the amps.
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Old 19-12-2018, 18:29   #44
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

At the dock we use a small space heater for our 31 footer. At anchor in the winter, we use a webasto forced air to get the boat warm and the switch to a Dickinson diesel Newport fireplace.

The Newport uses much less power than the webasto, or if hooked to a gravity feed, no power at all. At 10ºF, the boat was warm and toasty.

When we’re lazy, we use the the Taylor’s Kerosene stove. It also works very well, but the stove fuel is pricey when compared to diesel.
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Old 19-12-2018, 19:25   #45
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Re: What type of heat system do people use on boats when its cold?

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Thanks .

That sounds perfectly reasonable and easy to manage. I hope philiosophy can add his data to this. It seems that (s)he is using a lot more power that you.

I researched Espar-type heaters a while ago. Haven’t jumped due to cost, and whether I really need one, but I do recall they were pretty energy efficient, both with the diesel and the amps.
there are several YouTube videos showing the power usages at various fan settings
I think I use about 4 amps at full power on the fan.
That includes the fuel pump power as well but on full blast it will cook me out quickly. I have to open my companionway when I do my cleaning runs.
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