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Old 07-06-2020, 00:12   #1
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Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

We have moved our boat to Seattle from San Francisco to explore Puget Sound and are planning to spend some time on the hook. Heating is going to be an issue...

I am trying to see if I can install a Webasto (or rather a cheaper Chinese equivalent) to solve the problem. On a 32ft boat, space is tight. I think I can find a way to install the heating unit on the port side in the stern, above the exhaust but I am struggling to find a way to pass the ductings to the main saloon. I cannot see any practical way to carry a 60mm ducting from the stern of the boat to the saloon, there basically is no space to run it through. I have a few questions, some or all of which may be dumb but I will appreciate some input:
  • Would it be a problem to downsize the ducting to a lower diameter? How small is too small?
  • If above is not possible, is there a way to split the ducting to multiple smaller diameter ductings?
  • How hot does the ducting get? If I squeeze it in to get in touch with electrical and instrument cables, would it be problem?
  • Is there a limit in the length of ducting? In my case, we are looking at some 12-15ft or so.

Alternative is to buy a portable generator and plug it into shore power inlet to power the electrical heater but I doubt it will be efficient or sufficient.

Any input will be appreciated.
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:49   #2
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

I installed a planar 4kilowatt system in our catamaran. It came with a 4" output, which I reduced to 3". Did not cause any issues.
I only ran about 10 feet of ducting(to main berth) but put in a y to expand later to salon. The air flow is very good. Even running both ducts keeps good flow.
The duct doesn't get too hot, but anywhere it's in contact with wires or combustible, I would add a layer of insulation just to be safe.
12-15 feet will be fine. Any heat loss will be into the boat along the duct path anyways. If it is too cool at the vent, add insulation to the duct.
The generator will be much noisier, and more expensive to run. Also produce less heat.
Our 4 kw on low uses less than a gallon of deisel a night. And is more than warm enough. We were in the chesepeak last November, the temp dropped to around 0 c at night and we stayed toasty warm.
If we decide to heat the spare cabin(other hull) I will be getting a smaller unit (2kw) so it has it's own thermostat.
They are great systems. You will love it on cool nights. Just remember to run it once a month or so. Sitting unused can cause it problems.
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Old 07-06-2020, 08:01   #3
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

I have a Chinese heater on my Catalina 36 Mk1 and it is installed in the rear lazarette. do pay special attention to the exhaust as it will get very hot. I have just a single outlet in the aft berth but have fans that push the heat around. Plenty warm for winter nights on the Columbia River (Washington State)
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Old 07-06-2020, 08:44   #4
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

I have a 33’er. Idiot installer placed ducting where I told him not to.
If you can just get it to blow into the central hall of a 32 then you should need no additional ducting. Just get it into the living space. Add a fan if needed.
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Old 07-06-2020, 09:13   #5
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

Just fitted my clone heater and ots been brilliant.

They do a version with 4x small outlets instead of the 75mm large one. If you restrict the flow too much it will overheat and switch off, I wish I had gone for the 4x small hole now!

Good luck and when its installed YouTube has all the info re priming and setting up the control panel
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Old 07-06-2020, 09:36   #6
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenedos View Post
We have moved our boat to Seattle from San Francisco to explore Puget Sound and are planning to spend some time on the hook. Heating is going to be an issue...

I am trying to see if I can install a Webasto (or rather a cheaper Chinese equivalent) to solve the problem. On a 32ft boat, space is tight. I think I can find a way to install the heating unit on the port side in the stern, above the exhaust but I am struggling to find a way to pass the ductings to the main saloon. I cannot see any practical way to carry a 60mm ducting from the stern of the boat to the saloon, there basically is no space to run it through. I have a few questions, some or all of which may be dumb but I will appreciate some input:
  • Would it be a problem to downsize the ducting to a lower diameter? How small is too small?
  • If above is not possible, is there a way to split the ducting to multiple smaller diameter ductings?
  • How hot does the ducting get? If I squeeze it in to get in touch with electrical and instrument cables, would it be problem?
  • Is there a limit in the length of ducting? In my case, we are looking at some 12-15ft or so.

Alternative is to buy a portable generator and plug it into shore power inlet to power the electrical heater but I doubt it will be efficient or sufficient.

Any input will be appreciated.

A common solution with air conditioning is an air box

Square plywood box , large duct in , several smaller ducts out

This type of manifold should also work with hot air
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Old 07-06-2020, 09:43   #7
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

We have the Webasto ST2000 (2kw) on a 31ft yacht which is more than enough down to freezing temperatures with ice on the deck.

From the Port stern locker it enters the engine space and splits between the rear cabin and saloon with a 30/70 ratio. We also have insulation on the outside of the hot air hose. This makes such a difference that without it, I can hold my hand in front of the saloon vent. With the insulation, the air is too hot for more than a couple of seconds, so a huge difference. Hose run is a total of 4m from memory, but its been 10 years of trouble free heating since then.

There will be a route through, though we did have to drill a couple of 64mm holes in bulkheads for the hose fun.

You can mix the webasto and Ebber parts for things like hoses as they are inter changeable which we needed to make a 90 deg turn through a bulkhead.

I wouldn't downsize the hoses, the heaters are designed for that size for a reason. Equally read the manuals reference the number of bends and fittings you can have in a hose run etc.

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Old 07-06-2020, 09:48   #8
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

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Originally Posted by Tenedos View Post
Alternative is to buy a portable generator and plug it into shore power inlet to power the electrical heater but I doubt it will be efficient or sufficient.

Any input will be appreciated.
This will cause condensation to build up. The forced air heaters take cold dry air from outside, heat it and inject it into the boat. Damp warm air escapes from the boat via the vents and hatch etc, so removes condensation. In a UK winter there is a huge difference and whilst we do have oil filled radiators they require a dehumidifier to be run at the same time.

Stick with the forced air heater unless you are living on board in a marina.

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Old 07-06-2020, 10:00   #9
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

The friendly staff at Sure Marine can give you excellent advice, including parts to modify your ducting.
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Old 07-06-2020, 10:17   #10
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

agree with skyline.....installed one on my Lord Nelson 35
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Old 07-06-2020, 10:31   #11
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

If you go hydronic the hoses are a lot easier to run than ducting.
The exhaust on my Planar is wrapped in exhaust tape and not hot at all.
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Old 07-06-2020, 10:32   #12
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

No need to get terribly scientific about it, sez I, regularly sleeping in our boat here in Salish Sea, north of 49N.

Down to about 4C ( about 40F) cabin temperature I simply put more clothes on, as per MySaintedMother's teachings. We peasants couldn't afford to keep a fire going overnight when I wuz kids in a Scowegian, somewhat chilly country. I have never seen the cabin temperature drop to the freezing point within the cabin.

My sleeping bag is rated for —20C. My problem is that my thatch is considerably less than it was even 20 years ago. As every sailor knows, heat loss from the scalp - heading in direction of hypothermia - is more severe than from many other parts of the body. The answer is to wear a hoodie in place of the common jammie jacket.

If MyBeloved's teeth begin to chatter when we are alongside at night where shoreside power is available, a thirtyfive-buck 120V oscillating heater in the saloon keeps the air circulating and the temperature up around 55F.

If you must get technological about things, let the Webasto discharge directly into the main saloon through one single discharge port. Mount deeky little 12V fans where appropriate to circulate the air into the only other "living" spaces you even have in a 32 foot boat: The forepeak, where your racks presumably are, and, if a cold potty seat is too much to tolerate, into the toilet room. Should you have a berth extending in under a cockpit seat, just rely on a decent sleeping bag. The occupant's head will be in the saloon where the air has been heated by the Webasto.

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Old 07-06-2020, 22:07   #13
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

Thanks all.

I think I found a way. If I install it in the lazarette as suggested in some posts (which is on the port side of my boat), I can extend the ducting and put an air vent at the galley which is also on the port side, and has an adjacent wall with the lazarette. This way, I can have it blow air across the galley into the saloon at around 160cm height (hoping it will be sufficient), and maybe also put a T connector to have another air vent in the master. I tried to show it in the attached layout.

Now I am debating between a 2k and a 5k unit. For Chinese heaters there is really no price difference (even 8k is almost the same price but I think it will be a significant overkill for my boat). Any reason not to go with a 5k unit? Also any reason to spend 5x and go with an actual Webasto 2k? Webasto 2k is 5-6x the price of Chinese 2k and 5k units.
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Old 08-06-2020, 03:59   #14
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

We have a Eberspaecher/Espar D4 on our 33’ boat and it works just fine. We also have a D4 on our 44’er and there it keeps the saloon OK well down below freezing but I need to close off forepeak and aft cabin.

I’ve been reading good hints about the Russian knock off Planar. I would like hard at that. The UK distributor has contributed to discussions on YBW.
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:00   #15
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Re: Webasto installation on a 32ft boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenedos View Post
Thanks all.

...

Now I am debating between a 2k and a 5k unit. For Chinese heaters there is really no price difference (even 8k is almost the same price but I think it will be a significant overkill for my boat). Any reason not to go with a 5k unit? Also any reason to spend 5x and go with an actual Webasto 2k? Webasto 2k is 5-6x the price of Chinese 2k and 5k units.
I have a Webasto 2000 Airtop in my 29ft sailboat. Mounted under cockpit sole and 60mm ducting (isolated) led into the main cabin with 2 outlets.

I also have a 5kW Chinese unit in my Sprinter MWB van.

What I can say from my experience is that 2kW Webasto is more powerful (i.e. air is warmer) than the Chinese 5kW unit. Despite the fact that Webasto has 3m ducting vs Chinese 0,5m duct.

Other than that both have worked fine for a couple of years. knock on wood
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