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Old 14-09-2020, 09:17   #1
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Cockpit heater

We are quarantined on board. Family of four. With two adults and two kids all working/schooling online, we need space. The cockpit is available and during the summer we have used it a lot if we are in multiple meetings at the same time. Thinking about winter. We have a hydronic Webasto heating system for the cabin and if we enclose the whole cockpit, heat works it way up there. But its not toasty. What are thoughts about using a portable propane heater up there. I don't like that. I could use 110v and a space heater too. Not sure about the safest way to do this. I don't think we would ever run the heater if we are not up there But still. Adding propane seems like a bad idea. Any thoughts on options? Beneteau 463 1997 Pacific NW of the US.
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Old 14-09-2020, 09:26   #2
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Re: Cockpit heater

If you've got enough total heating capacity to do this without making the rest of the boat chilly, why not point a fan up the companionway to push more heat into the cockpit enclosure?
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Old 14-09-2020, 09:27   #3
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Re: Cockpit heater

Dock or at anchor?
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Old 14-09-2020, 09:46   #4
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Re: Cockpit heater

Mr. Heater buddy is rated for indoor use. It will shut off if it's tipped over and it has an O2 sensor. I would get a propane adaptor so you don't have to use the coleman tanks.
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Old 14-09-2020, 09:55   #5
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Re: Cockpit heater

a flame in the cockpit with canvas and plastic sounds a bit risky. probably not a CO problem. an electric oil filled furnace is safe and won't burn you if you touch it. they make a small one for bathrooms that works well in my boat but it does take around 1000 watts.




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Old 14-09-2020, 10:28   #6
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Re: Cockpit heater

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Originally Posted by LLCoolDave View Post
Mr. Heater buddy is rated for indoor use. It will shut off if it's tipped over and it has an O2 sensor. I would get a propane adaptor so you don't have to use the coleman tanks.

Ugh, don't do that. :nono:


Mr. Heater Buddy may be rated for use indoors, but is NOT rated for use on a boat. The tiny tanks are hideously dangerous on boats in a saltwater environment; paper thin and easy to make leak. Combustion products in the air you breathe? No thank you.


I'm with the guy who suggested blowing warm air from below, up there. I'm not sure I like portable electric heaters in the cockpit, either, but it would beat the heck out of propane.
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Old 14-09-2020, 10:35   #7
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Re: Cockpit heater

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Ugh, don't do that. :nono:


Mr. Heater Buddy may be rated for use indoors, but is NOT rated for use on a boat. The tiny tanks are hideously dangerous on boats in a saltwater environment; paper thin and easy to make leak. Combustion products in the air you breathe? No thank you.


I'm with the guy who suggested blowing warm air from below, up there. I'm not sure I like portable electric heaters in the cockpit, either, but it would beat the heck out of propane.
You don't have to use the tiny tanks. You can connect to a 10 or 20lb tank that is likely already in the cockpit in a locker. I'd say the biggest risk would be the kids. Stuff gets knocked over all the time. I agree that the safest option would be a fan to move more air in the cockpit.
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Old 14-09-2020, 10:46   #8
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Re: Cockpit heater

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Originally Posted by LLCoolDave View Post
You don't have to use the tiny tanks. You can connect to a 10 or 20lb tank that is likely already in the cockpit in a locker. I'd say the biggest risk would be the kids. Stuff gets knocked over all the time. I agree that the safest option would be a fan to move more air in the cockpit.

I agree it's far better without the tiny hazardous tanks, but it's still a leak risk in a space where leaked gas would likely go down the companionway and into the bilge, and it's STILL an unvented combustion device spewing nasty combustion products and water vapour into the air you and your loved ones are breathing. To each his own, but for me -- never. I'd far sooner take another sweater, than this, in the worst case.
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Old 14-09-2020, 11:03   #9
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Re: Cockpit heater

You're on a monohull, not a catamaran with an enclosed patio. Monohull cockpits are crowded with things like the binnacle in the way. That's not a good place for a heater - it's too likely to get kicked around. Consider generating more heat with a fixed heater in the hull. Think even electric heat with the genset running.
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Old 14-09-2020, 11:11   #10
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Re: Cockpit heater

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I agree it's far better without the tiny hazardous tanks, but it's still a leak risk in a space where leaked gas would likely go down the companionway and into the bilge, and it's STILL an unvented combustion device spewing nasty combustion products and water vapour into the air you and your loved ones are breathing. To each his own, but for me -- never. I'd far sooner take another sweater, than this, in the worst case.
Absolutely true. If the construction-site heater doesn't kill you (via propane, CO, leaving a kerosene slick on a step surface, or setting fire to something that gets dropped down its bore) then your insurance agent will kill you when he finds out about it.

There are catalytic heaters, propane-fuelled but with no open flame, that might work for this without as big a safety risk. Their longevity in a saltwater environment seems... questionable.

I think your best bet, though, is what's been suggested earlier - just add some 12V fans to circulate warm air from the heated zones.
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Old 14-09-2020, 11:52   #11
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Re: Cockpit heater

thank you for all your thoughts. It confirms my thinking that this is a bad idea. I will proceed as cautioned. Thank you.



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Old 14-09-2020, 15:43   #12
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Re: Cockpit heater

Can you modify the hydronic heating to add a loop into the cockpit?

Also easy to remove once lockdown is over.
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