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Old 04-11-2019, 14:46   #1
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Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

I have an opportunity to get my hands on either a Newport bulkhead mounted heater and a Antarctic heater. The newport heater is priced around 2x less than the new price while the Antarctic is about 1.5x less than the cost of new.

Either way both prices i feel are good for fully functional units that will significantly reduce the cost of heat over winters in terms of power budgets(our Espar D5 can burn up to 120amps/24hrs if it ran at full blast which it wouldn't).

Both are fully functional, but I am going NUTS here with the math because it does not pencil out. Can someone with real experiences help me out and explain how their marketing is selling the numbers

Directly from Dickinson website:

Newport:
The Newport Bulkhead Mounted Heater is ideal for boats 30-35ft. Small, compact, and bulkhead mounted. An attractive, economical diesel burning heater, providing comfortable, dry heat.

Width: 8.50″
Height: 19.75″
Depth: 10.50″
Weight: 22 lbs

Fuel Consumption / 24hr:
1.29 gal LOW
3.20 gal HIGH


Heat Output:
Low: 6500 BTU
High: 16250 BTU


Antarctic:
The Antarctic Floor Mounted Heater is ideal for boats 35ft Ė 40ft. Size of this heater produces greater heat output than the smaller heaters although fuel consumption is the same. This model is round in design and has a large viewing window.

Width: 13″
Height: 25″
Depth: 14″
Weight: 27 lbs

Fuel Consumption / 24hr:
1.29 gal LOW
3.20 gal HIGH


Heat Output:
Low: 6500 BTU
High: 16250 BTU




What is blowing my mind is the numbers show BTU's produced - BOTH are the exact same amount of BTU's, so how can their description say that "Size of this heater produces greater heat output than the smaller heaters although fuel consumption is the same." The numbers do not make sense.

I know some people on here use the Antarctic (nolex or dockhead if i remember), can someone help me understand this? I've emailed their CS department without any response from them so I'm wondering if of the smart people on here can explain the numbers or is this just marketing BS?

This will be going aboard a 42ft custom swan like boat.
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Old 04-11-2019, 15:37   #2
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

Can’t help you but I’ve marbled at it myself. My only thought is that because one unit is larger, it has more surface area, and it can therefore conduct the heat to a greater column of air.

The burn rate and BTU numbers just show what’s being consumed, not how much is being blown out the chimney.

I don’t have a Diesel heater in my boat (I do in a cabin) but I have a kerosene heater and I think they are roughly equivalent. Taylor specs 2.4kW which is about 8,200 BTU. That will warm up my 33’er on a cold day but does not really do the trick when it’s down right cold.

The diesel heater will supposedly put out twice that amount of heat, which would be a lot better.

My Espar D4!on the other hand puts our 13,600 BTU, which keeps the 33’ boat cozy. I also have a D4 on our 44’er, center cockpit. It will keep the saloon reasonable to below freezing, I’ve been aboard down to nearly 1įF which was decidedly cool. BUT I close off the fire leak and aft cabin thus limiting the column being heated.

I do have a Dickenson Adriatic STOVE in a small hunting cabin of about 400 sq ft. It provides about 40įF of temperature RISE above ambient.

The biggest complaint I have with the diesel drip/pot burner is my inability to adequately control the temperature. It puts out too much heat too often, temperature adjustment is crude. Also I need to run the fan, not enough draft otherwise. A boat won’t be any better, so it’s not totally electric free.

In summary I think either would work for you in combination with your D5. The bigger unit will be more fuel efficient, convert more combustion into usable heat, and provide a romantic flame, if you have the space. I don’t think it’s a good replacement. Then again there are some newer diesel heaters becoming available l, can’t recall make, that are getting good reviews and are considerable cheaper than Espar.
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Old 04-11-2019, 16:15   #3
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Canít help you but Iíve marbled at it myself. My only thought is that because one unit is larger, it has more surface area, and it can therefore conduct the heat to a greater column of air.

The burn rate and BTU numbers just show whatís being consumed, not how much is being blown out the chimney.

I donít have a Diesel heater in my boat (I do in a cabin) but I have a kerosene heater and I think they are roughly equivalent. Taylor specs 2.4kW which is about 8,200 BTU. That will warm up my 33íer on a cold day but does not really do the trick when itís down right cold.

The diesel heater will supposedly put out twice that amount of heat, which would be a lot better.

My Espar D4!on the other hand puts our 13,600 BTU, which keeps the 33í boat cozy. I also have a D4 on our 44íer, center cockpit. It will keep the saloon reasonable to below freezing, Iíve been aboard down to nearly 1įF which was decidedly cool. BUT I close off the fire leak and aft cabin thus limiting the column being heated.
Thank you for that! I really do love my Espar and as of right now i'm calculating it burns about 4.5amp/hr, and the wife works from home so often heater is on around 18hrs a day. The boat is comfortably warm - the wife loathes being cold. That being said the goal of the Antarctic heater would be to reduce that power draw on our 440amp battery bank(4x firefly G31).

Last January in Seattle we had large amounts of snowfall and low temps of around 18F and the boat was plenty warm with the D5 but we did notice the heater was running more than average to maintain our temps, but nothing crazy, but saving even 40amps/24 period would be significant in terms of how far our solar would go in winter months.

My thought is that having the nice "little" antarctic would add to our diesel consumption yet heat in areas where we are would be greater.

I appreciate the comments, I hadn't thought about how the smaller unit produces same amount of BTU's, yet it's not indicating how much is lost to the exhaust.
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Old 04-11-2019, 19:04   #4
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

I used a Newport to heat a 40 foot boat in San Francisco Bay, not FRIGID, but cold for extended periods. The two heaters use exactly the same burner.

How much heat you get out of them depends greatly on the exact set up. Put an external cabin fan blowing across them and the the heat dumped into the cabin instead of up the stack goes up a LOT.

They are great heaters, although they do have a bit of a learning curve on hot to run them right.
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Old 04-11-2019, 19:11   #5
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

Our Newport provided all the heat necessary for our 36' sailboat in the PNW, and the same unit heats the salon and pilot house on our current 55' trawler. Heat setting is generally 2 or 3. As noted, if you can contrive a fan to blow across the heater it will do just fine under most circumstances on your size vessel, clearly depending on climate.
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Old 04-11-2019, 19:19   #6
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

I tended to lean towards the newport as its run me less than $500 to install(boat has a spot for one and a hole already drilled for a flu, just a matter of pulling the deck plate that covers it off. The Antarctic has a lovely design is I find quite aesthetically pleasing, but for the price of a newport, it seems itd fit my space more

When you guys say run a fan across the heater, are you talking about one of the thermally powered ones placed on top of the heater to blow away from the flu? Or actually driving a fan to blow across the heater/flu?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfin View Post
Our Newport provided all the heat necessary for our 36' sailboat in the PNW, and the same unit heats the salon and pilot house on our current 55' trawler. Heat setting is generally 2 or 3. As noted, if you can contrive a fan to blow across the heater it will do just fine under most circumstances on your size vessel, clearly depending on climate.
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Old 04-11-2019, 19:48   #7
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

You may be overestimating the amp draw of the forced air heater. I have a smaller, 2KW unit and it draws a negligible amount of current, around 2A. Letís assume you are away from the marina. You need water, hot water and heat. If you run the engine for an hour/day you would have all three plus enough capacity for all your electrical needs. If you go with the Newport, you still need to have a hot water solution for showers, you will need to ventilate more often and you will need more BTUs because the heat is localized. With the forced air heater you can only heat the compartment where you are (the cabin during the day, the stateroom during the night, the head when you need to use it. So, overall, I think the Newport heater will not help as much as you think it will. I just do not like localized heat, I guess.
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Old 04-11-2019, 19:57   #8
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowdan View Post
I tended to lean towards the newport as its run me less than $500 to install(boat has a spot for one and a hole already drilled for a flu, just a matter of pulling the deck plate that covers it off. The Antarctic has a lovely design is I find quite aesthetically pleasing, but for the price of a newport, it seems itd fit my space more

When you guys say run a fan across the heater, are you talking about one of the thermally powered ones placed on top of the heater to blow away from the flu? Or actually driving a fan to blow across the heater/flu?
Like this:. https://www.hellamarine.com/en/produ...turbo-fan.html
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:35   #9
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

It may be negligible in the summer months in the PNW, but when it could be drawing 60/amps a day for heater alone, I'd need to run for a minimum of 2 hour to regain power spent on the heater alone and that wont give me excess power for the fridge or any other electrical draw.

Calculating that into my expected solar budget, sure maybe 1 hour a day of run time would cover the heater and maybe most of my needs, but the whole point is to not have to run my engine hence why I am looking at the newport.

By cutting out the electrical needs for the heater alone without solar budgeting we go from about 1.5 days before engine is needed, to roughly 2.6 days, doubling our time before engine is ran purely by removing the the heater draw(3.5amps/hr @18hrs)

Solar can change that all as in dead of winter it would effectively cover our power needs for the fridge which means we go from running engine every 2.6 days(fridge being covered, not heater) to 5-6 days by eliminating our heater cost. Sure we are burning diesel at a greater rate than which we would with engine run time, but accounting for heater burn rate and engine burn at 2 hrs would be pretty equal

I do not want to be the family that wakes up in the morning in a beautiful anchorage and runs their engine on a regular basis.

Granted I could be completely wrong and maybe just adding solar is all wed need to be happy and warm and maybe I'm just trying to convince myself to spend the $500 or so on the heater just because I have it set in my head that I want it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
You may be overestimating the amp draw of the forced air heater. I have a smaller, 2KW unit and it draws a negligible amount of current, around 2A. Letís assume you are away from the marina. You need water, hot water and heat. If you run the engine for an hour/day you would have all three plus enough capacity for all your electrical needs. If you go with the Newport, you still need to have a hot water solution for showers, you will need to ventilate more often and you will need more BTUs because the heat is localized. With the forced air heater you can only heat the compartment where you are (the cabin during the day, the stateroom during the night, the head when you need to use it. So, overall, I think the Newport heater will not help as much as you think it will. I just do not like localized heat, I guess.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:05   #10
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

We have an Adriatic in the aft sleeping quarters which I light around this time of year and leave on 24/7 until spring unless we leave the boat. We also have the Atlantic model up forward for heat cooking and hot water. Both gravity fed. The Adriatic heats an area about 16x20' to a constant 70-ish Farenheit on the #1 or lowest setting.

And don't underestimate those thermal fans, they work great.Click image for larger version

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Old 05-11-2019, 10:09   #11
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

Chowdan, I just posted in the heater question above this. My Newport had a window to see the combustion chamber, (the window is replaceable) and used battery fans for circulation, but that is different than the fan that mounts under the unit to pressurize the chimney for backblast.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:17   #12
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

I installed a Newport on board a 57' Sundeer in the Pacific Northwest. I'm no expert, but have a bit of experience following a love/hate relationship with the heater. I probably should have installed the larger Antarctic, but I wanted to hang the heater off a bulkhead.

Several things to consider: First and foremost is draft. There are two interrelated components to draft on my boat: "draw" (chimney pipe length, exterior flow and air patterns), and "make-up" air. Both are critical to smooth performance. If draw is inadequate, you'll have to force air through the stove or you will be frustrated beyond belief. Then, these heaters exhaust a considerable amount of air out of the boat. Where is that "make-up air" going to come from?

This is not trivial: Will the heater pull its air from a place that causes a cold draft across someone trying to stay warm? Air supply close to the heater reduces discomfort. If memory serves, Dickenson recommends an air supply dedicated to the heater, but …
The fan on the bottom of the heater is inadequate for creating draw on a daily basis. It is not designed for constant use, it will fail and will be loud and difficult to adjust as it does.

A small computer fan is ideal, with speed control based not on voltage variation but on what I'll call time pulsing because I don't know the right words. Think of it as moving from analog to digital. Rather than lowering voltage, say from 12v to 6v, it cuts the supply of the 12 v to the fan on and off many times per second.

But placement is important — these fans and speed controls are not of steel, nor fireproof.

Then, as discussed elsewhere, you want to move air in your space. The radiant heat is wonderful, but does not extend very far. Much of your comfort will come from "convective" heat, or warm air. I have one of those woodstove fans that use heat differential to generate a small current to drive the fan. This helps. I also have a fan that blows across the flue pipe. But you don't want to cool that pipe too much, especially at start-up, or your draw will be compromised.

Warm air rises quickly, think helium balloons on your ceiling. Mixing the air in the cabin, without fans making someone uncomfortable, can be a challenge.

I finally enjoy my diesel heater, (though hate cleaning it. Soot can make a monumental mess). Were I to do it over, I'd install the largest heater I could and bring make-up air from the outside directly to the heater via fan-assisted ducting rather than use my warmed air for combustion. I would mix the warmed air within the primary living space.

I'd include the hot water coil so I could use hot water for radiant heat if I could figure out how to distribute it. Fun to think about, but then, I can be a little OCD if you haven't figured that out.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:25   #13
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

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Originally Posted by chowdan View Post
Both are fully functional, but I am going NUTS here with the math because it does
What is blowing my mind is the numbers show BTU's produced - BOTH are the exact same amount of BTU's, so how can their description say that "Size of this heater produces greater heat output than the smaller heaters although fuel consumption is the same." The numbers do not make sense.

I know some people on here use the Antarctic (nolex or dockhead if i remember), can someone help me understand this?
Ours is a Reflex heater. It has been fantastic. No electrical consumption or noise, as well as totally reliable and no service required. There is a lot to love. I suspect the Dickinson will have the same qualities.

The dilemma with your specifications that is driving you nuts I suspect is related to the fact that the bulkhead mounted Newport model is less satisfactory at distributing heat over a large area and therefore is recomended for smaller boats. The free standing Antarctic model has more airflow exchange around the heater and therefore will distribute the heat over a larger area even if the overall output is the same.

Our Reflex spends 95% of its time on the lowest setting (1 out of 5). We only raise the level first thing in the morning to heat the boat quickly and more importantly boil the kettle for our first cup of coffee. However, our aluminium boat has thick insulation (a minimum of 80mm on the hull and deck), so this may not be representative of most boats, but overall heat output is not a concern.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:38   #14
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

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Ours is a Reflex heater. It has been fantastic. No electrical consumption or noise, as well as totally reliable and no service required.
Noelex, what model of Refleks do you have?
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:43   #15
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Re: Diesel heaters(gravity feed style) - Questions for those with experieces

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Noelex, what model of Refleks do you have?
It is a 2000K.
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