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Old 11-13-2018, 02:10 PM   #1
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Kabola heating systems

Hello
Iím wondering if anyone has any experience with Kabola heating systems and winter settings. My new (to me) Mainship 34 has a Kabola system with a setting for Winter/Summer, and a second setting for Engine/Kabola heat. I was told that I could leave the Kabola on Winter setting with the temp set to low and have shore power heat the connected hot water tank. If one of the heat exchangers calls for heat, then the circulating pump should operate without turning on the burner.
This way the boat will be heated (kept warm for the winter) along with the hot water tank and engine without worrying about winterization every water system.
Has anyone had experience with this type of heater and the settings? All the information I find in the manuals does not describe the switch that controls the Winter/Summer and Engine/Kabola setting (although the Engine/Kabola setting is obvious that it uses engine heat when underway).
Cheers and thanks for any experience with these systems.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:58 PM   #2
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As far as I am aware, Kabola just supplies the boilers, the controls are supplied by 3rd parties and will be installation dependent. Call Costica at MarineTec US | Kabola, he is the expert on Kabola and he loves to talk about them!
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Old 11-14-2018, 01:55 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tip on MarineTec.
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:18 AM   #4
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Not familuar w that system but have a similar in a motorhome. Your plan could work if the elec power is sufficient to provide all fhe heat you need and you have 100% reliable power. If you lose power consequences could be large $. Will you be aboard or just periodically? Wifi available for a remote monitoring / alarm system?
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:56 AM   #5
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Why winterize? Where is the vessel? Our vessel is in the water in Sidney and the only heat we leave on is an electric unit in the ER. We drain the water system and that's it. If you're close to the boat you shouldn't have to drain unless temperatures dip. We don't leave the diesel heat on unless we're on the boat.

Two really smart Kabola guys on TF are Delfin and TwistedTree. You might contact them via PM.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:09 AM   #6
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The summer setting typically just heats the hot water tank via the burner. The winter setting heats the whole boat. Heat could come from the Kabola burner, the engine or the electric hot water element.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:16 AM   #7
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My experience with Kabola is only second hand. Delfin actually has one. But I know quite a few people with them and all are quite happy

Iíd suggest a call to Costica as previously mentioned. I think the answers to your questions will depend on the actual installation.
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:26 PM   #8
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Costica is a lovely fellow with lots of information, although delivered with a Romanian accent that sometimes requires careful listening.

Kabola offers different controls, and your reference to winter and summer settings is a new one to me. However, as long as the circ pump comes on when a zone calls for heat, and you can set the boiler so it doesn't come on, and you don't have thermister switches on the air exchangers, and you have the heating loop from the boiler going through the water heater, your plan will work. Sort of. Water heaters of the size on most boats just don't have the wattage to provide hydronic heat. Mine is about 1000 Watts and that doesn't go far.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:53 PM   #9
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Costica is a lovely fellow with lots of information, although delivered with a Romanian accent that sometimes requires careful listening.

Kabola offers different controls, and your reference to winter and summer settings is a new one to me. However, as long as the circ pump comes on when a zone calls for heat, and you can set the boiler so it doesn't come on, and you don't have thermister switches on the air exchangers, and you have the heating loop from the boiler going through the water heater, your plan will work. Sort of. Water heaters of the size on most boats just don't have the wattage to provide hydronic heat. Mine is about 1000 Watts and that doesn't go far.
Thanks Delfin. I will give MarineTec a call, as I want to be able to determine how the system was installed, and after speaking with the installer he cannot remember all the details of the installation.
There is a small panel with a MarineTec logo that has two switches. One for Engine/Kabola, and one for Summer/Winter. I want to find out what each setting does.
Are the thermistor switches on the heat exchangers you refer to ones that only allow the fans to operate when there is warm water in the exchanger?
Thanks
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:50 PM   #10
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Thanks Delfin. I will give MarineTec a call, as I want to be able to determine how the system was installed, and after speaking with the installer he cannot remember all the details of the installation.
There is a small panel with a MarineTec logo that has two switches. One for Engine/Kabola, and one for Summer/Winter. I want to find out what each setting does.
Are the thermistor switches on the heat exchangers you refer to ones that only allow the fans to operate when there is warm water in the exchanger?
Thanks
SG
If the switching is a MarineTec production, then yes, they will have to answer. On mine there are two thermostats on the control panel. One determines the maximum temp of the boiler water and the other determines the temperature of the boiler water that will start the circ pump. So, you could have the first set to 190 degrees, and the latter to 170 degrees. When a zone calls for heat, the boiler lights up and heats the water to 190 degrees, with the water circulating when the water reaches 170 degrees. The thermistor switches are little pancakes generally attached to the inlet at a heat exchanger that allow the fan to turn on when the setpoint of the thermistor switch is reached, preventing the fan blowing cold air. If you are circulating warm water from the water heater these need to be overridden to activate the blower on the exchanger. On mine, I have three position switches for each exchanger, off, auto on, always on. If I were to try to use the water heater for winter heating when we're off the boat, those fans would need to be always on. But again, I really don't think you are going to get enough heat to make much difference given the wattage of most marine water heaters. Better to put a couple of small electric heaters on board, methinks....

Incidentally, there may be one more obstacle to overcome in your plan....On many Kabola installs, the current for the circ pump is only available if the boiler is powered up to ignite the burner. If you just disconnect the fuel supply, the unit will error out, and I am pretty sure then won't fire the circ pump, so you may have some hot wiring to do to make this work, and as I said, I am not sure you'll be happy with the result.

Let us know what the whole engine/Kabola, summer/winter fandango is all about. Curious to know...
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:43 AM   #11
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From other's I've seen, here's what I expect those switches do. But definitely confirm with Costica:


Engine/Kabola: Selects between heating via the Kabola boiler vs heating via a heat exchanger taking waste heat off the engine. When underway, you can switch to Engine heat and heat the boat off the main engine without burning more fuel in the Kabola boiler.


Summer/Winter: The Kabola can probably heat both the living space, and you hot water tank. In Summer mode, the living space heaters are disabled so the boiler will only heat hot water. In Winter mode the living space heaters are enabled and it heats both the living space and hot water tank.
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:32 AM   #12
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A thought for folks lucky enough to create a custom new build.

Hot water heat can easily be distributed with inexpensive base board tubing.

Really easy to do on a new build, hard to do on a finished boat.

With only one small circ pump required , power consumption can be low , or zero if the system is made to thermosyphon .

Don't forget heated towel racks , and a hanging locker with heat.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:15 PM   #13
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Don't forget heated towel racks , and a hanging locker with heat.
Like these... Don't be a hater, we are fortunate to have a Kabola system on our new to us boat. There is a heated towel rack in all 3 heads. We will be keeping our system on this winter. We have a web based monitoring system for when we are not aboard. It has multiple temperature sensors as well as CO2, smoke, water and motion. The heating has done very well so far. Outside temps have been mild with only a handful of days in the 20's or lower. Last night, with outside temps in the mid 20's it was 66 in the salon and 70 in the master and 62 in the engine room. The previous owner stayed 2 winters in Boston harbor with nothing but praise for the Kabola system.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:29 PM   #14
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I too have no problem leaving the heat on in the boat, just like at home. Ours was on for 4 years straight until we went to Mexico.

Another advantage is when hauled out. We were out for 2 weeks and I was living on the boat. It was toasty warm the whole time despite the snow outside.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:53 PM   #15
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My Wabasto airtop 2000 heats the whole boat.
But my towels don’t get extra heat.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:38 AM   #16
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THanks to all for their responses. I’ve talked with MarineTec and learned how the system is designed (although there isn’t much documentation for the system available). If the Kabola is set to Engine, only the engine will heat the hot water, so you need to be motoring to use this setting. The other setting on this switch is Off (self explanatory) or Kabola- which is the diesel burner heating the water. The Summer/Winter switch just controls the flow of water to the heat exchangers throughout the boat. In winter, you get hot water circulating from the burner throughout the boat, in Summer setting, it only goes to the domestic hot water heater.
I was going to try to leave the domestic hot water heater on electric shore power to heat the water pipes, but have decided against it as their likely isn’t enough capacity (Killowatts) in the hot water heater to heat the boat thoroughly.
Hope this makes sense, and thanks all for your contributions.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:01 AM   #17
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Marina electric is great till it isn't.

A BIG storm can knock out an area , the hospital, cops , and fire dept gets juice back first.

Then its apartment houses , small shops and single family houses.

Marinas , maybe a week or more.

What is the plan for a "big one"?
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:52 PM   #18
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Marina electric is great till it isn't.

A BIG storm can knock out an area , the hospital, cops , and fire dept gets juice back first.

Then its apartment houses , small shops and single family houses.

Marinas , maybe a week or more.

What is the plan for a "big one"?
Reread Lord of the Flies for pointers.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:57 AM   #19
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"Reread Lord of the Flies for pointers."

Its usually not that bad.

Our 90/90 has gravity fed oil fired heat with a hydronic thermosyphon system.

One winter power (New Rochelle, NY) went out for 5 days , and it was amazing how many folks came over to say "hi" or for a chat.

But this was just modest cold 25F at night 30's during the day, and no boats sank as most had winterized.

The point is ZERO deg F , and an un winterized boat can have a big hassle.
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Old 12-08-2018, 03:34 PM   #20
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Marina electric is great till it isn't.

A BIG storm can knock out an area , the hospital, cops , and fire dept gets juice back first.

Then its apartment houses , small shops and single family houses.

Marinas , maybe a week or more.

What is the plan for a "big one"?
Automatic power source transfer switching, generator, 1200 gal. diesel. 24/7 remote monitoring with real time alerts. 50 min. drive from boat.
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