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Old 11-19-2013, 09:11 AM   #1
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That time of year.

Bilge heaters, do any of you winter liveaboards use them? If so what brand and does it keep the bilge and engine compartment decently warm?
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:16 AM   #2
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Bilge heaters, do any of you winter liveaboards use them? If so what brand and does it keep the bilge and engine compartment decently warm?
Do you have a reason to keep the bilge warm to a specific temp?

In freezing but moderate winter areas where outside temps usually don't drop into the teens for long....

...usually if the boat is not on top of ice...and you are living aboard and keeping water flowing every day...the bilge doesn't freeze if the rest of the boat is heated...the exception is flybridges and areas under cockpits...
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:20 AM   #3
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I live in illinois. Temps plummet to zero and stay for awile sometimes. So a bubbler is needed. Talking to a local harbor master he said...."piece of advise get a bilge heater". Just wondering if anyone has gone this route.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:29 AM   #4
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lot's of people have them...but depending on the boat is whether they are effective or not and how willing you are to block off outside air drafts. poor mans version of the more expensive marine types is the household radiator type.

many also rely on block heaters to do the same as once a diesel of big block gasser warms up...it controls the temp of an engine room nicely.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:23 PM   #5
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I've an AC powered GoldenRod heater in our bilge. Boat came equipped with it. Where we dock and waters we travel don't really need it. While on board at dock or out and about for cruising or on hook w/ gen set used small time in morn and short time in eve... I leave it on so engine compartment is warm in very early morning... as that's the time I usually tinker and check things out while others sleep. I don't think it's warmth is enough to travel through sole to help heat salon very much; but, should keep engine compartment as well as entire bilge area above freezing - no matter the outside temp!

http://www.go2marine.com/product/782...goldenrod.html
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:28 PM   #6
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Shut the engine space air intake/exhaust opening off. If your house water heater is on it can be routed thru your engine with the heat exchanger. It takes a few hours but you will see the block temp. coming up with your heat gun. If not running your main engines for winter, I put red electrical tape over the fuel tank vents. Keep out moisture from fuel tanks, that feel the warm air in engine room. I have the oil pan heater blankets on my engines. Heat always rises so your floors may be warmer.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:31 PM   #7
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We kept a wooden boat in the St Louis area in the water during the winter. It was winterized and had no heat anywhere and no bubblers.

If you are a live aboard - lots of insulation around the doors, plastic covering the windows and internal heat as you can afford.

I know a few who have done a live aboard around Alton and St Charles. I don't know why and honestly they didn't either other than it was neat to do for a week or two.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:41 PM   #8
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You have a gasser, right? Be careful in your choice of heaters. Many here have diesels with less concern for combustibility.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:53 PM   #9
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Yes fly gasser. I most def take into consideration the whole gas....explosion thing lol....sry not funny. Never even thought about moisture in the vents. Thanks guys.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:54 PM   #10
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What is that a dehumidifier ART? Pretty neat set up.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:13 PM   #11
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You have a gasser, right? Be careful in your choice of heaters. Many here have diesels with less concern for combustibility.
Al - Having been in tune with diesel and gas powered boats I agree with you completely.

However - I feel this needs to be added... specifically regarding gassers (and propane storing too)!

If a gasoline powered boat's confines (such as engine room, bilge in general, salon... or any other compartment) were allowed to become so filled with gasoline or propane fumes that some type ignition will create a grievous explosion - then the chances are nearly 100% that the boat will blow up by some type of unexpected or even expected heat/spark.

Therefore: It is of the utmost concern and good stewardship that every boat's owner (particularly gas boats and propane storage) be sure to keep the craft's fuel accoutrements in real good condition and to have no leaks as well as really good, consistent ventilation.

Part of good stewardship in owning any boat is to either be personally very much in firsthand knowledge of your boat's fuels as well as their containers/lines/usages (such as most Captains are on TF) - OR - Be sure to have a mate of some sort who always is!
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:29 PM   #12
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What is that a dehumidifier ART? Pretty neat set up.
Just an inexpensive low wattage heat rod that is easy to install. "Heat" in and of its own volition elevates water evaporation. This effect offers a form of eventually dehumidifying an area (depending on volume of area's moisture content, and if there is increasing new moisture - if that may be the case)... Evaporative water vapors will usually travel out from compartments via vent ducts/openings.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:45 PM   #13
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Awesome info art. Seems pretty basic yet, extremely useful.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:59 PM   #14
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Never even thought about moisture in the vents. Thanks guys.
Are you sure you want to block the ER vents on a gasser? I'm no expert, but if you do that, it seems to me that you'd greatly increase your risk of explosion.
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:10 PM   #15
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Indeed fly, asked myself this question about five times since i replied. Wouldn't this cause the gas tank expand cauaing maybe a leak or worse the tank bursting from pressure?
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