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Old 02-02-2013, 12:33 AM   #1
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anyone use engine water for heat

ive seen boats that use hot engine coolant water for heating hot water and cabin heat. anyone useing such a system? if so whats a good brand?
thanks
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:43 AM   #2
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Our boat uses coolant from the starboard engine to heat the water in our 10 gallon hot water heater. The hot water heater is also electric (AC) so it can heat water if we're plugged into ground power or AC is being provided by the generator.

The hot water heater we have is stainless and very high quality. However the company that made it got out of the business some years ago. If or when we need to replace it we will most likely go with a Torrid which is made here in Seattle.

Our boat spent its whole life in California until we liberated it so it never had cabin heat put on it. The cabin heater most commonly used to convert hot engine coolant into cabin heat is a truck heater, aka Red Dot. These can be very effective but of course they only provide heat when the engine that supplies it with coolant is running.

When the day comes we decide to put proper heat on the boat we will install a diesel heater that provides either forced air to registers or piped water to heat exchanger/fan units in the cabins we want to heat.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:53 AM   #3
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Can't help you with cabin heat but I really like Raritan water heaters. They use glass lined tanks like household water heaters.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:17 AM   #4
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them ca boats do lack things like this huh? i like the hot water cabin heat because it saves energy. if i lived aboard i would get a westabke, is that right?.. may get one of those as well. First thing will be a chest type freezer. gotta have plenty of ice for toonies and dead fish.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:01 AM   #5
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I have a HeaterCraft hydronic heater in my boat and love it. It extends our cruising into and sometimes through the winters here in the PacNW.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:00 AM   #6
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them ca boats do lack things like this huh? i like the hot water cabin heat because it saves energy. if i lived aboard i would get a westabke, is that right?.. may get one of those as well. First thing will be a chest type freezer. gotta have plenty of ice for toonies and dead fish.
I have a circuit that heats the hot water from my Lehman...I'm about to install a small "hydronic blower" in the same circuit to put heat in the cabin while running so I can shut off the Wallas diesel heater.

Ice for dead fish.????..you must catch a lot of bleeders from what you said over in the "fish" thread....
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:30 AM   #7
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Try the Red Dot heaters. Best bang for the buck imo.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:33 AM   #8
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We never need cabin heat where we boat, but the engine heats the hot water for washing, showers etc via heat from coolant circulated through an Isotemp cylinder, which we can also heat via .240v AC. If I boated in cooler climate I would install something like the nifty diesel heater that we had in the narrow boat on the UK canals. That was really efficient, ran on the smell of a diesel rag, and heated the cabin and the hot water cylinder, which also took heat from the engine when running. Marin might know what brand of heater They are, as he has canal boated there several times...?
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:21 AM   #9
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Hamilton Marine. We've used them for years

BUS HEATERS

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:43 AM   #10
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Hamilton Marine. We've used them for years

BUS HEATERS

Seem to be around the same price range as the red dots....just not as many options
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:50 AM   #11
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Our boat has two Red Dot heaters connected to the starboard engine. One is under the settee and produces significant heat. The other is smaller and in the aft stateroom. Both heat quite well. The challenge is controlling the temperature. There is no thermostat. There is just an off/lo/hi switch on each.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:58 AM   #12
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Cruising buddies had a Red Dot, we have a Heatercraft. Both heated well, but the Red Dot made way more noise than the Heatercraft. Ours is 15 years old, still works like a charm, and we can barely hear it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:47 PM   #13
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We sell the HeaterCraft brand, and I've been very happy with it. Since I'm not a diesel trawler yet, just a little 5.7(350) Chevy, I also installed an auxiliary pump to keep the hot water going to the heater box behind the mid cabin bulkhead.

I removed this panel and installed the HeaterCraft 4 vent in there. I also added a 120VAC and 12VDC outlet on this panel along with one of the 4 vents.


A three speed switch was mounted on the helm to regulate the fan speed and another by it for the pump.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:18 PM   #14
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Our boat uses a Webasto hydronic heater when we're not underway, or during the first 20-30 minutes after startup. Once we get up to operating temp, I throw a switch that changes from "system heat" to "engine heat". The engine coolant circulates through the same radiators as the diesel fired heat, so there aren't any "extra" outlets to work around and the amount of heat from each register is (somewhat) regulated by switching the fan to either low, high, or off.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:12 PM   #15
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I have a circuit that heats the hot water from my Lehman...I'm about to install a small "hydronic blower" in the same circuit to put heat in the cabin while running so I can shut off the Wallas diesel heater.

Ice for dead fish.????..you must catch a lot of bleeders from what you said over in the "fish" thread....
very funny Mr. Psneeld.....when i fish for rockfish or kokannee I clean them instantly and put them under ice...I'll bet you thought the ice was for beer?..Beer is in a diferent location cause of the complaints about fishy tasting beer bottles/cans.

If I understand you correctly you will have the hot water heat when the engine is running but will have the option of diesel fuel heating. That would be nice if they were in the same unit. Wonder if thats possible?
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:24 PM   #16
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Our boat uses a Webasto hydronic heater when we're not underway, or during the first 20-30 minutes after startup. Once we get up to operating temp, I throw a switch that changes from "system heat" to "engine heat". The engine coolant circulates through the same radiators as the diesel fired heat, so there aren't any "extra" outlets to work around and the amount of heat from each register is (somewhat) regulated by switching the fan to either low, high, or off.
Now this is cool. Please provide additional info please.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:14 PM   #17
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Now this is cool. Please provide additional info please.
+1 I didn't know they made a combo system. That has to be a great cool climate system.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:16 PM   #18
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Todd,

Thanks for the great HeaterCraft visuals.

I will endeavor to keep this short.

Soon after acquiring Satori, one of my first thoughtfully naive projects was to add some cabin heat for winter running in N. California.
I too decided on an engine coolant hydronic HeaterCraft system; a two-port box. This seemed like a fairly simple, inexpensive, efficient way to add a bit of heat to the boat.

I was soon to find this project led me down another of many more rat-holes in this boat as yet to come. Now, after two years, I have only accomplished mounting the unit to the ER bulkhead, and this project is looking more like a 5-year plan.

Once Spring arrived, the priority for heat fell way down the list. By the next fall, it was time to tackle the mounting. Did not want the noise in the cabin, and mounting it under the Settee meant having engine coolant plumbed to the cabin - not a good idea; decided to mount it down below. But, soon realized there was only support for porting the air Out, not for the air flow In. Could not have it mounted in the ER with all those fumes, so now it is under the sink in the Head?!? Plan is to box off the intake and bring through the door vents. At least it is just behind the wall from the hot water heater.

When considering the Settee, noticed the "fine" print in the manual that said the unit should be mounted Below the Highest level of engine coolant. Even on the Head bulkhead, this is an "iffy" situation. So, decided it was probably a good idea to raise the coolant Level by adding an "overflow" coolant tank above the main one. Probably not a bad idea for this old engine, but was never in any original plans - you can see where this is headed by now.

Got the overflow tank in only to have the Potable water heater tank start to leak a stream.(it had always dripped, for years) So, now the water heater tank had to come out to replace the rusted element. This is a great all-stainless tank. Better to replace a $12 element than a $1200 tank.

Once the tank was out, it was apparent that there had been a lot of water damage to the platform under it that should be re-glassed. Oh, so that meant that old, noisy wash-down pump they had in there along with the rotted-out pressure tank needed to come out too in order to fix the platform. These were in such poor shape that I decided to replace them with a proper (quiet) pump and tank system - no end to these rat-holes....

Now, the hot water tank is out and the water pump is "temporary" and the coolant lines are capped off at the engine until the platform can be repaired and the tanks returned and properly mounted. Well, try for the heater next season.

Oh, BTW, could not route the cabin heater ducts without pulling off the side panels on the fuel tanks and one was totally blocked by the new starter battery installation, so a couple of weeks ago I had to pull the battery back out and cut up the Aft panel to get it out, as it had been built in before the soundproofing was installed 28 years ago. Now, I can finally run the heating duct to the rear of the saloon.
Piece by piece all this will need re-assembled. Hopefully in the end I will have a nice cabin heater....
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:18 PM   #19
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Look at the ITR Hurricane site...they explain it pretty well...look at the animations...

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Old 02-02-2013, 05:23 PM   #20
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I know what the manufacturer says about mounting below the header/recovery tank...but reality is as long as the system is burped and kept full...I'm not sure as it matters as I have seen more than a few mounted higher.
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