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Old 08-07-2011, 02:34 PM   #1
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Cabin Heater

What is everyone using for cabin heat?* I need something up here in the cold land of Alaska to provide cabin heat even when the engines are shut down and we are at anchor.

Could run the gen but rather not.

Prefer diesel fuel powered as I have a diesel powered boat.

I see some using Wabasto and that is a thought except for the complex installation.

Have a friend with both a wood burner and a Monitor heater on board his 40' Puget Sound and that works for him. I don't have the free floor space for that in my Bayliner 3870. Need something more compact.

thanks
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:15 PM   #2
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RE: Cabin Heater

Check out the Wallas stove with the optional heater fan.* I don't remember what the BTU output was on the one I had, but it kept a 28' toasty, so might be sufficient up to a point.* Super simple installation.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:49 PM   #3
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RE: Cabin Heater

You didn't say if your were a live-aboard, if you are...* We had a Webasto hot water system on our last boat (42') and would put one back in on Hobo or a similar unit*if we lived in your*climate.**The installation is not that complicated.* We ran the supply lines for the individual radiators down one side and the return done the other.* We never had mold or mildew and the lockers stayed warm and dry.* We replaced their stock thermostat with a cheapo programmable.* We ran it through the hot water heater so we had lots of hot water.* If we were just weekend cruising a would look at the Wallas as Delfin suggested.* The Wabasto is $$$.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:20 AM   #4
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RE: Cabin Heater

Depends on weather you want to heat a cabin ot the whole boat from end to end.

The Dickinson like of diesel fired ranges would be fine for about 20,000 btu.

www.dickinsonmarine.com

The Hurricane is probably the best low cost system for live or weekend aboard a larger boat.

www.itrheat.com/marine_about.html
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:15 AM   #5
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Cabin Heater

Lots of Bayliner diesel fired boiler setups are in use in the PNW. Kubola, Webasto and Hurricane II come to mind. If only for during cruising time, a red dot style heater off* your engine is cheap and simple. My Hurricane II setup ( do not select their junk ITR hydronic HXs) *uses both engine (cruising) *and boiler heat (sitting).

If you have the power, use electric at the dock for the bulk of your needs.

If possible for an install during your trip south, call North Harbor Diesel in Anacortes. I bet they could give you a pretty good phone estimate based upon their many Bayliner installs during the years.


-- Edited by sunchaser on Monday 8th of August 2011 07:21:44 AM
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:26 AM   #6
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RE: Cabin Heater

Thanks
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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RE: Cabin Heater

I've done this in the past.

Clay Pot Cabin Heater - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:53 PM   #8
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RE: Cabin Heater

Quote:
superdiver wrote:I am interested in a small propane stove top with a heater on it as well (if there is such a thing...)
* * * * If there is such a thing, it's one of the best kept secrets I've ever heard of!
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:02 PM   #9
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RE: Cabin Heater

Be aware that propane puts a LOT of moisture into the air. Our boat is a California boat--- it spent the first 25 years of its life in SFO bay until we liberated it and brought it north. Consequently it has no heat on it, not even a Red Dot. However we boat year round. Having other things to do wth the $8k or so it would take to put a proper diesel heating system on the boat, we've been using a small portable propane heater during the winter when we go out.

We have VERY strict rules because propane inside a boat is a great way to reduce it and you to matchsticks. I'm not going to list our absolutely rigid rules for using this heater but suffice it to say a propane explosion in the boat is not something we worry about. BUT.... it does put a lot of water on the inside of the windows (as does the propane stove when we use it during the winter).

I've been on another boat that also has no built-in heat and the owners used a portable kerosene heater. This doesn't have the volitility of propane but it gradually sooted up the inside of the boat and the smell of kerosene heat is something I don't care for. The portable propane heater we use at least has no odor to it. (The folks with the kerosene heater switched to the same kind of propane heater we use).

Propane heat does not produce any interior moisture if the heater is vented to the outside. This, I believe, is a feature of the previously mentioned Walas (sp?) system. And companies like Dickenson and others make wall-mount propane heaters that exhaust up a stovepipe. We've kicked around the idea of adding one of these since we already have a propane system on the boat, but we have nowhere practical to mount the heater.

But I believe a proper diesel heater--- either forced air or circulatiing hot water with individual "heat exhchanger vents"--- is the best way to go for a boat like ours. Second best if the boat has a practical place for it is a bulkhead mounted diesel (or propane) heater vented to the outside.
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:33 PM   #10
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RE: Cabin Heater

Had a diesel fired, hot ducted air, Volvo bus heater from Scanmarine on our last boat. Liked it except for an annoying buzzing sound when it ran. Kept things dry, boat warm and didn't use much DC juice. Good for Maine summers but probably not Alaskan cold.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:20 PM   #11
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RE: Cabin Heater

Quote:
superdiver wrote:
I am looking for the same thing. I have a diesel heater stove but HATE it as it leaves TONS of ashes !!

I am interested in s small propane stove top with a heater on it as well (if there is such a thing...)
*Perhaps check out the Wallas as well.* It is forced air and burns completely clean.* I never saw any soot from it at all, although I have to say that our Dickinson which I think is properly stacked also doesn't leave any soot.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:18 AM   #12
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RE: Cabin Heater

"I am considering putting in a small propane heater and 2 burner stove top..."

1.2 gaL OF WATER FOR EACH GAL OF PROPANE BURNED.

"I have to say that our Dickinson which I think is properly stacked also doesn't leave any soot."

A operating proper setup needs the deck washed every spring .
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:32 AM   #13
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RE: Cabin Heater

I betcha Delfin washes his deck more than every spring.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:32 AM   #14
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RE: Cabin Heater

Have cruised with diesel natural draft heaters since the 1950's.

A good installation is critical, as is proper operation.* The air/fuel ratio (which depends on "proper stacking" as Delfin says) is what makes the difference.* An inbalance will cause considerable sooting.

Sometimes the solution is a small thing, maybe a draft vent in the exhaust stack, or a different stack fixture, or lenghtening the stack a foot or two to get more draw.* Once, we couldn't get a natural draft burner to work right without using the combustion fan on its lowest setting.* Solution there was to increase the outside air supply.

On commercial vessels where direct outside air venting was unavailable and required combustion fan operation, the stack was fitted with compressed air and the soot was blown out once a day.* Cook had to get permission from the Capt/Mate so that the boat was upwind at the time.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:29 AM   #15
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RE: Cabin Heater

Might want to check out the CAT catalytic propane, DC exhaust fan, and thermostat controller. www.ventedcatheater.com.**and easy to*install*We ran the CAT heater 24/7 from October through April for 3 years and never had any condensation/moisture problem, but the CAT is vented to the out side.* The Webasto Diesel boiler heating was the best investment we made to the boat and the reason we been a live aboard for 14 years.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:49 AM   #16
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RE: Cabin Heater

If you decide to install a propane range (cooktop/oven) I suggest including Force 10 in your short list of choices. We replaced the leaking Magic Chef range that was on our boat when we bought it (probably the original unit to the boat) with a Force 10 within weeks of our buying the boat in 1998. With the exception of a splitter fitting for the gas feed to the oven and broiler burners that was replaced with a better design (supplied free to us by Force 10 along with the service guy talking me through its installation on the phone as I did it) the Force 10 has been totally trouble-free. Their "disappearing" oven door feature is terrific, particularly for the GB36 galley configuration. Excellent product and excellent product support in our experience.
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:55 AM   #17
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RE: Cabin Heater

I betcha Delfin washes his deck more than every spring

For a few winters I lived at Worlds Fair Marina , a hundred yards from LGA.

In those days black smoke poured out of most jet exhausts ,a few hundred departures per day, made deck washing the chore in spring time ONLY.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:58 PM   #18
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RE: Cabin Heater

check out the espar airtronic D2 or D3 diesel fueled heaters. easy install, your choice of one or 2 heat vents, and the combustion unit fits easily into a cockpit locker space. draws diesel from the fuel tank. combustion products vent outside the boat.

i had a dickinson propane newport mounted on the bulkhead on the last boat. it vented thru an external charley noble. it was adequate but not great.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:34 AM   #19
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RE: Cabin Heater

Super diver,

What is your stove now?

I have a Dickinson, Pacific model, in my boat, diesel fuel. It does a good job and is very simple to operate. It burns cleanly.
However, it did take me a while to get it there and one of the biggest things was figuring out that the fan must be run all the time , although on low. Everyone said don't use the fan - nonesense. If you get the stack height right the fan may not be required but the tiny motor draws very little power and cleaned the stack right up and reduced burner pot cleanouts to a minimum with little residue. In fact, now, unless I try to run it very low, the burner pot is usually white in colour.

If your stove will not burn cleanly then something is not right about the setup. When I figured out what the cost would be for an Espar or Webasto, Hurricane not available then, plus the batteries, it made sense to start getting it to run correctly. It has now given us over 25 years of good service. Perfect, no, but good and reliable heat that dries the cabin.
Yes there is some maintenance required but it is minimal.
I know several folk who have diesel Dickinsons and love them although the models are different.

And considering how many folks I've seen with non running Espars or Webasto I no longer think of replacement.

Most stove mfgrs. such as Dickinson have some guidlines and accessories to install the stoves correctly so they work properly. Maybe yours was not set up properly.
Unless you simply don't want it, it likely is worthwhile trying to figure out why it doesn't burn cleanly and has lots of ash.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:51 AM   #20
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RE: Cabin Heater

"And considering how many folks I've seen with non running Espars or Webasto I no longer think of replacement."


Bus or truck heaters are not built for 24/7/150 boat winter use.

Genuine marine stuff , Dickinson or their competition is great.

The other far more complex systems like the Hurricane or its competition require maint on a much larger scale.

IF I were attempting to heat a very large boat , say 50 ft Roomaran , I would contemplate 3 Dickinsons Pacific and 2 Ant Artic , rather than complex electric systems.

But then I repair my gear and am lazy , and hate crawling in the engine room at midnight , cold , and wondering IF I have spare parts for the latest failure.
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