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Old 11-10-2013, 07:29 AM   #21
CaptTom's Avatar
City: Southern Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Cygnus
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,025
One of the first things I hooked up on my then-new boat in 2003 was the engine jacket water loop to the water heater. To this day I consider it one of the best modifications I ever made.

Hot water within 20-30 minutes of getting underway. Hot showers, dishwashing, washing hands after a greasy repair job at anchor. All luxuries that became automatic, no generator or shore power required.

I replaced the water heater after 8-9 years. I never even bothered to see where it was leaking, just dropped in a new one as soon as I saw water under it. If you got 14 years out of yours, it owes you nothing.

One time, a support holding the engine coolant loop hoses failed and one chafed on the steering components, causing an engine coolant leak. A quick patch underway, and a more permanent fix dockside, solved that problem.

Despite those two episodes, having hot water for 10 years was worth it.

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Old 11-10-2013, 08:59 AM   #22
Scraping Paint
City: Fort Lauderdale
Vessel Model: CHB 48 Zodiac YL 4.2
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,804
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
What???? No formula?????
Could'a but it would have required more work than I care produce on a Sunday morning. Besides, some things are just more fun to develop empirically.

I'm already up to my ears in writing a user manual for a new marine exhaust product. It has just about consumed my energy budget for the weekend.

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Old 11-10-2013, 09:20 AM   #23
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City: Port Credit
Country: Ontario
Vessel Name: DIRT FREE
Vessel Model: Benford Fantail 38
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,817
Back to the OP. The vast majority of "marine" water heaters are aluminum tanks wrapped in fiberglass batting, inside a steel (of some sort) case. If the tank is mounted directly on a deck, without airspace underneath, the glass batting sucks up the water and corrodes the tank.

Your water heater will live a much longer life if provided with half an inch of air space underneath and you connect hoses to the drain tap and pressure felief valve to lead any drips into the bilge.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:11 AM   #24
Edelweiss's Avatar
City: PNW
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 1976 Californian Tricabin LRC
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 1,690
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
The black hose around the deck would probably work great on really sunny days like the solar showers....and you can't any simpler...I think the trick with solar anything is how to enhance it for most days, even the overcast ones (the rest of the days are better for staying in bed or watching the rain from a Tiki bar )

My parent had a custom built solar heater for their pool, which was probably a 5' x 10' solar collector box, lined with an array of black plastic piping. It work ok for a season or two but required the pump to run continuously or Mr. Sol would cook the pipes and seals and it would leak like at every joint.
Larry B
Careful . . .I Have a Generator and I'm not afraid to use it !
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:57 AM   #25
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 5,359
Not only do I need the hot water loop for the water heater but the other engine has a loop for the hydronic heating system. Solar, black irrigation pipes you say - for us hardy boating souls in the North the sun has now dropped so low in the horizon my sextant is useless. Full disclosure - we had dinner at the Lahaina Yacht Club last night.

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