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Old 05-22-2012, 01:46 AM   #1
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Heat Suggestions Needed

I have been pondering for many months the heat needs of my boat and want to come up with the right solution. First about my boat and the current heat configuration:

Boat is a 49' Defever RPH (2005). The staterooms are forward. So saloon and galley are aft, you walk up three steps to pilothouse and then down about six steps to the forward guest cabin and midship master stateroom.

Current heating is a reverse cycle heat pump providing forced air heat or AC to three zones....saloon/galley, pilothouse, stateroom

There are also two thermostatically controlled electric heaters in the stateroom and saloon.

Both current systems require the generator or shore power to operate. The boat was originally a California boat, but I bought it and brought it to the PNW where I reside. We would like to have a heat source not dependent on intensive electricity.

Two options we have considered are a Webasto Hydronic system and the other is a Dickinson diesel heater.

As with anything, there seems to be pros and cons to each, so am looking for real user experience with both or either system, taking into consideration by boat.

I could get a Dickinson, which I would like because of the dry heat and the cozy fireplace effect and lower cost of install, but as I understand it, I would not necessarily be able to get that heat to my forward cabins? I suppose we could load the blankets on, but is there a solution to get heat to these cabins with the Dickinson solution?

Getting the Webasto I understand it is costlier due to the system and more intensive install, but could have multiple zones. I believe the Webasto also has a power draw....what would that be?

Without rambling further, I would appreciate any comments or advice.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:30 AM   #2
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I have a Dickinson Pacific stove and think it's great. Virtually no power useage. However, my boat is a 32'sedan. I don't think it will work well for yours, at least not a single stove/heater.

I have seen larger boats with two or more diesel, Dickinson type heaters, bulkhead, freestanding or stoves depending on the available mounting space .

You need to be prepared for the fact that there is no thermostat. We simply open the door and/or some windows if it's getting to warm. During summer we don't use it except on rainy damp days or when we have gone west to the Broughtons where it can be cooler.

12Vdc Muffin fans caould be used to circulate the air.


Yes, you can turn the oil valve up or down but it's not like the thermostat. If you can deal with that then it/they may work well for you. Compared to the automatic systems they are easy to learn and keep running reliably by yourself which cannot always be said of most of the furnaces or hydronic systems.

There are several hydronic type mfgrs.
Hurricane Hurricane Heating Systems | International Thermal Research
kabola http://www.kabola.nl/kabolaEN.swf
Webasto who you already know about
Espar Espar - HYDRONIC 24/30/35

Take a good look at all of them and check the power requirements. They all have advantages and disadvantages.

I know two or three people who have, over the last few years, gone with the Hurricane systems and are, to my knowledge, happy with them. They are larger boats like yours, 45-50', and find the automatic function and zoning quite suitable.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:42 AM   #3
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Thanks for the comments. I am familiar with these other names. I was told Kabola is good in that they might be better for a larger boat? I am always hesitant to totally put my faith in the retailers that carry a specific brand, I prefer to hear from real users. It would be tough to get a second Dickinson into my cabins. Because of the space configuration and floor/wall space for mounting. It is not conducive to a diesel fireplace. The saloon area would be, which would heat the pilothouse and galley. If people could comment on reliability of their systems, that would be great as well as power draw and fuel burn.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:01 AM   #4
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I have a tri-cabin with the same "no where to mount it" issue and would hate to install 3 if I could find places. The Dickinsons do have coils that could feed a "bus type" heater in your fwd stateroom...not dure about how much heat they can transfer.

I an probably going to go with the ITR Hurricane system as I like the unlimited hot water idea too!
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:12 AM   #5
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but is there a solution to get heat to these cabins with the Dickinson solution?

More Dickinsons would be the answer, as they are a bit under 20,000BTU and that is tiny heat for such a large boat. even tho no low temps in the PNW are common..

The Hurricane is a bear to install as hoses and heaters must be in each heated space, but the DC consumption is low , so a overnight power loss could be handled.This would be my liveaboard #1 choice.

A pair of air machines , Espar or Webasto would solve the problem , but again the install would be a pain.And the noise sucks.

With no electric required perhapsan oil range could heat the day part of the boat , with an assist in the sleeping cabins as required with a resistance heater?

And never forget the 120v or even better the 12 v electric Sheets , that simply keep the bed warm .

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Old 05-22-2012, 09:28 AM   #6
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On our 4788 I decided to use forced air units.

We went with Wallas furnaces because they can vary the heat output, are very quiet, and bring in fresh air. This saves the on-off cycling of conventional thermostat only units, and ventilates the boat.

We installed three separate units.

One 10K but furnace serves the salon area.

One 10K btu unit serves the cabins.

One 7K btu unit serves the pilothouse, including defrost.

This allows us to have zone control of our heat, and the ventilation aspect has proved to be a very nice feature.

At a quiet anchorage, you cannot hear these units running, either from inside the boat or outside.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:46 AM   #7
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The delema

Kevin any idea how much fuel it will take keep your boat warm enough to live on full time in say south east AK. The problem I have with an all electric boat is that away from the dock If I want warmth I will be listening to a genny. At the dock my impression is the it's hard to beat electricity from the dock when it comes to cost. At four dollars plus a gallon this could be a big number for a livaboard. Last winter my reverse cycle system still produced heat in 45 deg water, however it isn't as quiet I'm sure as your Wallas system. Keeping the boat warm and dry makes a huge difference in living quality, I know I keep talking about 120v block heaters, I highly recommend them as they heat the engine room enough to reduce the heat loss through my salon floor and have a positive effect on the whole boat not just the engine room. It removes one more huge heat sink. Assuming you will be leaving your boat in the water this winter will you be keeping the wallas heaters on full time? Each Wallas unit need's 12v power, fuel, fuel filter and ducting?
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:40 AM   #8
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Dickinson diesel stove with the coil and a few red dots. Dry heat. It does need a pump to circulate the hot water to the red dots. The power draw is only the red dots and the small pump. The only dray back is that you have to light it and have it running all the time,
if you want to cook anything. A grill on the deck could solve that issue.

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Old 05-22-2012, 04:23 PM   #9
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The Eagle was a California boat so it had not heat when we bought it in the summer. The first slip had 30 amps 120 volts which is not near enough to heat the boat. We installed a CAT catalytic propane vent to the outside to heat the salon, so the 30 amps could be used to heat the staterooms. However the boat was still on the cold side with a lot of humidity/moisture in the boat.

The main reason was to heat the forward staterooms. The Webasto was by far the most popular installed in the 40 to 70 ft. A boiler/hot water heats the whole boat as the hoses can be run up into closets/cupboards and also keep the engine room and the bilge warm and dry which keeps the boat moisture free. The Webasto is the best investment made in the boat and the reason we are still a live aboard.

Was the easiest to install with 1Ē holes and small exchange units that could be installed in small spaces. Parts and service for the Webasto was/is available and installers where willing to work with me. Installed in 1999 at a cost of 15 grand. I did 80 to 90% of the install/grunt running the hoses/wires, and installing the heat exchangers back to where the installer hooked up/installed the boiler, exhaust and the electrical panel. The wabsto also heat the hot watter and can pre warm the DD 671, but since the boiler and water heater is in the engine room is about 70 degrees, so we have not used the pre heat yet.

It would take 4 to 5 of the Wallas furnaces to equal the Webasto 90,000 BTU heat. Each year I have the Webasto service which is done by our regular diesel mechanic. The only expesive thing that been replaced this the burner tube lining and runs 24/7 from October 1 to April 15. We started with three zones, quickly went to two zones and then one zone because if you are going to heat the hot water may as well use all the heat produced and the whole boat. The webasto is sized for 0 degrees. Below freezing, 32 degrees, 24/7 we burn about 20 gallons/week, temps in the 30 to 40 about 15 gallons per week and 40 to 50 about 10 gallons per week. The Webasto uses about 20 amps DC for about 15 minutes/per hour firing. The Webasto can be swtich to heat just the domest hot water.

With the Webasto in the engine room and the exhaust heavily insulated/heat wrap its not very noise in the salon and can not be heard in the master bead room. Like most things you get used to the sound/noise.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:48 PM   #10
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Thanks for ongoing responses. Lots more to consider. Can anyone tell me a bit more about the "block heater" as well as the AC/DC bed blankets. I don't have DC outlets in the cabins, but do have AC outlets.

I am leaning towards either a proper sized Webasto or maybe a combination of a Dickinson for day use area, bed warmers and maybe a block heater...which would be good to keep engine room toaty and dry in winter?
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scary View Post
Kevin any idea how much fuel it will take keep your boat warm enough to live on full time in say south east AK.

Steve

The easiest way to think about it is mathmatically.

A gallon of #2 diesel has 129,500 BTU.
A Kilowatt hour of electricity has 3414 BTU.

So, each gallon of diesel has the same heating value as 38 Kilowatt hours of electricity.

Then we get into efficiency.

A diesel furnace is around 80% efficient at converting BTU to heat. (Everything else goes out the furnace exhaust.)

Because of this there are only 129,500*.8= 103,600 BTU of useable heat value in a gallon of #2 diesel.

Electric heaters are 100% efficient since there is no heat wasted in the exhaust.


So, there are 103,600/3414=30 Kilowatt houres of useable heat in a gallon of diesel.

Thaking this further...

If you pay $.15 per kilowatt hour for electricity then your equivelent diesel fuel cost per gallon is .15*30=$4.50

You can factor in your cost for electricity at your marina vs your cost of diesel and decide if diesel is cost effective.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:44 AM   #12
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Thanks Keven

Block heaters directly into my thermostat housing on my Detroits. They are 120volt and plug into a outlet in my engine room. They are cal rods that insert into a 3/4 pipe fitting like a water heater and heats the engine coolant to about 90deg in my case. The water circulates by convection "I think" and the engines remain toasty. Start ups are instant and smoke free, my engine room is aways very dry and never freezes.

So depending on electricity cost diesel sounds cost effective. I'll have to check my bill as I'm not sure what we are paying at the dock.
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:17 AM   #13
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"It does need a pump to circulate the hot water to the red dots. The power draw is only the red dots and the small pump."

Usually , however I installed a thermo syphon (gravity is the pump) in my 33ft ,90/90.

However it was installed very early in the boats construction and 6 ft base board units could be accommidated.

Look at the Split System thread, reverse cycle can give 3 to 6 times the heat as toaster heat.

Today's systems still work at -17F far lower than most cruisers will ever see.

www.electrowarmth.com/ for the electric bunk warmer.

IF you must operate a noisemaker to produce electric , it would be the perfect place to co generate.

Use the coolant to feed a red dot or two , as well as the FW hot water heater.

If dry stack the exhaust can heat a drying locker or even the PH with a proper louvered locker.

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Old 05-23-2012, 11:50 AM   #14
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In the winter when the temps are below freezing it is not a question of cost, itís a question of being able to heat with the available dock AC and /or the boat ways from the dock. When the temps below freezing there is not enough AC amps at the dock to heat the boat. Therefore the Webasto below 40 degrees is the primary heat and electric is primary above 50 degrees. So it may not be a question of dollars.
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Fill View Post
In the winter when the temps are below freezing it is not a question of cost, itís a question of being able to heat with the available dock AC and /or the boat ways from the dock. When the temps below freezing there is not enough AC amps at the dock to heat the boat. Therefore the Webasto below 40 degrees is the primary heat and electric is primary above 50 degrees. So it may not be a question of dollars.
Good point about not enough amps... AND some boats couldn't handle them if they were available. More and more marinas on the East Coast are saying no heating with electric...unless reverse cycle...too many knuckleheads starting fires with cube heaters and extension cords.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:35 PM   #16
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I have a Dickinson Bristol without the coil and use it to heat the cabin. I also have a Espar D5 It pushes it over the top. Forced air into the V birth.

The Bristol is a toasty little thing with nice dry heat.

I live in Alaska and run my boat year round.
Some think I am crazy.

When I go out for the weekend I don't see another boat. Just quiet and solitude.
Restoreth the sole.

Sd
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