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Old 05-13-2013, 01:11 PM   #21
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We interrupt this discussion for a message!


I went shopping with the grand daughter which requires hours of walking up and down the mall, and the shoes I was wear where killing me. It was Christmas and the girls want slippers, so we all bout pink bunny slippers and walk around the mall. A couple of years ago even to day you will see people wearing pajama and slippers to the mall. One of the crazy moments with grand daughters. Priceless!


Now back to the discussion.

We carpeted and padded the floors as insulation, plex a glass over the big salon windows, all the curtains are heavy thermal, the canvas and tarps keep the cold wind and rain off the boat, but the best heat saver is a small quilt that is hug over the stair between the pilot house and the salon to keep the heat from going up into the pilot house. When the temps get above 50 degree the Webasto keeps the boat to darn hot so we switch to electric. In the winter, October through April the Webasto is primary and the electric is secondary. From May though Sept electric is primary and the Webasto secondary. In the summer the Webasto can be switch to only heat the hot water, which is continues ever hot. So we can run the hot water until the tank is dry, which is what my grand daughters have done.


The Webasto we installed is 110,000 btu and keeps the entire interior of the boat warm and dry with no hot or cold spots as the exchanger are through out the boat. Sized for 0 degree F, plus heats hot water and pre heats the 671. Nice to set thermostat and forget.


I had the Webasto over hauled this fall and its very quite but it still has the blast sound like an RV water heater because that is what it is. But like most things you get use to it. It no more noisier than a dirt central heating unit. The Webasto when firing used 20 amps 12 volt DC, but it comes about 30 to 50% of the time with the temps drop below freezing.

You can have your diesel/pellet stoves as my wife and I are worth it!
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:23 PM   #22
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FF - I agree with all your recommendations for insulating, and the inefficiency of boats in general. But while I'm there with you on the heating systems you mentioned, and agree they are good...I think we are forgetting one.

While I agree that pellet stoves would not be ideal for some boat layouts, and maybe not as neat and slick as some boiler systems, especially those with radiant heat in the floor, a pellet stove similar to the one I mentioned has some advantages. On the bright side, its like having a fireplace on board and could be quite lovely in the evening on a cold, rainy winter day...or any other cold day. Sitting having dinner, watching a movie while watching the shadows from the fire and the flames leap and dance.

1) At $3000 for the unit its inexpensive. Figure another several hundred $'s in air ducts and fans, insulated if going through a cold space. Then there is exhaust piping.
2) Fuel is inexpensive. I envision being able to heat a boat my size for under $600 during the entire winter here in Delaware. It DOES get cold here. In my old 1800 sq ft house I went from paying $400 a month in oil or $2200 a year to $550 in pellets and $400 in oil.
3) 40,000 BTU's is a nice max heat output.
4) Thermostat controlled
5) Battery backup
6) Fill the hopper once and ignore it for 12-36 hrs depending
7) 185 lbs with a 20x20 inch footprint isn't bad!


1) The bags are heavy and you need someplace to store them. I don't think this option is for everyone just for that reason.
2) The hopper DOES require being filled, which is work...whether every

Even accounting for a boat that has little insulation, there is plenty of heat being produced if you can just move it around. Lots of boats are already set up to do this with A/C.

The trick I think is to find in duct fans for those systems that don't make much noise. Most bilge blowers are noisy, so that may be out, depending where they would be located. But they do make them for homes...used to boost heat and A/C to areas far from the main source. This may take some experimentation to find the best equipment for the purpose.

But I also think it hasn't been explored. There are two threads and two threads only mentioning pellet stoves on this forum. This one and one other.

Take an average trawler layout. Often it has a midships salon/galley with forward and aft staterooms. So placing the pellet stove in the salon facing the galley might be ideal to keep that space toasty. At that point one has to figure out how to either use the existing ducts for the staterooms with blowers or create new openings.

I just think there may very well be a place for these systems on the water in some people's boats. An alternative to spending $15,000+. Will it require some compromises? Probably. Experimentation? Yes. The two threads on here very well indicate how few people have tried it.

Is insurance a concern? It might be, especially for some. Its an unknown. OFB in post #2 of this thread said, "Mom in law changed out the diesel heater I installed on her conversion to a pellet stove and just never looked back staying nice and warm with little hassel or mess. Surveyed fine and insurable."

Doesnt mean someone might not have a problem. But they ARE mobile home approved, and personally I think of those things as flammable junk. Still, there are more regulations regarding mobile homes and what is legal for heating than there are for boats.

For $3000+ I am thinking I may try it. I have 400 or so square ft of interior space and probably 200 sq ft of machinery space. The unit should be capable of heating that at most times running at about 75% capacity (or a medium setting if you were not using a thermostat) in 30 degree weather even with the relatively poor insulation on board. As long as I can move the air. If it doesn't work as expected I'll move it to my home as I loved the one I had in my old place.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:09 PM   #23
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The pellet stove that was installed on moms boat used a muffin fan that was powered off a 12 V battery bank through an inverter. The same battery bank wire set up that powered the muffin fan on the diesel heater start up.

Yes insurance can be an issue with underwriters not in want of solid fuel heaters. Not really the case here in BC however.

Moms vessel was a dock queen actually still is. With reliable power dock side so the stove was really just a winter deal , Nov through March.

YMMV
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:25 PM   #24
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Check the marina rules as well. Ours doesn't allow solid fuel heaters. I'm thinking sparks might be the concern.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:40 PM   #25
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Check the marina rules as well. Ours doesn't allow solid fuel heaters. I'm thinking sparks might be the concern.

Its more of an unattended heater can be a concern. Most BC marinas use a basic form as a contract. I could not live aboard here with out a solid fuel heater that I can leave on when out for a few hours. Actually most marinas could not survive if these "contracts" where enforced as written.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:09 PM   #26
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Our PS runs 24/7 except when we clean it ... or like now it is in shut off mode most of the time. We just run it about 45 min in the morning.

$3000 is not expensive. Shop around aronhk_md. Gravity fed from above, auger fed ect. Ask for all the details. Ideally you would go where they sell several different kinds and can tell you fairly honestly about the differences. Don't reject the more expensive stoves w/o becoming famillar w the higher end features. We kept accepting better features until we bought a $4000 stove and am not at all sorry.

Listen to them run. As I've said the only thing I don't like about ours is the fan noise and it's completely acceptable .... just wish it was a bit less.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:18 PM   #27
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Might be of interest to you, a list of all the compact pellet stoves and a few have battery back up, so power draw for auger and blower are lower than the larger home units. The Smallest Pellet Stove

I also have a PS for my home along with two heat pumps/AC. The PS can hold a 50 degree temp differential for a 2500 sq ft home. The blower at the medium setting pulls 60 watts (on high 200 watts) and the auger pulls 20 watts when in use, so crunched into watt-hr, somewhere around 65 w-hr or at 12 volts, an average draw of 5 to 6 amps.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:25 PM   #28
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Northern Spy - I understand what you are saying, but again, the ignition is contained, the same as a diesel heater. My marina does mention not leaving heaters unattended in the contract but nothing specific about solid fuel itself.

Manyboats - No, I was saying that $3000 is NOT expensive. I have seen many of them and understand about augers. Some are actually twin auger. Some have air blown against the glass these days which helps keep it clean. Some can use alternate fuels too such as corn or cherry pits, which is a VERY attractive feature to me. Not the corn so much as cherry pits. Corn is in demand for feed and ethanol so the prices fluctuate. But the cherry pits are mostly just a waste product.

But the features that attracted me to the Thelin stove are as follows.

-classy design that looks better than the other stoves on the market. Europe has some very innovative designs, but they haven't found their way to the US.

-small footprint and weight. These are significantly smaller than the average pellet stove at 20x20 inches and 185 lbs. Most of these pellet stoves weigh close to 400 lbs and are quite bulky as you mentioned.

They are auger fed too. As for noise, yes they tend to be a little noisier than what most people are used to. There is the fan(s) and also the clink as pellets drop into the burn pot. It didn't bother me though as I was used to the noise of the heatilator blowing from my old fireplace.



deckofficer - while I agree those stoves are small they also suffer from lack of hopper storage, which means you are constantly refilling them, lack of ash tray capacity which means constantly emptying them...and you have to shut down to empty, and lack of decent BTU output. 7500 BTU to 13,500 BTU might be enough to heat a single small room, but that's not my goal here.

You'll notice the Gnome on your list is made by the same company I mentioned...Thelin.

If going through the trouble of installing a pellet stove you might as well have one with better features and real output.

Again, the Thelin Parlour 3000 puts out 40,000 BTU while standing 43 inches tall and is only 20" x 20", weighs 185 lbs. That's pretty small! And it has a reasonable sized ash tray and fill hopper, Battery backup, etc.

There is no comparison to the others on that "small" list
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:33 PM   #29
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The Thelin Gnome pulls only 27 watts. Puts out 31,300 btu.

The BTU ratings on that main page of the link is what they can throttle down to, i.e. minimum output.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:45 AM   #30
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DO,
How many amps? P=IE? or I/E .. can't remember.

I would think the "rating" would be for maximum heat.

The PS does take much more power to start but only for a short time. You don't light them. They heat the fuel to combustion electrically like the "burner" on your electric stove.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:29 AM   #31
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The Thelin gnome didn't used to have an automatic ignitition, but now apparently does. It uses the same 27 amps as its big brother the Parlour 3000 and at 19.25" circumference/18.5" footprint its only 3/4 inch smaller.....but it IS only 34" high, so 11" shorter. So it only holds 26 lbs of pellets in the hopper and people have mentioned the ash tray is smaller.

According to their website its 27,000 BTU. That would be max BTU.

For less than an inch difference in circumference I'd go for the Parlour 3000 with 40,000 BTU, larger hopper and ash tray. Also their website indicates the Gnome burns at 69% efficiency but the Parlour 3000 at 72.19%

Manyboats, if I recall mine used to start within 2 minutes. It was a point about the size of a dulled sharpie marker tip that glowed, fuel sits on it while air blows over the pellets. BUT, the outer fan doesn't kick on until ignition and warm up are complete, so it may not really use more amps during start up. Of course once started it will run days if set properly without reignition. Just need to shut off for emptying the ash tray every few days and a quick brush around the burn pot once weekly.

If you have it running by thermostat though and its kicking on and off you would have multiple ignitions. Truthfully I had a thermostat with my old one and never hooked it up. I just used the manual settings and ran the stove where I was comfortable. It had two settings, one for fan speed, the other for fuel feed.

I went from thinking, "Hmmm, where do I want to put the thermostat?" To, "Oh why bother?" lol
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:05 AM   #32
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Quote:
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DO,
How many amps? P=IE? or I/E .. can't remember.

I would think the "rating" would be for maximum heat.

The PS does take much more power to start but only for a short time. You don't light them. They heat the fuel to combustion electrically like the "burner" on your electric stove.
The rating on the cover page was the lowest output so that you could determine if your room was too small for the PS. When you click on the model the next page gives all the specs, hopper capacity, weight, max output.

P (power in watts)= I (current in amps) X E (electromotive force in volts)

P/E=I

So for this PS 27 watts/120 volts = .225 amps
27 watts/12 volts = 2.25 amps
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:26 AM   #33
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messed up a post here
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:59 AM   #34
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Pellet stove on boat

Lots of good / great reading here. I have been a lurker for awhile and just signed up. Wife and I are in the midst of moving onto our 41' Trawler. Although our marina has full metered electricity we are looking at another primary heat source.
Diesel, Propane or Pellet stoves ?
We have two back up generators and inverters as well.
The information contained in this thread is steering us towards a Pellet stove.
We have a central salon over the engine room and planned on running ducts similar to baseboard heaters for transferring warmth fore and aft.
Has anybody thought about the "hydro pellet" stoves ? They are a little boxy and not as pleasing to the eye as the Thelin shown above. They heat circulated water like a normal boiler and distribute the warmth water to remote units with little heat exchangers with individual temp control. They also throw off radiant heat off of the unit itself.

They also will heat your hot water and engine compartments... I like that feature.
I am going to meet with a Pellet stove distributor tonight and see what he has to say.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:14 AM   #35
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Hi Tom, yes, I too have thought about the hydro units. There is also a gentleman who makes a retrofit hydro kit for a number of pellet stoves on the market already. His kit runs $1700. I have my pellet stove on board but have not yet done the install. Looks great though. Lol
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:04 PM   #36
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if living aboard full time and not moving...then it doesn't matter a whole lot what you heat with as long as the fuel is readily available...

if you own a diesel boat and plan to cruise...I just don't see any better, more convenient fuel source other than the diesel you already carry....
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:34 PM   #37
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You are right, if cruising with a diesel boat diesel heat makes a lot of sense. Especially using engine heat while on the move. But if you spend time at the same dock and don't go out for more than 3 days at a time or live aboard diesel can get expensive comparatively. I think my calculations were approximately $300 a month or so. With the pellet stove I expect under $100 a month.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:02 PM   #38
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>Unlike coal and wood, pellets aren't as messy..<

Coal is not at all messy IF you have a system.

While living aboard at Worlds Fair Marina (with diesel heat) one fellow chose coal.

He had a couple of large garbage cans with a tight lid the coal was stored in.

His technique was to paper bag the coal in what would be a 12 hour shot, staple the bag closed then put another bag over the first and staple again.

All the bags were stored in the cans and when it was done there was no mess.

On returning home he would grab a bag before stepping on board , shake the grate and toss in the bag.
In the AM he would pop outside on waking and repeat the procedure.

No muss no fuss , and no mess with hard coal.

Weather you can find coal in your area is a different question.

For larger boats there were many wood/coal on gas ranges made pre- WWII.

These have an oven with a gas 4 burner range built in and a wood coal range can be cooked on and also heats the oven.

No electric required and fairly large BTU output .

For my bucks the Dickinson is a better choice , as sometimes I would be gone a few days.

For a new boat in cold but not killing cold where the chance electric will mostly be on the new minisplit air cond will pump out 400% or 500% more BTU per amp than a hot wire heater.
They are used in Euro land , Norway -Germany at -30F and still produce the rated heat output.

BUT when the electric goes down an unwinterized boat can sink overnight.

Caviat Emptor!
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:39 PM   #39
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In the winter we will be "iced" in at the dock at a full service marina that has a full underwater propeller system in place. There are about 12 boats that stay in the water and about 8 of us full time live aboards.
As far as traveling in the cold ? We are in our low 50's so we have another 30 yrs to work before we can break free and travel during the cold which the diesel heat would be well suited for. Plus it would probably be a bigger boat.
We both work during the day and arrive back at the boat around 7:00 each night. We are both very athletic and busy.
We have yet to see and hear any systems working. We are headed up to Maine next week to look at and hear the Diesel fired stoves made by Dickinson, Sigmar and Refleks.
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:21 AM   #40
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>full underwater propeller system in place<

Lucky , the marinas that pump air they the existing water pipes that feed bubblers STINK for a liveaboard as the noise is 24/7 .

>We are headed up to Maine next week to look at and hear the Diesel fired stoves made by Dickinson, Sigmar and Refleks.<

The pot burner versions of diesel fuel stoves usually is the safest.

Dockside the boat can not swing into the wind , and suffers downdrafts from other boats so the H style smoke head is the preferred unit. A cast bronze water deck iron is great if you can find it.
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