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Old 12-23-2018, 03:59 PM   #21
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As Kevin Sanders did, I also have a Wallas 40DT heater.
I got it 4 years ago, because of the great reviews, it's made in Finland, which is much colder than anyplace on the west coast and it's supposed to be the most quiet forced air heater and most efficient ( Scandinavia and Finland pay $8+/ gal of fuel).

But, I still haven't finished installing it yet. :-)
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Old 12-23-2018, 06:41 PM   #22
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In a cool climate like Seattle, a diesel heater/stove/boiler is the best way to be comfortable and dry. Any combustion device removes wet air as it burns. Electricity alone doesn't do anything about ventilation. I've seen many people close up their boat tight, run electric heat and then wonder why everything is wet or rusting.
Added insulation does wonders, both in comfort and reduced heating cost. No recreational boats are insulated for very cold weather.
I run a stove all winter. My humidity runs between 35-45 rh. Sometimes it gets too dry and I leave a tea pot steaming. I can heat with electricity, but it's twice as expensive with .07¢/kwh. Marinas usually charge double or more for power.
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Old 12-23-2018, 08:30 PM   #23
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I'll confess to not having read the entire thread. But..... 3 electric heaters aren't going to cut it most winters. I live aboard in Seattle and speak from experience. This winter as mild as it's been I'm getting by on the 3 electric heaters most days, but not all. And sometimes it's nice to fire up the diesel heater just to get things toasty warm.
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Old 12-23-2018, 08:50 PM   #24
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May already be mentioned by others, but a boat with only electric heat would be a non starter for a lot of potential buyers.
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Old 12-23-2018, 09:53 PM   #25
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I lived aboard in Seattle for years, but it was a sailboat with very low interior volume and window area compared with most of the craft that this group have. A couple of electric heaters did OK, but even that little boat needed supplemental heat from the bulkhead-mounted kerosene heater at times. BTW, I'll never do anything with kerosene again! Ick.

We LOVE our Dickinson diesel stove, as did my late father-in-law who had one, too. The dry heat is wonderful, it's cheap to run, requires almost no maintenance, and doubles as a cookstove so efficiency increases. With the addition of hydronic coils, it becomes a source of heat for other spaces on the boat, too. Those "Red Dot" or bus heaters can be plumbed so that the diesel stove as well as the engine coolant can act as sources of heat.

BTW, here's a steal of a deal on some hydronic heaters: https://bellingham.craigslist.org/bp...758421069.html



As others have said, it's critically important to address air handling (moisture management) as well as simply air temperature. We do that by drawing in cold, dry air at one end of the boat and ejecting warm, moist air at the other.
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Old 12-24-2018, 11:28 AM   #26
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Ahh memories...


The 40 year old wiring in my electric bulkhead heater caught fire when I was living aboard over in Lake Union. Thank God I was smart enough to have changed out the batteries in the cheap little smoke detector a month before. Best $1 I ever invested!
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:39 PM   #27
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A little late to the party with these estimates, but....

Reading Sure Marine's info on Webasto heaters I'm estimating the OP's boat will need 40,000 + BTU to keep warm.

Using Rapid Tables online calculator BTU to KW 40,000 BTU = 11.72 KW
At 120 Volts and a power factor of 1 that comes out to 97.7 Amps when the system is running full power. Of course the heater won't be running full power most if any of the time. But it's apparent that it takes a lot of power to heat a boat.

Looking at it from the other end
30 Amp service running at a safe 80% load = 24 Amps
Each space heater tops out at 1500 Watts = 12.5 Amps
Two space heaters on high and you shouldn't run anything else

50 Amps is a bit better, you could run all three heaters but shouldn't run anything else

Two 1500 Watt heaters = 10,236 BTU
Three 1500 Watt heaters = 15,233 BTU

As I said in an earlier post experience shows me 3 electric heaters won't cut it on cold days. On a 40' Tolly liveaboard I run 2400 Watts of electric heaters, I pay a flat rate for electricity, and a 4 KW forced air diesel heater. For a total of 6.4 KW or 21,838 BTU of heat. Most winter days that's reasonable. This winter I've been able to use the diesel heater sparingly. But there were days in previous winters when I had to decide which cabin I wanted to inhabit and let the others get cold.

I'm sure there are engineers and electricians here that will find some fault in my estimates and come up with slightly different #s. But my personal experience demonstrates 3 electric heaters won't cut it in a typical Seattle winter.
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:50 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
A little late to the party with these estimates, but....

Reading Sure Marine's info on Webasto heaters I'm estimating the OP's boat will need 40,000 + BTU to keep warm.

Using Rapid Tables online calculator BTU to KW 40,000 BTU = 11.72 KW
At 120 Volts and a power factor of 1 that comes out to 97.7 Amps when the system is running full power. Of course the heater won't be running full power most if any of the time. But it's apparent that it takes a lot of power to heat a boat.

Looking at it from the other end
30 Amp service running at a safe 80% load = 24 Amps
Each space heater tops out at 1500 Watts = 12.5 Amps
Two space heaters on high and you shouldn't run anything else

50 Amps is a bit better, you could run all three heaters but shouldn't run anything else

Two 1500 Watt heaters = 10,236 BTU
Three 1500 Watt heaters = 15,233 BTU

As I said in an earlier post experience shows me 3 electric heaters won't cut it on cold days. On a 40' Tolly liveaboard I run 2400 Watts of electric heaters, I pay a flat rate for electricity, and a 4 KW forced air diesel heater. For a total of 6.4 KW or 21,838 BTU of heat. Most winter days that's reasonable. This winter I've been able to use the diesel heater sparingly. But there were days in previous winters when I had to decide which cabin I wanted to inhabit and let the others get cold.

I'm sure there are engineers and electricians here that will find some fault in my estimates and come up with slightly different #s. But my personal experience demonstrates 3 electric heaters won't cut it in a typical Seattle winter.
The only part I find questionable is the need for 40,000 btu. You might be right. The amount of btu’s Needed will vary from boat to boat. Regardless I think we all agree, 30 amps is not enough and 50 amps is marginal.

Let’s not forget that the OP was looking at 120/240v 50a. Which would give him 100 amps. This would allow him to run 4 electric heaters which I believe would be adequate in Seattle.

If it was my decision I would have both diesel and electric.
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:01 PM   #29
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I would recommend both Sure Marine and using a diesel hydronic heater.
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:34 PM   #30
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Boat Heating Advice

We have hydronic (Hurricane) and love it. Easy to use, great output and a water heater loop. Ours has an engine loop as well so we have “free” heat and hot water when underway. Toasty warm.

As Delfin mentioned resale value would be better too. Electric heaters say “condo boat” to potential buyers.
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Old 12-25-2018, 01:38 AM   #31
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Bulkhead mount drip heaters

I've only had electric heat in the past and am wondering about the Dickenson-type of passive heaters. They seem about as reliable and low maintenance as possible.


So with a couple of units installed, say one in the salon and the other below in the stateroom area, would that be sufficient with good air circulation to heat the whole boat reliably?
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:52 AM   #32
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"May already be mentioned by others, but a boat with only electric heat would be a non starter for a lot of potential buyers."

A diesel heater with fans ,pumps, and juice required to operate is still locked into the power pole long term .

If someone is cruising in cold waters , or winter operating this will be a big factor in heat decisions.
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Old 12-25-2018, 10:44 AM   #33
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Quote:
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"May already be mentioned by others, but a boat with only electric heat would be a non starter for a lot of potential buyers."

A diesel heater with fans ,pumps, and juice required to operate is still locked into the power pole long term .
At a fraction of the electrical consumption, allowing comfortable heat without a genset running 24x7.
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Old 12-25-2018, 10:49 AM   #34
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I've only had electric heat in the past and am wondering about the Dickenson-type of passive heaters. They seem about as reliable and low maintenance as possible.


So with a couple of units installed, say one in the salon and the other below in the stateroom area, would that be sufficient with good air circulation to heat the whole boat reliably?
Absolutely. Ours supplements hydronic heat and the single unit in the saloon heats that space, the gallery and the pilot house.
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:34 AM   #35
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Boat Heating Advice

We are “living aboard” right now in Vancouver Harbour. Currently, we have two Caframo heaters running on the low setting (500 watts each) and a 23 pint dehumidifier running @ 300 watts. At 4 degrees C outside we are quite warm inside. The hot water tank is also on but is pretty much idling. No moisture inside, even with cooking and showering. The smart plug boatside connection is cool to the touch.

We have a Webasto hydronic setup that we use when we shower as it really heats heats the water quickly and we shut off the electricity to the water heater. We then dry the towels in the drier (moisture management). This approach keeps me under the 30 amp limit.

Edit:

If the temperature goes below freezing, say -5 overnight, we pretty much need the Webasto on in the morning and at night, although we shut it off while sleeping.

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Old 12-25-2018, 02:28 PM   #36
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"May already be mentioned by others, but a boat with only electric heat would be a non starter for a lot of potential buyers."

A diesel heater with fans ,pumps, and juice required to operate is still locked into the power pole long term .
I can run the Hurricane hydronic indefinitely without plugging in. A couple of solar panels is all it takes. This is the 21st century, you can have electricity without a plug or a genset.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:15 PM   #37
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Boat heat

I also have the hurricane 2 hydronic heater. With three thermostats. Used down to thirty degrees constant 70 inside a forty footer. Option to use diesel or electric with a flick of a switch.
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Old 12-26-2018, 12:42 AM   #38
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Has anyone with the hydronic system ever installed the heating loops under the flooring (instead of using a radiator), similar to a radiant system in a home?

This would seem to be ideal in the bathrooms/heads with ceramic tile flooring.
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Old 12-26-2018, 12:49 AM   #39
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I can run the Hurricane hydronic indefinitely without plugging in. A couple of solar panels is all it takes.

Not this time of year in the PNW. Your batteries will run down real quick with 20 amps of Webasto running 24/7.
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Old 12-26-2018, 12:57 AM   #40
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Has anyone with the hydronic system ever installed the heating loops under the flooring (instead of using a radiator), similar to a radiant system in a home?

This would seem to be ideal in the bathrooms/heads with ceramic tile flooring.
It could work well, if well designed. But it might be more trouble than necessary.

My hydronic system was originally all passive radiators, no fans, with the length of the radiator sized to the heating needs. The ones in the heads are not that long, but right-sized and not really intrusive. It was all well done, by someone in Seattle I believe.

During my refit we replaced the heater hose in the hydronic system with PEX. At the same time I eliminated built-in electric fan heater in the pilothouse and in the master stateroom, installing air handlers with fans in the hydronic loop instead. Now I have only spent a little time in colder areas such as BC (and not winter!) after this, I have never needed to use the fans. The boat just stays warm throughout. It has a thermostat in the salon to automatically turn the Webasto on/off as required.

There is an engine loop for the hydronic plumbing so the Webasto is not needed underway. Also, I have a 'summer loop' for the Webasto which by-passes all of the radiators in the boat, it just goes to the hot water heater. So at anchor in summer I just run the Webasto for 30 minutes and it provides hot water but does not heat up the boat. A well designed hydronic system is truly a joy!
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