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Old 02-14-2021, 06:45 AM   #41
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"Diesel cooking is definitely more on the quirky side".

Diesel range is for folks that can use heat for a season , months on end. Ask an Alaskan.

The cooking / baking is a bonus that doesn't require the volume of a furnace removed from the interior as most folks have ranges anyway.

The lack of an electric requirement means you will get to know all your neighbors when the area electric is down.
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Old 02-15-2021, 02:04 PM   #42
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I bought a Nordic Tug 32 in Anacortes and shipped it to Newport Beach, CA. It did not have a generator, but did have an Espar diesel heater and propane galley. I had 2 problems with this set up that prevented me from staying on the hook for lengthy periods. First, the batteries (4 golf cart batteries) would only last about a day, and you had to manage the electrical usage a lot (I installed all LEDs). Second, I couldn't make hot water unless the main engine was running. My solution was to get a Honda generator which worked OK. However, the 1600W HW heater element would frequently trip the breaker on the Honda. The better solution would have been to install solar to keep the batteries topped off, and to install a diesel on demand HW heater. You can get a used gas generator and probably sell it later after you install a more permanent solution.
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Old 02-15-2021, 02:31 PM   #43
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The diesel heaters are unbelievable. I put one of the Chinese ones in mine. You get really warm air (185F) and sips diesel from your main tank. Propane puts lot moisture in the cabin but diesel does not.
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Old 02-15-2021, 04:23 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by nobles9596 View Post
The diesel heaters are unbelievable. I put one of the Chinese ones in mine. You get really warm air (185F) and sips diesel from your main tank. Propane puts lot moisture in the cabin but diesel does not.

Propane heat only puts moisture into the cabin if it's not a vented heater. If it vents its combustion products outside, it won't add any moisture (same as diesel).
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Old 02-15-2021, 08:01 PM   #45
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We have traveled this road bringing back an OA 50 trawler from Baltimore to Vancouver, BC.. Bonus was sailing the intracoastal waterway down to Port Everglades. Only bad was the shipping agent went broke en route costing me 2x shipping fee. Anyway, I removed the 3 AC units and sealed off the through hulls. Installed a Hurricane hydronic diesel heater for DHW and space heat. 12 KW genset is not used much anymore but does power the get home drive and water maker. Propane galley. All works well for us. Rarely need ac cooling on the water in this part of the world as you know, and a genset powering heating through the night in a quiet anchorage is less than optimal.
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Old 02-15-2021, 09:30 PM   #46
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I don’t claim to be an expert on anything but I do have many years of experience with boating in the PNW, twenty years in Alaska and ten in Puget Sound. My most experience of dealing with heating a boat was living aboard our Kadey Krogen 42 for 18 months in La Conner, Washington as well as much anchoring out during that time as we could manage. Our boat has a Wabasto 2010 Hydronic system and I don’t like it for a variety of reasons: 1. I can’t stand listening to the howling noises. 2. It uses a lot more fuel when you use it as a primary source of heat than I would like. When I refilled my tanks in the spring I was surprised! 3. It does provide a good dry source of heat but you will still sweat in the boat simply because of all of the moisture from our breathing and cooking activities. 4. The Wabasto WILL require a bit of maintenance and the parts are expensive. 5. They use a significant amount of your 12v power, solar will take care of that problem.
Our previous three boats all had “Dickinson Marine” heaters and I loved there performance. Please allow my to list some of the pro and cons of the Dickinson heat systems: they make absolutely no noise other than a small transfer pump noise (that can be remedied with proper installation) or you can supply fuel via a gravity fed tank that will require no power and make no noise. The heat that the Dickinson heater provides is absolutely dry heat, and it will keep your boat dry. This is because the heater will be drawing air out of your boat to provide an air source for the burner. As far as fuel consumption goes, I’d say it’s about a quarter the amount of even a small Wabasto. When we lived in Alaska we would run the Dickinson for a month or two at a time with no problem. Let me mention the maintenance of our Dickinson heaters, NONE other than occasionally cleaning the surfaces!
I’m currently in the process of installing a Dickinson Alaskan heater aboard our KK42, this heater will have a Heatex flue pipe heat exchanger to move hot air down into to the stateroom area via a fan. In addition this heater will have a coil in it to heat water that we run thru a small radiator up in the pilot house via heat induction. This coil could also be used to provide hot house water as a source of heat for a hot water tank. The cost for this sort of heating system is probably going to be about a third to a quarter of the cost of a Wabasto hydronic unit after installation.
You will probably not hear much about this type of heater from the Ocean Alexander yachty crowd, but when you’re off the grid and compare notes with these guys you’ll see that they are green with envy. If you want to be a true Northwestern boater, heat your boat like an Alaskan!
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:15 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
"Diesel cooking is definitely more on the quirky side".

Diesel range is for folks that can use heat for a season , months on end. Ask an Alaskan.

The cooking / baking is a bonus that doesn't require the volume of a furnace removed from the interior as most folks have ranges anyway.

The lack of an electric requirement means you will get to know all your neighbors when the area electric is down.
Advantage? Disadvantage? Depends on the neighbors I guess!
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:18 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by La Sirena View Post
I bought a Nordic Tug 32 in Anacortes and shipped it to Newport Beach, CA. It did not have a generator, but did have an Espar diesel heater and propane galley. I had 2 problems with this set up that prevented me from staying on the hook for lengthy periods. First, the batteries (4 golf cart batteries) would only last about a day, and you had to manage the electrical usage a lot (I installed all LEDs). Second, I couldn't make hot water unless the main engine was running. My solution was to get a Honda generator which worked OK. However, the 1600W HW heater element would frequently trip the breaker on the Honda. The better solution would have been to install solar to keep the batteries topped off, and to install a diesel on demand HW heater. You can get a used gas generator and probably sell it later after you install a more permanent solution.
Good info. I think I am going to step into this (sorta) with a giant first step of adding a hot water on demand / hydronic heat system and propane galley. If I find the battery bank inadequate I will run the engine a bit until I save ups some more $$ to add the solar and maybe LiIon batteries. That tech is changing and dropping in $$ by the day!!
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:19 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by nobles9596 View Post
The diesel heaters are unbelievable. I put one of the Chinese ones in mine. You get really warm air (185F) and sips diesel from your main tank. Propane puts lot moisture in the cabin but diesel does not.
That seems to be the consensus. People like them. They need some care and feeding, but I am guessing a whole lot less than a genset!
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:24 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Al Bartlett View Post
We have traveled this road bringing back an OA 50 trawler from Baltimore to Vancouver, BC.. Bonus was sailing the intracoastal waterway down to Port Everglades. Only bad was the shipping agent went broke en route costing me 2x shipping fee. Anyway, I removed the 3 AC units and sealed off the through hulls. Installed a Hurricane hydronic diesel heater for DHW and space heat. 12 KW genset is not used much anymore but does power the get home drive and water maker. Propane galley. All works well for us. Rarely need ac cooling on the water in this part of the world as you know, and a genset powering heating through the night in a quiet anchorage is less than optimal.
Exactly! Except for the shipping disaster. We definitely do not want that. I am wavering between the Hurricane and a Webasto system recommended by Sure marine. Pluses and minuses for each to be sure. In the end, the fact that Sure Marine is SOOOOOO highly praised, and right around the corner may win the day. I may preserve one A/C unit for that occasional day, and fit a whole boat dehumidifier on the other ducting. In the end, it is going to come down to how much DIY I can pull off vs $$$ for install. My goodie list exceeds my budget if I have to pay much for install. I am slow and careful, but pretty handy.
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:29 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
I donít claim to be an expert on anything but I do have many years of experience with boating in the PNW, twenty years in Alaska and ten in Puget Sound. My most experience of dealing with heating a boat was living aboard our Kadey Krogen 42 for 18 months in La Conner, Washington as well as much anchoring out during that time as we could manage. Our boat has a Wabasto 2010 Hydronic system and I donít like it for a variety of reasons: 1. I canít stand listening to the howling noises. 2. It uses a lot more fuel when you use it as a primary source of heat than I would like. When I refilled my tanks in the spring I was surprised! 3. It does provide a good dry source of heat but you will still sweat in the boat simply because of all of the moisture from our breathing and cooking activities. 4. The Wabasto WILL require a bit of maintenance and the parts are expensive. 5. They use a significant amount of your 12v power, solar will take care of that problem.
Our previous three boats all had ďDickinson MarineĒ heaters and I loved there performance. Please allow my to list some of the pro and cons of the Dickinson heat systems: they make absolutely no noise other than a small transfer pump noise (that can be remedied with proper installation) or you can supply fuel via a gravity fed tank that will require no power and make no noise. The heat that the Dickinson heater provides is absolutely dry heat, and it will keep your boat dry. This is because the heater will be drawing air out of your boat to provide an air source for the burner. As far as fuel consumption goes, Iíd say itís about a quarter the amount of even a small Wabasto. When we lived in Alaska we would run the Dickinson for a month or two at a time with no problem. Let me mention the maintenance of our Dickinson heaters, NONE other than occasionally cleaning the surfaces!
Iím currently in the process of installing a Dickinson Alaskan heater aboard our KK42, this heater will have a Heatex flue pipe heat exchanger to move hot air down into to the stateroom area via a fan. In addition this heater will have a coil in it to heat water that we run thru a small radiator up in the pilot house via heat induction. This coil could also be used to provide hot house water as a source of heat for a hot water tank. The cost for this sort of heating system is probably going to be about a third to a quarter of the cost of a Wabasto hydronic unit after installation.
You will probably not hear much about this type of heater from the Ocean Alexander yachty crowd, but when youíre off the grid and compare notes with these guys youíll see that they are green with envy. If you want to be a true Northwestern boater, heat your boat like an Alaskan!
I had one of these (or a knockoff) on a previous sailboat. It was a bit of a funky prior owner install situation with the fuel pump about two inches from my noggin at night (tick, tick tick) and a hand filled day tank (spill, spill, spill - Parkinson's) which lead to (smell, smell,smell) but other than that it was pretty excellent. These all would have been overcome with a proper install I would think. I will do a bit of research! Thank you sir!!
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Old 02-20-2021, 11:34 AM   #52
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That seems to be the consensus. People like them. They need some care and feeding, but I am guessing a whole lot less than a genset!
The two ITR systems in my boats have required less maintenance than the genset (virtually none).
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Old 02-20-2021, 12:44 PM   #53
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My 34 is set up with 400W solar, a Honda genset on the FB, propane galley/BBQ/heat, induction cooktop, electric skillet, microwave, 2 fridge/freezers and electric coffee maker. Small 1000W inverter runs 2nd fridge, microwave, coffee, misc charging, and skillet (not simultaneously). Hot water comes from the stbd engine or shore power and the stbd alternator is a 120A Balmar feeding a 6xGC 660AH house bank. The most used cooking device besides the coffee maker is the electric skillet which get used almost every day. The induction cooktop is new and is just now being put into the rotation. My Force 10 propane oven/stovetop is so old that I don't trust or use it for anything except storage.

Since I added the solar, the daily generator runs have decreased from 2-3 hrs/day to 1-1.5 hrs/day and that's only while needed for cooking dinner or heating water. If I turn off the 2nd fridge (beer and bait fridge), I can save ~80AH/day out of my 150-180AH daily budget.

The Northern California climate does not require AC and only moderate heat is needed so I can get by with propane in the fwd cabin and small 12V fans to disburse the heat throughout the boat. On shore power, I use 2 electric ceramic heaters that I limit to 600W each if used simultaneously. While I can also use these on the Honda generator, I've never needed to.

With this setup, I spent 106 days aboard at anchor gunkholing throughout the CA Delta during the initial COVID-19 lockdowns from March 19-July 23, 2020. Only 2 nights were spent dockside for an electron top-off. Sometimes I'd relocate every couple days, sometimes I'd stay put for a couple weeks before moving on.

My next upgrade may be a diesel heater or stove if I plan to spend many cold-season nights aboard as I refuse to run my propane while sleeping...just in case. Makes for a few cold morning wake-ups, but it's better than not waking up at all.
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Old 02-20-2021, 02:52 PM   #54
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I chose forced air over hydronic for a few reasons. I believe the electrical consumption for the fans to move the heat from the elements and pump to circulate the heated water is probably greater than the energy required to push warm air through ducting.

When I draw cold air into my heater from outside the boat, raising the temperature of the air increases the ability of the air to absorb moisture from inside the cabin (think dew temperature) and the cabin has a slight positive pressure which forces the air out holding it's absorbed moisture. Being in the boat, even in inclement weather, the heater keeps everything dry and does a great job of even drying wet rain gear hanging in the bathroom.

I have passive vents (dorade boxes) and the warm wet air is forced out by the incoming dry warm air from the heater through the shower vent. No chance of leaks from the system, and one less item to winterize unless you want to run glycol in your hydronic system.

Smaller boats have less room for gadgets, rationed for what's important to you. The Webasto 3900 is perfect for the temperatures I am exposed to, and takes up very little room for the install, none of which was being used by anything else. Mine is mounted behind the sink inside the galley, drawing it's combustion and cold air from under the cockpit. It is quiet and unobtrusive, and I am a fan of Sure Marine too :-)

I can anchor for several days on my 420 AH of house bank, with no generator, using the refrigerator full time and the heat as needed. Shut down when not, but almost always when underway just to keep the cabin and berths dried out from condensation.

My two cents, and more grist for the mill.
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Old 02-20-2021, 03:46 PM   #55
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Propane heat only puts moisture into the cabin if it's not a vented heater. If it vents its combustion products outside, it won't add any moisture (same as diesel).

Newport makes two sizes of propane heaters, I have the smaller of the two. This heater is vented to the outside so concerns about water into the air is negated. The only negative of this heater is that when the fan is put on high, its a continuous knob turn so variable control, not for example, three settings - low, medium or high. I just turn the fan down a small bit and it is livable. I do turn the fan on high when I'm going for a quick warm up.

This is the larger of the two, I'm happy with the smaller unit, for one it burns a bit less propane:



So on my boat, I have a kicker electric heater, a portable electric heater, Espar hydronic heating and the Newport propane heater. If I am at the dock and I want to warm up my boat on a cold November day, I have had all these on at one time.
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:41 PM   #56
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AKDave,
LOL You are so very correct about stuffing everything into a 34ft boat. One can only put so much perfume on the pig or in this case, toys on the boat.

Your Webasto 3900 sounds like the perfect solution for you and others.
Your 1000 watt inverter would be a bit small for my 1200 watt microwave SMILE
Your boat sounds set up almost perfect for the PNW. I think you will see a great improvement once you add some solar panels. Your 420amp batteries could benefit from some solar panels.

Alas, I have 3X4D house batteries for about 600 amps meaning I might be able to squeeze out 300 amps plus 2X130 watt solar panels, a 40amp charger and 150 amp alternator on the main engine. An finally a 1800watt inverter that sucks the house batteries down quickly.

I am an 'east coast' boat so my 2 reverse cycle A/Cs do well and to back up or add to the 2 A/Cs, on a cold winter's night or morning in the Miami area, I have 2 installed electric resistance heater. Of course when I turn them on, there is nothing 'left' on shore power. When on shore power I have 30amps available for the house and the heaters suck it all up. LOL I have about mastered the "30amp dance" rotating the various loads as necessary.
If I go on the generator, it is rated for 50amps.

Did you replace the original stove with a 2 burner induction stove top? If you did, did you find a suitable replacement oven able to make bread or cookies. I assume you have a propane grill hanging off the stern too.

What I would like to see on boats are more well define wire ways so insulation could be added to the outer walls and overhead. With 'meaningful' insulation we could keep the heat in the boat or in my case, keep the heat out on those 90F+ days.
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Old 02-20-2021, 06:03 PM   #57
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I don't have an inverter, I use propane to cook and a french press to make coffee. The 100 amp aftermarket alternator tops off my batteries in normally less than an hour after a night on the hook, two hours after a couple of days without moving. I don't have roof space for solar panels, it's dedicated to my stand up paddle boards and shrimp pots.

Air conditioning up here means opening a window or two, so the total power demand is not much. I am NEVER on shore power, and don't care to have a generator running to disrupt my solitude. I don't understand why anyone would be tied to a dock when they could be anchored out, and who wants to hear a generator when you're rafted up?

I replaced the microwave and two burner electric with a three burner Mediterranean with an oven, so cooking is done in silence and without a draw on my batteries. I mounted a 7 gallon horizontal aluminum propane tank on the cabin roof, never used more than 2 gallons in a season. Better too much than not enough :-) Different needs, different solutions, I think it's cool that we all share what we do and commonly offer up why we did it that way.

My two 4D's are as much battery as I can fit, with a group 31 start battery, and lack of access to them made me go with Lifeline AGM's. There is about 2" of clearance over the tops under the cabin sole, so it has to be maintenance free. The RO unit I put in last year took the monkey off my back for my fresh water supply. I suppose I could abandon one tank for space, but often am in silty glacier drainage where I wouldn't want to run the RO unit.

30' means choices, definitely can't take it all with you!
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Old 02-20-2021, 06:46 PM   #58
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I don't have an inverter, I use propane to cook and a french press to make coffee. The 100 amp aftermarket alternator tops off my batteries in normally less than an hour after a night on the hook, two hours after a couple of days without moving. I don't have roof space for solar panels, it's dedicated to my stand up paddle boards and shrimp pots.

Air conditioning up here means opening a window or two, so the total power demand is not much. I am NEVER on shore power, and don't care to have a generator running to disrupt my solitude. I don't understand why anyone would be tied to a dock when they could be anchored out, and who wants to hear a generator when you're rafted up?

I replaced the microwave and two burner electric with a three burner Mediterranean with an oven, so cooking is done in silence and without a draw on my batteries. I mounted a 7 gallon horizontal aluminum propane tank on the cabin roof, never used more than 2 gallons in a season. Better too much than not enough :-) Different needs, different solutions, I think it's cool that we all share what we do and commonly offer up why we did it that way.

My two 4D's are as much battery as I can fit, with a group 31 start battery, and lack of access to them made me go with Lifeline AGM's. There is about 2" of clearance over the tops under the cabin sole, so it has to be maintenance free. The RO unit I put in last year took the monkey off my back for my fresh water supply. I suppose I could abandon one tank for space, but often am in silty glacier drainage where I wouldn't want to run the RO unit.

30' means choices, definitely can't take it all with you!
Great post, AKD! No two boats, budgets, environments and missions are alike. Each brings it's own challenges and solutions. I enjoy seeing other's solutions to similar challenges. In the end, I always learn something.

Last summer, I mounted my 400W solar on my fwd rails bc I didn't have other 'clean' real estate. Don't know how it would survive in the salty and icy elements out there, but it seems to be working quite well in the relatively benign, warm and sunny environment of the CA Delta.

I've always sought simple solutions. This was as simple as I could get with $1BU.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:39 PM   #59
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AKDoug,
Sharing ideas is what this group is all about.
For some reason, I thought you had a 30ft+ boat. Sorry.
Some folks hang the paddle boards outside the boat deck railing. There are brackets available somewhere.
Also, I have heard of hanging hinged solar panels on the boat deck railing and when at anchor, raising them to a horizontal position capturing a few goodies from the sun.
Your gas stove is another great solution for you and others in the PNW. One nice thing about your gas stove is, when cooking it will heat up the immediate area.
Per the French press, great. I have a cheap plastic French press as a back up to Mr Coffee.
My inverter can either run the microwave or the 120vt outlets in the saloon which includes Mr Coffee. LOL I got desperate and installed an AMP meter in the galley area so I can gracefully do the 30amp dance. SMILE Alas, sometime I still stumble.
Ah, I did install piping from the main engine to the coil in the hot water tank so I have two choice to heat the water.

I have 3X4D house batteries and one 4D start battery and a small group 24 battery to start the generator. All are AGM.
Dont worry. My boat deck cluttered with a 6 person auto release/inflate life raft, storage for 4 SCUBA tanks, EPIRB, and a dock box contains additions PFDs, a couple of Hookha hose to attach to the SCUBA tanks and a few lengthy lines if I need to be tow or be towed. I really need to go through my lines to see what is actually needed and what can go ashore. The dock box and raft are on the center line of the boat deck, the 4 tanks are secured against the railing, 2 on each side. The 2 solar panels are on the roof of the pilot house. I think I have about 2 1/2 or maybe 3 feet on either side of the dock box. So you see, I have LOTS of perfume on the pig.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:52 PM   #60
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I chose forced air over hydronic for a few reasons. I believe the electrical consumption for the fans to move the heat from the elements and pump to circulate the heated water is probably greater than the energy required to push warm air through ducting.

....

No chance of leaks from the system, and one less item to winterize unless you want to run glycol in your hydronic system.
A forced air system does use a little less power but the difference isn't dramatic (except perhaps for the Wallas). Forced air is simpler and cheaper to install for sure. You always run glycol in a hydronic system, so there is no winterization to do.

For me, the ability to use and distribute heat from the engine while running, combined with domestic hot water, tip the scales.

Humidity control does not favor one over the other, either will draw in outside air if you wish. Heating the air doesn't change the dew point, it only lowers the RH. Dehumidification lowers the dew point, the effects can be somewhat different.
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