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Old 11-25-2022, 05:57 PM   #1
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Heating Systems

In the process of buying a Krogen 49 Express. She's in Sturgeon Bay WI and we live on the Maine coast. A long trip is in our future!!

We plan on bringing the boat back east starting the end of April heading north through the North Channel then south through the Trent Severn Waterway. I have a feeling that it's going to be pretty cool and possibly quite rainy that time of year - so - we're looking into a larger heat source for the boat.

Do anyone have experience with larger diesel 12/24 volt furnaces?

Thanks

John
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Old 11-25-2022, 07:01 PM   #2
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You don’t need what I consider large for a 49’ boat. A Hurricane is a large system for a 49’ boat. These systems are very reliable and easy to maintain. They are hydronic. This means you get multiple zones to control which reduces hot and hold spots. You can also tie them into your engine to use the engines to heat the water. The down side is expense. Buying them is the cheap part. Installation is the expensive part.

I can’t recommend a Dickerson because of the size of your boat. They are simple and inexpensive but it would take several of them to heat your boat.

Ksanders uses Wallace to heat his 4788. Hopefully he will chime in with his details. I think he uses two forced air units but I could be easily wrong. I do like the Wallace units for dependability.

I have heard only good things about Kabola and Olympic heaters. Twistedtree uses the Kabola. I believe these are over kill for your boat.

I am not a fan of Espar or Webasto forced air units.

People claim to have luck with the knock off Chinese units but they haven’t been around long enough to determine dependability.
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Old 11-25-2022, 07:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Tiltrider!
I will look into these units and learn more!

PS - I' ve used those cheap China made truck heaters in most of my trailer spray foam units.........actually, they work well FAR better than Espar and cheap enough that if it goes, I replace it.

Thanks again! Happy cruising!
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Old 11-25-2022, 07:34 PM   #4
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i too have hydronic and love it. but i've also used forced air espar and they're great too. i used the 4kw ones for years as a liveaboard.
forced air is easier to install, but the ducting is much larger than the water hoses of hydronic.
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Old 11-25-2022, 09:19 PM   #5
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I put a Kabola hydronic heater in our nordhavn 62 earlier this year. Boiler, 9 air handlers, water heater tie in etc. For a boat like yours I bet the parts alone would be probably 20k$. We did the install ourselves so I dont know exact labor costs, but I'd bet if you had to hire someone its probably an additional amount that may exceed double the parts cost.

That said, it works amazing.

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Originally Posted by Slainte 1 View Post
In the process of buying a Krogen 49 Express. She's in Sturgeon Bay WI and we live on the Maine coast. A long trip is in our future!!

We plan on bringing the boat back east starting the end of April heading north through the North Channel then south through the Trent Severn Waterway. I have a feeling that it's going to be pretty cool and possibly quite rainy that time of year - so - we're looking into a larger heat source for the boat.

Do anyone have experience with larger diesel 12/24 volt furnaces?

Thanks

John
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Old 11-25-2022, 09:20 PM   #6
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I have a Hurricane hydronic system. It's a great heater with two draw backs.

1 the power draw when running. If you will be at a dock each night or don't mind running the generator no worries.

2 it won't dry the boat out much. Forced air can be ducted to draw outside air in, doing that relative humidity is your friend.
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Old 11-25-2022, 10:41 PM   #7
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I have an ITR Chinook boiler, the big brother to the Hurricane. It's 50k btu, and would be overkill for you. My boat is dimensionally similar to yours, and I'm set up for winter liveaboard in eastern Canada.

It works well. I budget about 2 kwh/day house power to run it in shoulder season cruising down to freezing temps.

Doesn't the boat have reverse cycle A/C? Hydronic heat is great, but it's not cheap or easy to install. The existing system might be adequate, if not ideal.

Nice boat, and a great trip. Congratulations!
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Old 11-25-2022, 11:58 PM   #8
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Reverse cycle heat is pretty cheap while tied to the dock. Unfortunately it requires the generator when not on the dock.
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Old 11-26-2022, 08:22 AM   #9
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Have had drip diesel, forced hot air and hydronic. By far and away hydronic is the most comfortable heat. Allows multiple zones, quiet, even heat with no draftiness. Side advantages are it heats domestic hot water, works regardless of outside water temperature and uses much less electricity than reverse AC. If you have a large alternator you may get by with no need for genset while running. If a large house bank even while on anchor. We hav both reverse AC and hydronic. Must rather have the hydronic running than the AC.
Have had both wesbasto and espar. Think the espar is a bit easier to maintain. Learned if you plug the exhaust during the summer or winter lay up you get way more hours out of the nozzles.
My first choice is hydronic. No combustion inside living areas. No issues adding or subtracting humidity. Even quiet heat.
Second is Refleks with hydronic coil. Seems very reliable and even with the coil very low draw.
Third force hot air. Just wastes too much space
Last reverse AC
If you do any form of radiant heat invest in the best multi speed, quietest fans you can buy. Even with our set up will often run just one zone. Between heat rising (rarely need heat in the pilot house) and fans you can often heat just the lowest space in your boat. Also use your shades. We have two densities. First pull down is translucent. Second opaque but also gives thermal barrier. So shades all up during the day and opaque at night. Get solar warming daytime and much less heat loss at night. Cuts down on electrical draw significantly.
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Old 11-26-2022, 08:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff F View Post
. Doesn't the boat have reverse cycle A/C? Hydronic heat is great, but it's not cheap or easy to install. The existing system might be adequate, if not ideal.
Good point about using Reverse Cycle to get you going. Assuming your new bride has it, would allow you to get the boat home and make a more deliberate decision, and have it installed locally (or if you're a DIY guy, near your tools etc.). Maybe install a Red Dot bus heater for when you're underway. Or just resign yourself to running the generator for reverse cycle.

I too love the lines on the KK express cruisers. I'm surprised that style is not more polupular.

Nice choice -

Peter
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:19 AM   #11
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The OP wasn’t clear but I’d consider how I intend to use the boat. Is this query just for the trip east or do you plan to use the boat in winter and anchor a lot in cold weather?

We had a Hurricane heater installed ten years ago at $20k. We’re full time liveaboards and have wintered in cold climate three years of the ten. We might have broken even over the cost of marina electric where we stayed at the time.

$20k still buys a whole lot of generator run time for reverse cycle A/C if that fits one’s needs for eight months a year in Maine.

Anchoring out we still more often use the A/C, running the generator in the evening to charge batteries the A/C loads the generator and we crank up the heat before shutting it down. By morning outside temps in the high 30’s it’s still 60+ inside and depending what we’re doing either start the generator or the diesel heat.

Different ways of skinning the cat and depending what one’s plans are and how much $20k means to you.
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:51 AM   #12
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Talk to the present owner or maybe KK. You may not need anything more than what is already on the boat.

Although KK's are not really native to Northern Wisconsin if it has been here a while the owner may have may already made the mods you need.

We bought our Albin south of Chicago and brought it up on Lake Michigan early in May or maybe late in April. It was cold, we were the only boat on the water. Most marinas were not open yet. WHen we got really cold on the flybridge we just went below. Plenty of engine heat available down there.

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Old 11-26-2022, 10:24 AM   #13
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A friend with a KK48 has a Webasto 2020 hydronic heater with 6 zones. He's happy with it.
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Old 11-26-2022, 03:17 PM   #14
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Heating System

Thank you all for the great information!!
You've given me lots to think about and try. I've decided to "wait n see" how comfortable we are on this trip. Certainly will live through it without too much trouble!! LOL

Thanks again to you all~! I'm really glad I signed up for the Trawler Forum!

See you on the water!

John Bryer
Wiscasset ME
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Old 11-26-2022, 03:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
Reverse cycle heat is pretty cheap while tied to the dock. Unfortunately it requires the generator when not on the dock.

Good point to check whether the boat already has this. There is a good chance that it does.
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Old 11-26-2022, 03:35 PM   #16
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I'll also ask whether the heat is just for the delivery trip to ME, or are you looking for a permanent heating system. That will likely make a big difference is how you go about it. Also, someone recently posted a new Dickenson for sale in the classified section.


Oh, and I have an Olympia boiler not a Kabola, thought I hear all good things about Kabola too.
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Old 11-26-2022, 03:52 PM   #17
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If the boat has a generator and you only need the heat to get home. It’s not unusual to run with the generator on. If you don’t have reverse cycle heat you could get away with several space heaters. I prefer buying 4 of the adjustable one and run them at 750 watts. This is not a long term solution but will get you home in the winter.
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Old 11-26-2022, 04:49 PM   #18
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I suggest you consider May 1 at the earliest. It snows from October into May. April 1 is still full-blown winter in the northern Great Lakes region. The ski hills are still open, and snow is on the ground. The North Channel is still frozen, you have a lot of ice flows in Lake Michigan and Huron and nothing is open. No dock facilities or fuel.
May 1 you may still find some ice. Expect a lot of rain and fog and sketters for the month of May. Even into June, expect to need heat in the Northeastern Lakes region. North Channel is the first to freeze and the last to thaw. Personally, I would start the trip on June 1 if I had radar.
You can go earlier by skipping the North Channel and Trent Severn and go with the current and wind thru Lake Erie to Buffalo.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:I...Lake_Huron.jpg
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Old 11-26-2022, 05:19 PM   #19
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Having a heater that uses inside air for combustion will keep your boat dry. Every shower, boiling pot, or breath puts moisture in the cabin air. Without changing the air, moisture will build up in your clothes, bedding, curtains and on windows. Unprotected steel will rust.

I liveaboard and have several ways to heat. A Wabasto hydronic system using forced air units rather than radiators. It heats a cold boat several times faster than radiators. It also will heat my water. But it currently is the most expensive to run because of the diesel price. It is the most convenient.
I have a galley diesel stove with a water coil that will also heat my water heater.
I have a pellet stove that has a water coil that also will heat the hydronic system. It is the cheapest to run.
I also have a wood stove if firewood is easy to come by, but mostly use it to burn all the paper that comes with food and online shopping. It also has a water coil for the hydronic. Heating my boat with wood takes 5-6 armloads of wood daily. The least convenient.
I also can heat with electricity, about the price of wood pellets, but doesn't do anything about the moisture. 7.7/kwh at my dock.
And I have two China heaters at opposite ends of the main cabin. Mostly used in mild weather. Easy to use and easy on the diesel.

When cruising one or both mains engines can also heat the hydronics. In cold weather I can use the hydronic system to preheat the engines.
Today the relative humidity inside is 35%, outside 84%.
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Old 11-26-2022, 06:37 PM   #20
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Another product you might want to consider is Planar. A dock friend installed his a couple of years ago and is very happy with it; inexpensive, rugged, and looks to be of good quality. It's major downside at the moment is that it is a Russian product although their website suggests they are actually located in Latvia.

https://planarheaters.com/
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