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Old 11-02-2020, 06:19 PM   #1
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First liveaboard

Starting to set up a Willard 36 sedan for my first liveaboard,shes in the water now and just figuring everything out,gonna open up walls in vberth and spray foam insulate for the first step,then figure out what I wanna do for heat,the boat is in Gloucester so i have the new England winters to deal with thinking of putting in a cubic mini wood and coal stove
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Old 11-02-2020, 06:47 PM   #2
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With the coal stove, what is the exhaust like? I am not familiar with them so I don’t know but does it leave soot all over your boat and other boats?
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Old 11-02-2020, 07:44 PM   #3
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Pick your moorage carefully. My marina will shut you down the minute a neighbor complains about soot on their boat.

While diesel exhaust has soot it doesn’t seem to be identifiable from everyday dirt but maybe that’s due to living under the airport flight path.
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Old 11-02-2020, 07:59 PM   #4
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Diesel soot I have experienced from commercial drystacks near me would always smear....black soot from aircraft and other airborne pollutants seems dry and will almost wipe off...plain water takes most of it off while the dry stack soot you have to uses heavy detergent.
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Old 11-02-2020, 08:03 PM   #5
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Many years ago I put a wood and coal stove in my liveaboard. It was great heat. But when I burned coal it made too much soot. I had to give up burning coal and wood didn't burn long enough to make it through the night.
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Old 11-11-2020, 11:33 PM   #6
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Are you at a marina? Is power unmetered? If you just pay a straight fee for having electric i would opt for electric heat.
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:08 AM   #7
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Interesting. We winter in Galesville, MD which is 10 miles south of Annapolis. There is another live aboard next to us which is heated with a diesel furnace. I have never smelled an exhaust or see anything coming out.
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Diesel soot I have experienced from commercial drystacks near me would always smear....black soot from aircraft and other airborne pollutants seems dry and will almost wipe off...plain water takes most of it off while the dry stack soot you have to uses heavy detergent.
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:35 AM   #8
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The cheap knock offs of Espar truck heaters are reportedly decent. Here's an example of a cheap one, but please..... Not an endorsement of this model. I have no direct knowledge.

I had a Sigmar 17k diesel heater. I had chronic issues with back puffing. Many run them successfully, but no matter what I did, I would get a down draft eventually which can range from hugely inconvenient to downright dangerous if the flame extinguished as the diesel keeps dripping into a very hot chamber and vaporizers.

I lived on my W36 comfortably for several years. Good exercise in austerity. Northern climate is a non-starter for me, but I'm a guy who moved away from San Francisco partially due to it being too cold

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07LFFFCJT..._E6qRFbK7DKMCW
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:23 AM   #9
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That knock off heater I don't understand what's the 2 ports they look like 1 inch and the 5kw how can that run on a house battery bank
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Old 11-15-2020, 12:57 AM   #10
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It's a diesel fired furnace. 5kw it the measure of the heat output of the burning fuel. Sorry, I don't know what that relates to as equivalent to anything else.
The two 1inch pipes, 1 for combustion air in, 1 for exhaust. Uses electricity for the fan, not much more.
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg S View Post
It's a diesel fired furnace. 5kw it the measure of the heat output of the burning fuel. Sorry, I don't know what that relates to as equivalent to anything else.
The two 1inch pipes, 1 for combustion air in, 1 for exhaust. Uses electricity for the fan, not much more.
Needs some amps to fire up the glow plug.
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg S View Post
It's a diesel fired furnace. 5kw it the measure of the heat output of the burning fuel. Sorry, I don't know what that relates to as equivalent to anything else.
The two 1inch pipes, 1 for combustion air in, 1 for exhaust. Uses electricity for the fan, not much more.


For those in the US. 1 Watt times 3.41 = BTU. So 5 kw is 5000 times 3.41=17050 btu’s.
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:21 AM   #13
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I use my reverse air conditioner for heat about three times a year here in Wisconsin. When I start needing it more I get the boat hauled and I go into hibernation. That being said.. I love wood heat. I heat my house and garage with wood and would love a wood stove in the boat. With the Tiny Homes coming into vogue there are some really nice small units being designed.

But... open flames on a boat scare me.

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Old 11-16-2020, 11:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg S View Post
It's a diesel fired furnace. 5kw it the measure of the heat output of the burning fuel. Sorry, I don't know what that relates to as equivalent to anything else.
The two 1inch pipes, 1 for combustion air in, 1 for exhaust. Uses electricity for the fan, not much more.
Heat output is measured in BTU, though no BTU is advertised for that unit.
The 5kw rating is more likely the electric power consumption at start, as is the rating for the Espar D7L, a more common boat heater, one that I once had on my boat.
https://esparparts.com/techsupport/p...L/D7L%20TD.pdf
rated at 8 kw, at start, mine was also a significant electric draw while operating at full power, for as long as it was cycling on. It was wired with #10 wires, which was a big clue.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:16 AM   #15
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" and spray foam insulate for the first step"

Depending on the foam much is very combustible investigate , or cover it all up well.

Insulating window glass is far easier and more effective.

Many liveaboards chose the Dickinson either the floor mounted heater or the Pacific range . Turn on in Oct turn off on May when the water is warmer. The Pacific is a drop in for many stove cutouts.

Gravity feed for diesel is simple with a on deck bladder tank.1 to 4 GPD depending ob outside air temp.

Only use the H style smoke head, the wind in a marina winds around the other boats which can blow the fire out.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:00 AM   #16
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Have had forced air, hydronic, drip diesel, and wood/coal. Here’s my experience for what it’s worth. Boats used in New England ( R.I., Massachusetts and Maine) so similar to your situation.
Waking up to a cold boat sucks. Having to feed, clean and source fuel for a solid fuel stove is a total PIA and often is limiting causing disruptions in your plans.
Size of vessel matters. Dirt matters. In anything under 50’ just finding space for solid fuel is a PIA. Moving it around makes your boat filthy. If wood bugs, splinters, bark fragments etc. means you’re cleaning the boat more often. Coal is a total mess and with any moisture doesn’t sweep up or vacuum. Ashes are the least of the problem.
So for a liveaboard solid fuel is a poor choice with few exceptions. So moving to electric. Electric is radiant heat. Great if you’re right in front of it but not if you’re not. Going to bed with freezing cold bedding sucks. Moving around you’re either too hot or too cold while you’re inside. So beyond the inefficiency and need for huge amount of electricity not a comfortable heat.
So you’re down to diesel in some form.
Forced hot air is drafty, uneven and cycles. So you don’t get that nice even heat. It’s also noisy compared to the other choices. It also takes up a surprising amount of space with its ductwork so you lose storage. Again on a small liveaboard not a good thing. It is fairly efficient and usually cheaper than hydronic but more expensive than drip.
Hydronic is the bees knees. Loved my wesbasto. Other than expense to put it in probably the best choice. But costly to the extent not often practical unless a new build.
But drip has a lot to offer in a small boat. Especially if a water loop is added. Think the Refleks is the best choice but some like the Dickerson as it’s more available in North America. Up sides is no furnace with the complexities that involves. 24/7 heat. Add in a few quiet fans in strategic places you can heat the whole boat and get even heat. Simple and less expensive than hydronic and even forced air.
So with a 36’ boat would probably favor drip, some super quiet fans and depending upon lay out a water loop to a radiator with fan behind it at the low point of your accommodations.
My 2 cents.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:14 AM   #17
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If you are having problems with the oil or coal or wood stove, look to the stack and the chimney cap.
Gotta get the chimney above the boat and then start searching for a uni-directional cap.
Electric.... I have 2 on my AT. One in the stateroom and one is the saloon.
They are built-ins with fans. Because the are mounted close to the floor, I would encourage you to pull the vent and check them for dust and dirt, at the beginning of the season.

Also, determine the 'hot spots' and place a fan to disperse the heat no matter the source of the heat.

Push come to shove, start the engine and open up the engine room to let the heat out. Just dont fall in the hole. Oh, and wear non-slip socks. LOL
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:27 AM   #18
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Here’s a write up on Refleks with the link to their website

Refleks Diesel Heater
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:35 AM   #19
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Wallas heaters are forced air but drip burning.


Less electrical energy consumption and relatively silent compared to fuel injection burners.


Have had one for 7 years with no major issues and they have pretty good reviews in my reading.


They are expensive but well made and customer service has been great....they are also smaller units BTU wise, so several are needed on larger boats...but it's more like zoned heating then (and redundancy to keep at least parts of the boat warm in severe weather).
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
" and spray foam insulate for the first step"

Depending on the foam much is very combustible investigate , or cover it all up well.

Insulating window glass is far easier and more effective.

Many liveaboards chose the Dickinson either the floor mounted heater or the Pacific range . Turn on in Oct turn off on May when the water is warmer. The Pacific is a drop in for many stove cutouts.

Gravity feed for diesel is simple with a on deck bladder tank.1 to 4 GPD depending ob outside air temp.

Only use the H style smoke head, the wind in a marina winds around the other boats which can blow the fire out.
Can I ask how you go about "insulating window glass" on a boat? You state it is far easier, I am trying to comprehend this.
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