Originally Posted by Seagypsywoman
I''m considering installing a solid fuel heater on my boat. What are some of the makers? And what are the benefits and drawbacks as opposed to diesel. Thanks.
I have just got back from a sailing weekend on a friends 28 foot yacht, he has a solid fuel boat heater made of stainless steel. It has a heat exchanger on both sides of it and ducts hot air to the rest of the boat by a small computor size fan. There is also a small oven on the top which takes a pie or a few jacket potatoes. A small kettle stood on the top all weekend, so we had constant hot water for coffee. All weekend it kept alight with a constant cabin temp of between 21 and 24 degrees. It burned coal brickets and over the whole weekend we probably spent £2-3 in coal. Oh and we got soaked one day and dried out all our gear in a few hours.
His previous yacht had a smaller version which just warmed the main cabin.
I also knew of another 23 foot sailing yacht with a brilliant little solid fuel heater made from a CO2 bottle, which is the carbon dioxide gas dispencer for pubs.
Quite honestly I can't see any negatives except it is not instant heat, it takes about half an hour to get going. There is ash to dispose of which creates dust, but he has a small vaccume cleaner which easily clears the dust. You also need somewhere to keep the solid fuel and a stout leather glove.
The positives on a yacht are no battery drain and constant heat so all round winter sailing. They will also not fit in all boats.
The smell inside the boat is far better than diesel.