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post #3 of Old 08-18-2009
JohnRPollard
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Ryan,

If you plan to be dockside for the winter, the easiest/cheapest option would be electric heaters, which have the benefit of being temporary if you won't need heat again. A downside is that they won't work during a power loss.

As far as more permanent installations, the consensus seems to be that a Webasto or Espar forced air system is among the best options for long-term live-aboard. But these are fairly pricey, require more electric power, and installation is fairly involved.

Somewhere in the spectrum between electric and forced air are the bulkhead-mounted cabin heaters (such as Okapi described) that usually run on propane or diesel/kerosene. These are nice units for weekending/vacationing. Since they are passive heaters, they have almost zero electric consumption (although it helps to run fans to circulate the heat).

We have A LOT of threads here on Sailnet that discuss diesel and propane cabin heaters -- lots of good information already there that can be found with a quick search (try search term "cabin heater"). If you decide a bulkhead mounted propane heater is what you want, be sure to understand the benefits of a sealed combustion chamber (such as those offered by Dickinson's Newport heaters). Those threads I mention discuss this issue quite a bit.

In your case, a bulkhead mounted unit might suffice for a single winter season aboard, especially if you could supplement it with an electric heater as needed.


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