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  #21  
Old 03-16-2009
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I will weigh in with my opinions:

I really like propane. It is readily available about everywhere. Our friends even cruised the Western Carrib and found it at about every stop. At worst, they might get a local to carry them into town.

We could not get our propane to last longer than about 60-90 days when we lived aboard. It was me, wife, and one kiddo at that time. Still, since you will have a spare, you will just switch over and when you get a chance, get the spare refilled.

If anything in this process, see if you can find a locker that takes the standard propane bottles versus the horizontal that seem to be coming increasingly common. Horizontal, especially aluminum, are very expensive (I think a 10ish lb horiz costs me about $230!!!).

I cannot comment on the heater as I luckily have no real experience there. However, I certainly woul dnot pull out a working heater that was propane for a diesel one!! Just my opinion, though.

Brian
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  #22  
Old 03-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Good way to get CO poisoning too...
Ahh SailingDog, don't worry, no southern sailboat is ever buttoned up and screwed down tight enough to not have sufficient ventilation - I doubt if yours is either.
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  #23  
Old 03-16-2009
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living onboard in Toronto requires serious heat

I am from Toronto although I am living onboard in NYC now. For what it is worth I owned a Niagara 35 Mk 1 for several years. We have propane cooking and an Espar for heating and has worked out really well. During the winter we burn 25 to 50% kerosene depending on the temperatures. The Espar dealer suggested this would help keep the burner clean. We buy our diesel at a truck stop since it is much cheaper than at the marina. Filling from those no-spill jerry cans has worked really well. Interestingly, the nearest propane station is right next to the truck stop so it would be the same distance for either.

A comment about the Niagara. Most were built with a Paloma propane water heater (I have intention about starting a fight about these!). The Paloma worked well for me for years but it does mean that you will be using propane in any case (and turning off the unit when not in use).

As someone else said, do not buy a boat based on what heating system it has. Buy the best boat for living aboard and cruising and modify it to meet your needs. If a boat has a propane heater try it out in combination with electric heat. I would not rely on an unvented heater though for overwintering as condensation is already a big enough problem without adding to the moisture content by heating.

Diesel heaters (other than stoves as in BC) and bulkhead models either use hot air or hot water to heat the boat. The former have quite large air ducts and you would have to route them carefully to heat the whole boat. On a N35/mk 1 you could place the heater at the aft end of a cockpit locker which would be great for the exhaust piping but it might be quite hard to get a hot air duct into the main cabin (might work on the portside through the galley above the refrigerator. Hot water heaters (hydronic) have much smaller pipes and can provide domestic hotwater too, but are even more pricy.
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  #24  
Old 03-16-2009
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If you're down south, do you really need heat???
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnshasteen View Post
Ahh SailingDog, don't worry, no southern sailboat is ever buttoned up and screwed down tight enough to not have sufficient ventilation - I doubt if yours is either.
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  #25  
Old 03-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardiacpaul View Post
Dear God of your choosing.

Please don't tell me the original poster is making a liveaboard boat purchase decision based on a heater/stove.

heavy sigh.
I'm the original poster and, no, I'm not being that silly.

I'm looking at a whole range of CS36T's and Niagara 35's, all with various configurations, with the goal of finding the most immediately liveable and sailable.

So, having decided on two models that suit me, having ruled that out of my decision making process, I'm now left weighing the various configurations available among the CS36T's/Niagara35's on the market in my vicinity.

So, one of my issues is should I buy a vanilla boat with no heater and, if so, what heater do I choose? Or should I just get a boat with a heater and, if so, should it be diesel or propane? Or should I buy propane and replace it with diesel? I can't seem to find a boat with a diesel heater so the option of replacing a diesel with propane hasn't presented itself.

But yes, I take for granted that I'll want to outfit the boat the way I want.

I'm just going through that phase, as a first-time boat buyer, where I'm trying to reduce a boatload of variables to a well-considered decision.
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  #26  
Old 03-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
I am from Toronto although I am living onboard in NYC now. For what it is worth I owned a Niagara 35 Mk 1 .
That's exactly the kind of boat I'm looking at, and in exactly the same location too, so I'm particularly interested in your wintering experiences.


Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
Diesel heaters (other than stoves as in BC) and bulkhead models either use hot air or hot water to heat the boat. The former have quite large air ducts and you would have to route them carefully to heat the whole boat.
Ok, I didn't know this. I hadn't considered water heating. Gah, another variable to consider.

Question: Do you find that the balsa cored hull on the Niagara helps reduce condensation and keep heat in?
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Old 03-17-2009
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
If you're down south, do you really need heat???
Sure SailingD, I've seen it get all the way down into the 50's at night in the dead of winter and 90-years ago it snowed only 100 miles north of the marina.
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  #28  
Old 03-17-2009
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Didn't live onboard the Niagara

Quote:
Originally Posted by zAr View Post
That's exactly the kind of boat I'm looking at, and in exactly the same location too, so I'm particularly interested in your wintering experiences.




Ok, I didn't know this. I hadn't considered water heating. Gah, another variable to consider.

Question: Do you find that the balsa cored hull on the Niagara helps reduce condensation and keep heat in?
I did not move onboard until I got my Bristol and am living on it in NYC which is noticeably warmer than Toronto - about 6C warmer on average for the year. I quite like the Paloma although they are getting pretty old now and they do not make them for boats anymore (someone else does make a propane water heater). Most boats with hotwater have a miniature version of a household heater that gets heat either from 110v or from engine heat.

My Bristol does not have cored hull. I think that the Niagara with a cored hull would be better for condensation. We have lined most lockers with the silver bubble paper that you can get at Home Depot and elsewhere. That has helped but condensation is a problem.

The cored hulls should be fine unless holes have been drilled into the core and bedding has not been kept up. This is most likely the case if the boat has a rub rail attached (not very common on Mk 1 Niagaras but common on Encores). Both the CS and Niagara have cored decks and make sure you do not large amounts of wet core here unless the price reflects this since it is a costly repair. Wet core is very common because there are so many holes through the core for deck fittings. Minor wet areas are not too hard to fix but the price should still reflect this. You may be able to find a boat where the deck has been repaired properly.

Good look with your search
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  #29  
Old 03-17-2009
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Wimp... you don't need heat for temps down into the 50s... A good sleeping back and polarfleece will take care of temps that warm...

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnshasteen View Post
Sure SailingD, I've seen it get all the way down into the 50's at night in the dead of winter and 90-years ago it snowed only 100 miles north of the marina.
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  #30  
Old 06-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zAr View Post

So, one of my issues is should I buy a vanilla boat with no heater and, if so, what heater do I choose? Or should I just get a boat with a heater and, if so, should it be diesel or propane? Or should I buy propane and replace it with diesel? I can't seem to find a boat with a diesel heater so the option of replacing a diesel with propane hasn't presented itself.
.
I see that no-one has mentioned the Wallas Marin stoves. I have a two-burner with a fan-equipped lid that turns it into a heater. Keeps my 26-footer toasty warm in winter. It has a ceramic top and an enclosed (airtight) combustion chamber, and the vent hose runs aft to the stern. You get a brief amount of diesel odour when it starts - opening the companionway seems to take care of that - but otherwise produces no odour inside the cabin. At $2800 CDN the initial outlay is significant, but the operating costs are low. I think Wallas also produces a version with an oven.
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