Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Narragansett Bay
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 13
On demand propane hot water heaters
My Nauticat has a Junkers (German) on-demand propane hw heater. During the pre-purchase inspections-trials, I thought I would replace it with a conventional engine heated/electric tank, such as we have had on former boats. However, after MUCH use for several weeks at dock & two-night overnighters, I have grown to prefer it.
I have two 11 lb. aluminum cylinders, each in dedicated propane lockers located within the side decks and have not had to refill yet. The prior owner claimed one tank lasted him all season, although I''m not certain how often he used the boat. Our upcoming two-week cruise will be a great test, coupled with a 140 gal water tank, I don''t anticipate problems.
The greatest advantage is instant, unlimited hot water, any time. We cannot open the tap to full hot when showering. The water gets scalding hot . . . a great luxury for cruising sailors. The only negative side is the pilot flame. I will not leave it lit when we''re not on the boat, just too risky for my comfort. It is easy to relight though, just open the valve & press the ignitor button. As far as winterizing goes, no problem at all. Simply open the brass **** on the unit''s bottom and all water is drained.
My boat''s installation is original and very well done. Whenever our boat-experienced guests see and use the system, they are very impressed. If installing one as aftermarket, for safety concerns, I highly recommend a professional. I would also highly endorse the system for people who do a lot of cruising. If plugged into shorepower most of the time, a tank heater is the way to go.