Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
Thanked 124 Times in 112 Posts
Rep Power: 12
We lived onboard for two winters in the NYC area and had an Espar forced air system. This seemed to work better than boats that relied on electricity. Our boat was warmer (we never had our heater on full-blast) and drier and did not have the cold spots near the floor that they had. Downsides are that you have to jerry jug your fuel in (we used about 20 gallons every three weeks on a 45' footer - and I was on the boat most of the time) and the capital cost. Also the duct work takes up a fair bit of space in lockers - but keeps these lockers toasty and dry. A hydronic system would avoid this problem since you are running small-diameter water hose rather than much larger air ducts - but these systems are even more costly and more complex.
After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.