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  #21  
Old 01-18-2013
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Re: Heat Help

I'm using a cheap 1500 watt heater I leave on all day... I have the usual condensation on the hull walls not covered in insulation... but nothing that a paper towel and rag won't soak up... the bilge is completely dry and I try to keep it clean and dry... not a single drop is allowed there... other than that keep the heat and ventilation going. The biggest condensation maker is cooking in the boat... so I limit the amount I cook.
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  #22  
Old 01-18-2013
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Re: Heat Help

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Originally Posted by chuck53 View Post
Wing, your explanation makes sense. I just had a real problem with the statement that they virtually won't work under 50 degrees.
While I've never checked water temp, I've been on my boat in late fall in some cold weather and my reverse cycle unit worked just fine putting out warmer air than my home heat pumps.
We used ours right up to New Years with the water at 45 and nights in the 20s. 65 inside but it did cycle quite a bit.
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  #23  
Old 01-19-2013
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Re: Heat Help

The operating limit for incoming water temperature on my unit in heating mode is 40 -77 degs F. Outside air temp makes no difference to the unit itself.

I'm not saying it won't work at all below 50, but it does just run and run and run and puts out very weak heat. In 60+ water temps, it will cycle for a minute maybe.

The difference is most notable between early Spring and late Fall, where air temps are similarly low, but water temps are dramatically different.
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Old 01-19-2013
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Re: Heat Help

Outside temp makes a difference because the colder it is outside, the faster your boat loses heat and increases the cycling. On a warm day back in December and with water temps in the 40s the heat cycled very little. A few days later it was colder outside and the cycling increased.
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  #25  
Old 01-19-2013
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Wow- this thread is really warming up! Thanks for all the comments so far, y'all. I'm thinking I will be starting with a space heater- that buys me some time to figure it out... I like the thought of a diesel heater, I think.

As for the 'plug' on the hot water tank, that will be the first thing I'll check! Cause that would solve all the problems- at a far lower cost.

On the space heater: oil? Ceramic? Infrared? Does it really matter?
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Old 01-19-2013
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Re: Heat Help

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Originally Posted by WadeNooy View Post

On the space heater: oil? Ceramic? Infrared? Does it really matter?
I think it matters as they each have advantages and disadvantages. In the end it comes down to personal preference and how you want to use it.

The upper limit allowed for portable electric household space heaters is 1500 Watts. Most have this as their high setting and then one or two lower wattage settings as well as thermostatic control. I believe they all are now required to have a safety switch that turns them off if they are knocked over.

Space requirements:
The oil-filled units and the infrared tower units have a reasonably small footprint but are fairly tall, which unfortunately kept me from trying one for years. In the end I have found this design to be a good thing on the boat. My oil-filled has wheels and easily moves to the least obtrusive area in the limited sole space of a 32 foot boat's cabin. We have a relatively large head compartment where the unit can reside without obstructing access to the toilet when not in use (we don't have AC in the head). If I'm not cooking, I just roll it into the U of the small galley area and it can run without limiting travel fore and aft through the cabin.

Safety:
Although you have to be careful with all of them, I think the oil-filled units provide the least combustion risk to surrounding materials and virtually no combustion risk with flammable vapors.

Noise:
The Quartz and other fan-forced units are NOISY in the small confines of the cabin. The oil-filled units have no fan and are quiet.

Heating Characteristics:
The quartz and other fan forced units heat up a space very quickly, but I've found that once you reach that point, they are hard to regulate the temperature . . . they end up cycling on and off constantly and you end up too hot or too cold a good part of the time.

The oil-filled units heat up an area more slowly but are easier to regulate the temperature with once they have the area heated. They hold heat when either turned off manually or cycled off by the thermostat. I use one or two of my permanently installed cabin fans on low speed to circulate the heated air more evenly throughout the cabin. They are much quieter than the integral fan units on the quartz heaters.

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  #27  
Old 01-19-2013
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Re: Heat Help

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Originally Posted by Mobnets View Post

The upper limit allowed for portable electric household space heaters is 1500 Watts. Most have this as their high setting and then one or two lower wattage settings as well as thermostatic control. I believe they all are now required to have a safety switch that turns them off if they are knocked over.
Agreed... and 1500 watts is 1500 watts no matter what unit you buy... efficiency is what you want to go with... I have this heater... and it works extra efficient! I have these in the home in each room and is more efficient than the central heating in the house! Trust me when I say this heater is the best I've bought... it's ceramic and retains the heat for a long time... oscillates and has many features... and most of all it's 1500 watts!
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  #28  
Old 01-19-2013
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Re: Heat Help

Keep in mind that electric heaters all put out he same amount of heat 1500 watts is 1500 watts, whether it comes from an quartz, ceramic or other heating element. None are going to be significantly more efficient than any other. The ones marketed as "Amish made" (that it turns out were apparently made by the Chinese Amish) Eden pure or life smart are all just expensive hype. I think a good solution is to use a combination of heaters, a force air to heat the space quickly and dry it out (as it moves the air around to pick up condensation) then switch over to an oil radiator as they seem to be able to maintain a more even temperature. The Vornado heaters seem to get generally good ratings and move a lot of air, good both summer and winter. On any space heater I would avoid any that have electronic controls as they tend to default to off if the power drops (common on shore power!) so I would stick to basic ones with physical knobs as controls.

Another good solution is a propane/diesel/wood bulkhead heaters. These will give more heat than electric and each have there advantages and disadvantages. These will need some fans to move the warm air around the boat.

The best solution is to go with a diesel fired furnace/boiler as they will put out more heat than you can get from the shore power line. If you go water or air is going to depend on the boat layout and how you want to heat the space. Hot air will take care of a lot more moisture, while the hot water will give you kitchen and bath hot water as well from 12 volts and can give you hot showers when out cruising.

I have been thinking about a radiant heater solution using an electric water heater with a pump to move water around pex tubing under the sole and in the cabinets to keep them warm and dry. Not sure if it would work or not.

The only thing I would leave on when away from the boat is the furnace/boiler as they have sophisticated safety systems. Perhaps an oil filled radiator on low as well, to keep things from freezing but only when really necessary. The vornado will heat the boat quickly.

As you can tell I have put a lot of thought into this as I plan to live aboard year round in the North East. You will have a lot more moisture but it will be a lot warmer than the North East.

Of course a very good solution is to start around August or September and just sail south! Once everyone starts speaking Spanish you are likely far enough south to stay warm for the whole winter! That is my plan, but I will be listening for the steel drums on my coast the Caribbean sounds good about now! then you can go back up in the summer, or just keep going!
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  #29  
Old 01-19-2013
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Re: Heat Help

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Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post

Of course a very good solution is to start around August or September and just sail south! Once everyone starts speaking Spanish you are likely far enough south to stay warm for the whole winter!
Not so sure about that....New York City gets awfully cold in the winter.
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  #30  
Old 01-30-2013
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Re: Heat Help

What make and model of 42' boat?

If you are going to be a live-aboard in the NW your boat needs a marine furnace to be comfortable. I have a 42' and just priced a Webasto DBW 2010Hydronic heater at the 2013 Seattle Boat Show. The Sure Marine brochure has a price for all the hardware: $7,292.87 + tax. They gave me an estimated quote of $9,000 to install it...that's right ~$9,000 for labor.

Good Luck.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ Mike
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