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post #1 of 31 Old 11-25-2014 Thread Starter
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propane furnace opinions please

I would like a few opinions from everyone on this popes propane fired boat forced air furnace the price seems good at less than half the cost of a diesel unit
Propex HeatSource HS2800 10,000 BTU Forced Air Propane Heater 12 Volt

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post #2 of 31 Old 11-25-2014
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Re: propane furnace opinions please

I doubt your insurance company will like it.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #3 of 31 Old 11-25-2014
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Re: propane furnace opinions please

with your size of sailboat, I recommend this...
DickinsonMarine.com - Propane Fireplaces

Shop around, they are available for less than what you are proposing to spend


Install it correctly and your insurance company will not have a fit.
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post #4 of 31 Old 11-25-2014
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Re: propane furnace opinions please

have the propane system installed by professionals if you dont have on already a small leak could fill your bilge and one spark your solid assets become liquid


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post #5 of 31 Old 11-25-2014
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Re: propane furnace opinions please

Second the Dixson for that size. I have had one for 5 years. It is a very efficient unit (measured at ~ 90%) that features sealed combustion (intake air and exhaust are managed through a double pipe system).

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Yes, a proper installation, with a solenoid, proper locker, continuous line, gas detectors and CO monitor is important. True of any gas appliance on a boat, this requires attention to code and detail.
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post #6 of 31 Old 11-25-2014
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Re: propane furnace opinions please

Propane has one major drawback, energy density, I use to use propane for heat. in the cold weather I would burn about 10 gallons in 7-10 days in a well insulated RV. I gave thought to propane, and how cheep I could get a propane furnace. What I realized is even if i had 100 gallons on board, it would only last about a month, and would take up a spot 4' round, and 5' high. That is a massive spot to hold 100 gallons. Diesel is your best bet for heat. A little esbar, webesto, ECT could be had under 1000 and a rock a 24' boat. Cannot tell you what one to buy, no experience with them.
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post #7 of 31 Old 11-25-2014
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Re: propane furnace opinions please

^^ The other thing to consider is insulation. Perhaps the most important factor.
* storm windows.
* a cover for the main hatch.
* rugs.
* draft seals on sliders and lockers.


I burn about 1-2 pounds/day in a 32' cat when lows are ~ 30F. Cats are tough to heat, but this one is well insulated.

I do not have diesel on board, and the propane system already served 3 other appliances, so I was well down that road.

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post #8 of 31 Old 11-25-2014
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Re: propane furnace opinions please

+2 on the Dickinson Newport. I installed one on my first boat, a 31' Irwin, and it was well-designed and very efficient. One of its best features was the coax stack, which brought in outside combustion air while exchanging heat from the exhaust. It keeps the outer pipe very cool, preheats the combustion air for greater efficiency, and doesn't deplete the oxygen inside the boat.

As the others have said, you need to do it right, regardless of which propane furnace you get:
1. CO/propane detector if not already there
2. Dedicated solenoid with switch near the furnace
3. Continuous line from solenoid to furnace
4. Proper 3" deck penetration for the coaxial intake/exhaust stack
Plan on $300-500 for the peripherals, wiring, etc even if you do the labor yourself.

UnionPacific is correct that the energy density of diesel is much higher but I think that's a moot point unless you're living aboard and using the heater all winter. I don't recall exactly, but I know I got well over a hundred hours of operation out of the Dickinson from a small propane tank. That said, there's no denying that diesel is much safer, so it doesn't require the solenoid/switch/line and may be cost-competitive when viewed from a complete system standpoint. Dickinson makes a diesel version of the Newport for about the same price and is worth a look.
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post #9 of 31 Old 11-25-2014
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Re: propane furnace opinions please

Another vote for the Dickinson as a safe, less expensive alternative to forced air for a smaller cabinspace. We have the large version on our 34 footer (but it's not like today's cavernous interiors).. works well and the ambiance of the visible flame is a nice touch.

Ron

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post #10 of 31 Old 11-25-2014
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Re: propane furnace opinions please

Quote:
Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
I would like a few opinions from everyone on this popes propane fired boat forced air furnace the price seems good at less than half the cost of a diesel unit
Propex HeatSource HS2800 10,000 BTU Forced Air Propane Heater 12 Volt
Price out all the bits and pieces you'll need then compare the price. I have quoted two of these Propex units and every time they lost to Espar or a bulkhead heater like the Dickenson.. I believe they are also painted steel.... Also 1 gallon in ten hours means a LOT of propane consumption...A 20 pound tank, which most boats don't have, is only 4.7 gallons +/-...

I can run my Espar a LOT during the winter and barely watch the tank gauge budge.... If you want to stick propane consider a Dickenson.

Diesel Approx 140,00 BTU / Gal
Propane Approx 91,000 BTU / Gal
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 11-25-2014 at 09:42 AM.
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