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  #1  
Old 11-24-2006
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Winter heater to avoid freezing

I live and sail in Texas, where it doesn't always get as cold in Winter as the North. Most here leave their boats in the water year-round. When I lived in the North, I hauled my boat in the Fall and covered it for Winter. This is my first year sailing in the South. If possible, I'd love to avoid the flushing of tanks and lines and antifreeze altogether. I still use the boat most weekends. Neighbors on my dock say they buy cheap electric heaters from Home Depot and use them. I'm concerned about the fire hazard of a "cheap heater". West Marine's product seems good but verrry expensive.
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Old 11-24-2006
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Even inexpensive heaters have to be UL approved. They have thermal cut outs that shut them down if they over heat and mercury switches that shut them off if they are tipped over. All and all they are pretty safe. Most electrical fire are caused by poor connections and heaters tend to be made of non combustible materials.
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Old 11-24-2006
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...heater

ebs001,
Thanks for the reply. After weighing pros and cons, I went ahead and bought the expensive engine room heater (I'll be at the boat tomorrow a.m.). Apparently one of the issues is potential for ignition from certain units' thermostatic controls, which can cause a small spark when the unit comes on. If there is a propane leak in the boat's galley stove...boom! Needless to say, even with the "Boat Safe" heater, I'm planning to remove the propane entirely from the boat, even though it's in a sealed, vented locker in the stern. I'm concerned about protecting my two diesel engines (propulsion and genset).
Appreciate input!
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