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PBzeer 01-18-2007 08:26 AM

Hot Water Heater Usage
The last thing I have to hook up to the new AC wiring is the Hot Water Heater. While I do use it at the dock, I found myself simply heating water on the stove while out. The water never seemed to get all that hot when running off the heat exchanger. What I'm thinking, at this point, is just taking it off the boat. (From the looks of it, it's the original one, so about 22 yrs old.)

The options are, leave it, replace it, do without, or get one of the "instant" types (electric) for at the dock usage. I'm wondering what others find is their usage of the hot water heater away from the dock.


sailingdog 01-18-2007 08:36 AM

You may have a problem with the heat exchanger... the thermostat on most boats runs at about 180 degrees fareheit or so... and if your water isn't getting up to at least 110 degrees, then the heat exchanger it is running through has a problem. I would have some one check it out, and if it is clogged, replace the heat exchanger. Having hot water is nice, but an instant electric type one won't provide you with any when you're away from the dock.

PBzeer 01-18-2007 09:16 AM

I realize the instant one would only be good at the dock. What I'm wondering, is if I really need one at all.

I'll definitely check out the heat exchanger.

sailortjk1 01-18-2007 09:27 AM

True Blue has a nice set up on his boat. We discussed this a couple of weeks ago. His is an instantaneous propane heater. No water tank.

His impressed me; you may want to look into instant propane water heaters. It sure would be handy when not in a marina and on the hook.
Ours too, off of the heat exchanger gives you luke warm at best.

Faster 01-18-2007 09:49 AM

Our engine-heated hot water gets too hot to put your hand in it, so your problem likely stems from a fouled exchanger within the 20 yr old tank. (ours is only 4-5 yrs old)

We occasionally use the shore power for this purpose, but motoring for 1/2 hour or so each day provides us with a heated tank that lasts the day unless showers are required (we rarely use the shower - preferring solar heated bags used on deck)

After sailing for a number of years heating water on the stove, it's sure nice to have a ready source at hand. If its not leaking I wouldn't be in a rush to remove it.

PBzeer 01-18-2007 10:02 AM

I've seen the propane models, and prefer to have no more propane appliances than necessary. Especially as my locker only holds a 6# tank.

I also use a solar type shower for bathing and the only time I use hot water from the tank is for dishes. So, aside from the 6 extra gallons of water, I can't really decide if I need one or not.

If I keep one, I'll most likely replace it. It's good though to hear other's experiences to help the thought process.

Vasco 01-18-2007 10:21 AM

We cruise six months a year. While cruising we just use a sun shower and for dishes we boil a kettle on the propane stove. We do that for showers too on days when the sun's not cooperating. You might be better off removing the hot water tank altogether. At that age I don't think it'll last much longer. I should add that the heat exchanger comes in handy for a shower after a cold day of motoring on the ICW but that's the only time.

Waymar83 01-18-2007 05:21 PM

Hot water heater
I hope you don't mind but this is one thread I've been waiting for.

We sail out of Kingston, lake Ontario. I am not "Spartan" and the rest of the crew (wife and kids) even less so. So cold showers are to be avoided. Cold weather is also the norm (especially mornings). We also sail as early and late in the season as possible (i.e. early May - end of October limited only by how soon and late the Marina can put the boat in and out of the water).

A Hot shower will be a big plus. Our boat, 32 Attalia (Jeanneau) did not come with hot water.

I've looked into several options:
1) Heat exchanger off the engine (13hp. Yanmar )
2) Bosch water heater (propane flueless (w125-k))
3) Hot Water tank or instant.

I am still researching...

An electric heater is not an option as we have very good showers at the Marina. It is when we are on the hook that the self-generated hot water becomes important.(i.e. essentially all sailing excursions)

A related question is that the Head is all original and has marine grade plywood etc. anybody have problems with using that as the shower? I'm assuming the water from the shower goes into the bilge then gets pumped out... and that there is no problem with the wood etc.

I do not want to take over the thread and apologise again. I would be happy to hear from experience and suggestions via PMs.



PBzeer 01-18-2007 05:36 PM

Not a problem Mark, it is related. One thing to realize about showering inside the boat, is that you tend to generate a fair amount of moisture with the hot water. Also, most boats that have a shower also have a sump of some sort to direct the water to, rather than straight to the bilge. If you were to do that, you would need a good strainer on it to prevent hair, etc. fouling the bilge pump.

Given the number of people that you expect to utilize a shower, my guess is that a propane "instant" type heater would be your best bet. Don't know if that is what the Bosch is, but Paloma makes one, which I have seen on a number of boats.

Since you consider propane an option, perhaps True Blue will chime in with a description of his setup, as he uses propane.

captlar 01-18-2007 05:59 PM

I went through this a year ago when purchasing our current boat. The surveyor told me the Paloma would have to go. No longer approved for enclosed spaces such as boats or campers. This change came from someone who showered so long without ventilation, they ran out of oxygen and died. Most of us would never let anyone shower that long so it must have been a BIG boat. Nevertheless - BoatUS and two other companies made removal of the instant heater a condition of insuring. You can do what you want, but IF you had a claim for fire the Ins. Co. might not pay. If you go that route, I would ask them first, since others have claimed to get a different answer.
We went with the IsoTemp w/ exchanger running off engine. We avoid docks and have to motor a channel to get to our mooring anyway, so I look at it as free HW. It heats quickly. The tank is super insulated so you can even shower again the next AM. Having a shower on a boat is a priority for me. Salty sheets are not. I view it as a standard piece of equipment most expect on a 35 foot boat. Our marina has nice facilities, but I like having my own. It is great cruising since we are only on a mooring or anchor. I'm pleased - but it was pricey.

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