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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-06-2008
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Hot Water

We all know that the usual method of getting hot water on a small(ish) yacht is from the engine cooling circuit and a small reservoir - but that seems to me to be a complex waste of valuable storage space given the number of times you actually need hot water when sailing.

Has anyone perfected "instantaneous" gas, electric or something else hot water systems that would be suitable for use on a small boat??

Just curious..
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Old 08-06-2008
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I've seen them. I can't remember the brand but I do remember they were very expensive. A couple grand if I remember correctly. I'm sure the price will come down in time, but it will be a while before they are a few hundred bucks.
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Old 08-07-2008
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We install something called instahot in a lot of the retail shopping centers we build. They are about the size of a small inverter and they are mounted to the wall under the sink, then plugged into 110.

Those units are not that expensive and delivers HOT water instantly, might not be a bad idea in a small boat that is storage space challanged
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The only catch with instant hot water heaters is the amount of current they draw. If you've got a 30 amp AC service on your boat, the water heater will eat most of that up when it's operating. Read the fine print on amps, wattage or whatever and do the math to see what the heater will draw.

Wattage/volts=amps
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Old 08-07-2008
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On a boat your size, I would use a sun shower or heat it on the stove.
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Old 08-07-2008
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Be very wary of the instant hot water heaters powered by propane...they can kill you! There've been a number of incidents with these. A boat is not a house, and these water heaters were intended for structures ashore (no bilge to collect the explosive propane fumes). The principal danger from these heaters seems to be carbon monoxide, and deaths have been reported due to their use in, e.g., showers.

The InstaHot's draw a LOT of current. Few boats have such power available, even if these were robust, marine appliances (which they're not).

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 08-07-2008 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 08-07-2008
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Hartley,

Instantaneous hot water heaters are okay, but not really applicable to your application. The amps or btus requirements are too great and the amount of hot water is limited.

Try Johns advice; solar shower or stovetop
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Old 08-07-2008
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There are compact propane water heaters on the market like this one:

Coleman 2300A700 Portable Water Heater: Compare Prices, View Price History and Read Reviews at NexTag

You can use the small stubby propane bottles or hook up a tank. I've never used one, but it is an alternative to what you are looking for.
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Old 08-07-2008
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NO....THESE ARE DANGEROUS! They are NOT intended for use on a boat.

From the Coleman literature, "Unit is to be operated outdoors only in well-ventilated areas to prevent suffocation from carbon monoxide. "

Again, be VERY WARY of propane heaters on boats.

Bill
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Old 08-07-2008
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flash gas heaters

I have had a couple of boats with flash gas heaters that were terrific. They are very common on boats in Europe and were used by Hinterhoeller as well (Nonsuch and Niagara). The biggest problem with them is that they have chimneys (4" stack) and it might be hard to retrofit one on a boat that was not designed with them in mind. On my Niagara 35 the heater was located right beside the galley sink and partly (upper part) enclosed in cabinetry with controls below.

They are gas appliances and normal precautions apply. We only turned ours on when we needed hot water; then turned it off, along with the gas solenoid. There is no need to leave one running since it only takes a few seconds to light.
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