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post #1 of 13 Old 08-18-2008 Thread Starter
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Heater location issues

Well my boat doesn't have a heater, and I'm finding out that having one would be very nice here in the northwest. I have no experience with heaters before but I like the idea of the simple diesel bulkhead-mount heaters (like the SIG-100). Problem is, that I am having trouble finding a good place to mount this type of heater, as from what I understand they need to be about 6" away from combustibles and should have a 3 foot exhaust rise. I attached a picture of 2 possible mounting points, I was hoping to get some advice.

The position above the couch wont' have nearly enough room for 3' of exhaust pipe, the whole space above the cushions is about 3'. And the exhaust might intefere with the lines running aft from the mast. Not to mention interfering with anyone sitting on the couch in front of the heater.

The position on the foreword bulkhead has more vertical room but I worry about the heater being in the way and too near the cabinet, as well as the exhaust port catching on the jib or jib sheets when tacking.

Any thoughts? I guess the other option is forced air heating but I would have installation issues with that one as well.
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Last edited by FishFinder; 08-18-2008 at 08:30 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-19-2008
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If you chose the location over the settee, you'd really want to get rid of the cushions and drop the unit down as far as possible. You don't want people sitting next to the heater, since they might get burned if it was in operation. Having the stack further aft by the mast is going to be a problem, given the way your halyards are led.

The other location just looks like it doesn't have enough room for you to safely mount the heater. It is a bit hard to tell, since there isn't much in the photo to give a sense of scale to it.

You might be better off with a diesel-fueled forced air heating system like a webasto, but it is hard to say. It would be helpful if you said what kind of boat this is...since someone may own the same model and have a heater installed.

Would also recommend you read the post in my signature.

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post #3 of 13 Old 08-19-2008
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As a general rule the lower and further forward the location the better. However as SD noted there does not appear to be much room in the forward location. You might take a look at Dickinsons' propane models as they take up less room than the diesel ones and also need a smaller space around them for install.
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-19-2008
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you could also look at a diesel forced air unit where the exhaust goes out the side of the hull, there are several good units and take up little spave just another thought

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post #5 of 13 Old 08-19-2008 Thread Starter
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The boat is a 1980 S2 9.2A (30'). The foreword bulkhead space where I would mount the heater next to the cabinet, is only 11" wide. The Sig-100 is 8.75" wide ... so probably a no-go there. Losing the couch cushions and mounting the heater lower in the cabin is probably the best idea but I don't know if I want to give up all that space. Well I tried ... was hoping somebody would have a miracle idea but it looks like forced air is the best solution.
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-20-2008
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I live aboard a 30 foot boat, in New England year-round. I used to heat with a coal heater, a FATSCO Buddy which required tending every 12 hours. 4 or 5 years ago I switched to a REFLEX cabin heater, gravity fed diesel. At first I mounted it where the old coal stove was. The coal stove radiated its heat all around, warming the wood hence the whole cabin. But the diesel stove tends to heat the air and as the heat rose, it was toasty in the overhead but cold on the sole. I mounted the stove right on the sole, just aft the mast, and it heats the entire boat well. A small fan helps circulate the warm air from above to heat the boat evenly. I find that this stove burns about 1.5 gallons of diesel in 24 hours. At close to $5 per gallon that’s about $225 a month! Not great!

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post #7 of 13 Old 08-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCox View Post
....You might take a look at Dickinsons' propane models as they take up less room than the diesel ones and also need a smaller space around them for install.
I agree with Steve, check out the Dickinson propane version.. the side tolerances are very low, virtually no heat goes that way. They have a fan that directs the heated air downwards, and are fully vented with combustion air being drawn from outside as well. On top of that they have the ambiance of a visible "fireplace" flame.

One of these may actually fit on your bit of exposed stbd bulkhead, but whether it would interfere with your cabinet doors there is difficult to tell from the pics. Another option might be to create an alcove there, sacrificing part of the forward cabinet. We did one on a previous boat, lined it with tile and it looked/worked quite well. (pic below)



They also come complete with the flues and deck caps, not something all heaters do. If you have propane already on board, adding one of these instead of a diesel heater is a good, no-odour option. Forced air heaters are nice, too, but cost a lot more and are typically more problematic over time.

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post #8 of 13 Old 08-20-2008
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A couple of weeks back we were discussing hot water heaters and the LPG systems were uinversally condemned.

Now my biggest concern with on demand or a large storage tank is water usage but there are also the problems with the pilot light and oxygen depletion.

Why then is an LPG cabin heater considered OK ? Don't they have those same two drawbacks ?

Or, does the flu take care of the oxygen depletion and they don't use a pilot light ?

In which case why wouldn't an LPG water heater with a flu work fine ?

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TD, these Dickinson cabin heaters are fully vented and do not use pilots (but they are thermocouple protected) Oxygen depletion is not an issue, nor are combustion products in the cabin a problem either.

I know that the demand water heaters that are propane powered are frowned upon by insurers and can only assume that that is due to their design.

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post #10 of 13 Old 08-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
TD, these Dickinson cabin heaters are fully vented and do not use pilots (but they are thermocouple protected) Oxygen depletion is not an issue, nor are combustion products in the cabin a problem either.

I know that the on demand water heaters that are propane powered are frowned upon by insurers and can only assume that that is due to their design.
Interesting. You'd think someone like Dickinson would have come up with a workable solution. Maybe they tried and failed or didn't figure there was enough demand.

How much gas do those heaters use ? Don't need exact consumption more a vague comparison to diesel.

Dry Wet Heat argument ? isn't diesel supposed to be better, as in drier ? What was your experience ?

(every time I see that name Dickinson I recall the advert for Dickens Cider. )

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Last edited by tdw; 08-20-2008 at 07:38 PM.
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