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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #31  
Old 09-25-2008
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I will go diesel heat (I carry 140 gallons, after all) probably with Espar or Wallas buried in a locker. As I already have AC, I can use the existing vents paired with the A/C, as long as I can shut away the heat from the A/C venting and unit (because it might melt).

Propane for heating is convenient on coasts, but not offshore, and as a fuel, it is "wetter", leading to potential issues with condensation.

I recommend, as I have other times the topic has arisen, this book:

The Warm Dry Boat by Roger McAfee

which, as it was written in the PNW, should apply. The critical bit is not heating the air, but venting the boat so that damp cold air is heated and sent up the flue. Get the damp out, and the boat feels better.
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  #32  
Old 09-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
Im back...To nasty out to entice me to go play in the dirt today ...Man Im addicted to this place ( it didnt take much )...The only thing more fun then messing about on boats is talking about them.

Thats a fair question Dave and I'll try to answer that.

I know my Girls... if I can keep them warm their up for about anything..And even though they like dock amenities and exploring water front hamlets we all really like the solitude that only comes from anchoring out... Also my line of work gives me way more time off ( without pay ) in the winter..so funds for marina stays are less available but time for boating in general is greater.

Its a bummer but thats what it is..One of the many reasons I fall into the condo on the water type boat owner verses a more sporty pointing boat...Give em lots of room and open space, all the amenities of home and they will want to be out there with me...And I love my women with me if they arnt around and enjoying partaking in my life I dont enjoy doing it either. ..so heat it is. ...My old bones won't complain as much either.
All good answers and reasons, Still. Get the heater.

David
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  #33  
Old 09-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
Propane for heating is convenient on coasts, but not offshore, and as a fuel, it is "wetter", leading to potential issues with condensation.
Val,

I'll agree with you about propane for long distance/offshore or real cold climate heating. Diesel would be better for that.

But as for the moisture issue with propane, the reason I and several others speak so highly of these Dickinson units is that they have a sealed combustion chamber fed by a double-walled chimney. All the air for combustion is drawn from abovedecks and all the exhaust from combustion is simillarly vented to the exterior. No moisture issues at all. Very dry heat. Self cooling (or, heat-limiting) chimney. Pretty slick.
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  #34  
Old 09-25-2008
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Thanks Val..I just did a search of my public library ..they dont have it so I just ordered it.

Im leaning toward diesel ( or wood ) my self at this early stage not ruling out Propane yet or diesel fired forced air as I to have plenty of fuel @ 120 gal and a/c ducting but its in two different zones so would need two units to utilize it all. ( but fuel aint cheap and Dickenson says there largest model burns almost 4 gal per 24/day on high. )
But what Im really after is self sufficient heat ..ie no power consumption required... or very very little anyway..and of course the cheapest BTU for the buck that makes the most sense in terms of weighing out all the pros and cons.

I know I can run my motorhome propane forced air furnace for about 3 days and interior lights conservatively on 350 ah ( yes I now realize I've been abusing my batteries thanks to my sailing education.. ) but I think a boat is going to use more total ah per day, just a gut feeling i have could be wrong.. I realize I have a gen-set and all that gadgetry which is nice and reassuring but there's nothing like quit heat from a good dependable stove..
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  #35  
Old 09-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Val,

I'll agree with you about propane for long distance/offshore or real cold climate heating. Diesel would be better for that.

But as for the moisture issue with propane, the reason I and several others speak so highly of these Dickinson units is that they have a sealed combustion chamber fed by a double-walled chimney. All the air for combustion is drawn from abovedecks and all the exhaust from combustion is simillarly vented to the exterior. No moisture issues at all. Very dry heat. Self cooling (or, heat-limiting) chimney. Pretty slick.
Good Point and dully noted John...Your not making this any easier are you...

When you said you go all season on a couple bottles like mine John.. can you sort of define that a little

1) Nights on the hook or aboard only using propane for
a) Heat
b) stovetop/oven

If this sounds petty what Im trying to get my mind around is work/hassle involved vs cost ..If Propane is cheaper to run compared to diesel but Im swapping out propane bottles to go get filled every other trip ( I hate that part about propane.. it's always in the middle of cooking hamburgers when we want a quick meal too.. ) Then the savings dosent out way the benefit unless off set by larger benefits like way cleaner, better smelling etc..

Hey that brings up something else we need to discuss and I wanted to ask..What about smell of thease different heaters?

Last edited by Stillraining; 09-25-2008 at 05:04 PM.
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  #36  
Old 09-25-2008
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Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
Good Point and dully noted John...Your not making this any easier are you...

When you said you go all season on a couple bottles like mine John.. can you sort of define that a little

1) Nights on the hook or aboard only using propane for
a) Heat
b) stovetop/oven

If this sounds petty what Im trying to get my mind around is work/hassle involved vs cost ..If Propane is cheaper to run compared to diesel but Im swapping out propane bottles to go get filled every other trip ( I hate that part about propane.. it's always in the middle of cooking hamburgers when we want a quick meal too.. ) Then the savings dosent out way the benefit unless off set by larger benefits like way cleaner, better smelling etc..

Hey that brings up something else we need to discuss and I wanted to ask..What about smell of thease different heaters?
Still,

My usage/consumption experience is similar to Faster's (but from what he has posted of his logbook, he gets out more often than we do.) We do a couple regular weekends each month, several 3-4 day long weekends each year, plus a 10-14 day trip in the summer.

We almost always anchor out. We cook for a family of five with our propane stove/oven, supplemented by the charcoal grill. And we heat the boat during the shoulder seasons (March/April, Oct/Nov) with propane. When heating, it's usually 4-5 hours in the evening, 2-3 hours in the morning. We have two 10 lb tanks, but have never used them both up in a sailing season (March-Nov).

There is NO odor from our heater. That was an issue I had to consider when deciding between diesel and propane -- one of my daughters has an acute sense of smell and gets nauseated by diesel odors. I didn't want to introduce any more sources into the cabin.
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  #37  
Old 09-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
Hey that brings up something else we need to discuss and I wanted to ask..What about smell of thease different heaters?
Our pet Dickinson propane heater is odorless. The forced air heaters are essentially odorless inside, but the exhausts can be smelly/noisy outside (more a problem for your neighbour, perhaps)

Some of the non-fully vented diesel heaters can be a bit smelly.... goes hand in hand with the added risks of using such heaters in a less-well-vented environment.

The only knock on this heater of ours that I have is that the fan is rather noisy, but it really ups the efficiency if you run it at high speed... I just can't stand to listen to it that way. It has a tolerable moderate speed that's OK.

Finally, the deciding factor for us was cost.. $700 for the P9000 including all required accessories (flue, "charlie noble", mounting plate etc.. all but the flue guard). Probably at least half the cost of a forced air system.
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  #38  
Old 09-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Since we have an "open" interior with no bulkheads to speak of, I had to build out a surface on which to mount the heater. We ordered the optional interior chimney guard, as well as the optional exterior stack protector (which you can sort-of see in the second photo, on the starboard coachroof just aft the forward hatch). Sorry, these are not the best photos but they're all I've got.
If the stack gets very hot, what does it come into contact with as it passes thru the deck?

In a squall or a roll does that cover make for a watertight seal?

I was on a boat that used a small, gravity-fed diesel tank mounted behind the stove. It was a neat set-up.

Last edited by LoTech; 09-25-2008 at 07:46 PM.
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  #39  
Old 09-25-2008
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I've been eyeballing the Dickinson Propane units for Oh Joy as well. I sail regardless of the weather and it'd be nice to have some heat besides the propane oven on occasion. Seeing as my fuel tank is only 25 gallons, propane's good for me.
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Old 09-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoTech View Post
If the stack gets very hot, what does it come into contact with as it passes thru the deck?
It does get pretty hot, but not as bad as it would if it weren't a double-walled chimney (intake air comes down the outer perimeter, exhaust goes up the inner flue). Where it exits the coachroof, the hole diameter is cut so that there is a 1/4" gap between the flue and the deck material. I stuffed some flameproof insulation in there, but I think the air gap alone would be sufficient insulation.

The top of the flue terminates at the flue cap, which slips over and covers the top of the chimney, and holds it centered in place via some feet that splay out and screw into the deck or mounting block.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoTech View Post
In a squall or a roll does that cover make for a watertight seal?
In a squall, yes. In a roll, no.

The flue guard (which fits over the flue cap) not only protects the flue cap from sheets, but also has a shield to block spray taken over the bow. We have never had any water make it down the chimney.

In a worst case, water could come down the chimney during a roll, but it would not flood the boat since the combustion chamber is sealed to the interior. Probably wouldn't be good for the heater, though.

Fortunately, there is a simple remedy for folks heading off soundings. The flue guard can be removed and a 6" stainless mixing bowl and gasket can be easily fitted over the flue to make it watertight. But then you can't use the heater while it's sealed up....
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