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  #21  
Old 02-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Just to avoid any misperceptions, I wanted to clarify that while moisture is a by-product of propane combustion, the Dickinson Newport propane heaters have eliminated this as an issue.
Agreed, but if you are going to all that trouble, why not use one of the Dickinson diesel bulkhead heaters. I recognize that reasonable, rational people can look at the same data and reach different conclusions. From my perspective, the energy density of diesel is higher than propane, the cost / BTU is lower, you end up with fewer propane connectors inside the boat, and fuel capacity on most boats is substantially higher.
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  #22  
Old 02-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Hi Wayne!

I run between 1/2 and 1 gallon diesel per day during the cold months. I spend at least a couple of hours a day with the heater cranked up and some hatches cracked open for ventilation.
sail fast!
Thanks Dave,

I got interested in Scott's Q and ran it out in Excel - lots of assumptions but the data seems close to your experience; i.e. .5 to 1.0 G/Day coldest.



Wayne

Last edited by wwilson; 02-19-2010 at 04:11 PM.
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  #23  
Old 02-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Agreed, but if you are going to all that trouble, why not use one of the Dickinson diesel bulkhead heaters. I recognize that reasonable, rational people can look at the same data and reach different conclusions. From my perspective, the energy density of diesel is higher than propane, the cost / BTU is lower, you end up with fewer propane connectors inside the boat, and fuel capacity on most boats is substantially higher.
I guess my earlier point was, moisture is not an issue with these units.

As for the pros and cons of diesel vs propane as a heater fuel -- we've hashed that out quite a bit in some of the other threads. A strong case can be made for both, in my opinion.

But briefly, in defense of propane:

-- Only one propane connection inside the cabin, and that's at the appliance. The one other connection is in the sealed, vented propane locker. Diesel has multiple connections (at the tank, the pump, the appliance) increasing chance of leaks/odors.

-- Virtually no maintenance on the propane units. Diesel units require more cleaning/maintenance.

-- Propane burns cleaner. Diesel can leave a soot/residue on deck and occasional odors.

-- Propane can get away with a 24" flue height. I forget what the measurement is for diesel, but to achieve proper draft, flue length needs to be quite a bit longer. This is not a problem on some boats, but on others it can be tricky.

EDIT: According to Dickinson, the Diesel Newport heater requires a 48" minimum flue length. That works in some boats, but is very problematic in others. Usually resulting in a higher profile on deck.

-- Lower power draw with propane (just the remote solenoid). Diesel has an electric fuel pump (admittedly, not a huge draw, but the propane can run with NO power (by-pass the solenoid) whereas diesel must have it.)

-- Simpler propane installation. No wiring necessary (unless hooking up optional fan). Just a single propane line from locker to appliance. Diesel requires a fuel line as well as a wire run to the fuel pump, plus a place to mount the fuel pump (in addition to the appliance.)

EDIT: Also, the flue stack for diesel requires a 5" hole in the deck, whereas the propane flue requires "only" a 3" hole. That results in a hole nearly 3X the size. Drilling these holes is the scariest part of the installation.

-- Lower initial cost for propane appliance because there are fewer components.


As for fuel reserves/consumption - I guess it depends too. You're right though, diesel offers better btus and most boats have decent tankage. But for weekenders/vacationers with reasonable propane capacity, these propane units are very frugal too. We only carry 20 lbs propane, still it has not been an issue at all.

Again, the intended use is important here. For long-distance voyaging or living aboard, diesel is a very compelling fuel choice and I'd say the scales tip for it. But for weekending/vacationing, propane has many merits too.
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Last edited by JohnRPollard; 02-19-2010 at 08:42 PM. Reason: added additional comments "Edit"
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  #24  
Old 02-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
I did an install of Dixon P-9000and you are invited to read my post:
Sail Delmarva: Search results for heat propane
I read your post, very informative and good to hear all is going well so far. Thank you.
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  #25  
Old 02-23-2010
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Quite happy w/Dickenson Newport Propane. Knocking off the Maine chill in May, Sept, early Oct. Does not use that much fuel, they have the usage ratings on their website, I think.
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  #26  
Old 02-24-2010
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I've owned and used all systems except the hydronic heat. I've used that one on other people's boats. I'd say I have to agree with most of what everyone here says.

1. Hydronic heat is the safest, easiest, most efficient and DEFINATELY the most expensive. This is what I'd choose if I were to sail high latitudes year round and had the cash.

2. Diesel drip pot (dickenson) type. Second easiest, second safest. I have slept with these running at night, but don't really like to. I've also seen people get creative with copper tubing around the stack and a pump and make their own hydronic type system. These are a really good option all around IMHO and some of the models have a window to watch the flame.

3. Propane. Propane heat sucks unless you're a weekend sailor. We have a wall mounted propane stove currently and it will NOT really heat up the boat in modest cold. It also cooks through a heap of propane in doing so and finding a place to fill those heavy bottles is much more hassle than dealing with the other fuels.

4. Wood heat. Ahhhh.... I love wood heat. Much messier, less efficient lb for lb, more effort, less safe than diesel (arguably more or less safe than propane). The reward in romance is incalculable though. It's also a really nice dry heat and contrary to what dickenson says you can REALLY put our a lot of heat if you want to. I had the "cole stove" which is basically dickenson's solid fuel stove. It was nice because you could view the flame but it was not airtight. This is a key point because it decreases your ability to control the flame and you can not easily extinguish the flame either. The only true efficient, safe and controllable stoves are airtight. I wouldn't sleep with my dickenson style wood stove burning, but I would with a controlled flame in an airtight stove. I'm currently looking for a wood stove for my new boat which is both airtight and has a window for viewing the flame. So far I haven't found any, though I may see if I can get this guy to make me one. Traditional Cast Iron Marine Stoves by Navigator Stove Works,Inc.

I tried EVERY type of fuel that you could possibly burn in my wood stove. I never did get pellets to burn very well, and try I did. Charcoal works fine but is messy. The best fuel by far, from my perspective, was the duraflame 2hr fire-logs. They burn cooler than wood (but plenty hot enough) and are consistant. I would cut a log in thirds and each third would burn 2 hours and make my 31ft boat 80-90deg. If you find them on sale they're dead cheap and since they're made of mostly wax they don't mind being stored in a wet bilge. Regular wood burned too hot for me, required much more sawing and re-adding of fuel and driftwood, while free and attractive has such a high salt content that unless you have a 316 stainless stove the salt and heat will soon put holes in your stove.

I absolutely want to pitch my propane stove overboard and go with wood. It's not entirely for rational reasons, but I'm wiling to put up with the extra effort for that nice dry, radiant, romantic heat. It's also a heck of a lot more fun to light than a webasto.

MedSailor

EDIT YIIPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! The awesome cast iron stove maker I referenced above is now making glass panels for his stoves!!! I[ve seen these stoves and they're fantastic! Some are even EPA certified (ie less soot) and you can even get drop-in cooking burners for them. Finally the wood stove I've been waiting for!! Before next winter I will have a wood stove again. YAY!
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Last edited by MedSailor; 02-24-2010 at 04:59 PM.
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  #27  
Old 02-24-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
1. Hydronic heat is the safest, easiest, most efficient and DEFINATELY the most expensive...
Good post Med. I am guessing that you mean "most expensive" in initial capital outlay. Once installed, the fuel is relatively inexpensive.

Wayne
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  #28  
Old 02-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwilson View Post
Good post Med. I am guessing that you mean "most expensive" in initial capital outlay. Once installed, the fuel is relatively inexpensive.

Wayne
Yes. That is what I meant.


BTW another unstated advantage of wood is that you can reduce the refuse you carry aboard. Sort your trash into burnable and non-burnable. Turns your space occupying trash into some heat.

Medsailor
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Last edited by MedSailor; 02-26-2010 at 02:34 PM.
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  #29  
Old 02-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
....
3. Propane. Propane heat sucks unless you're a weekend sailor. We have a wall mounted propane stove currently and it will NOT really heat up the boat in modest cold. It also cooks through a heap of propane in doing so and finding a place to fill those heavy bottles is much more hassle than dealing with the other fuels....
Which propane heater are you using?

I would think you'd need at minimum a couple of them for a 41 footer. Our single unit is just right for our 31 footer -- your boat is probably 2.5 times (or more) the internal volume. Ours is the smaller of the two Dickinson Newports (P9000).

But, that said, if I couldn't heat our boat with a single bulkhead mount heater (diesel, wood, or propane), I'd be looking at other options. I just can't see installing multiple units and using up that much "wall space" or drilling that many holes in deck.
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  #30  
Old 02-26-2010
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I am debating wethet to make my own wood stove for my Cat 30. It would be easy enough and I have the tooling to make a nice stainless one here at my house. I would (wood) want it for the off season months as well and do not live aboard or anything. I know much about wood burning as it is my primary heat sorce in my 3500 sq ft home (with oil as a backup) and just love the radiant heat!

josh
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