Calling all Cabin Heaters - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-09-2011 Thread Starter
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Calling all Cabin Heaters

I am looking to possibly install a bulkhead mounted cabin heater. It would be between propane and diesel, and mainly for casual use as we use our boat in some of the cooler months , but do not live aboard.

Does anyone leave these on overnight? I know both are vented and of course will have a carbon monoxide monitor, but are they risky. Any issue with being on when underway? I am leaning toward the Dickensins, but have not really researched this yet. Olease reply only if you have first hand experience vs theoretical knowledge.

Thanks,

Dave


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post #2 of 23 Old 11-09-2011
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First hand experience with Dickenson grills - customer service is very good. NFI.

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post #3 of 23 Old 11-09-2011
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We have left our Dickenson Newport heater on overnight once, but normally we prefer not to... generally pretty snug in the berth and rely on extra blankets if necessary.

But we had no qualms about leaving it on that time... as a thermocouple protected device, esp with a CO monitor I think it would be fine. It is a bit thirsty, though, unless you idle it right down (which would probably be appropriate anyhow). The noise of the fan is an annoyance, but that could be turned off at quite a cost in effectiveness. The rattly, noisy fan is my only beef on this item.

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post #4 of 23 Old 11-09-2011
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Do you have a genset? Water temps on the Chessy would probably allow for a heat pump to work fine in the shoulder seasons, although, not the dead of winter. Then you have AC too.


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post #5 of 23 Old 11-10-2011 Thread Starter
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No genset on our 35. We do have AC/ reverse heat and I could get a Hoda 2000, but I am leary about the fumes and carrying more gasoline .

Dave do you have the propane or diesel model? Does the diesel model require a fuel pump?

dave


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post #6 of 23 Old 11-10-2011
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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
... do you have the propane or diesel model? Does the diesel model require a fuel pump?

dave
Ours is propane.. I would think the diesel needs a pump or a head tank.

The manual is here:

Newport Diesel Heater - Kuranda

Ron

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post #7 of 23 Old 11-10-2011
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The diesel models do require a pump (pulse pump) unless they have a gravity feed from an overhead tank.

In my experience the diesel are better for live aboard use - I have owned a Dickinson Newport and liked it. Lots of heat - the boat was 35'. A bit finicky sometimes depending on wind speed/direction. I would buy one again.

The propane heaters - Dickinson - are better for occasional use but as Faster says they can use a lot of propane if on for long. Zero maintenance - light and forget really. As far as the noisy fan one neighbor installed a quieter one. Best I think for those sailing on a chilly weekend but not for a live aboard.

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post #8 of 23 Old 11-10-2011
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I leave my Dickison (propane) on long enough to heat the cabin and then let the electric take over.

It is a thirsty piece of equipment, and mine is noisy too. I'm pretty sure I can fix it and make it less noisy, but it kinda ticks me off that I can do it and the manufacturer can't, won't, hasn't as it's obviously a known issue.

I'd have to seriously consider whether I'd purchase the Newport unit again.


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post #9 of 23 Old 11-10-2011
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Had the propane Dickensen on my previous C320 for a few years. Heated the cabin very well but getting the heat waaayyy.... back to the aft berth where we slept was an issue even with the heater fan plus a cabin mounted fan running.
Sailing with it running was no problem and it kept my wife warm in the cabin while I was out in the full enclosure bimini on a frosty sail.
As for the fan noise we both need 'white noise' to sleep any way so that was fine.
It does use enough fuel so that you have to seriously keep it in mind for a few days out in the cold - bring a second tank.
Now I have a genset and reverse cycle AC if needed but for what is sounds like you are wanting down south on the Chesapeake I would do it again. Up here for serious cold there just isn't enough hot air movement to our sleeping area if we were to go out for a few days even in late October....

Stan
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-10-2011
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I live aboard in New England on an insulated boat. Have used the Dickenson propane unit for years and like it. I run mine 7x24 in the dead of winter (20 degrees outside) and use about 40 pounds of propane in seven or eight days. The fan is a roarer-and fails frequently.-don't understand why they don't get a better fan...I replaced it with a muffin fan and have another regular more powerful cabin fan blowing down on the heater chimney to salvage heat. It works pretty well, but I supplement modestly with electric. Would love to go diesel, but I still have a gas inboard and don't want to mix fuel types more than necessary.
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