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  #11  
Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Heating Your Boat

I run a reverse cycle AC/heater at the dock in spring and fall. 12v Hydronic diesel furnace with radiators and fans throughout the boats on 3 zones. Neither system is cheap but they are reliable and safe and the Hydronic systems can be run on the hook.
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Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Heating Your Boat

There is a "sticky" thread at the top of the gear and maintenance section that covers the issue in some detail. Here is a direct link to it. Wood, Diesel or propane bulkhead heating stove?

I've been having pretty good luck using my Aladdin lantern to heat the boat recently. Aladdin lanterns, if you're not familiar, are a particular type of non-pressurized kerosene lantern that uses a mantle. In addition to being as bright as a 60W light bulb (and too bright to look directly at) they put out a LOT of heat. The manual says 2,800BTU/HR.

Just the other weekend I watched my thermostat rise by 1deg/min for 15mins after I lit my lantern. That was in the cabin of my 41ft boat with 6'10" headroom. Only the main salon was being heated, but I would guess you could heat an entire 27footer or most of a 30-35footer with one.

The lanterns are a little finicky until you get used to them, and you HAVE to use K-1 grade kerosene, but once you get the hang of them they provide lots of light and quite a bit of heat. They can also be found new for <$100.

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  #13  
Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Heating Your Boat

We use our trawler lamp and a catalytic green can fired heater. There's also this, in addition to the other ideas: Cabin Heater - C34

No one, right, answer. Depends on what YOU want to do and need to have.
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Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Heating Your Boat

Quote:
I've been having pretty good luck using my Aladdin lantern to heat the boat recently.
I have been looking in to buying a lantern, to conserve electricity. How much Kerosene do you need to carry for it? I want to be able to easily go off grid for at least 2 weeks, most likely where it is warm, but for light I would still be using it. My boat is only a 30 footer so this might be worth trying 2 birds 1 stone.
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Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Heating Your Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
We use our trawler lamp and a catalytic green can fired heater. There's also this, in addition to the other ideas: Cabin Heater - C34

No one, right, answer. Depends on what YOU want to do and need to have.
Stu,

That's exactly what I had in mind for what I consider to be an unconventional way to heat a boat. I'd use the water heater itself as the heat source. We've been doing "hydro air" in multi family heating installations for quite some time, why not a boat.

Unlike Tim R's system which is efficient, this option would get pricey to operate during a northern winter, small 6 gallon tank, 120v element, the dockside shore power would spin the meter off the building.

This would however be an easy way to heat a boat in the shoulder months or for a trip down the ICW where you're motoring more than sailing.
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Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Heating Your Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post

I've been having pretty good luck using my Aladdin lantern to heat the boat recently. Aladdin lanterns, if you're not familiar, are a particular type of non-pressurized kerosene lantern that uses a mantle. In addition to being as bright as a 60W light bulb (and too bright to look directly at) they put out a LOT of heat. The manual says 2,800BTU/HR.
Be careful about carbon monoxide poisoning with an unvented kerosene heater/latern: Kerosene Heaters
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Re: Heating Your Boat

Trawler lamps can use lamp oil, too, easy to find in hardware stores, and no potential smell like kerosene. Cheap, too. Buy a few big ones, length of use depends on how many hours a day you leave it on, right? Have no idea if you want to start in the a.m. for heat and leave it on all day or not. My car uses little fuel when staying in the garage, but still gets the same mpg!
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Old 09-29-2012
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Re: Heating Your Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnBones View Post
I have been looking in to buying a lantern, to conserve electricity. How much Kerosene do you need to carry for it? I want to be able to easily go off grid for at least 2 weeks, most likely where it is warm, but for light I would still be using it. My boat is only a 30 footer so this might be worth trying 2 birds 1 stone.
One quart of kero lasts for 10-12 hours according to the aladdin instructions and my experience is spot on with that. I carry a gallon, which at 4-6 hrs per night of usage lasts, well, a long time.

JamesWilson, thanks for mentioning the CO issue. I bought a kiddie battery powered carbon monoxide detector and have been using the aladdin for a few years both living aboard and cruising. In those years I only once saw that it had recorded a detectable level of CO but I wasn't sure if that was from the engine, my dock neighbor's engine or the lantern. Every other time I've used it it registers 0ppm.

Compare that with my old trawler lantern that I burned one night with the wick slightly too high. My friend and I both got moderate CO poisoning (like a really bad hangover) and EVERY flat surface was covered with soot fallout.

The Aladdin is really very very different from a trawler lantern. A trawler lantern is just an oversized candle really. It has a yellow sooty flame and emits CO along with other gasses. The aladdin also has a wick but it also has a mantle that burns white hot (hence the brightness) and is nearly perfect combustion of the kerosene, meaning no detectable CO. I find that when I use my aladdin I don't use many of the 12V lights at anchor either.

I was attempting to find some comparison website or video showing the aladding. I couldn't find one that compares it to a hurricane or trawler lamp, which makes sense I guess. The only comparisons I found were to pressurized mantle lanters. What I really like about the aladdin is that you get the light output of a pressurized lantern without pressurized fuel next to a flame in a small boat.

Here is one video review of a couple lanters. I disagree with what he says about mantles though. I'm 4 years on with my first mantle and it's still going strong. We certainly don't use it every night all year, but we DO use it every night at anchor which is about 10% of each year, and we did use it quite a bit for 3 years when I had the lamp aboard and was living aboard.


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Old 09-29-2012
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Re: Heating Your Boat

Go to Bed Bath & Beyond, purchase a down-filled comforter, then find a good-looking, young gal to climb under the comforter with you. You'll be snug as a bug in a rug all night long. When morning comes, fire up the stove, cook breakfast for both of you and wait for the sun to warm the outside air to a comfortable temperature. Anything higher than my age (72) seems to work out just fine.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Old 09-29-2012
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Re: Heating Your Boat

We sailed south from Baltimore in November 2010. Some nights the cabin got down to 27 degrees. Our best friend was our 'Mink' blanket. (check amazon and ebay). We stayed warm but out noses were cold. We tried propane heaters but my girl could not stand the smell. The Wesbaco type heaters where out of our price range and our engine was gasoline.

We settled for using a small electric heater and running the honda generator at night up until it was time to sleep. The electric heater worked great on our little 26' boat. Cooking a big breakfast in the morning would take the chill off. I swear it did not warm up until Titusville that year....
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