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firstafair 11-08-2006 10:09 AM

hot water heater
I am trying to find a propane fired hot water heater, made for marine (boat) use. I have been looking on the net with no luck. Anybody know a manufacturer. Thanks for any help.

btrayfors 11-08-2006 10:32 AM

Just a cautionary note: propane water heaters can be DEADLY on a boat. There are numerous instances of CO poisoning resulting in death from these devices.

See, e.g, the following:

Quote According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 164 CO-related non-fire deaths were attributed to heating and cooking equipment in 1994.** The specific types of equipment were:

* Gas-fueled space heaters (70 deaths)
* Gas-fueled furnaces (48 deaths)
* Charcoal grills (15 deaths)
* Gas-fueled ranges (9 deaths)
* Liquid-fueled heaters (9 deaths)
* Gas-fueled water heaters (7 deaths)
* Solid-fueled heaters (6 deaths)


Propane is nothing to fool with on a boat. Moreover, it's unnecessary since there are other less dangerous ways to provide hot water (electric HWH, engine-heated HW, etc.).

Sorry if this sounds gratuitous, but many folks just aren't aware of the dangers of gas hot water heaters on boats.


sailingdog 11-08-2006 10:19 PM

Properly designed and installed propane heaters are fine.... but any boat that has propane powered appliances should have both CO and LPG detectors.

SailorMitch 11-08-2006 10:29 PM

I don't think you will find one specifically made for boats anymore. At best you might find one for an RV. There used to be a couple of outfits that made on-demand propane hot water heaters for boats but I think the liability issues drove them out of the market. I think Wolter and Polamar (or some such name?) made them at one time.

Goodnewsboy 11-08-2006 11:00 PM

If you have a diesel engine, you may be better off with something like an Espar heater.

There are other makes from Europe also, but I can't remember the name.

They are pretty neat devices and they can heat your cabin as well if you put in a radiator.

firstafair 11-09-2006 07:11 AM

I can't believe their is nothing out their that heats water for a shower other then engine exchanger, 110 volt dock side. What if I wanted to stay on the hook for a week and did not want to start the main engine every day just to take a shower???

TrueBlue 11-09-2006 07:54 AM


We have a Junkers propane hw heater onboard, as originally installed by Nauticat Yachts. It's a direct vented, bulkhead mounted unit in our galley and has been upgraded with all the ABYC safety devices. I have posted here in the past, about the benefits of this system while away from shore power and cannot say enough about how my wife and I love having unlimited, VERY hot water on demand. Our 140 gal hw tank adds to this luxury. I have no issues what-so-ever with this system.

Junkers was a German manufacturer of precision water heaters for decades, until acquired by Bosch a few years ago. Bosch used the Junkers name for a while, but I believe discontinued the name while utilizing the design. The units are very popular in Europe and are used on some high-end boats in the US. A quick Google search led me to this site, but other distributors have them as well:

Goodnewsboy 11-09-2006 08:15 AM

Hi firstafair:

I think you have been shown two solutions that don't require running your engine. You simply need to choose your fuel, diesel or propane.

sailingdog 11-09-2006 08:21 AM

Bosch probably still makes a similar unit to the one TrueBlue has, but under the Bosch name now.

Sailormon6 11-09-2006 09:11 AM

The Wolters on-demand propane water heater was specifically designed to provide hot water on small sailboats. Gerry Wolters, the inventor, used it first on his own Catalina 22. After it became popular, he sold the company, but I believe the new owners didn't make much of a go of the business. A few years ago, Gerry formed a new company, called Precision Temp Inc., which started making them again, and also started marketing them to RV builders, which significantly enlarged the market for the device. I believe Gerry's water heater is the only device of its type on the market in this country that works well.

I used to sail with Gerry and his wife, Elaine, in those early days, and they were nice folks. You can log on to the Precision Temp website at the following hyperlink:

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