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  #1  
Old 05-07-2011
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heat

I live and sail on lake champlain. it would make my wife happy if my boat had heat. Propane vs diesel? Any ideas?
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Old 05-07-2011
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We've been super-happy with our Webasto diesel heater. Diesel is far more efficient heat per volume of fuel stored than propane, and easier/cheaper to obtain & transport.
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Old 05-07-2011
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Ditto/ We love our diesel heater. Just set the thermostat and the boat stays toasty warm.
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Old 05-07-2011
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The various forced air diesel heaters are probably without a doubt some of the best heating methods, along with diesel fired hydronic heaters. But they are pricey systems that are fairly complicated to install depending on just how the boat was built, access under liners etc, as you need to find a good accessible place for the unit itself plus you need to run ducting or hoses throughout the boat. But it is great heat.

If the boat is smaller with a relatively open interior a much more economical method is to use a bulkhead mounted heater - they are available in Diesel and propane versions.

We quite like our Dickinson Newport P-9000 propane fireplace for the use we put it to. Takes the chill off nicely and provides a nice ambience with the visible flame. Most important is the fact that it has a dual flue and combustion air is drawn from outside and all combustion gases go only up the flue so it's safe to run below for extended periods of time.

Dickinson makes a larger 12K btu version too.
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Old 05-07-2011
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Faster makes a good point. We just had a Webasto diesel forced air furnace on our Catalina 400. It is wonderful. However, it was truly a nightmare for the installer. A hydronic system would have been much easier as Catalina doesn't leave a lot of room for running 4" air ducting.

My folks had a diesel stove on their Catalina 36. Picture a freestanding wood stove type thing that burned diesel. It provided great warmth and heat for that boat. However, I really, really like the forced air heat we have now. I'm currently sitting on the boat at a quiet Yacht Club outstation. It is cold with frequent rain squalls blowing through. However, the thermostat is set to 69 degrees and the boat is comfortable.

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Old 05-07-2011
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Excellent points by Faster.

We have a propane forced air system on our Mirage 29'. I'm not happy with it. One of the previous owners removed the ducting that would have heated the aft cabin. So the main salon can be toasty warm while some poor sod is freezing their cajones off in the aft cabin. Very limited dealer support is another issue.

That said, as long as it is working, we have some higher priorities. Eventually, I would like to look at replacing it with a diesel system of some sort.
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Old 05-08-2011
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Thanks to all, diesel sounds like the way to go. I will check into webasto and Dickson.
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Old 05-08-2011
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ITR also makes a nice heater. I installed a Hurricane H2 last fall. We live aboard full time in Maine and stay very warm.
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Old 05-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
... that are fairly complicated to install depending on just how the boat was built, access under liners etc, as you need to find a good accessible place for the unit itself plus you need to run ducting or hoses throughout the boat. But it is great heat.

If the boat is smaller with a relatively open interior a much more economical method is to use a bulkhead mounted heater - they are available in Diesel and propane versions.
In contrast to this, we first started out looking for a "stove-type" heater such as the one shown. For the ambiance as much as the simplicity. Ended up with the Webasto because we had no bulkhead on which to locate this heater and the configuration of our topsides make installing the chimney problematic. We mounted the Webasto directly under the companionway stairs and vented it into the main cabin, using no ducting at all. It makes the main cabin toasty and leaves the V-berth somewhat chilly, which is what we prefer for sleeping in any case.

But if we'd had an aft cabin or a door closing off the V-berth or a somewhat less open layout ducting would have been necessary. I guess my point is not to rule out this type of heater because of the ducting issue; depending on your boat it may or may not be necessary to add ducting.
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Old 05-08-2011
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It's true, Eryka, that many boats don't have a good bulkhead location spot. That does challenge that particular path. On one of our boats we had to build in a small alcove and sacrificed the foot of a settee berth to create it. A bonus was a small cubby behind it that became a liquor locker..



By the way do you find the in-cabin Webasto loud at all when it's running?
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