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  #11  
Old 03-17-2005
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solid fuel heaters

Jon
You''re using an Airtronic 4 on a 41 ft boat (sail or Power). This seems a little light according to the Espar recommendations. What else do you do to keep warn in Alaska? I know it gets a little colder there than in the Northern Chesapeake Bay region.
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Old 03-17-2005
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solid fuel heaters

The recommendations on the espar site are crude at best. They give a length range but don''t even discriminate bewteen sail and power. We have a 41'' finnish built sailboat of moderate beam and freeboard, and thoroughly insulated from the factory. They even put a little coring in the cabin top sides, not just the horizontal surfaces, for condensation control. I expect we need no more heat, probably less, than a typical 30'' powerboat with tall freeboard and big windows. The airtronic four usually cycles between the low and medium settings (3400 and 6800 BTUH) when it is running in the 30''s F. When it gets down into single digits F (say -14 C) it cycles between medium and high (10,200 BTUH). At that point we often supplement with a 1500 watt electric heater. Running on low (750 watts) it kicks off 2350 BTUH (1 watt yields 3.14 BTU) and that keeps the espar on medium. On rare occasional we''ll put the electric on high, but that''s usally just to warm a cold boat after being gone for a while. We have woken up anchored out to find snow on the decks in the fall but spend the winter in a slip with shorepower.

Manufacturers play it safe. An oversized heater means no complaints that their equipment doesn''t put out enough heat. The downside to the user is higher first cost, a LOT more electrical consumption (the D4 uses 1.1 amps to put out 6800 BTUH on medium, the next size up D-5 uses 6.7 amps to put out the ame 6800 BTUH) and more maintenance. The maintenance comes from sooting. We have found heaters that run on low all the time carbon up more.

We sized the Airtronic based on experience with two previous espars and have found it just right. As for what else to keep warm - I highly recommend a bunk companion.
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Old 12-31-2006
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Solid fuel boat heaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seagypsywoman
I''m considering installing a solid fuel heater on my boat. What are some of the makers? And what are the benefits and drawbacks as opposed to diesel. Thanks.
I have just got back from a sailing weekend on a friends 28 foot yacht, he has a solid fuel boat heater made of stainless steel. It has a heat exchanger on both sides of it and ducts hot air to the rest of the boat by a small computor size fan. There is also a small oven on the top which takes a pie or a few jacket potatoes. A small kettle stood on the top all weekend, so we had constant hot water for coffee. All weekend it kept alight with a constant cabin temp of between 21 and 24 degrees. It burned coal brickets and over the whole weekend we probably spent £2-3 in coal. Oh and we got soaked one day and dried out all our gear in a few hours.

His previous yacht had a smaller version which just warmed the main cabin.

I also knew of another 23 foot sailing yacht with a brilliant little solid fuel heater made from a CO2 bottle, which is the carbon dioxide gas dispencer for pubs.

Quite honestly I can't see any negatives except it is not instant heat, it takes about half an hour to get going. There is ash to dispose of which creates dust, but he has a small vaccume cleaner which easily clears the dust. You also need somewhere to keep the solid fuel and a stout leather glove.

The positives on a yacht are no battery drain and constant heat so all round winter sailing. They will also not fit in all boats.

The smell inside the boat is far better than diesel.

Kiffer
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Old 12-31-2006
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Solid fuel heat

I've got a Newport 30 II that I live on and a Cole solid fuel heater that works fine. It takes a little while to heat things up but I've not had any problems with it. I always make sure there's no fire and the ash is empty before leaving the boat and I never leave the fire burning during the night when I sleep.

It has a small metal door that slides up and fire screen so the fire is visible that makes for a very cozy cabin.

During the winter there's nothing like sharing with friends a hot chocolate and kahlua during the evening with the fire burning or a cup of coffee in the morning while there's frost on the docks.

Alan
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Old 01-01-2007
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Wink woodburners are great - at times

seagypsiewoman, you've got to check out marinestove.com web site, these foks make some of the coolest solid fuel stoves around! We have an Espar diesel hydronic heater, and a Dickinson Antarctic diesel heater aboard our 41' Out Island (we live in Port Townsned, WA). We gave serious thought to a "wood stove", having lived with one for 14 years in Montana as our only source of heat. If you are planning on living aboard full time in cold climes, a solid fuel stove has some major drawbacks (firewood brings in dirt and bugs, running out of wood occurs during the worst part of the storm - unless you have a lot of wood storage aboard, the stove must be tended constantly or it goes out and the cold comes in, etc...). If however you're looking for a source of occasional dry heat for chilly evenings, a small wood stove is the ultimate traditional heater (get one with a glass front, it's very romantic!).
As for us, we love our Dickinson diesel stove. We use a 2 gallon gravity tank to feed it so it uses no electric power and produces no odor inside while it's running. Our more expensive and complicated Espar will be removed this spring, and we will be installing a small woodstove in our aft cabin (probably a Dickinson). Enjoy!

Last edited by takeiteasy; 01-01-2007 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 01-01-2007
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Hi Seagypsywoman (If you are still there.):

I agree there's nothing like a shipboard fireplace or heater fuelled by wood or charcoal. Smells good and it is warm. If you have to have a Charlie Noble anyway, you may as well have what you like.

Here are links to some of the available products.

http://www.marinestove.com/sardineinfo.htm
http://www.dickinsonmarine.com/shop5...p?catalogid=28
http://www.peluke.com/Fireplaces/fireplaces.html

Last edited by Goodnewsboy; 01-01-2007 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 01-06-2007
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One thing I'd point out though is that liquid fuels are easier to deal with and often far more cost-effective. Diesel and propane are both going to have far more BTUs for the buck than wood or charcoal. The fuel is also far more compact and easier to store.
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Old 01-06-2007
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What a very odd notion. Putting a solid fuel heater on a boat is analogous to installing a wood or coal-fired furnace in the basement of your home - archaic to say the least.

Perhaps we take for granted the practicality, convenience and effciency of our Espar - forced warm air, diesel system. But, when the temperature reaches uncomfortably cool levels on our boat, that bulkhead mounted thermostat, is a wonderful thing.
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Old 01-18-2007
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Couple questions for you wood burners out there....I love the idea....however, while sailing how do you keep burning wood from shifting in the heater/stove....also...the amount of wood you need must take up quite a bit of space...how does the heat output per space taken up compare to kerosene?? Personally I use an electric heater. I'm happy with it, however, I have to run the engine or use shore power as it drains quite a bit.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sellkiffer
I have just got back from a sailing weekend on a friends 28 foot yacht, he has a solid fuel boat heater made of stainless steel. It has a heat exchanger on both sides of it and ducts hot air to the rest of the boat by a small computor size fan. There is also a small oven on the top which takes a pie or a few jacket potatoes. A small kettle stood on the top all weekend, so we had constant hot water for coffee. All weekend it kept alight with a constant cabin temp of between 21 and 24 degrees. It burned coal brickets and over the whole weekend we probably spent £2-3 in coal. Oh and we got soaked one day and dried out all our gear in a few hours.

His previous yacht had a smaller version which just warmed the main cabin.

I also knew of another 23 foot sailing yacht with a brilliant little solid fuel heater made from a CO2 bottle, which is the carbon dioxide gas dispencer for pubs.

Quite honestly I can't see any negatives except it is not instant heat, it takes about half an hour to get going. There is ash to dispose of which creates dust, but he has a small vaccume cleaner which easily clears the dust. You also need somewhere to keep the solid fuel and a stout leather glove.

The positives on a yacht are no battery drain and constant heat so all round winter sailing. They will also not fit in all boats.

The smell inside the boat is far better than diesel.

Kiffer
Kiffer...

I don't see how it can be no-battery drain if it uses a small computer fan to blow air into air ducts... doesn't the fan require electricity, or do you have some new technology that makes fans run without needing electricity???

Solid fuels are lower energy density and higher cost per BTU than liquid fuels. They also can be a storage hazard, and the dust can be an explosion hazard.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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