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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #1  
Old 12-06-2006
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Live Aboard in NE in Winter: Heating and Vetilation

I am live aboard a Shannon 43 ketch, that is shrink wrapped (white) in a slip in Wickford RI. The boat has a Espar heater that pipes warm air throughout the entire boat. Intake is in Quater Birth, so air is recirculated and does a good job of keeping the boat warm. However, I feel like there is a depletion of Oxygen as time goes by. I am thinking of ways to remedy this. I do have a CO detector in case the Espar exhaust springs a leak, but I think I need some fresh source of Oxygen.

Any thoughts on how to accomplish this and still keep cooling to a minimum?
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Old 12-06-2006
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How about----relax more/breathe less

Seriously, it's possible to have windows cut into the shrink wrap (maybe with zippers) to allow more fresh air in as an option. Have you considered a solar powered/day-night Nicro vent; they move quite alot of air, are very quiet, and would change the air in the boat regularly, mixing colder outside air with the warmer inside air. You would have to install the vent in a spot with access to outside air, like below a window as mentioned above.

Frank.
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Old 12-06-2006
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SkipperBob,

Lucky you....a Shannon 43 and in Wickford RI! Great place for breakfasts and nice strolls ashore.

I have a 42' sloop with an Espar D5L. Don't live aboard anymore, but visit the boat each day and use the Espar as backup to an electric heating source (in case of REALLY cold spells and/or shorepower failure).

For past several years, I've left the five 4-inch vents in the overhead open all winter. The Espar easily provides enough heat to overcome the cold air from these vents. In fact, just yesterday I plugged three of these because I believe 2 vents are more than enough.

My air intake for the Espar is also in the aft cabin. Have been shrinkwrapped for two of the past three winters. I think there's plenty of fresh air under the shrinkwrap, unless you have a really, really tight covering. If you do, you can always leave the zipper door open a bit.

So, my advice would be to provide some sort of opening to allow fresh air to get belowdecks. Hawsepipe? Vent? Port? Louvers on the hatch boards?

Bill
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Old 12-14-2006
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As someone who has lived aboard for many years in New England, all I can say is do not even try to economize when it comes to fresh air vs exhaust. Let the fresh air in. With the use of exhaust extenders or snorkels on air intakes or cracked open portlights, do not economize when it comes to your ability to make it to the next spring!
Good luck, be safe.
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Old 12-26-2006
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I lived aboard in the Boston area (mostly Boston Harbor) for about 15 years. If you seal your boat up too tight, you will eventually depleat the oxygen by breathing, nevermind combustion, though combustion will kill you faster. Allow ventilation and do a complete fresh air flush of the boat every day if possible. That doesn't mean you have to allow the sweet winter wind to blow through, although, if you did, it would only take thirty seconds. Allow the temperature inside to go lower than you might think, and dress warm. Germs love warm stale air and a cold on a hot boat boat can last till spring. I personally NEVER ran heat of any kind at night, I don't care how safe people claimed their systems to be. A failure can kill you in your sleep and you'll never wake up to say, "What the hell happened to my $5000 heating system?"

Fresh, clean, crisp air. Healthy and great to sleep in.
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Old 03-20-2008
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Concerning fresh air ventilation and your enclosed sailboat.....I'd suggest a snorkle from the outside in to your combustion chamber. Then another snorkle for the circulated air ported on the opposite side of the boat. I've installed a Diesel Wallas Furnace that has two "pipes"...one inside the other that preheats the combustion air entering as the exhaust exits the center "pipe". I'm not enclosed so I don't have a separate intake vent for the air being circulated. I use 2 quarts for 16 hours that puts out 10,000 max BTu's I'm very happy with the unit.
Meran410
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Old 03-20-2008
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I may be quite ignorant on living aboard (amongst other things) but would the addition of a Philadendrum (sp?) houseplant be of adequate value? They don't require direct sunlight and really liven up a space.......just wonderin'....
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Old 03-20-2008
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Skipperbob,

when you lived ashore, you probably had a house that had drafts in the winter. As you may remember those drafts were cold and irritating when you thought about the energy you were losing to them.

Well, owning a 21st century built house I can tell you builders are tightening up and eradicating those drafty nuisances. And guess what? I got mold in the basement, stale air on the second floor, the smell of fuel oil near the furnace, constant carbon monoxide if the broiler’s on for more than 20 minutes. It reminds me of my boat.

Make the boat drafty and sleep under an electric blanket. I did right behind Wilson’s of Wickford in the winters of 1997-1999.

See you at Duffy’s some time.
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Old 03-21-2008
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Skipperbob;
Next year when you shrink, have them do it in clear. This creates a greenhouse affect. Be sure to add at least a half dozen vents. This will provide warm fresh air all day long. On some bright sunny days you can sit out on deck in your shorts. This also gives good visibility, brightening your environment. With this setup you can open a couple of hatches during the day, refreshing you interior and allowing any dampness to rise above the deck. This was going to be my approach here in Warwick Cove but I just couldn't cough up the $700+ for a 6 month plastic bag. My miser gene said heck no! So I just heat my 35 with two little WM electric heaters, keeping it at 60 when I'm away and 68 when I'm home. Always dry, always comfortable, electric at approx. $500 a season. BTW, I have two open Dorade vents all the time.

Bob C s/v Valkyrie, Irwin Citation 35.5
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Last edited by bob chaisson; 03-21-2008 at 01:20 PM. Reason: I'm a space shot and forget stuff!
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Old 02-08-2009
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Heater help

Skipper Bob:

Talk to your Eberspacher dealer. Most forced air diesel heaters are able to have outside air ducted to them, which is drier and more oxygen rich than your cabin air. A blend of cabin and outside air is what we recommend for Wallas heaters and it should work for your Espar (aka Eberspacher).

Plumbing a mix of makeup air to the heater should help dry your boat. Your problem just sounds like an installation deficiency. Again, talk to the Espar dealer in your area.

Doug McElroy
Scan Marine Equipment
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