Calculating heating requirements on a boat - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-23-2009 Thread Starter
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Calculating heating requirements on a boat

So, I want to purchase a CS36T to liveaboard in the Toronto area. This will be my first boat. How do I go about calculating the heating requirements for wintering? How many BTU's should I be looking at? Would a Dickinson P9000 propane heater be fine or do I need some serious heat like Espar or Webasto?
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-23-2009
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I still find it astonishing that after all this time, the Americans have still not found an alternative to British Thermal Units (BTUs)

When they do, the unit will probably be equivalent to 3⅞ of a BTU.

Sorry, I have no idea how to calculate heating requirements, just being frivolous.


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post #3 of 13 Old 03-23-2009
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I would suggest that a 12,000 would be what you would need. I have a fellow sailing friend who has installed an Espar heater in a 34 Sail boat and is more than enough, he got all his spec's for requirements on the West Marine site. Myself use a Dickinson 12,000 on my 33 Morgan and is enough.

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post #4 of 13 Old 03-23-2009
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I still find it astonishing that after all this time, the Americans have still not found an alternative to British Thermal Units (BTUs)

When they do, the unit will probably be equivalent to 3⅞ of a BTU.
Ooof, Making fun of our fellow sailors are we?? How about BaaaTU's? The amount of energy required to raise the temp of a beer by one degree (F not C) whilst gently stroking your favorite KIWI lady. Yee Haw mate!!


I'm really just joshing you. I've seen many references made to our fuzzy little buddies and this picture reminded me that there are 40 sheep per person on some islands. And can someone tell me if this is a real law in Kiwiland?
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It is illegal to wander the streets at night with your face blackened, and it is lawful to take a leak in the street provided that you maintain one hand on the rump of the horse while you leak, and you aim for the ground where the horse would leak onto. (Police Offences Act 1906)

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post #5 of 13 Old 03-23-2009
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Try this link: BTU Calculator - Artful Dodger's number is probably pretty close (maybe even high). I just put a 17,000 BTU Espar Hydronic unit in my Catalina 310. Fired it up the first time this weekend, and it appears MORE than enough, and I am also heating the hot water (20 gallons).
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-23-2009
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BTW - My buddy has the 17,000 BTU unit in his Catalina 34. He is completely happy (because his wife is happy).
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-23-2009 Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for your responses!

Jonfreeman, your comments got me researching the weather/temperature patterns in Nfld and I learned something new. Average winter temps are -2 C. Here in southern Ontario we're well below that at -20 C. I gotta move there, seriously.

What the heck, I thought it would be colder there. Instead I find out you guys are melting the icebergs!

Anyway, I like the BTU calculator but I do wonder if having a hull sitting in cold water alters the variables a bit. On the other hand, isn't unfrozen subsurface water usually warmer than surface air temperatures in winter? Maybe iceaters and bubblers actually affect boat temperature? So much to consider!

Seems like we need a calculator specifically for marine use, taking into consideration more varied weather regions. Until then, experience is our guide.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-24-2009
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My suggestion: (before you buy the boat and move on to it) would be to go down to the marinas and talk to the people who are actually living on their boats. They'll probably have a wealth of information for you on all of these subjects. I think you'll find them friendly and more than willing to help.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-24-2009
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Originally Posted by BBurg View Post
Ooof, Making fun of our fellow sailors are we??
Nah not sailors, just Americans.

If I were given to continuing this line it would have to go to Off Topic and since I very rarely go there, it would be of little value.


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post #10 of 13 Old 03-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
I still find it astonishing that after all this time, the Americans have still not found an alternative to British Thermal Units (BTUs)

When they do, the unit will probably be equivalent to 3⅞ of a BTU.

Sorry, I have no idea how to calculate heating requirements, just being frivolous.
BTU is just a unit of measure that we are familiar with. Do use something besides BTU?
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