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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 12-28-2011
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In the summer my mainwater tank is 100degrees after the boat is sitting in the sun all day. Getting COLD water is the main problem. I don't use my water heater much.

The big problem with a tankless heater is they use a LOT of power for a short time, as opposed to a tank that uses less power 24 hours a day.

For a boat, engine power is probably the biggest source of heat on the boat, followed by gas.
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Well the one I have experience in is with a propane tankless water heater. I was thinking along those lines with the boat also. Electricity is the least efficient way to heat anything. As this is a sailboat we are all about efficiency so ...
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Well the one I have experience in is with a propane tankless water heater. I was thinking along those lines with the boat also. Electricity is the least efficient way to heat anything. As this is a sailboat we are all about efficiency so ...
The problem is that there are very few that meet the safety standards. It is not just about insurance it is about safety. An LPG on-demand "marine unit" would need to be externally vented, sealed combustion and have a myriad of other safety features.

There are a few disreputable companies out there marketing on-demand propane for boats that DO NOT meet minimum safety standards despite their sneaky marketing. Some customers have spent good money only to be later told during an insurance survey that it now need to be ripped out.
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I can see that happening but if you do your research I think its possible. From what I know lots of folks have Force10 stoves and I believe they are LPG. If that is the case then it can be done as long as its done properly with the proper equipment.
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Jackpal, you are beginning to seem like you've made up your mind.

Keep in mind if you install a non- ABYC device, there is simply a reason it isn't approved. Intuition isn't the reason. If you go ahead anyway, you risk all lives aboard. Poor seamanship.

I wonder what a personal liability lawyer would do with this if you caused personal injury or property damage to another. Be careful.
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Thanks for the concern. No worries though. If anything gets installed it will be an approved device and above all safe for everybody.
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First up, if I was going to be living onboard tied up to a marina, i'd be using the marina facilities for showering.

That aside, water heating is a pain in the butt. When cruising we spend more time on the hook or sailing than we do motoring and have no real need to run the engine an hour a day except to heat water. Sadly, unless you insist on air con as well, it is the one area where solar and/or wind does you no good.
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The only propane instant water heater I know of that should meet approval standards is this one: Precision Temp Boat Tankless Hot Water Heater. Gas Marine Water Heaters. Propane Boat Hot Water Heater
Installation would have to be considered carefully.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackpal View Post
Well the one I have experience in is with a propane tankless water heater. I was thinking along those lines with the boat also. Electricity is the least efficient way to heat anything. As this is a sailboat we are all about efficiency so ...
Electricity is the MOST efficient source of heat as virtually 100% of the metered power goes into heating the water, room, or whatever. Combustion (gas, oil, etc) is much less efficient as you always have losses up the flue or chimney. 60% or so efficiency is about the upper limit.

But then electricity is mostly generated by burning gas or coal. So then you have the efficiency of the power station - about 60%! So you lose it at one end of the transmission chain or the other.
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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Electricity is the MOST efficient source of heat as virtually 100% of the metered power goes into heating the water, room, or whatever. Combustion (gas, oil, etc) is much less efficient as you always have losses up the flue or chimney. 60% or so efficiency is about the upper limit.

But then electricity is mostly generated by burning gas or coal. So then you have the efficiency of the power station - about 60%! So you lose it at one end of the transmission chain or the other.
Agreed, my statement about efficiency was pretty broad. As always with everything it always "depends" on your circumstances.
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