Hi all, this is my first post.
I purchased an O'Day 31 a couple of months ago. I am very happy with this boat! As such, I'm looking to do some upgrades. 1st off, as I sail on the Pacific north west, it is important to have a heater. But it seldom drops down to less than 0 degrees C (32 F) even in the coldest weather. I saw the Planar heaters at the boat show and thought that their 44D model should work.
I have 2 questions..
1. Do people have an opinion on the Planar models?
2. To install this heater (rather like a furnace, and very similiar to an Espar) should I position it fore to aft or beam to beam? especially if I'd like to run it occassionally while under sail.
You would be MUCH better off to go with an Espar or Webasto truck kit and then modify it for marine use. The truck kits can be purchased pretty cheap, sub $1000.00 for the Espar D2. To convert the truck unit to marine you'd need..
* Exhaust transom fitting - Sure Marine has them.
* Exhaust lagging blanket - Sure Marine sells it by the foot as does McMaster Carr
* Double walled SS exhaust hose - The truck version is a single spiral of SS not double thick. Esparparts.com has it but you have to call and ask specifically for the marine exhaust.
*Muffler - the truck kits don't come with it, you'll want it.
* Depending upon length of exhaust you may need a condensate elbow.
* Depending upon your ducting lengths you may need a Y and some more duct hose. Sure Marine has all this.
* You will need a 1" thru-hull fitting for the combustion air intake. If mounted to a vertical surface in the cockpit you'll want a 90 degree fitting behind it so water drains out, not into the heater.
* You will need to buy or make a mounting bracket for the heater. I find the Espar marine mounts pretty cheesy basically some thin SS sheet bent 90 degrees and mounting holes punched into it.. You can build one out of aluminum pretty easily.
The Webasto and Espar units are the best and there is also Mikuni that is pretty good but mostly sold over seas. There is a Chinese knock off of the Espar sold to the trucking community and it is so identical some parts are even interchangeable. Still the price of these is not far off what you can buy an Espar D2 truck kit for so for the small price difference I would just go with a known quantity like Espar or Webasto and not a knock off of unknown quality or reliability......
NONE of these heaters come with everything you'll need for the installation so don't let them fool you. Your cost for the complete installation, even if doing it yourself, will exceed the cost of the heater.
As always the actual "marine kit" is the least expensive in the long run for either Espar or Webasto...