Bummer we could not meet up Johney, it would have been great to cross notes a bit.
Nearly polished off my heater install. Having been sailing on Lake Superior the last vacations and even in the summer it was plenty cool up there. We tried a buddy heater, it worked OK but was clearly not particularly safe to use in anything other than a nice still anchorage and obviously adding propane canisters into a boat is not a great idea. We tried an Origo heat pal. It worked OK but added a lot of moisture into the air and used quite a bit of fairly expensive fuel that we otherwise did not need to buy.
I knew from long ago having a Esperpacher heater in my VW camper that the ultimate answer would be one of those guys but the Dawson is fairly tight little boat to stuff things into so I hadn't really pursued it.
I noted that with the stove pulled out there was a decent chunk of space between the hull and the countertop there that might do.
A 2K and 5K unit were ordered off of eBay. With a little measuring, it turned out that either one would fit but the 5K unit was a bit tighter space wise and used larger diameter ducting which would not be quite as easy to fit up.
A few pics noting that the boat is a bit of a mess right now:
Heater in place. I built a bracket for it but in reality, you could probably buy brackets from a hardware store
Heater exhaust drops down to the muffler which is rigidly mounted to the bulkhead. The first exhaust pipe gets quite hot so it's very well wrapped up with lagging. The muffler gets fairly hot as well so it too will get wrapped once I get more lagging. From there, I have a 90 degree elbow with a coily condensate drain to allow water to drain out but keep the exhaust in the pipes where it belongs. From the 90 we go to high temp silicone exhaust hose. This stuff is rated to more than double the temp that we have measured at this location so it's good to go and is MUCH easier to route smoothly out to the through hull.
Exhaust thru hull pokes through the outside edge of the cockpit coaming.
Hot air outlet drops down to floor level between the drawer unit and the undersink cabinet.
Controller heads over to the side of the cabin just between the two cubby faces just above the V berth bunk where I can just lasily reach up and turn it on in the morning if I feel so inclined. This was done in January and yes, the boat was a mess from a bunch of other work just then.
There are two styles of controllers commonly available. This is the "basic" one which is little more than a knob and a few buttons. The "fancy" version has a lot more functionality built in including diagnostic info and lots of indicators to let you know what all is going on. All well and good but I hate blinky lights and distractions in my cabin, particularly right above my bunk so I opted not to have the fancy version sitting there playing super mario cart above my head.
I still need to permanently plumb in the fuel pickup to the tank. Right now I just have it running to a temporary day tank which works just fine but obviously feeding off the engine tank is the better option.