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DennisM39 02-19-2020 08:29 PM

Bus Heater
Does anyone have any experience installing a "bus" heater (hot water from the engine) and if so what make? Can an old car heater be used? I have a 1981 C&C 34 and do a fair amount of winter cruising in the Pacific Northwest, and often find myself motoring to my destination. It would be nice to have have a heater down below to get out of the cold and rain at times.


Capt Len 02-20-2020 12:18 AM

Re: Bus Heater
Any heater radiator can work Mounting ,protecting good hoses.Some have fans built into their housings ..bonus.Most 'bus' heaters are too large Wander an auto scrap yard and look for under dash core I used a rad from an older Renault. built in fan..Mounted high it was the engine coolant reservoir too (fish boat).If you mess with stuff you have consider blockage by air lock.Large computer fans mounted in a flexible aluminum pipe might allow more position choices .Squirrel cage fans can be right too. An ordinary house type thermoset mounted handy can be in the line . Do you already have engine heated house water.? Could complicate things.

svHyLyte 02-20-2020 09:59 AM

Re: Bus Heater
Take a look at The Heater Craft heater. We have an earlier version of this unit with a two speed fan that works very well.


eherlihy 02-20-2020 01:01 PM

Re: Bus Heater
I am considering a Mr Heater Buddy or Big Buddy heater for next fall's planned departure from RI to FL. Prices start ~$80 and go up. When I did a delivery from RI to Portsmouth VA in November 2019, we had several days that the temps did not reach 32F. One night was 19F. The only heat aboard was the propane range - and yes, we had the oven and burners lit 24 hours straight. I also verified that the CO detector was working.

overthehorizon 02-20-2020 01:10 PM

Re: Bus Heater
I used to spend $15 at the junk yard for an old car heater core with attached fan then install it in the back of my vans. Very easy to do. Now that we are sailing into colder, southern latitudes, I went to several junk yards here in Africa. No one knew what I was talking about as it seems car designs now incorporate the air conditioning and heating in one big box. Maybe in the U.S. you can find the old car heater core with fan. The Heater Craft heater would work. We had to order from Fisheries Supply a similar heater to the Heater Craft, but with two vents which can be ducted to wherever you want. But I just installed it under the nav station seat with both vents facing into the saloon. The vents can be aimed in different directions. With the 50 degree ocean water temperature and dropping air temperatures, we used that heater in earnest as we traveled south along the east African coast to Cape Town. Worked great. Plumbing it, I just rerouted and lengthened the hot water tank hoses to accommodate the new heater then hook up the electrical two speed switch.

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