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post #1 of 28 Old 03-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Planar Heater Install advice

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.
Thanks!
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post #2 of 28 Old 03-11-2013
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Re: Planar Heater Install advice

The Planar heaters are poor copies of Espar heaters. You were probably attracted to them by their low price. There is very bad backup of parts and service - the distributor for Canada told me at the recent Vancouver boat show that after 2 years the heater, at the low price they are asking, owes you nothing when I asked about back-up of parts and service. The owners of Planar heaters in Alaska are unable to get their units serviced. The warranty phone number on the literature I have - from the Canadian distributor - has one phone number for warranty/service. It is about 14 digits long and is in Moscow.

The low price doesn't include any of the ducting, exhaust, or much else really.

You would be much better to look at the Espar, Webasto, or the quieter Wallas furnaces. All solid companies that have good products and back them up properly.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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Re: Planar Heater Install advice

Thanks Brian,
That's great feedback.
Do you have any advice on the beam to beam or fore to aft install location?
thanks,
lyn
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Re: Planar Heater Install advice

the wabasto literature says install for to aft
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Re: Planar Heater Install advice

Thanks Jenstar!
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post #6 of 28 Old 03-13-2013
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Re: Planar Heater Install advice

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Originally Posted by sailer lyn View Post
Thanks Brian,
That's great feedback.
Do you have any advice on the beam to beam or fore to aft install location?
thanks,
lyn
If your heater is a hot water (more like a boiler than a furnace) type, you should install with the longest dimension of the tank FWD/AFT. This will minimize water level changes inside heater tank when the boat rolls / heels.

If it is a forced hot air type (like your home furnace), the positioning should not matter.

For hot water (boiler) type units, check out the Proheat X45. These are diesel-fired, made in Canada primarily for trucks and busses, but they will work on boats (when properly installed, of course) and being non-marine are a lot cheaper than Webasto, etc.
Happy heating!
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post #7 of 28 Old 03-13-2013
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Re: Planar Heater Install advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailer lyn View Post
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.
Thanks!
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...

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 11-11-2014 at 01:28 PM.
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Re: Planar Heater Install advice

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
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.
Or the Wallas, the quietest heater available - there is not a muffler option as it is not needed. It is designed for marine use and is not a modified truck heater. Wallas kits are sold complete with everything needed right down to fuses and hose clamps.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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Re: Planar Heater Install advice

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Or the Wallas, the quietest heater available - there is not a muffler option as it is not needed. It is designed for marine use and is not a modified truck heater. Wallas kits are sold complete with everything needed right down to fuses and hose clamps.
Yes no doubt the Wallas furnaces are quiet. I don't find them as long lived as an Espar though. Espar heaters are designed to run long term in OTR trucks and in boats. The Wallas heaters are designed for recreational use and live aboard or commercial use is not part of the design of the product. I even recall when trouble shooting one issue that the warranty specifically stated live aboard use or commercial were not covered.

I've also seen occasional instances where with low battery voltage the units won't fire up. Apparently in the the small print they seem to want 12.5V +/- in order for them to fire reliably. That can be kind of tough to do on a cruising boat.

Still the Wallas is a good unit with good support and can be a great option for recreational use. Espar and Webasto are not without issues but when installed correctly, fed clean fuel and serviced correctly they last a good long time. I would choose any of them over a cheap Russian made heater.

If I was a live aboard I would go hydronic but the FHA has a nice drying benefit...

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Re: Planar Heater Install advice

A Wallas will reliably start on 12 volts. If the house bank is large as low as 11 volts actually. Once started - 10 amps for about 4 minutes - they will run reliably as low as 10.5 volts.

As far as longevity we regularly service heaters a decade old. And our customers are often heavy heater users. In the interior of B.C. many are out on aluminum sportfishing boats as soon as the ice on the lakes melts. It makes good heat mandatory when the water temp is just above freezing.

The warranty is time - 3 years - or 2000 hours, same as Espar I believe.

I have both installed and sold Wallas products. I am currently employed by Wallas Canada. I am installing a Wallas in my own boat as well.

But my main reason for posting was to warn about the Russian products.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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