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post #11 of 30 Old 11-06-2019
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Re: Heat lamps for temporary freeze protection

I honestly don't know why people fear leaving heaters on their boats unattended. If your shore power system is done correctly and has appropriate breakers there is very very low risk of fire. Heaters are certified for use in residential dwellings. They have built in thermal safeties and do not get anywhere near hot enough to ignite anything. They are designed for long term use.

If anything I would be more concerned about running heat lamps on Jerry-rigged light fixtures. On those you have much greater risk of overheating due to poor bulb contacts, or poor wiring connections on the light fixture itself. Even then the risk is low.

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post #12 of 30 Old 11-06-2019
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Re: Heat lamps for temporary freeze protection

Unless the temps drop way down for a decent period of time your water systems should be okay. Water is still well above freezing... and the engine has antifreeze. If you seacocks are closed a hose bursting may be a mess but may not even happen

Sitting water can freeze. It takes a while for the boat to entirely drop below freezing.

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post #13 of 30 Old 11-06-2019
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Re: Heat lamps for temporary freeze protection

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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
Unless the temps drop way down for a decent period of time your water systems should be okay. Water is still well above freezing... and the engine has antifreeze. If you seacocks are closed a hose bursting may be a mess but may not even happen

Sitting water can freeze. It takes a while for the boat to entirely drop below freezing.
Rick is hauled out already I think
Either way it will not be a sustained cold
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post #14 of 30 Old 11-06-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Heat lamps for temporary freeze protection

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Rick is hauled out already I think
Either way it will not be a sustained cold
Yes, my boat is hauled out. If she were in the water I wouldn't be worried.

Remember that things are a little colder up here where I live than down in Maryland. Where the boat is, the current forecast for Tue-Thur next week shows high temps averaging 6°F above freezing, and low temps average 7°F below freezing. That three day stretch is sufficiently prolonged that I need to take it seriously.
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Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
I honestly don't know why people fear leaving heaters on their boats unattended. If your shore power system is done correctly and has appropriate breakers there is very very low risk of fire. Heaters are certified for use in residential dwellings. They have built in thermal safeties and do not get anywhere near hot enough to ignite anything. They are designed for long term use.

If anything I would be more concerned about running heat lamps on Jerry-rigged light fixtures. On those you have much greater risk of overheating due to poor bulb contacts, or poor wiring connections on the light fixture itself. Even then the risk is low.
Thinking rationally, I agree with everything you say here. However, there are some other considerations.

The boat club frowns on leaving electric hooked up overnight, but people do it. A couple of boats do it all winter long, though the word around the yard is that they're not leaving heaters on, just 120v bilge pumps and droplights in cold weather. (People generally don't talk about this much, and they clam up if you ask too many questions.) If I'm going to plug in, I want to minimize the wattage for a couple reasons. The electric plugs in the yard appear to be ganged in a way that multiple boats could run off the same circuit breaker. If we all hook up a space heater, someone could blow the circuit breaker for multiple boats. I'm going to be there late Friday doing the winterization, so I'll probably be the last one to leave and can try to be sure I'm by myself on a circuit.

I stopped off at Walmart tonight and found some 72 watt incandescent bulbs (my drop lights are rated for 75 watts), so those are one option at relatively low wattage. I also found a really nice little 250W ceramic heater with overheat protection and a fan that keeps the whole case cool. (Much lower wattage than the 600-900-1500 heater that I already have, and don't want to use.) I'd prefer not to use any space heater, but I may stick the new 250W one in the engine room while I'm working, assess how it's working while I'm on the boat (not too cold, not too hot), and make a decision whether to consider leaving it for Friday night. We'll see, maybe I can get the whole boat, including motor, done in one evening and then I don't have to worry about electric.
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Originally Posted by PhilCarlson View Post
These generate a lot of heat, and when the bulb fails, the whole thing is contained. Maybe one or two of these and a small fan to circulate the air.

https://smile.amazon.com/Woods-L33-C...3057736&sr=8-1
I actually have one of those. They're way way too hot, and IMO jury rigging a fan would be much less safe than a purpose-built space heater. But thanks for the suggestion, these things are always good food for thought.

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post #15 of 30 Old 11-06-2019
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Re: Heat lamps for temporary freeze protection

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Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
I honestly don't know why people fear leaving heaters on their boats unattended
It's never about the expected.
I don't know the weather in the area we are discussing, but is it fair to assume that with temperatures reaching those lows a significant gust could be possible during the system that caused them? If so, could a boat on the hard not move enough to knock a heater over where it just might cause a fire?
I know, but as they say, sh*t happens......
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Re: Heat lamps for temporary freeze protection

We have this on the boat for cool / cold nights in the slip
Gets toasty but has a Thermostat.

We have a couple at home too.

https://www.amazon.com/PELONIS-Porta...EP69DQ9PQZ6STM


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post #17 of 30 Old 11-07-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Heat lamps for temporary freeze protection

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
It's never about the expected.
I don't know the weather in the area we are discussing, but is it fair to assume that with temperatures reaching those lows a significant gust could be possible during the system that caused them? If so, could a boat on the hard not move enough to knock a heater over where it just might cause a fire?
I know, but as they say, sh*t happens......
All space heaters sold over the last ~10 years have tipover switches. In my experience they are very sensitive, and will usually even shut off the heater if you set it on carpet.

But if any boat on the hard moves enough to knock a heater over, you've got really big problems with how the boat is blocked. A boat that's blocked properly has NO movement of the hull at all. Maybe a little vibration of the rigging in a big gust, but no motion of the hull. Period.

If your boat is on gravel or dirt it better have plywood under the stands or the stands will work loose over time. There's a guy on YouTube who posted about some movement of his boat on the hard last winter, and it was clear from his video that his stands were on gravel with no plywood under the legs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
We have this on the boat for cool / cold nights in the slip
Gets toasty but has a Thermostat.

We have a couple at home too.

https://www.amazon.com/PELONIS-Porta...EP69DQ9PQZ6STM
I have a couple very similar ones from the same manufacturer at home and in my office. They are very nice, and I have used one on the boat when working in the winter. But with 600-900-1500 watts it's more heat and electrical draw than I would want if I were to leave it on overnight. That's why I bought the little 250W one this evening. Should be plenty for a confined space like around my motor.

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post #18 of 30 Old 11-07-2019
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Re: Heat lamps for temporary freeze protection

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But if any boat on the hard moves enough to knock a heater over, you've got really big problems with how the boat is blocked. A boat that's blocked properly has NO movement of the hull at all. Maybe a little vibration of the rigging in a big gust, but no motion of the hull. Period..
Last year in Trinidad we had an earthquake that lasted over 5 minutes. I stood in the companionway (stupidly I was too mesmerized to get a camera) in the slip and watched boats as big as 53 feet hop up in the air about 5"! The steel pilings were whipping fore and aft about five' and had they been going toward the boat instead of fore and aft, they would have gone right through the topsides, rub rails and all. Oddly, not a single boat came off it's stands, just hopped straight up and down in place and none sustained any damage, but I saw all this first hand and expected many boats to go over.
There was about a 7" crack through the marina restaurant from roof through the stone floor and it had to be levelled,
As I said, it's not about the expected. They never figured out why the heater on the mega-yacht caused the fire either, but it totally destroyed 2 boats and severely damaged many more, to the tune of many millions of dollars.

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Last edited by capta; 11-07-2019 at 01:17 AM.
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post #19 of 30 Old 11-07-2019
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Re: Heat lamps for temporary freeze protection

Well I guess we have to plan like we could have an earthquake any time now. .....not
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post #20 of 30 Old 11-07-2019
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Re: Heat lamps for temporary freeze protection

While I don’t think an incandescent bulb is much of a risk, the risk is in the wiring or extension cord, not the device. I personally know two boats that suffered.

Our marina bans anything left plugged in on the hard and all space heaters. The latter are commonly used aboard in shoulder seasons, as our respective heat pumps just won’t get the job done, while living aboard.

Not sure how an insurance policy would respond, not only for ones own hull damage, but liability to others. It would seem to be a “consequential damage”, which is almost never covered.

Again, I wouldn’t be too concerned about it, but the risk of freeze damage for a few hours is pretty low too. I hope. I was pulled this week, but haven’t gotten out to open thruhulls and let the seawater drain. That’s has to get to 28F. Fingers crossed, but have you ever tried to make ice cubes at exactly freezing temp. Takes forever.


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