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My boat didn't come with a bulkhead heater, and though I plan on eventually purchasing and installing a diesel heater, for now I have bupkis. While docked I simply heat my cabin with a small space heater (which works magic!), but if I want to go cruising and anchor out one night, I need something which will not draw electricity. I have a two burner kerosene stove, and I've heard that putting a terra-cotta pot over a burner is an effective way to heat the cabin. Does anyone have experience with such a thing? I'd obviously pop a window to vent the cabin, allowing me to do that whole breathing thing. Ideas? Advice?
 

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Clearly, placing a pot over a burner adds no BTUs. Simple urban legand.

It does spread a little radiant heat, but to me it isn't worth the storage or trouble.

But try it on your kitchen stove, don't ask us.

Advise? pop for a vented heater, skip the CO2 / CO headache and wake up in the morning.

http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/2009/10/let-there-be-heat.html
 

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The pot thing has its fans. Turn it off at night when you are asleep. I never use any heater at night.
 

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Any flame-based heater that is not specifically designed for nighttime use is dangerous. All combustion puts out carbon monoxide. Leaving a stove burner on, pot or not, is a recipe for someone eventually finding a body at air-temperature, after wondering why that yacht has been sitting at anchor all week.

It wasn't too many years ago, the SCA lost a family of 4 at the Estrella War because they zipped up their cabin tent and fell asleep with a small propane heater burning to keep the chill off.

Really - cabin heaters need to be properly vented.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
It does spread a little radiant heat, but to me it isn't worth the storage or trouble.

But try it on your kitchen stove, don't ask us.
A liveaboard around here has suggested and sworn by the terra-cotta pot idea. Buying a pot and trying it out for myself seems a waste if the idea sucks. Why go through a stupid idea without vetting it among liveaboards who might actually know something (the terra fan is kind of a dufus, so I wanted some second opinions ;) )

I think I'd rather just dock somewhere for the night, and plug into power for my heat.
 

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I use a 0 to -10 C sleeping bag and never use a heater. I have sailed every month of the year in Canada.

BTW - I also will not use an electric heater overnight.
 

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I to have spent many nights on boats and in rv's out here on the west coast of Canada where it gets wet and miserable and cold and wet and miserable and...and...cold, and never ever have I used a heater during the night when I sleep.
It is far to dangerous.
Get some good bedding, bundle up and whether it be an electric, diesel, propane or solid fuel heater "shut it off at night".
When you are able to wake up the next morning you will be greatful for having it shut off.
At least you will be alive to turn it on again.
 

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Boats can get dam chilly at times. One of the best solutions we have found to make sleeping more comfortable under these conditions is a hot water bottle. It takes the chill out of the bed before you climb in and keeps your feet worm all night. At times, I also like to put one in the small of my back. The heating of the water takes the chill off at night and making coffee in the morning takes the chill off in the morning.
 

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15 years ago a charter company in the Gippsland lakes advised us on the upsidedown terracotta pot idea. They even had the terracotta pot as standard equipment on the boat! The idea works fine, only raises the temperature a couple of degrees, however it is enough to take the chill out of the cabin. My guess is that it will only work on a small cabin (this was a 25ft yacht). I used it a couple of months ago on my UFO 34 and it works fine (I have a metho stove).

As with using the stove normally, you need to ensure adequate ventalation; I normally leave the front hatch open a couple of inches and the back hatch open so there is airflow through the boat. Leave the flame on low and shut it down when you go to sleep. Common sense stuff.

For those who are stating that this is a bad idea; it is no different from using the stove normally.

Ilenart
 

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Lots of blankets. Then more blankets..

We have 4 berths and I'm usually solo during winter overnights (Connecticut usually). I grab blankets from the other berths and just pile them onto mine. It's tough to be cold when you have an excessive number of blankets on you. (A good sleeping bag is a very good idea if you are space limited. If you aren't, then stockpile some blankets.)

No stove or oven on during the night, and we have a carbon monoxide detector too. In the morning, the stove quickly heats the cabin up a bit while making breakfast or a hot beverage. The propane oven seems to burn cleaner, so during the day I'll sometimes sail with the oven on and the hatch boards in place. If I do go below, the cabin is warmish and dry. (Occasional use of the stove/over seems to dry the interior. Perhaps because the heat lingers after I turn the stove off, but the cumbustion-created water vapor vents out quicker.)

By the way, our insurance company mandated a carbon monoxide detector. I'm glad they did. I wired it to the master switch. So if we are on the boat the CO detector is on.

Regards,
Brad
 

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My solution is XO, my cat. We keep each other warm at night.

But on a more serious note you need not only to think about heat but also insulation. My boat has none. My 16,000 BTU propane heater can keep me warm in close proximity but as soon as I turn it off the temperature drops to the temperature of the water. So like most others I rely on sleeping bags and warm clothing. Remember also that the entire boat is the temperature of the water. That means the deck will be cool or cold - barefoot is cold. You may need as much insulation under you in bed as above - that is why so many of us use sleeping bags.

BTW the reverse is true in hot weather - turn your A/C off and the boat will go to the water temperature.
 

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Any open flame will produce CO2, CO and water vapour. The first two are hazardious to your health. Water vapour on the other hand not good at all. When the boat cools down yu will have "rain" in the cabinet. As long as you have high humidity it will disturb you more than cold air. the only solution is to discard all chemicals comingfrm the fire directly outside which means a flue.
 

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Oh - I won't comment on whether or not the pot is effective or not. Running the stove while you're awake, as a heater or a cook unit, is fine.

My concerns are entirely about going to sleep with a flame lit.

Which will, sooner or later, kill somebody.


For those who are stating that this is a bad idea; it is no different from using the stove normally.

Ilenart
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, so I'm not an idiot. I wouldn't have an open flame running in the middle of the night, that's just moronic, and as mentioned in the starting thread, I'd obviously vent the cabin so I could continue breathing.

When I turn on the stove to boil water for coffee, the chill is taken out of the air, but I was hoping I could find something that would warm it up a tad more. Doesn't look like there's a solution other than a bulkhead heater, which I do not have. Piling on blankets will keep my body warm (if it's already warm, that is, if I'm cold, it's hard to get the blood moving again...), but not the cabin.
 

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We have the same heater as the Y37chef for use ( he recommended it to use)when awake with the cabin ventilated. At night is a couple of goose down throws and blankts fro LL Bean. Lightweight, easily stowable in a small space, breath well, and keep you very very warm on the cold boat nights at anchor.

Dave
 

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Sitting at a beautiful anchorage this morning in shorts and T shirt. 42F outside and 65f inside. Nothing beats a dedicated heater that you can run all night. Our Hurricahe diesel hydronic heater is mounted in the sail locker and vents to the outside. Exhaust is on the transom. It pumps an AF mixture throughout the boat to small radiator/fan combos that are controller by thermostats in the different zones.

As a live aboard, I believe in being comfortable and in Maine you need the right equipment.

Many in this thread claim pot or electric or propane but how cold does it get in your area. A pot would do nothing during a Maine winter night.

Diesel Hydronic Heater Installation
 

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Many in this thread claim pot or electric or propane but how cold does it get in your area. A pot would do nothing during a Maine winter night.

Diesel Hydronic Heater Installation
The OP ask for cheap and easy? :rolleyes: It doesn't sound like they, nor am I, a live aboard, but I if I were to install something substantial it would most likely be something like you have, otherwise the item I mention works fine.
 

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Yeah, so I'm not an idiot. I wouldn't have an open flame running in the middle of the night, that's just moronic, and as mentioned in the starting thread, I'd obviously vent the cabin so I could continue breathing.

When I turn on the stove to boil water for coffee, the chill is taken out of the air, but I was hoping I could find something that would warm it up a tad more. Doesn't look like there's a solution other than a bulkhead heater, which I do not have. Piling on blankets will keep my body warm (if it's already warm, that is, if I'm cold, it's hard to get the blood moving again...), but not the cabin.
You may not believe this but you're not the only person that will read this thread...:rolleyes:

Nobody said nor implied you were an idiot? Stating some safety precautions repeatedly does no harm? :confused:
 

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Many in this thread claim pot or electric or propane but how cold does it get in your area. A pot would do nothing during a Maine winter night.
In The PNW I have awoken to ice on the deck and dock. No heater overnight.
 
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