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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone out there with forced air heat on a Crealock 34?

My older Espar 3DL has been acting up and since it is now obsolete and parts becoming unavailable, I have considered replacing it rather than rebuilding. As would be on a boat, nothing is that simple. The equivalent model is a D4, but it's not a direct replacement. The dealer, Boat Electric in Seattle, tells me that the D4 requires a 4" air duct off the heater at least until the first Y. Unfortunately, I have 3" duct and it goes the engine compartment and aft of the rudder post, the absolutely most inaccessible part of the boat. I can't imagine getting down there to replace it, let alone re-cutting the holes through the bulkheads to 4".

Has anyone dealt with anything similar? If you have an Espar heater, which one? How is your air duct routed?
 

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If it is the closest replacement...you might ask them how badly it would impact what, if you use smooth-wall 3" duct for the least distance that you need to, and then expand out to 4". Smooth-walled duct versus the flexi (corrugated) kind makes a huge difference in airflow, maybe that's part of what they are considering.

If 3" won't hurt the unit, but just restricts performance a little...it could be worth taking the hit. Or installing an in-duct fan further down the line, to boost flow.
 

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Throw a D2 in and call it a day. We run a D2 on a CS36 and even in Maine, where it gets pretty cold, it works quite well. A D-4 on a PS34 would certainly be a lot and would likely just short cycle....

I just came in from our boat and only started the heater this morning. It was -1F when I fired it up... When I just turned it off the boat was 69F and out door temp was 19F...

Most times on a boat you are simply taking the chill off and a D2 will do more than that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What quick responses! MaineSail, that is just what I was hoping to hear. The dealer strongly discouraged using a D2, said it would overwork it and it would wear out quickly. Frankly, for the cost difference and the enormous labor involved with installing the D4, I would rather put in the D2 and replace it a couple of times if it does ware out. And, as you say, I just need to take the chill off, and not that often either.

Thanks.
 

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What quick responses! MaineSail, that is just what I was hoping to hear. The dealer strongly discouraged using a D2, said it would overwork it and it would wear out quickly. Frankly, for the cost difference and the enormous labor involved with installing the D4, I would rather put in the D2 and replace it a couple of times if it does ware out. And, as you say, I just need to take the chill off, and not that often either.

Thanks.
IMHO dealers always try to up size these units, most ly needlessly, and it results in short cycling and premature "coking" of the unit. They like nice long runs. Unless you are a liveaboard you really don't need a D4 for the occasional weekend jaunt etc...

I was working on a customers J-42 last fall and it was about 40F outside. His D4 sat there are cycled on-off-on-off-on-off for hours. Simply too big for the boat IMHO.....
 

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Espar and Eberspacher are one and the same correct ?

Maine .... can you recommend a dealer for spare parts ? We have a D5 that seems to have a shot Control Unit. Price from UK distributor is around AUD500 plus freight. I'd like to check and see if cheaper from the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Brian & Marya, My Espar is mounted under the cockpit combing on the aft port side just about at the aft edge of the locker lid. The exhaust is port side aft above the engine exhaust. The air duct is routed aft and down through the engine compartment behind the rudder post and then under the floor of the starboard quarter birth. There are two outlets in the cabin, one under the forward end of the quarter birth and one under the hanging locker across from the head door. A very nice install and I can't imagine retrofitting it. It must have been done at the factory during construction.

John
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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Context: I have worked for and with Webasto and Espar dealers. I have installed forced air and hydronic heaters and repaired all kinds of heaters.

The dealer strongly discouraged using a D2, said it would overwork it and it would wear out quickly.
That doesn't make sense. Running at full tilt is about the best thing for a heater.

In the Espar dealer literature there is a worksheet (really just a big graph) that takes into account boat length, volume, climate, and usage. The legend is in German, even in the English documentation, but a little time with Google Translate will straighten that out. I don't have access to it now but I'd be surprised if a Crealock 34 would not have a D2 recommended for it.

The heaters are built so that as the boat warms up the fan, which drives combustion air and forced air, slows down as does the fuel feed. That means a couple of important things: first is that combustion efficiency is reduced which leads in turn to carbon build-up in the combustion chamber ("coking"), and second is that exhaust temperature drops which can lead to condensation of sulfuric acid in the exhaust tube.

Both of these problems are worse with liveaboards where the temperature is more often steady state. The latter problem is a bigger deal in the US where the diesel we get has more contaminants including sulfur than in the EU. Make sure you have a condensate drain (it's a little curly thing) in the exhaust at the lowest spot - it should be filled with water at installation. Make sure the exhaust run is in accordance with the installation guidance - no dips due to poorly secured tube.

IMHO dealers always try to up size these units, most ly needlessly, and it results in short cycling and premature "coking" of the unit. They like nice long runs. Unless you are a liveaboard you really don't need a D4 for the occasional weekend jaunt etc...
"Always" is an overstatement.

Certainly the OPs dealer does seem to be giving questionable advice.
 

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"Always" is an overstatement.

Certainly the OPs dealer does seem to be giving questionable advice.
Sorry I should have said "up here". I have yet to have a single customer who was not aggressively sold on a D4 even when a D2 would have been sufficient. I have my thoughts as to why they do this but both you and I have already explained why a D4 is not needed and in many cases not even desirable from a "coking" issue. He'll I have one customer with a 28 footer that has a D4...???
 

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Very unfortunate. The dealer will however have a rebuild every year or two for such an oversized heater.
Yep..! The other thing is that a D4 truck kit is very hard to find. By telling the customer they "need" a D4 it likely prevents a lot of eBay buys of the inappropriate truck kits...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The dealers recommendations do seem to be coming straight from the manufacture. This chart shows my 34' as being right in the middle of the D4 range for seasonal boating. And it shows a D2 as being too small for a 28.
 

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Maine, can you elaborate on "inappropriate truck kits"? What needs to be different on a boat?

Here's just a smattering of differences..

*Marine unit has different fuel line, not plastic. The plastic fuel lines in the truck kit do not meet ABYC, USCG or minimum standards your insurance company will want to see.

*Marine kit has marine specific software to minimize lock outs. On trucks they know where the fuel tanks are in comparison to the fuel metering pump. Not so on boats so the software is different. If you lock it out you will need the "special tool" to clear codes. You can also buy a stat that will clear codes but Espar won't really tell you this.

*The truck kit comes with very little duct hose & supply/return outlets/inlets

*The truck kit does not come with exhaust blanket/lagging

*The truck kit does not come with a muffler

*The truck kit does not come with double walled marine SS exhaust hose it is single wall and NOT SAFE for marine use.

*The truck kit does not come with the exhaust fitting for the transom

*The truck kit does not come with a marine mounting bracket, they mount them on a floor.

*On some models the marine kits use a larger duct hose diameters & plenums / heater outlet end caps to make up for the longer runs in boats.

*Truck kits don't come with exhaust condensate drains (some marine kits don't either)

In short I have installed a number of Espar's for folks trying to save a buck. It ALWAYS COST MORE, in the long run, when you buy a truck kit off eBay or the net compared to a marine kit.

I would urge you to buy the unit from whomever will stand behind it and service it locally, though your local dealer certainly sounds interesting... I would also not install an Espar without the digital thermostat. These stats allow you to re-set codes and trouble shoot the codes. The service tool for this cost over $1000.00 and the Digi-Max D-1000 stat costs under $100.00. I install one on every Espar job as it will be well worth it for the owner someday...
 

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And yet I have many customers, including my own 36 footer, that have D2's and do just fine. Yesterday was -1F when I fired up the heater and I was working in my t-shirt by 10:30am, D2 on a 36 footer. A D4 would certainly warm the boat faster but once warm the D2 does just fine even in the dead of winter for working on her...

We never suffer lack of heat when using our boat in the off season and the D2 is actually more than we need for that type of use.
 

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Maine, can you elaborate on "inappropriate truck kits"? What needs to be different on a boat?
I can't think of anything MaineSail didn't get. The issue of course is what YOU don't get by buying a truck kit.

That is not the graphic I was talking about. Espar has a sizing guide that you enter with boat volume, move left to climate, move down to usage, and then move right to something else (I forget). I'd use that - if you Espar dealer doesn't have it make sure they are really an Espar dealer. It comes in the dealer kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, I have seen that one too, but with all the curves and such on a boat, calculating volume is non-trivial. My dealer is definitely an Espar marine dealer and probably the best in the area.

Sure I'm trying to cut some corners here and save some bucks. Since I already have an Espar heater installed, I was hoping to just plunk in a replacement and reuse existing ducting and exhaust. My existing install was very well done and I thus have everything on the list. I would replace the thermo, the metering pump and fuel line from pump to heater and I would expect to have to do some electrical mods.
 

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Brian & Marya, My Espar is mounted under the cockpit combing on the aft port side just about at the aft edge of the locker lid. The exhaust is port side aft above the engine exhaust. The air duct is routed aft and down through the engine compartment behind the rudder post and then under the floor of the starboard quarter birth. There are two outlets in the cabin, one under the forward end of the quarter birth and one under the hanging locker across from the head door. A very nice install and I can't imagine retrofitting it. It must have been done at the factory during construction.

John
John, good luck with your project. I plan to install a D2 in my 34 at some point. I think I follow your install, with the unit mounted to port and exhausting near the engine exhaust. Just to clarify, the duct goes under the quarterberth and the vent is facing forward, basically when your feet would be if you sat at the chart table?

From there forward I think I can see that in my mind, following the cable runs up to the hanging locker.

Great to hear this configuration, and that two ducts like that keep the boat warm. Having a vent in the head area would make it more attractive to take a quick shower in that head in the winter and let the heat dry it out.

How is the fuel set up?

Tnx-
 
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