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PNW boaters - what heating systems are recommended for Live Aboard ?-gctid677416

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    PNW boaters - what heating systems are recommended for Live Aboard ?-gctid677416

    Hello again ,

    I am seeing lots of boats for sale in the PNW that don't have Diesel heat .. AND, since I'm looking at 37 foot (and under) boats, many don't even have diesel engines ..

    ( Q1 ) PNW boaters - what heating systems are recommended for Live Aboard ? will electric systems suffice ??

    ( Q2 ) if one has a gas engine (vs diesel) , is it still possible to heat with a fuel based system ?

    thanks again, you've all been great !!

    #2
    Diesel heat is probably the best way to go. Yes you can use diesel heat if you have gas engines, you will just need a seperate fuel tank.

    My dad lived on our 38 all last winter in Prince Rupert, so maybe a little colder than VIctoria. All we have is electric heat with 30 amp shore power. He said it was mostly ok, but you had to turn a heater off if you wanted to use the kettle,stove,coffee maker, or microwave.

    I would recommend diesel heat.
    Joel
    1987 3818 Hino 175
    "Knotty Girl"
    Prince Rupert B.C.

    Comment


      #3
      How does diesel heat work ? if you have diesel engines , does it just draw fuel from the regular engine tanks ?

      Comment


        #4
        On a diesel boat, most draw from their main fuel tanks. I have a diesel boat with a separate tank for my furnace. I burn #1 diesel or kerosene in my furnace and find that it burns cleaner and maintenance is reduced.
        Rick
        1994, 3288

        Comment


          #5
          As others have mentioned, diesel heat is the best option. You may also be able to get away with electric resistance heaters on a small boat that's on shore power.

          One thing to remember when installing a combustion heater in a gasoline powered boat is to draw the combustion air from outside. It's a simple matter of extending the combustion air inlet hose to a thru-hull. Drawing combustion air from a well ventilated engine compartment is OK on a diesel powered boat. On a gas powered boat you run the risk of drawing gasoline fumes into the heater chamber and starting a fire.
          1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
          2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
          Anacortes, WA

          Comment


            #6
            We installed a diesel heater on our diesel engine boat and love it. I would be reluctant to put a diesel heater on a gas-powered boat. You would lose engine room or storage space to the second fuel tank, and Murphy says that some busy day in the not-too-distant future you'll put diesel in the gas tank or gas in the diesel tank. Then you have issues!

            You must be looking at older boats. Most boats over 35 feet have come with diesel engines in the last 10-20 years or so. At least that's what I recall.

            Comment


              #7
              You need a drying heat source! Hydronic systems are slower to warm things up verses hot air furnace. A dehumidifier is also a very good thing to have on board. Frozen water lines on the dock can be an issue also.

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                #8
                Just my 2Cents worth. No one has yet commented on owner usage or the cost of each alternative. A Webasto Diesel heater installation will start at around $2,800 for the actual furnace plus if you need someone to install the air-ducting work and tank/filling port installation another $1k or more.. Say $3-3.5k for a "new" as opposed to replacement installation.

                By contrast electrical can be a hundred dollars. One of our Webasto diesel heaters on our 4788 went bad last winter while we were tied up in Bell harbor, Seattle for a couple of weeks. We hiked down to Target and picked up a space heater for, I think, $100 or so. It took up very little room and sat under a coffee table. It was a very adequate heat source, every bit as energetic as the Webasto.

                So if you are planning to be plugged-in when you need the heat you are almost certainly better off with electric. Of course if you want heat off the grid at anchor then you are going to have to spring for diesel heat.
                Alan Teed
                MOONDANCE
                '94 4788
                Gig Harbor, WA
                Previously:
                2006 Hylas 49' blowboat
                Bayliner 2855
                1977 Cal 34' blowboat
                1981 Hunter 33' blowboat
                Experience: Sail 50 years, Motor 15 years. 2 Transats, 1 Baltimore-Virgin Islands, 6 Months cruising Caribbean, 3.5 years cruising Med.

                Comment


                  #9
                  "JLSBLINER" post=677421 wrote:
                  How does diesel heat work ? if you have diesel engines , does it just draw fuel from the regular engine tanks ?
                  I have two Webasto heaters. One draws from a main diesel fuel tank. The other draws from a small 2-4 gallon dedicated tank. I tend to use Kerosine in the dedicated tank because I feel it burns cleaner, but frankly I don't really notice much difference between the two. If you buy a gas boat and want diesel heat you only need to find space for a
                  Alan Teed
                  MOONDANCE
                  '94 4788
                  Gig Harbor, WA
                  Previously:
                  2006 Hylas 49' blowboat
                  Bayliner 2855
                  1977 Cal 34' blowboat
                  1981 Hunter 33' blowboat
                  Experience: Sail 50 years, Motor 15 years. 2 Transats, 1 Baltimore-Virgin Islands, 6 Months cruising Caribbean, 3.5 years cruising Med.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    "Alan Teed" post=677521 wrote:
                    Bear in mind you will also need to run air ducting and have an exhaust port which is unconstricted and can blow hot exhaust without getting close to anything moored immediately next to the exhaust.
                    LOL.... A few years ago my buddy caught a dock on fire with his heater exhaust. :blush:
                    1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
                    2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
                    Anacortes, WA

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You stated "heat for a live a board" correct? We have found it way more economical to use our reverse cycle heat than our diesel (espar) furnace. I guess it depends on your marina and electrical fee structure to some extent. Don't get me wrong we love the instant heat from our diesel furnace, but have noticed with my son living on the boat it goes through the fuel by the end of the month.
                      Jay J.
                      98' 3587 - Respite
                      Twin 250 Cummins diesel
                      Camano Island Wa.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I think I would like a diesel furnace. I get along with the OEM electric heaters. In winter I leave a electric oil heater in the boat with a plug that turns it on near freezing. I do not live aboard. If you choose a space heater be sure your shore tie cord is in good shape or it will overheat and cause a fire-that is why diesel is better. I have had two shore ties melt due to corrosion inside the plug. Shore tie cords do have a load limit so be sure not to overload it.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Here is a link to the gas version of the espar air heater insalls and works just like the diesel version http://www.ebay.com/itm/Espar-Airtro...-/231470274880

                          Comment


                            #14
                            We are live aboards here in the PNW and have both Webasco diesel Hydronic heat and electric.

                            The Webasco will keep up with the bitter cold of the winters days much better than an electric heater. The hydronic, if installed properly, with the hoses running through all your closets and cabinets will keep those areas warm and dry also. The hydronic is slower to heat the room up but will maintain a more even temperature in the boat over the forced air systems. Our unit also keeps our engines warm and heats our hot water as well. It burns about 0.4 gallons per hour of diesel. For an entire winter we go through about 75 gallons. But diesel heat is not all we use.

                            Electric heat is our primary heat source. It is cheaper and I don't mind leaving it running when we are not on board. We have units in four of the rooms on board. Most of the time we can only operate three as each one draws about 9 amps. Since our dock only has 30 amps, that leaves very little for anything else to run. We have learned to do the 30 amp two step, especially during the winter. If you want to run something, like the microwave, you have to turn something else off. If both electric water heaters come on then one of the heaters has to go off. So we generally only have one hot water heater turned on at any given time.

                            We also use an electric oil heater for the salon area. These are the safest heater you can buy, cheap and efficient. They will keep the chill off and help dry the air in the boat.
                            Patrick and Patti
                            4588 Pilothouse 1991
                            12ft Endeavor RIB 2013
                            M/V "Paloma"
                            MMSI # 338142921

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Super .. I was just going to ask about "reverse cycle heat" .. because a lot of boats have it ... I think they are kind of a heat pump correct ? and quite efficient ??

                              Q) does "reverse cycle heat" always mean it will in fact be a dual system of AC & Heat ??

                              From what I am gathering from the replies thus far .. installing a diesel heating system would be WAY too costly for me .. and not that much more beneficia , since I'll be in a marina all winter btw using tie up electrical .. so for my boat purchase .. the boat will either have a diesel furnace installed already .. or it will HAVE to have reverse cycle heat / AC ..

                              J.

                              "Cruiser 35" post=677541 wrote:
                              You stated "heat for a live a board" correct? We have found it way more economical to use our reverse cycle heat than our diesel (espar) furnace. I guess it depends on your marina and electrical fee structure to some extent. Don't get me wrong we love the instant heat from our diesel furnace, but have noticed with my son living on the boat it goes through the fuel by the end of the month.

                              Comment

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