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    Heating/AC New installation questions 4788-gctid760739

    I'm starting to do research on a heating system for our boat. I haven't decided if I want to go hydronic or forced air. I'll likely go hydronic but I have some questions..

    From those of you that have the systems:

    What are the key things you like about your system?

    What improvements would you like to make or wished you'd made at install? (more vents, less vents, more thermostats, more zones?)

    WHO did the install and would you recommend them? Has to be in the greater Seattle/Puget Sound Area (this is the first thing I'll have someone do on my boat!)

    Is there anyway to get a heat pump type system where you can reverse and get A/C? There might be several issues with the A/C though...gennie has to be on for that (we have stock 8kw WB)

    If you have hydronic do you wish you'd gone forced air or vise versa?

    Are the zones controls accurate? (When I had our 32 which had a Webasto AT3500 it would either be way too hot or not warm enough..just didn't seem like the T stat did a good job). I would prefer a more "even" heat if possible with the understanding that it's a boat

    I would like to have the following zones:

    Salon

    Guest room & head

    Master stateroom & head

    Pilot house (with special attention to the windshields so I can finally remove the ugly cefrafmo fans!)

    Flybridge (enclosed w/hard top)

    I'm open to any and all suggestions

    Thanks!

    Derek
    Family Boater
    1997 Bayliner 4788 w/330 Cummins - Phoenix
    (past) 1987 Bayliner 3218 w/135 Hino - True Story

    #2
    Here on the Texas gulf coast we are all about the AC but do occasionally need heat in the wintertime. I can tell you that the 8kW gen will not be sufficient to supply reverse-cycle heat for the boat plus an enclosed flybridge. You'll have to manage the demand on the generator if you go this route. I have the stock 16000BTU units in the salon and PH plus the 12000BTU unit for the cabins. When they are all running as heaters, I draw right around 45 amps. That's 5kW demand on your generator not counting surges for startup.. Now add another unit for the flybridge and you'll be pushing it very close to the limit.

    On a side note, last winter was quite mild and we got along just fine with the 4 zone electrical heaters. Never once turned on the reverse cycle units which made for a nice quiet winter.
    Evan
    2001 Bayliner 4788 "Fifty / Fifty II"
    League City, TX

    Comment


      #3
      I purchased a Hurricane Combi unit that heats hot water as well as provides hydronic heat. I don't find that feature as useful as I expected and would not buy a combi unit next time. We love the hydronic heat. We have several friends with forced air heating and A/C and they would not be without it. We don't see the need for A/C up here, but you need to know yourself and your family.

      I had my installer add a separate defroster for the pilothouse windshields, and it runs off engine heat when deployed. It's great to heat up the pilothouse and keep the windshields defrosted when under way in the winter.

      My installer has retired, so I don't have a recommendation for you.

      Comment


        #4
        im glad this subject came up.

        just curios myself as to forced air to hydronic. i plan on doing some cruzing in the winter maybe as far as Ketchikan. would forced air keep me warm in that temp zone, or would hydronic be the way to go? i dont mined wearing thermo's on board but i dont want to have to wear a parka either lol

        Comment


          #5
          I did a Hydronic install last year on our 3587.

          We are in the Southern Vancouver Island area; the hydronic heat is very nice in this climate.

          Although our boat has reverse cycle heat/AC and it works well, it is much better suited for use at the dock where long periods of power use is plentiful.

          The hydronic was a necessary upgrade as we spent most of the time at anchor and running the generator as much as the heater would have to run would not be a good solution.

          I did the install myself and it was no doubt was a big job. The nicer the final result, the more work it is...

          I installed six heat exchangers with two zones and 4 room thermostats.

          I am totally satisfied with the result of this system.

          I would consider the airtronic (forced air) system additionally to the hydronic system for the purpose of instant heat in an area such as the enclosed fly bridge perhaps or a backup.

          Hydronic seems better for 24 hr a day heating.

          The zones on our boat fairly basic; zone 1 is all inside areas of the boat (lower loop).

          Zone 2 includes the aft cabin and the upper loop to the fly bridge heater (not heating the salon or front cabins).

          This is manually switched and is generally only used temporarily when cruising when engines are running (separate engine heat then provides heat to front cabins).

          If you have any other questions feel free to PM or reply.

          Hopefully this helps your decision making.

          Matt
          1995 Bayliner 3587
          Twin Hino 250HP
          Located In Sidney BC, Canada

          Comment


            #6
            Derek,

            We had a forced air system on our 3258 and on our 4087. We had hydronic heat on our M490 (it also had reverse cycle heat & air, we now have a Webasto 2020 hydronic system on the 5788 which also has reverse cycle heat & air.

            Air conditioning in the PNW is awesome on the 14 days per year that you need it, and as a previous poster mentioned, an 8kw generator may be stretched if other systems are running too. Reverse cycle heat is really good on those cold wet winter days for drying the warm air and defogging the windshield and windows.

            Forced air will heat the boat very quickly, but on a 4788, the volume of the interior may dictate that you install 2 units. The Espar hydronic unit on our 490 took a minimum of 30 minutes on a cold day to produce heat, but after that, it maintained an even heat throughout the boat, and heated the hot water system. To extend hydronic to the flybridge, you may need an auxiliary pump in the circulation system, but we found that heat rising from the pilothouse would keep the enclosed bridge quite warm, but would not defog the upper windshield.

            We have found the Webasto hydronic system to be surprisingly effective in the 5788, and heat is produced inside of 5 minutes from a cold start. The salon, pilothouse and each stateroom have their own thermostat controls. On this boat the system does not heat the hot water tank, but we plan to have that part of the system added as an option. The Webasto installer on our boat was Sure Marine from Seattle, who carried out the install in the factory as the boat was being built (hydronic heat was a factory option on the 5788's). While I have not experienced their service directly, their tech support people on the phone have been outstanding.

            We have friends with a Meridian 391 who installed Espar hydronic heat inside the boat, and added an Espar forced air heat for the flybridge. It sounds like overkill in the summer, but it can be cold on the water between Labor Day and Easter.
            Rob
            Bayliner 5788
            'Merlin V'
            Vancouver BC

            Comment


              #7
              We chose forced air for our 4788.

              The reason is simply because forced air has the ability to bring fresh air into the boat, where hydronic heat exchangers do not offer that option.

              We ended up with three forced air furnaces, creating three heating zones. We have a 7500 btu unit for the pilothouse, a 10K btu unit for the salon, and a 10K btu unit serving the lower cabins.

              This installation works for us, but except for the fresh air capability hydronic would work just as well.

              We were concerned about domestic hot water on the boat since with hydronic you have hot water all the time. What we found in practice with our domestic hot water heated by electric of one of the engin es is that we never run out, making the hydronic capability a moot point.

              KEVIN SANDERS
              4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
              where are we right now​​​​​​???​

              https://share.findmespot.com/shared/...j23OquWOj2N3Xe

              Comment


                #8
                It is possible to have fresh air on a hydronic system too. Similar to a forced air system, one (or more) of the fan heat exchangers would simply have all/part of its intake ducted from the outside.

                Another possibility on medium/large hydronic systems is continuous hot water via a plate heat exchanger. Our Espar D16 can produce continuous hot water a bit over 5 minutes after a cold start.

                Mike
                Mike

                "Roam" - 2009 Navigator 51
                Anacortes, WA
                Prior 3888 owner

                Comment


                  #9
                  do you live full time on yours kevin?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    "Mike3888" post=760985 wrote:
                    It is possible to have fresh air on a hydronic system too. Similar to a forced air system, one (or more) of the fan heat exchangers would simply have all/part of its intake ducted from the outside.

                    Another possibility on medium/large hydronic systems is continuous hot water via a plate heat exchanger. Our Espar D16 can produce continuous hot water a bit over 5 minutes after a cold start.

                    Mike
                    In theory you are 100% correct

                    In practice the heat exchangers you are describing do not, or at least did not exist as a commercial product.

                    Heatercraft is/was the market leader in heat exchangers but the only unit they offered with a fresh air intake was one with a three speed motor designed for defrost applications, IE a very loud motor that is a squrrel cage design. The units with the quiet single speed motors did not have the fresh air option.

                    KEVIN SANDERS
                    4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
                    where are we right now​​​​​​???​

                    https://share.findmespot.com/shared/...j23OquWOj2N3Xe

                    Comment


                      #11
                      "Bout Time" post=760987 wrote:
                      do you live full time on yours kevin?
                      Only if the wife boots me out. :sick:

                      KEVIN SANDERS
                      4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
                      where are we right now​​​​​​???​

                      https://share.findmespot.com/shared/...j23OquWOj2N3Xe

                      Comment


                        #12
                        lol i hear ya. so in the dead of winter when its 5 cazillion degrees below zero up there, them forced air units will keep you toastie?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          "Bout Time" post=761003 wrote:
                          lol i hear ya. so in the dead of winter when its 5 cazillion degrees below zero up there, them forced air units will keep you toastie?
                          I dewinterize the boat in March, and generally spend a week or so aboard at that time.

                          The three forced air furnaces keep the boat plenty warm.

                          KEVIN SANDERS
                          4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
                          where are we right now​​​​​​???​

                          https://share.findmespot.com/shared/...j23OquWOj2N3Xe

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Humm. I'm not seeing any implementation issues Kevin. The intake on most fan units is ducted - usually from the cabin space. Simply re-routing that intake from an outside vent would draw fresh air in anytime the fan unit is in operation. Like a bilge blower in reverse. Placement of the intake vent cowl would be important to avoid static pressure differential issues. Our boats certainly are not air-tight - any incoming fresh air would easily find its way out.

                            Mike
                            Mike

                            "Roam" - 2009 Navigator 51
                            Anacortes, WA
                            Prior 3888 owner

                            Comment


                              #15
                              "Mike3888" post=761028 wrote:
                              Humm. I'm not seeing any implementation issues Kevin. The intake on most fan units is ducted - usually from the cabin space. Simply re-routing that intake from an outside vent would draw fresh air in anytime the fan unit is in operation. Like a bilge blower in reverse. Placement of the intake vent cowl would be important to avoid static pressure differential issues. Our boats certainly are not air-tight - any incoming fresh air would easily find its way out.

                              Mike
                              MIKE

                              When I last researched the available heat exchangers just a few years ago, that was not the case. At that time I could not find heat exchangers with a duct connection on the intake.

                              KEVIN SANDERS
                              4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
                              where are we right now​​​​​​???​

                              https://share.findmespot.com/shared/...j23OquWOj2N3Xe

                              Comment

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