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    Diesel heater on a small boat

    With the current weather its gotten me to thinking about heat when we're away from the dock. The new diesel forced air heaters seem like the way to go, but mounting is a problem on a boat as small as mine (2858). One place I was considering was on the bridge under the front - put one or two hot air outlets in the ceiling of the cabin (under the bridge bench seat. Has anyone tried anything similar or found any other options?
    1998 Bayliner 2858
    7.4L MPI / Bravo III
    Harbour Village Marina - Kenmore WA

    #2
    As far as I'm concerned the BEST heater for any boat less than 30' is the Wallas stove/heater combo unit.

    Why??? Ease of installation and versatility. This unit pretty much drops in to where the original alcohol stove went. It provides both heat and a great cook top all in one unit.


    Click image for larger version

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    Here are the features form the scan marine web site


    The Ultimate in Versatility
    • No exposed flame for safety.
    • Thermo control panel for great comfort control!
    • Quiet, variable output, no off/on system cycling.
    • Great looking ceramic cooktop for easy cleaning.
    • Easy to install, also available in DP countertop version.
    • Lowering blower lid turns stove into forced air cabin heater.
    • Optional potholders keep things in place in marine applications.
    • Clean, soot free design, brushless motors minimize maintenance.
    • Superb corrosion free stainless steel and aluminum construction.
    • Diesel fuel can be drawn directly from the main tank or a day tank.
    • Combustion gas and water vapor vented outside, keeping cabin dry.

    KEVIN SANDERS
    4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
    www.transferswitch4less.com

    Whats the weather like on our boat
    https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


    Where are we right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

    Comment


    • Seahawks II
      Seahawks II commented
      Editing a comment
      I know I'm going to get sniped for this comment but, $2800.00 for the kit, not including tax and shipping seems a bit steep for the average boater.

    • njosephson
      njosephson commented
      Editing a comment
      I hadn't really considered these in the past, but they are an intriguing possibility worth considering the stove in my 28 leaves a lot to be desired anyway. Seahawks point about the price is valid but the whole point is to be able to use the boat as much as possible and we get a lot of beautiful days that are just a bit on the chilly side to be away from the dock.

    • ksanders
      ksanders commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes the price is not cheap, but it is not unreasonable if you look at the price of a good quality heater and a good quality replacement stove. The last Espar I installed was probably over $2K by the time I got done.

    #3
    On a small boat I always try to get away from a solution that requires 12V.

    This way, there is no battery usage and no stress that comes from it.

    I'd opt for a diesel heater with no forced air.

    I've been looking for an inexpensive solution myself, but it doesn't seem that they exist. I was thinking of welding up my own design, and may still do that when/if time permits.

    Chay

    Comment


    • njosephson
      njosephson commented
      Editing a comment
      A good point - I figured that the battery draw to run the fan would be reasonable and with my boat I wouldn't really anticipate more than a single night at anchor in the off season. I did see a boat like mine with one of the Dickenson marine heaters mounted in the back corner of the cabin at the time it seemed ridiculous but now its seems like a nice setup even if it looked like something that I would bang my head on (or burn my face on) regularly.

    #4
    Originally posted by cfoss View Post
    On a small boat I always try to get away from a solution that requires 12V.

    This way, there is no battery usage and no stress that comes from it.

    I'd opt for a diesel heater with no forced air.

    I've been looking for an inexpensive solution myself, but it doesn't seem that they exist. I was thinking of welding up my own design, and may still do that when/if time permits.

    Chay
    The challenge is that no power units, as you indicated, are not commercially available. The closest thing is the dickinson units. They are good products but not really suitable for a small boat.

    KEVIN SANDERS
    4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
    www.transferswitch4less.com

    Whats the weather like on our boat
    https://www.weatherlink.com/embeddab...59665f4e4/wide


    Where are we right now? https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

    Comment


      #5
      i was thinking of the old VW gas heaters but these might work, fairly cheap

      Happybuy 5KW Diesel Air Heater 10L Tank Diesel Heater 12V Diesel Parking Heater Muffler with LCD Thermostat and Remote Control for RV Bus Trailer Motor-home and Boats, Heaters - Amazon Canada

      Comment


      • njosephson
        njosephson commented
        Editing a comment
        This is along the lines of what I was thinking, but mounting it and running ducts, intake, exhaust and fuel is tricky on a small boat. There's a nice spot under the front of the bridge with access to the ceiling of the cabin (above the dinette) which makes me think its a possible place to mount something like this.

      #6
      a LOT of people are using these knock off heaters with success.... there should be room on a 28 for this, as I just installed a similar unit on my 2556.... BUT, if money wasnt an issue, I agree with Kevin that the Wallas heater is the way to go... much quieter and more "automatic"....

      as long as the heater functions as designed, its not the type or brand of unit that you use that is important, but its the proper installation of it is what will determine if its successful or not...

      in a boat that is inherently cold in cold weather, you dont want the heat vents in the cabin roof, as heat naturally rises, and if the vents are already overhead, your upper body will be overheating while your legs and toes are cold, and so will your whole body be when you sit down where the heat isnt...

      install the ducting near the floor so the heat will get to do its job efficiently, as when the ducting is overhead, it takes an un-natural amount of fuel to fully heat the cabin to a comfortable level.... AND, as the installation is the most difficult part of the install, if you do it right the first time, you will be a lot happier and wont need to change it later...

      in addition to the knock off heater shown in the link, they also have complete, portable, all-in-one units, that you can carry on, requires no installation, and you only need to plug into 12v power..... it can set on the floor, mount in a cabinet, or wherever suits you...


      NU LIBERTE'
      Salem, OR

      1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
      5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
      N2K equipped throughout..
      2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
      2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
      '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
      Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

      Comment


      • tdcooper99
        tdcooper99 commented
        Editing a comment
        https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...996-ciera-2858

      • builderdude
        builderdude commented
        Editing a comment
        When you feel your write up is complete please post it in completed projects. 👍🏼

      • Centerline2
        Centerline2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Dave, I have the write up mostly complete, but just dont have the photos all together and in order yet.... I was going to send it to you but for some reason I cant access the private messaging feature.... it pops up momentarily, but then disappears, leaving the space blank with no way to do anything except close out/backing out of it.....
        try sending me a short pm and maybe i can answer it, and send this to you that way...

      #7
      I put a Planar 2D in my 2858 last year around this time. It's among the best money I've spent so far on my boat. I considered using one of the cheap knock-offs... but in the end I decided installing something that burns fuel to create heat INSIDE my boat when me, my wife and kids are all sleeping in there warranted getting a known product.

      It took me a while to find the best place to put it.... I really wanted to put it in behind the galley cabinets on the starboard side... but access was a massive issue, and I didn't want it in a place that I couldn't access it for maintenance and inspection every so often. That, and given this is my usual docking side, I didn't want the exhaust to be blocked ever by a high dock or fender or whatever.

      In the end, I put it in that locker under the bunkette seat... the one on the end that the seat comes off and there is a storage space underneath. I am taking both my combustion air and cabin air from the "cave" berth under the bunkette. The heater outlet comes out the front. It heats the whole boat nicely with a single outlet, I was just out on it in 0oC weather and slept overnight nice and cozy warm.

      If you like, I can take some photos of my installation when I am next at the boat?

      Funny enough, I am now actually considering a cheap chinese knock off to install up under the command bridge helm as you originally said, but with 2 outlets blowing up onto the inside of my enclosure as a defrost/defog. Now that I'm using the boat year round and have an enclsure up top, I'm having real issues with condensation.... and only warm air seems to get rid of it. Not as concerned about CO safety up there as it's not fully enclosed, it's open at the back and it would only be on while I am up there and underway.

      Also, I had a good hard look at the Wallas stove/heater combo unit. I LOVED the idea... BUT, I think you'll find the orientation of the OEM alcohol/electric burner in your 2858 is the wrong orientation to install the Wallas.... the hot air would come out along the countertop basically towards the sink (I'm assuming your 1998 is more or less identical to my 1996)... rather than out the front into the aisle which would be more desirable.

      Anyhow, I'll grab some pics tomorrow on my boat if you're interested. I did the whole install myself... wasn't so bad.
      Tyson, Ackerley, Sidney & Gene
      Tsawwassen, BC
      1996 2858 Ciera Command Bridge
      Mercruiser 7.4L BRAVO II (GEN. V) GM 454 V-8; Engine Serial 0F603347
      "Island Passport"
      Home Marina: Tillicum Bay Marina, Sechelt Inlet, BC

      Comment


      #8
      I have a 2855... I installed an Espar D5 hydronic unit back in 2012. It has worked flawlessly and I have just completed its first major overhaul. I chose the hydronic because I wanted hot water on demand (amazing to have a hot shower anytime) as well as heat. Running 3/4" hose was soooo much simpler than trying to run 3" ducting, additionally the radiator fans are extremely low amp and very quiet compared to the forced air units. I have heat outlets in the Head, Back berth, main Cabin and also at the helm. I see that Planar supply a deisel 5000btu unit for an excellent price. It would definitely be my choice. It takes some careful research and planning but if you have some basic skills?

      Comment


      • njosephson
        njosephson commented
        Editing a comment
        Where did you locate the fuel tank and main burner assembly?

      #9
      Well OK to all the above, but...Mr. Heater Buddy 9000 BTU/hr. 225 sq. ft. Radiant Liquid Propane Portable Heater - Ace Hardware We've used one of these for over 15 years in 1 houseboat, 4 Bayliner cruisers, and 5 or 6 RV's. Night-time temps down to the high teens. Low oxygen and tip-over shutoffs. In the 2858, we ran an extension hose out the tiny back window to a 5 gal. propane tank, which we also used for the grill. No need to spend thousands...
      Jeff & Tara (And Ginger too)
      Lake Havasu City, AZ
      |
      Current: 2008 Playcraft 2400 MCM 350 Mag B3
      2000 Bayliner 3388 Cummins 4bta 250s (SOLD 2020)
      2000 Bayliner 2858 MCM 7.4 MPI B3 (SOLD 2018)
      2007 Bayliner 305 MCM twin 350 Mag B3s (SOLD 2012)
      2008 Bayliner 289 MCM 350 Mag Sea Core B3 (SOLD 2009)
      And 12 others...
      In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. 7-2-10

      Comment


      • Seahawks II
        Seahawks II commented
        Editing a comment
        I've used one for several years to heat the cabin while fishing on the 2160. works great, in fact so great, even on the lowest setting I had to shut it off.

      #10
      Originally posted by Jeffw View Post
      Well OK to all the above, but...Mr. Heater Buddy 9000 BTU/hr. 225 sq. ft. Radiant Liquid Propane Portable Heater - Ace Hardware We've used one of these for over 15 years in 1 houseboat, 4 Bayliner cruisers, and 5 or 6 RV's. Night-time temps down to the high teens. Low oxygen and tip-over shutoffs. In the 2858, we ran an extension hose out the tiny back window to a 5 gal. propane tank, which we also used for the grill. No need to spend thousands...
      I like your thinking on this... I actually considered it too, but with 2 young boys, 8 & 6 running around the boat being clumsy as f*$k.... I decided it probably wasn't ideal. I did buy the smaller version of this: https://www.acehardware.com/departme...eaters/4302881 to try to use as a window defogger up top... but it wasn't powerful enough, so I returned it. Also, it ran through those little 1lb canisters like nobodies business... not economical. I've toyed with the idea of getting either the one you have or one of the ones that sits on top of a 20lb cylinder... but I'm now leaning towards a cheap Chinese diesel heater with a couple of vents installed in the dashboard to blow up against the Tuffak windshield. Easy install in the big space under the helm... and if it fails, they're practically disposable for the price.
      Tyson, Ackerley, Sidney & Gene
      Tsawwassen, BC
      1996 2858 Ciera Command Bridge
      Mercruiser 7.4L BRAVO II (GEN. V) GM 454 V-8; Engine Serial 0F603347
      "Island Passport"
      Home Marina: Tillicum Bay Marina, Sechelt Inlet, BC

      Comment


        #11
        Just created a post in the completed projects area:

        https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...996-ciera-2858
        Tyson, Ackerley, Sidney & Gene
        Tsawwassen, BC
        1996 2858 Ciera Command Bridge
        Mercruiser 7.4L BRAVO II (GEN. V) GM 454 V-8; Engine Serial 0F603347
        "Island Passport"
        Home Marina: Tillicum Bay Marina, Sechelt Inlet, BC

        Comment


          #12
          Originally posted by bristolboy View Post
          I have a 2855... I installed an Espar D5 hydronic unit back in 2012. It has worked flawlessly and I have just completed its first major overhaul. I chose the hydronic because I wanted hot water on demand (amazing to have a hot shower anytime) as well as heat. Running 3/4" hose was soooo much simpler than trying to run 3" ducting, additionally the radiator fans are extremely low amp and very quiet compared to the forced air units. I have heat outlets in the Head, Back berth, main Cabin and also at the helm. I see that Planar supply a deisel 5000btu unit for an excellent price. It would definitely be my choice. It takes some careful research and planning but if you have some basic skills?
          I installed the Espar burner and expansion tank on a removable panel in the locker below the helm seat and a 5 gallon metal deisel tank in the engine bay. I hope this helps?

          Comment

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