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    Heating your boat in the winter

    For those of us not living in the southern lattitudes heating our boats in the winter is a practical necessity.

    How do you keep your boat warm in the winter?

    I use diesel forced air heat in my Bayliner 4788.

    I chose forced air over Hydronic because it has a fresh air component to it.
    I felt that I needed both heat and ventilation and forced air heat does both.

    My boat has three distince living areas and each one has its own forced air furnace.

    There is a 10,000 BTU furnace for the lower cabin area. A separate 10,000 BTU furnace for the salon/galley, and a 7500 BTU furnace for the pilothouse including defrost for the windshields.

    The furnaces I chose were Wallas brand. What I like about the Wallas nits is that they are quiet, Very quiet. io also like the hose within a hose exhause and combustion air system. That makes for a cool to the touch exhaust tube, just one less thing to worry about.

    So...

    What do you use to heat your boat?

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

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

    #2
    I live on a 36’ sailboat in SE North Carolina and I’m new to living aboard. There’s a diesel Hi-Seas heater but I’ve been using a small ceramic heater so far. Have to try out the diesel heater soon.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by NewRose
      I live on a 36’ sailboat in SE North Carolina and I’m new to living aboard. There’s a diesel Hi-Seas heater but I’ve been using a small ceramic heater so far. Have to try out the diesel heater soon.
      Diesel heat makes all the difference, and does not add stress to your shore power cord.

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

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

      Comment


        #4
        We have a Hurricane hydroponic heating system. The heater is located in the engine room and the hot water is sent to three different zones inside the boat. The three zones are controlled by their own thermostats. The system is also plumbed through the hot water tank and both main engines. The engines start much quicker in the colder weather and there will be no smoke either. Also, the engine room stays about 60-70 degrees all winter.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Russell Clifton
          We have a Hurricane hydroponic heating system. The heater is located in the engine room and the hot water is sent to three different zones inside the boat. The three zones are controlled by their own thermostats. The system is also plumbed through the hot water tank and both main engines. The engines start much quicker in the colder weather and there will be no smoke either. Also, the engine room stays about 60-70 degrees all winter.
          I have to be honest I am on the fence regarding wether I should have went with a single hydronic unit with zone control.
          All the great things you said about hydronic are 100% valid.

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

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

          Comment


            #6
            We are in Ri and relatively new live aboards- a year so far. We love it but heat is an issue. We have used oil filled portable when reverse cycle bow out due to water temp. They get in the way and not very effecient. The problem is three fold - how many more winters before going south, finding someone in our area to install (and which unit) and expense. We are in a Sea Ray, there is not a lot of space to install and running hoses or ventilation would be a big effort. Thoughts - ideas?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Bucket List View Post
              We are in Ri and relatively new live aboards- a year so far. We love it but heat is an issue. We have used oil filled portable when reverse cycle bow out due to water temp. They get in the way and not very effecient. The problem is three fold - how many more winters before going south, finding someone in our area to install (and which unit) and expense. We are in a Sea Ray, there is not a lot of space to install and running hoses or ventilation would be a big effort. Thoughts - ideas?
              You sound to me like a prime candidate for reverse cycle AC. Provides heat and cooling!

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

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

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by ksanders

                You sound to me like a prime candidate for reverse cycle AC. Provides heat and cooling!
                I have 4 and they do not produce heat when water temp drops below 40 degrees. They become increasingly less effective as the temp drops and increasingly hungry.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Bucket List View Post

                  I have 4 and they do not produce heat when water temp drops below 40 degrees. They become increasingly less effective as the temp drops and increasingly hungry.
                  Ahhh

                  Diesel heat then. Choose your brand and technology.

                  Hydronic or forced air, brands are all over the board. Most are available mail order and are fairly straight forward to install.


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

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

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Using a mix bag as well. electric forced air does the whole boat, including upstairs pilot house. Not great at the extremes, bow and stern area come january are cool while mid ship is toasty. So saloon has vespar diesel forced air that really gets it warm and pilot hoise has a wallas suplimental diesal as well. Bow head a small oil filled plug in. On the one hand i like the redundancy, but for extended winter cruising all diesel would be nicer. Been looking at the hurricane for that job, but not certain yet. Antother vespart forced air might be easier, not sure it will be enough, a boiler unit and install is pricier, but more efficient and can keep the whole boat heated evenly as i dont really do zones.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have several heating methods. I live on an old wood 83' boat with lots of room. Main heat is hydronic with lines throughout the boat, served by a diesel fired boiler. A diesel stove in the galley that also heats the hot water tank if it's on. At one end of my salon is a wood stove and the other end is a pellet stove. Both have water coils that can heat the boiler. I also have a variety of electric heaters if needed but only use when a generator is running. The pellet stove is by far the cheapest heat. In 0°F I use about 2 bags a day or $10. Diesel would be double. I did heat with mostly wood one year but it's a hassle and I burn about 2 cords a months in 0° weather. It's only cheap if the wood is free and I cut, split and haul. I'm 70 and getting past cutting wood. And it's a lot of trips down the dock hauling wood. When running the mains I can run the coolant thru the boiler. Insulation is the key to comfort, especially hydronic lines.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        First I too have a Hurricane hydronic heat system with 4 zones. It’s awesome but, heating with diesel is not cheap, nor quiet, nor clean. Second, I have an electric boiler plumbed into my hydronic system, while quite, clean, and reasonable in cost, it is not capable of keeping the boat warm all winter. Third, I have 3 reverse cycle AC/heat pumps, very efficient, keeps the boat warm all winter, not quiet, and as stated earlier, if the water temp drops much below 45 degrees they no longer function adequately.

                        So so what do I use? Well that depends on how I am using the boat and what the weather is doing. Usually I am running the electric boiler. As it gets colder I add one heat pump. In the dead of winter I run 2 heat pumps and the electric boiler, unless I need to do laundry, then it’s the diesel furnace until laundry is finished. Sounds complicated? Well it kinda is but it’s quiet, clean, efficient and plenty warm.
                        Azzurra
                        Seattle, WA
                        Ocean Alexander 54

                        Comment


                        • Russell Clifton
                          Russell Clifton commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Our Hurricane heater is located in the engine room, directly under the salon, and we just barley hear it running. Most of our noise is air blowing out of the outlets. Fortunately, when the fan speed is on low you can barley here them operating.

                        • Tiltrider1
                          Tiltrider1 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          My hurricane lives in the engine room as well, you never hear it but you do hear the exhaust whine. While not an obnoxious noise, it is still more sound than an electric boiler.

                        #13
                        For those of you using diesel for heat, how much fuel do you go thru in a typical winter, and what is your winter like.

                        I am not sure that I could fit a diesel heater in my boat, and would want to know if it would even be feasible. Once I am in my winter slip I have no access to fuel until spring.
                        Scott Jones
                        Sea Ray 440 Aft Cabin
                        Liveaboard Start Date 1/May/16

                        Comment


                        • Russell Clifton
                          Russell Clifton commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Our Hurricane uses slightly less than 1/2 gallon per hour but the boiler does not operate continuously, only when the water temperature falls below a set valve. So there can be heat blowing out of the vents but the only thing running is the systems water pump because the water temperature is within in it's set range. Once the temperature falls to low, the flame will come on and heat the water up again. All of the hoses have insulation on them like what would be used in a house so that also helps keep the water warm. Also,when the hoses are run through lockers, under beds, in bilges, etc, it helps keep those areas warm and dry.

                          You might want to attend the closest boat show in your area and see what is available in heaters for small spaces.

                          You would probably need to carry diesel to your boat in 5 gallon containers. during the winter.

                        • tozz
                          tozz commented
                          Editing a comment
                          We are in Seattle. We have two Espar D8 units on the boat. The one for the main level cycles as few times a day on high (27000 BTU) and the specs are 1.05 liter/hour or 0.277 gallons/hr. Overall it's not that much for us given the unit cycles on an off and is not on constantly. However, everything is relative of course. We carry 1200 gal on board and we burn anywhere from 20-40 g/hr while underway.

                        #14
                        When I lived on a 34’ sailboat I used two electric heaters to maintain temp. I used my diesel heater to heat the boat up when I was on board. I would usually use about 50 gallons of diesel per winter. On my OA I tried to heat with diesel only one winter. I found I was burning 50 gallons a week. While I live in Seattle were the water temp is 49 degrees and the air temp is usually about that as well, my boat has a lot of single pain glass, not the easiest thing to keep warm.
                        Azzurra
                        Seattle, WA
                        Ocean Alexander 54

                        Comment


                          #15
                          Tiltrider and Russel,

                          Thank you for the info. Given 50 gallons a week, I can not see the cost effectiveness of switching to diesel. (electric is included with my slip fees). I was looking into it for ease of use, and reduce power consumption. While diesel would reduce my power consumption, there is no way I am hauling fuel.

                          Scott
                          Scott Jones
                          Sea Ray 440 Aft Cabin
                          Liveaboard Start Date 1/May/16

                          Comment

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