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Propane heater

Nov 14, 2020
2
Catalina 310 Friday Harbor
We are interested in installing a small propane heater on our (new to us) Catalina 310. Considering a Dikinson Cozy Cabin, any thoughts on these heaters? Also having a little trouble finding a path from the propane locker to the bulk head between main cabin and owners berth where it makes since to install. Thank you for any ideas and assistance.
 

leo310

.
Dec 15, 2006
317
Catalina Catlina 310 Campbell River BC
you may want to look at a diesel heater as it would be safer than using propane and easer to install.
 
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Likes: merit25
Oct 22, 2014
13,362
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
@merit25 propane heat puts you and crew at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Sailing in the Salish Sea waters, other than during the summer needs to have a significant heater to keep warm. A couple of the electric oil heater or the ceramic heaters can cut the chill but during the winter season the boat will be cold unless you are attached to the marina electricity.

A proper diesel heater will keep your boat warm and your crew happy. This will make sailing year round possible.
 
Nov 14, 2020
2
Catalina 310 Friday Harbor
I appreciate the recommendations to go with a diesel heater. Do either of you have a specific model you prefer?
 
Nov 6, 2006
8,861
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Quick note, the Cozy Cabin heater has an exhaust chimney like the diesel ones so the risk of CO problems is not any greater when properly installed..
 
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Likes: Mechone
Oct 22, 2014
13,362
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I have a Wallas. Love it.

There are Wabasto, Espar, and now a Planar that are popular. A friend installed the Planar in his Catalina 36 and it worked great to keep us warm on an 18 day 2019 February Cruise to Vancouver BC, the Gulf Islands, Seattle and back to Everett.
 
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Likes: kloudie1
Jul 27, 2011
4,139
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
@merit25 propane heat puts you and crew at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Sailing in the Salish Sea waters, other than during the summer needs to have a significant heater to keep warm. A couple of the electric oil heater or the ceramic heaters can cut the chill but during the winter season the boat will be cold unless you are attached to the marina electricity.

A proper diesel heater will keep your boat warm and your crew happy. This will make sailing year round possible.
The Dickinson Cozy Cabin the OP mentions is vented to the outside (post #5). So, I don’t see it as presenting the risk you describe. It’s an installation. A diesel-fired heater installation could be every bit as much work b/c it might require ducting and would also require outside venting. But one major advantage is that it draws from the boat’s diesel fuel tank. Thus, no separate management of the fuel as would be the case with propane tanks.

BTW. It can be a challenge refilling propane tanks when out on the water. Marine fuel wharfs often do not, at least in So.Cal. For example, nowhere in Newport Beach Harbor, in Port San Luis, in Avalon Harbor, or in Ventura Harbor (places where I’ve recently attempted). You must arrange ground transportation (extra $) to get to a fill station in town, etc.; but Avalon doesn’t have one at all. This should be taken into account as one cannot depend on propane being as available as diesel fuel. You’ll definitely have trouble refilling in remote areas, such as in the BC islands. The popular thing now is “exchange” of tanks that you see about. That is set up for the R/V and home barbeque markets. Large tanks. Too large for convenient use on small sailboats! So, go prepared!
 
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Tedd

.
Jul 25, 2013
304
Macgregor 26S near Vancouver, BC
@jssailem : My next boat very likely won't have a diesel engine. I'm also in the PNW and I was planning to install a propane heater for year-round sailing, but I'm mindful of your comments. What do you think of solid fuel heaters as an alternative, where diesel isn't an option?
 
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Likes: jssailem
Dec 28, 2015
920
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
I have a Wallas cooktop/ heater in mine. It works really well. The heater keeps it comfortable but I wouldn’t say toasty in the dead of winter. There was a used one on Craigslist in the Seattle/Tacoma area a couple days ago. They are pricy new
 
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Likes: jssailem
Oct 22, 2014
13,362
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I am mindful of the various views on petroleum based sources of energy. I guess it is a question of what are you attempting to accomplish and how you might follow that journey while providing the environment you desire.

I look for the most efficient power source that transports well, provides the energy needs I desire and will supply these in the varied conditions I intend to travel while minimizing the foot print on the environment.

This is a tall order based on the research I have completed. Nothing is perfect. There are compromises.

For instance. The solid fuel that I know about is often wood stoves. They have a quaint rustic feel. While much better in their current form (wood pellets) the old stoves were terrible on boats. Require a lot of storage for fuel. If the fuel gets wet it is useless. A risk for Carbon Monoxide in the cabin and the open flame requires the cabin oxygen to maintain burning. Often inefficient in their heating ability. Low in heat energy produced to mass of raw material needed. Burning solid fuels contributes to free carbon in the environment.

On a boat, a Diesel furnace, appears to provide the most heat energy production for the least carbon foot print exposure.

I am seduced by the Solar, battery, electric motor propelled idea. But even that system is not a "Carbon" environmentally free system. The batteries are the culprit. What is required to be able to store that solar energy for a limited time is devastating to the environment. I always love to raise my sails. It is getting closer to limiting my impact, but even the sails construction is not free from impact.

So it is pretty much all a series of compromises. Just good to search and find the best for you.
 
May 20, 2016
2,955
Catalina 36 MK1 94 Everett, WA
I have both a Dickinson Newport propane and a Planar Diesel heater. The Dickinson keeps the chill out on 40+ days but won’t heat the cabin. The diesel will keep you toasty warm on the coldest days here in the PNW. Propane heaters like the Newport are no more unsafe than a propane stove and don’t put water into the cabin like the stove.

The big drawback of the Newport is you can’t run it while the RIB is on the deck.
2D2954B6-5818-43D9-A404-6FDFA830D77A.jpeg


Feb of 18 @jssailem and @Ward H went sailing with me on a winter cruise.. much colder than expected. The Planar was belting out heat for a solid week no problems, nice and warm.
1BC752B8-563A-4B22-B696-E6C2A4F498FB.jpeg
 
Dec 28, 2015
920
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
I am mindful of the various views on petroleum based sources of energy. I guess it is a question of what are you attempting to accomplish and how you might follow that journey while providing the environment you desire.

I look for the most efficient power source that transports well, provides the energy needs I desire and will supply these in the varied conditions I intend to travel while minimizing the foot print on the environment.

This is a tall order based on the research I have completed. Nothing is perfect. There are compromises.

For instance. The solid fuel that I know about is often wood stoves. They have a quaint rustic feel. While much better in their current form (wood pellets) the old stoves were terrible on boats. Require a lot of storage for fuel. If the fuel gets wet it is useless. A risk for Carbon Monoxide in the cabin and the open flame requires the cabin oxygen to maintain burning. Often inefficient in their heating ability. Low in heat energy produced to mass of raw material needed. Burning solid fuels contributes to free carbon in the environment.

On a boat, a Diesel furnace, appears to provide the most heat energy production for the least carbon foot print exposure.

I am seduced by the Solar, battery, electric motor propelled idea. But even that system is not a "Carbon" environmentally free system. The batteries are the culprit. What is required to be able to store that solar energy for a limited time is devastating to the environment. I always love to raise my sails. It is getting closer to limiting my impact, but even the sails construction is not free from impact.

So it is pretty much all a series of compromises. Just good to search and find the best for you.
What’s the carbon credit for the “reuse” of a 42 year old boat instead of buying new? Ar least that’s my excuse to buy used and not new. lol
 
May 20, 2016
2,955
Catalina 36 MK1 94 Everett, WA
BTW my Dad had a wood “fireplace” in his Santana 27. No real heat (less than the Dickinson). It also tended to be sooty
 
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Likes: jssailem
Jul 27, 2011
4,139
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
I have both a Dickinson Newport propane and a Planar Diesel heater. The Dickinson keeps the chill out on 40+ days but won’t heat the cabin. The diesel will keep you toasty warm on the coldest days here in the PNW. Propane heaters like the Newport are no more unsafe than a propane stove and don’t put water into the cabin like the stove.

The big drawback of the Newport is you can’t run it while the RIB is on the deck.
View attachment 187272

Feb of 18 @jssailem and @Ward H went sailing with me on a winter cruise.. much colder than expected. The Planar was belting out heat for a solid week no problems, nice and warm. View attachment 187271
Yeah. Diesel contains about 40% more BTU per gallon than propane. So at any given fuel flow, diesel will produce more heat.
 
  • Helpful
Likes: jssailem
Oct 22, 2014
13,362
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Sometimes you get forced to play the cards you are dealt.
If your boat came with a propane heater, then you dance with the girl you brought to the party... Or you toss her aside and go find a new girl... No that is not right.

If you are going to use propane it only makes sense that you properly install the unit, you regularly inspect the system and you have, on board and functioning, Carbon Monoxide Alarms that have been annually serviced. That way in the event you experience a CO issue in the middle of the night, you are awoken by the alarm.

It is as important as an anchor alarm, maybe more.
 
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Likes: Alansails
Dec 28, 2015
920
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
Sometimes you get forced to play the cards you are dealt.
If your boat came with a propane heater, then you dance with the girl you brought to the party... Or you toss her aside and go find a new girl... No that is not right.

If you are going to use propane it only makes sense that you properly install the unit, you regularly inspect the system and you have, on board and functioning, Carbon Monoxide Alarms that have been annually serviced. That way in the event you experience a CO issue in the middle of the night, you are awoken by the alarm.

It is as important as an anchor alarm, maybe more.
I agree. With a properly installed, maintained system with appropriate sensing, propane is in line with other fuels. Propane gets a lot of heat on this forum (right and wrong). I don’t see a lot of heat given to gasoline engines/ gasoline vapor. I wonder if it stems from the onset of CNG and those switching over going to bat for it and trying to increase its popularity.
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,362
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
CNG has advantages over Propane in a boat being lighter than air. Unfortunately it's distribution is more difficult due to pressure issues.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,139
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
I agree. With a properly installed, maintained system with appropriate sensing, propane is in line with other fuels. Propane gets a lot of heat on this forum (right and wrong). I don’t see a lot of heat given to gasoline engines/ gasoline vapor. I wonder if it stems from the onset of CNG and those switching over going to bat for it and trying to increase its popularity.
The “heat” as you call it typically comes from an inadequate introduction from an OP as to what is to be done. So, members may assume a poorly thought out application, and waive off the propane idea on general principles. But in this case, the OP said what unit he wished to install. A check of the product website reveals that it is a vented unit, and that was first pointed out in post #5. So, no good reason from a CO safety point of view not to do it if the bottle/tank is installed properly. But, nevertheless, propane CAN explode and set the boat afire, whereas diesel almost certainly cannot regardless of how it is handled. Just one more of the many risks of boating that can be avoided, etc. This is also mentioned with respect to gasoline vapors.
 
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