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Propane heater

Feb 26, 2004
21,312
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
@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?
@Tedd What would preclude you using a small diesel tank for a heater?
 
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Likes: jssailem
Dec 28, 2015
920
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
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 pointed out first 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.
I think we are agreeing on the “heat” part? As for the CO detector/sensing. Regardless of mechanical design, when combustion is involved a CO detector is warranted. Shit happens.
I partially agree with your diesel comment until it’s heated. Diesel is safe at lower temperatures. The upper flashpoint of diesel is 125f ( as a comparison gas is -40f). There is a lot of things in a engine compartment that reaches 125f. Diesel only needs .7% in atmosphere to have a flammable atmosphere where gas needs about 1.4%. So it’s needs more energy but needs a lot less concentration that gas as a comparison.
 
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Jul 27, 2011
4,139
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
I think we are agreeing on the “heat” part? As for the CO detector/sensing. Regardless of mechanical design, when combustion is involved a CO detector is warranted. Shit happens.
Yeah. Similar “heat” that SS anchor chain receives about not being strong compared to BBB or other chain. Never mind that most anchors will pull out long before before any chain in good condition and of the correct size snaps, including SS.
 
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Likes: MikeHoncho
Dec 28, 2015
920
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
Yeah. Similar “heat” that SS anchor chain receives about not being strong compared to BBB or other chain. Never mind that most anchors will pull out long before before any chain in good condition and of the correct size snaps, including SS.
Anchors, swivels, solar panels electrical design/ components, out parts, props.......the list goes on and on. In all fairness I think I added (edited) to my post after you comment.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,139
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Anchors, swivels, solar panels electrical design/ components, out parts, props.......the list goes on and on. In all fairness I think I added (edited) to my post after you comment.
OK. Thanks for the insight.
 

Tedd

.
Jul 25, 2013
304
Macgregor 26S near Vancouver, BC
@Tedd What would preclude you using a small diesel tank for a heater?
Nothing precludes it, as such. But it would be more complicated to implement than a solid fuel heater or, if the boat already has a propane stove (likely), a propane heater.
 
Dec 28, 2015
920
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
Nothing precludes it, as such. But it would be more complicated to implement than a solid fuel heater or, if the boat already has a propane stove (likely), a propane heater.
What considered a solid fuel heater. Could I get a example?
 
May 7, 2012
827
Hunter e33 Maple Bay, BC
Let's talk numbers.

Totally unrelated to the OP's question but is interesting to note that Dickinson formally identifies the model as "10000 Cozy Cabin Propane Heater". (The bold is theirs not mine.} Yet the maximum output as advertised is 5,000 BTU. I have a Caframo True North Heater (electric) which has an identical maximum output (actually 5,125W but I am sure some of that is consumed by the fan). Maybe I am a snowflake but that Caframo electric heater cannot provide sufficient heat in our 33' boat for daytime comfort when outside temperatures are lower than 55F. So before investing time and money, take any 5,000W space heater to the boat. If you are satisfied then that box is ticked off. No sun allowed on your testing day 'cause that is rare in this part of the world from Nov to Mar.
BTW. It can be a challenge refilling propane tanks when out on the water.
:plus:
Yes there are a very few that can provide that service. In a normal year I sail anywhere from Olympia, WA to Cape Caution, BC and I can attest to putting on many miles on my feet trying to fill an empty propane tank. But it will depend on your cruising needs. These numbers may help out.
An 11 lb propane tank holds 2.36 gal of propane. One gallon of propane puts out 91,502 BTUs. Thus an 11 lb tank will supply a total of 216,000 BTU or 43 hours of use at 5,000 BTU/hr (max high). If this all you need then that box is ticked off.
 

Tedd

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Jul 25, 2013
304
Macgregor 26S near Vancouver, BC
What considered a solid fuel heater. Could I get a example?
<DICKINSON Stainless Solid Fuel Heater | West Marine>

This came up, for me, because a friend bought one for his boat and then ended up selling the boat before he installed it. So he's willing to sell it to me, brand new, for a good price. But I don't have any experience with this kind of heater so I was hoping to get comments from people who do.
 
Dec 28, 2015
920
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
<DICKINSON Stainless Solid Fuel Heater | West Marine>

This came up, for me, because a friend bought one for his boat and then ended up selling the boat before he installed it. So he's willing to sell it to me, brand new, for a good price. But I don't have any experience with this kind of heater so I was hoping to get comments from people who do.
Huh, owning two pellet stoves, I’d be interested in how this would work and how much attention it would take to light and keep going. I’ll do a little searching around. Thanks
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,359
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Reading the info, it is a "Wood/Charcoal" heater. Appears to work much like a Wood Stove. Perhaps you could burn coal. I guess the question for a Boat Owner in Vancouver BC would be what are you trying to accomplish.

If it is braking the chill of spring or fall to extend the sailing maybe into October or starting in June then sure. It will give your boat that warm and inviting air of a fireplace/smoke out the chimney. It will warm while you feed the fire. And you would likely put the fire out when you go to sleep. Wake and start the fire.

Would work for some.
About a week ago, My grandson came up to the boat with me for his first boat experience. The temps at night were in the mid 30's. During the day the temps climbed to the upper 40's. Once I had gotten the boat temps up the first day, we were very comfortable. We ran the diesel furnace so that the salon was about 65, and the V-Berth had the electric Oil heater that kept the temps about 60. Inside our sleeping bags we were toasty.

Not sure how it would have been aboard a boat with a wood furnace. I suspect we would have stayed up most of the night and kept feeding the fire. Both are doable it is just the choice you make.
 
Oct 26, 2010
1,228
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
Does anyone know where you can get a Webasto Airtop 5000 diesel heater serviced? I took one off my boat when I moved it from NY where the PO lived aboard to South Carolina. I haven't decided if I want to reinstall it or sell it but would not want to reinstall until I had it professionally gone through and serviced. I'm sure its not cheap to have it serviced. I've got everything needed for re- installation but use down here is limited but nice on a cold (by our standards, not PNW standards) but I don't know if I'll get enough bang for the buck reinstalling it. I have installed a 5KW generator and could run the reverse cycle AC for heat if I really need it. I"ve inquired around here but can't seem to find anyone who will service it except installed on the boat and I already have it removed.
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,359
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
This site might help you find a dealer or support services.
 

Tedd

.
Jul 25, 2013
304
Macgregor 26S near Vancouver, BC
@jssailem : My first choice is a diesel inboard and a diesel heater. But trailerability is a non-negotiable requirement for me, and inboard diesels are rare on trailerables. Most that are out there are out of my price range, or not suitable for other reasons. If I get lucky I might find a TES with a diesel inboard, or something like that. I guess there are a few Hunter 260 with diesel inboard, too. But, most likely, I'll end up with a gasoline outboard. So I'm looking at options within that constraint.
 
Dec 28, 2015
920
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
You could go with a all propane boat, outboard, cooktop and Bbq. This will eliminate multiple fuels needed and space taken. I bought a propane OB for my dinghy that uses the same green bottles as my bbq. I’ll take propane storage in the boat over gasoline cans any day.
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,359
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Understandable. We each set the priorities we want to meet. Some are easy some difficult and some not possible.

Your quest for an electric powered trailerable sail boat is a good one. Perhaps a diesel powered heater in an electric boat could be your optimum mix. Heaters are an add on item for all boats.
 

leo310

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Dec 15, 2006
317
Catalina Catlina 310 Campbell River BC
Try a 8KW 12V Diesel Air Heater LCD Thermostat Quiet 8000W for Trucks Boat Car Trailer on Amazon they start a $200 and up
 
Oct 26, 2010
1,228
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
This site might help you find a dealer or support services.
Already tried the "dealer" route. They only want to sell new or provide service for an "installed" unit. I'm looking for a service location that can check it out/refirb as necessary and bench test.
 
Dec 28, 2015
920
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
Try these guys. I have docs for on my boat that makes me believe the PO purchased and had services my Wallas there. They might do Wabasto
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