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Old 09-17-2013, 07:05 PM   #15
searanger50's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Home Port: Cruising
Vessel Name: Tiger Bay
Posts: 7

Autumn is here in Eastbourne in the UK. The days are shorter, the first big gales have arrived and all of a sudden it's bloody cold. It doesn't help that our boat was bought from a couple that had spent 21 years cruising warmer climates. ur heating is currently 230V shore supply oil filled radiators (partially effective if you're sitting pretty dame close). Diesel fired systems (Webasto, Eberspatcher) are very expensive so we are considering a Propex gas Fired system. Is anyone else using this heating? How good or bad is it?
Answers before we freeze please.
Kevin & Sandy.

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Old 09-17-2013, 08:53 PM   #16
Join Date: Jun 2013
Home Port: Stockholm
Posts: 92

Danish reflex diesel stoves have a good reputation

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Old 09-17-2013, 09:23 PM   #17
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,188

We came very close to buying a Reflex for the main saloon. They seem very nice. The only reason we didn't was because an excellent deal came up locally on a used Newport.

We had a Force 10 propane heater on our previous boat. Didn't like it. Though it was vented, it still managed to bring a lot of water/moisture in the combustion process. Damp heat. Diesel is more carefully vented (I think) and ends up with dryer (warmer) heat.

You could consider a very small wood burning stove. Up front costs for wood burning (some also burn coal) stoves are less than diesel ones will be. In the UK, there are several small stoves available at good cost that we cannot get here in the USA.

Cheaper still are the small kerosene heaters (baby versions of the ones you see on construction sites or on farms). We lived with two of those for 2 years in our HOUSE when we lived in Japan. Cheaper than running our heat pumps. Just make sure and get a CO alarm with meter and use it. They will cost only $40 to $200 new and sometimes less. The round wicks they use are often $10 to $30 so if you buy a used one, make sure the wick is still good.

Other tricks we learned while living in Japan (cold, damp place in the winter) was that we could live pretty happy with indoor temps at 55F if we would wear warm clothes (get your longjohns!) and have good bedding. There we slept on a featherbed atop the mattress and under a down comforter. On the boat, we still sleep atop a featherbed (and no it doesn't get damp) and under a down comforter. Great way to stay warm at night.

Using small kero lanterns will heat up the boat a little bit as well. Not "warm" but passable and that's an easy, cheap thing to do. Again, invest in a CO detector/alarm.

Fair winds.
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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Old 10-29-2013, 07:12 PM   #18
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Home Port: Cruising
Vessel Name: Tiger Bay
Posts: 7

We now have a propex HS 2800 forced air heater and I have to admit it's great. It was simple to fit and it warms our boat well though so far it has not really got very cold this year.
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:19 AM
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:08 PM   #19
Join Date: Jun 2016
Home Port: Royston
Posts: 48

I have been living aboard, mostly in BC, for most of the last 40 years, keeping warm with an airtight wood stove. I have got up to 14 hours burn time ,on a load. The beaches here are piled high with driftwood , free for the taking ( a very pleasant way to spend your time). 15 minutes work gives me a weeks worth of free fuel. Most non urban ,full time liveaboards here use wood stoves.
I lived without a chain saw until about 4 year s ago, no problem.
I improved my axe and splitting maul by running several passes of hard surfacing weld along the cutting edges ,and resharpening it, being careful not to grind all the weld off.
The important thing is to make sure your stove is airtight and big enough. Tiny fireboxes are a curse.
No matter how damp your boat gets, an hour and a half with the wood stove running, and it is dry as a popcorn fart in a sand storm( as long as your boat is properly insulated)
Several of my clients have told me their boat is the most comfortable home they have ever lived in.
If yours is not, it can be. You are doing something wrong.

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