Diesel Boat Heaters

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Boston, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
    Posts: 3,486
    Likes: 95, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 1148
    Location: netherlands

    yipster designer

    had a webasto diesel heater for 15 years, no problem
    did read somewhere to check the exhoust for gasleaks after 10 years..
  2. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    I installed 1/2" foil-faced foam in parts of my boat and these are the parts now with no condensation...I like the infra-red idea.
  3. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    I am working up the weight calculation now and will insulate accordingly
    I want to use foam for positive buoyancy up to the max swamped flotation line and reflectex throughout

    foam is heavier and has a lower R value but works better for flotation simply because of its greater volume
    reflectex is basically bubble rap with a foil face
    not much volume there but works great as insulation

    seems to me in a wood boat air circulation is key and (once again with the evil laugh) I have a plan

    my egg crate type structural design will be chalk full of weight saving holes which should allow for good air flow, also I was thinking of drawing combustion air from that area for the engine although I need to check the legality of that as its far from legal in a home

    Mark I believe the suggest you are referring to is to rig a set of coils in the Dickson to feed a baseboard system, not a bad Idea at all specially if I also plumb it into the coolant system of the engine to help it starting on a cold day. Im a bit fuzzy on the steam release system in case of overheating although it sounded like the heater has a device on it to prevent boiling anything
  4. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Yes, for occasional use, some people report the same for Webasto, Toyo, Espar (Toyo being the simplest of the three). It's the 200 days a year thing that really overwhelms them. We get accustomed in these parts to getting everything ready "for fishing season" and expect things to not break for a year. I am told the major difference between Webasto and Espar is that a Webasto has an aluminum burning chamber - I don't know but removing and getting an heater to a rep more than once a year would be more than I could take.
  5. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Bos, It's your boat, and I normally agree with you on things like this...but, IMO, floatation is silly. That's for skiffs that might swamp. If you expended the same energy to keep your boat upright and water-free, you wouldn't need floatation.
  6. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    ya but with my luck I'll run into something ugly right off the bat and end up with a hole

    as far as the heater is concerned
    I would greatly prefer to buy this thing once and actually get it to work first time
    so I think simple is better as is anything I can fix on the fly
  7. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    oh and ya
    I am doing my all to keep fuel engine batteries wood stove bla bla bla and fresh water at and below water line on this thing
    am using heavier more durable woods below the line and lighter wood above.
    am still working on the framing plan but once I get it down Ill present it for scrutiny/abuse and you can see what I have in mind then

    Joined: Oct 2002
    Posts: 4,519
    Likes: 109, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1009
    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Insulation is a huge problem on a wood boat as there may be condensation behind the insulation against the hull.

    Wet ,dry, wet ,dry , is the formula for wood rot.

    One of the big advantages the Dickinson style units has is its lack of use for electric.

    In the North East a large storm can take down the power.

    Hospitals , police stations , residential areas and stores come WAY! before a marina on the priority list.

    Lost power for almost a week , after a huge ice storm, and was AMAZED at how friendly the other live aboards became at visiting for a cup of coffee.

    And to be warm for the first time in a week!

  9. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
    Posts: 774
    Likes: 26, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 423
    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    I don't think wood boats are really meant to be insulated. The whole idea of insulation on a boat is a modern phenomenon that is really post wood. Happy wood boats need an easy and unfettered exchange of air between the ceiling and the planking and every where else. My boat's glass, insulation is mostly all upside for me barring fire.

    I bet you were a popular guy with the only warm boat at the marina!
  10. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    ya that sounds like cause for a party and like you made the best of it.

    insulation on a wood boat is a question I have seldom heard discussed on the forum
    reflectex is a great product and can be applied with a large air space behind it allowing for lots of natural circulation. as I said I was thinking of pulling combustion air out of this area from a warming box on the heater, should help keep the hull dry and keep air circulating in these areas. I'll show the idea on the plans and it should all become clear then. (fingers crossed)

    voids in the wood are subject to condensation and rot so foam fill seems like an idea I should look into rather than some form of loose fill and see how it worked out for others, if favorable I'll give it a shot. Ive used that foam in almost every house I built.

    otherwise Ill just go with the reflectex in semi exposed areas and because its so easy to strip out and inspect behind, its only taped into place with this silver tape anyway and on an egg crate frame it could easily be held up off the planking to allow for lots of air flow

  11. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
    Posts: 774
    Likes: 26, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 423
    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    Loose fill is completely out for who knows how many reasons. Foil bubble wrap has it's uses but I don't think you're going to materially affect your heat requirements much. I have no idea what you are referring to here "voids in the wood are subject to condensation" but have slowly learned it's best to wait for pictures when you are in invention mode.
  12. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Lol !!
  13. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    The Webasto or Eberspächer (same stuff) are excellent heaters and need no service for at least ten years. They run extremely efficient (much better than the classical Dickinson or Refleks (the latter my first choice), but make a noise and need some electricity, though not much.
    For the North American cruising grounds, where wood is to have almost for free, I would prefer a combined wood / oil stove from Refleks.

  14. capt littlelegs
    Joined: Apr 2010
    Posts: 237
    Likes: 8, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: -67
    Location: England

    capt littlelegs New Member

    In my experience you either get on very well with Webasto/Eberspächer or very badly, seems to be no middleground. I think some of that may be down to manufacturing calibration or more likely poor installation especially inadequate supply wiring or low batteries.

    They are a dirty burner and tend to produce carbon when starting and stopping so unless they run long and hot to burn it off, they can clog up. Wet heaters are more prone to this due to a lower combustion temperature and frequent stop starts.

    Mikuni and Hurricane are well thought of being miniature pressure jet types, economical and easily controlled. Hurricane I think are made in Canada.

  15. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    at no point did I even remotely suggest loose fill insulation

    foam fill might work cause it fills voids so nicely and sticks were you put it but I would want to research that a lot before try it

    reflectex is amazingly effective stuff R8 at 1/4 on an inch thick when used overhead and R6 when used vertically
    I used it in a camper trailer I built and with two people in a 28' trailer in the dead of winter just body heat was enough to keep that thing warm. granted I had a total of 2.5 inches of the stuff in the walls and ceiling as well as another 1.5 of nylon fiber bating under the cloth button hooked ceiling. that and a few inches of styrene in sandwiched in the floor but we had the windows open and were still kinda hot on more than a few occasions

    there must be a few folks who effectively insulated a woody in colder climes and have some experience to share
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.