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Thread: Espar 4

  1. #1
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Default Espar 4

    Just got done installing a Espar 4 in my Ocean Roamer Sport 34, wow! next is a Espar Hydronic topkeep my engine and water heater from freezing. THe instructions are vague, parts come in bags listed like bag one and bag 2 but no instructions refering to the bags!! needless to say it works great!
    Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
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    Glad that heater worked out for you. Funny, I was thinking about starting up a thread on heaters for boats (again likely).. MY old propane RV heater bit the dust, so I started the search for something new, exciting, and warm. My neighbor installed an Espar in his outboard. His is a diesel operated 18,000 b.t.u. After season I talked w/ him and he loved it. That little unit kept him t-shirt warm on the Yukon in September, and drinks very little fuel. I've looked on e-bay to start with. Does anybody have any success stories for heaters that are relatively simple to install, lightweight, compact, cost friendly, and use little fuel?
    My boat has a gas driven outboard, but a different type of fuel is not really an issue. I kept a propane tank on board for years for that RV heater. If I went to diesel I'd just have a custom tank built to fit a niche out of the way.
    Thanks,

    ARR

  3. #3
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    THe Espar was pretty easy to install, I really didnt use the manual it was useless. The most diffuclut was getting fuel from my 330 gal tank. Price with all hardware except exhuast wrap and furnece cement was $2300, for a heater your better off getting new.
    Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
    www.kodiakcombos.com

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    Member f0zzy2's Avatar
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    ARR I found my D2 on eBay from a trucking company for $1200. They make a gas version but from what I researched the gas one's don’t work consistent like the diesel fired ones. Pretty easy install and compact. I'm on my 4th season with mine and have not had a problem. A D4 will put out more BTU but the only time I really have got cold was in Oct on the Delta clear water. I run mine almost every time I’m out and I only use about 3 gal. of fuel. I sleep in the boat heater running all night with no problems as well. They really sip the fuel and amps. There are some tanks you could use some where over in one of Cliff’s yards. I sent a whole pallet from the slope to Oz.

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    I was surprised to hear my neighbor say he got such good heat out of such a small unit. So far I just don't find much bad about them. I'll keep looking to see what I can find, you know me, always looking for a good deal. Neighbor said he bought his for $600 or so. I like that idea.
    I'll keep those tanks in mind. If I can't find one, Oz can make one for me in all of his spare time,
    ARR

  6. #6
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    We just finished the bulk of our install on our D4 and fired her up for the first time last night. This winter, we plan to finish the warm air ducting, properly secure the wiring, and we'd like to install a more permanent fuel tank (probably a custom aluminum tank that fits behind the bench seat). But, for now, it's operational and really pumps out the heat!

    The install was pretty straight-forward, once we decided on the heater's location. Our kit (purchased from Advanced Diesel in Anchorage) came with the truck installation manual, but I downloaded the marine manual as well. The only nerve-wracking part about the install was drilling the 2" hole in the side of the hull for the through-hole exhaust fitting. We wanted to make sure it was EXACTLY where we wanted it. It wasn't something I wanted to screw up.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakcombo View Post
    THe Espar was pretty easy to install, I really didnt use the manual it was useless. The most diffuclut was getting fuel from my 330 gal tank. Price with all hardware except exhuast wrap and furnece cement was $2300, for a heater your better off getting new.
    Installed a D4 in a customers new North River with a diesel jet this spring. He loves it. Set the temp on the remote thermostat and it keeps his boat nice and warm when he's parked. They are relatively easy to install depending on your space requirements and vent routing. We tied the warm air outlet into the standard defrost/floor heater from the engine heater. Frontier Fabrication sales the unit for $2200 and includes a 50mm thru-hull exhaust fitting. You'll still need a length of 50mm exhaust hose. The cost will depend on the length needed. Exhaust wrap for the hose can be obtain at Napa.

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    Hey Dan, how about posting some photos of your install. I want to install one and am looking for mounting ideas. Thanks.

  9. #9
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Our install isn't really conducive to good pictures, REFAK. Everything you want/need to see is hidden. I'll do my best to describe it, though.....

    Our boat (Koffler) has a a shelf about 1/2-way between the gunnel & floor. We bolted a sheet of aluminum between the gunnel and the shelf, and the heater is mounted to the back side of it. The wires are routed under the gunnel, up high and away from the exhaust hose. The exhaust through-hull is about as high on the side of the boat as we could get it, while still maintaining a goose-neck bend at the top to prevent water from splashing into the exhaust port. The combustion air is drawn from from a plastic through-hull in the back of the cabin's bulkhead, and the fuel supply line comes up from the bottom, through the shelf. The fuel pump is mounted on the back of the storage box that holds the captain's chair; it's well-hidden and out of the way. An outboard motor fuel tank works as our diesel tank, fitted with a nipple instead of a typical quick disconnect. The tank sits at the driver's seat (something we hope to rectify before spring). The Espar digi-controller is mounted right on the dash, and all of the heater's wiring is under the dash.

    If/When I take it apart again (when we get the new, premanent fuel tank for instance), I'll try to remember to snap some photos.

  10. #10
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    I picked up a used Bayliner with a Wallas Sail 1800 btu. I didn't realize it, but it was in pretty bad shape. A $60 kit and fresh fuel has it all perked up. Starts up good and blows a lot of hot air.
    I would buy used, but at a deep discount. Plan on it needing to be serviced. As long as there's no sign of serious corrosion and the fans work and the electrics try to function, you should be good.
    I'm not familiar with the Espar's, but having ducts so that you can move air to different areas of the cabin (in my case, a forward sleeping area, bathroom, main cabin) would matter more than a single large cabin.
    The warmth is pretty nice, but the big payoff is waking up in the morning in a dry, dry boat.
    Very low current draw, pretty quiet.

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