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Thread: Direct Vent Heaters and Electrical draw

  1. #1

    Default Direct Vent Heaters and Electrical draw

    The thread about the direct vent heaters got me thinking how nice it would be to have a heater on the boat. So I did a little research and ended up calling the Espar dealer in Seattle. In our conversation about the heater and installation he told me that all outboard motors don't have large enough alternators to charge the boats battery system. Even though the outboard manufactures claim x amount of output, the actual output is much less and eventually if you don't charge your batteries from an outside source they will go dead. He said they helped an Alaska Fish and Game boat that was having issues with their navigation electronics going out and when it was all said and done the problem was the twin outboards on the boat were not putting out enough charge to keep the batteries full and the heater was drawing the batteries dead. They fixed the problem by installing a house battery and another type of charger that has slipped my mind. I'm new to boat mechanics but does this sound right? I ran my boat all summer long and never charged the batteries by an outside source and when I brought them in for the winter they took very little charge. What do you guys think? Spoiled One did GC do anything special to your boat for your Espar installation?

  2. #2

    Default

    You need a dedicated " deep cycle" for the house loads. If it is drawn down, it wont affect your starting battrey.

  3. #3
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Default interessting question

    Quote Originally Posted by Hewey 260 View Post
    The thread about the direct vent heaters got me thinking how nice it would be to have a heater on the boat. So I did a little research and ended up calling the Espar dealer in Seattle. In our conversation about the heater and installation he told me that all outboard motors don't have large enough alternators to charge the boats battery system. Even though the outboard manufactures claim x amount of output, the actual output is much less and eventually if you don't charge your batteries from an outside source they will go dead. He said they helped an Alaska Fish and Game boat that was having issues with their navigation electronics going out and when it was all said and done the problem was the twin outboards on the boat were not putting out enough charge to keep the batteries full and the heater was drawing the batteries dead. They fixed the problem by installing a house battery and another type of charger that has slipped my mind. I'm new to boat mechanics but does this sound right? I ran my boat all summer long and never charged the batteries by an outside source and when I brought them in for the winter they took very little charge. What do you guys think? Spoiled One did GC do anything special to your boat for your Espar installation?
    Nothing special done on my boat otehr than a bank of two dedicated house batteries. I had one dedicated house battery on the old hewescraft and would run the heater, stereo, lights, and the electronics ocassionally without issue. My F250's will each put out 46Amps at WOT. Not sure what the output is at cruise or idle. I have never heard of outboards having issues with charging a bank of batteries. I suppose one could carry a honda 1000 or 2000 generator and a charger if the boat was not equipped with shore power.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  4. #4

    Default electrical consuption

    I have dual batteries and have had no problem.
    My heater,Toyotomi draws 96 w on ignition and 27 w on high burning and 17 w on low burning.
    The Rated out put on by honda 200 hp. is 90 amp(1118 watts). Actual charging output is 60 amps(756 watts)
    I do run Radar, gps, fish finders, down riggers, etc. I have had no issues so far. (knock on wood)

  5. #5
    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    Wasilla, AK
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    Default

    Interesting question in that even with house batteries if what they are saying is true you will never be able to fully charge your house batteries. I have only had one issue with my batteries and it was when I was running on one battery for about a half hour and when I stopped it didn't have enough juice to crank the motor and had to switch to the other battery. The only think I had on was the amp with the iPOD plugged in. Once I started the motor and switched back to the primary battery and let it idle for 20 minutes I could turn it off and start it fine. I thought it was just a weird fluke but maybe there is more to it.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  6. #6
    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Salcha, AK
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    Default Amps

    They make Isolators that will shut the power off going to your heater so it will not over discharge the battery. My boat's electrical control system runs thru an inverter that has a control panel that will shut the power off on its own. My heaters, and the frig are controlled by it.

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