I have 22.5 foot woolridge with a out board and canvas top. What safe heaters do you reccommend to keep the chill off?
Hey Jim---how ya doin??
A few years ago I bought an inexpensive Coleman heater called the "PerfectTemp Event Cat"
Catalytic heater that burns on the small disposable propane bottles. I bought it specifically for late fall fishing at Lk Louise. I have it set up on the front step so its not in the way while we troll with the downriggers or are just drifting and pitching lures. Use a bungie to hold it in place. It claims to be safe for use in tents and enclosed spaces. Never had any trouble with fumes at all. Keeps the cabin a few degrees warmer even with the rear door open for easy access to those rods. Would probably be alot more efficient with the door closed, but then those fish would have too much advantage on me! HA
I think Coleman also makes a couple of other models a little larger. This one works for me.
Vent Free 101
The heaters like Gary's Coleman unit are what are referred in the industry as "vent-free" heaters, meaning they don't require chimney vents. This is made safe and possible by providing an "excess" amount of combustion air ( oxygen ) to allow for what is referred to as " complete combustion". Basically this means there is so much extra O2 ( oxygen ) that when it combines with the Carbon ( C ), Nitrogen ( N ) , and Hydrogen ( H ) of any fossil fuel the main byproduct of combustion is NOx ( nitrous oxide ) & CO2 ( carbon dioxide ) and other compounds I won't bore you with. Both of these are not good for you, but they easily dilute into the volume of air in a given space ( most people don't really realize our " air" is made up of approx 79% Nitrogen and 21% Oxygen ( O2 )-- yet they always refer to us as breathing Oxygen ) If there wasn't enough " excess air " the unit would begin to emit CO ( carbon monoxide ) as the O2 molocules break down into individual "O" molocules and become CO instead of CO2.
These units are all required to have what are referred to as an " Oxygen Depletion Sensor"-- this shuts the unit down when you begin to use up the available oxygen in the surounding area, and thus never reach the point at which they begin to produce CO ( carbon monoxide ).
Leaving a window cracked , or the back flap of a softtop loose or open will provide this safety factor of a fresh supply of air, as well as help diluting down the byproducts of combustion that are exiting into your surrounding air stream. Water is a major byproduct of any combustion process and that is the moisture everyone complains about when using these types of heaters. Mr. Buddy & Big Buddy heaters are another popular version. Sorry for the Chemistry speech, but understanding this process in a very basic form can help people understand better how to use these heaters in a safe manner in confined spaces.
Webasto in a canvas topped boat?
I've been kicking around a Webaso Air Top for a few years (you get a defroster too that way) but am shy about spending the money because I too have a canvas top and am not sure it will give me the results I want. The Webasto vents to the outside and is a forced air type heater that you duct to direct the heat where you want it. I've thought about installing a second layer of canvas inside the original top that would give me an air space and that would snap or velcro in to help retain heat. I've been using the Big Buddy since '04 and it doesn't seem to do much while under way and doesn't do anything for the windows.
Has anyone installed a Webasto or Espar in a 22-24 foot boat with a canvas top? How well does it heat the space up? I think it would be the ideal set-up if it would maintain 55-65 degrees in November and March.
Mr Bill thank you for the lesson I had wondered how they burned fuel yet were safe in a closed space like a boat.
Eggy I am straddling the fence much like you, the Espar airtronic keeps catching my eye and may just happen next year. The ability to run while the engine is off and actually dry my interior out as well as defog/ defrost the windows would be a great asset while fishing, hunting, and cruising.
I use the coleman with the little bottles when were sitting around or sleeping, doesn't take much and its time to turn it off, it has arms that prop it up, works great! I have an inboard so the heater is just like in a car, defrost on the dash and can switch it to the floor also, can't beat it. If you like how your truck heater/defroster works get an inboard.
Check out the " Direct Vent Heaters" thread
Check out the above thread in this forum, there is alot of info in there where we addressed sizing guidelines ( canvas vs. uninsulated hardtop will differ some, but not by alot ).
Read Fish Hammer's replies--- he shows pictures of how he installed his Toyo unit-- his selection for termination location is very well chosen, and both the Webasto and Espar use similar termination assy's.
What I like about the Webasto & Espar's is their more elongated & shorter rectangular shape ( tho' they are a bit deeper )-- they look like they'd fit under the passenger console and be able to run the termination/intake assy under the bow gunnel on the LH side of the boat, vs. the RH side like FishHammer has done. He chose that side due to the shape & size of the Toyo-- it really only fits out of the way below a console on the drivers side due to the extra heighth there on a Hewescraft.
All above mentioned brands are very good quality, you really can't go wrong with any of them. They're not cheap.
If you have any specific questions , feel free to send me a PM, I'd be glad to help in any reasonable way I can.