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Thread: Heater / de-humidifier

  1. #1
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default Heater / de-humidifier

    Any input on units to keep the inside of a cabin cruiser dry on multi day trips? Between prespiration, respiration and condensation the 5 of us and dog managed to pretty sell soak the inside of the boat on our last trip. I'm tentatively thinking of either a force 10 diesel or a Dickinson Newport propane unit.

  2. #2
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    We have a Wallas 85DU with the blower lid; it really keeps the condensation down. Runs for about 2 days on 5 L of Diesel. Really economical to run but a little spendy up-front.
    One caveat; at speed its needs to run on high, but at displacement speed you can turn it down. Something to do with air movement across the exhaust port.
    For us life one the boat would be miserable on those cold spring and fall days, and most of the summer this year.
    http://www.scanmarineusa.com/wallas_oven_85DU.pdf
    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
    OurPlayground.


  3. #3

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    We have a Dickinson propane heater on our BayWeld. It does a good job of taking the chill out of the pilot house and keeping condensation down. The only odd operational thing I have found with it is I need to have the fan blowing slightly in order to light it. The other thing to consider is the exterior does get hot, so the location of the heater needs to be thought out.

  4. #4

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    Here is my opinion on the heater/condensation issue.

    I spent a wet weekend in a boat with the Dickinson Propane heater. I found that it keeps the cabin nice and warm, but does absolutley nothing with the moisture. After also spending some time on a commercial boat with a regular Dickinson oil stove, I realized the issue with the smaller boat heater. The propane heater on the sport boat pulls the combustion intake air from the outside, it doesn't use the relatively wet inside air for combustion. The oil stove on the commercial boat kept the condensation down completely and that's due to the burning of the 'wet' cabin air.

    Any heater that has an intake/exhaust to the outside of the boat does nothing for the humidity in the boat, it only increases the temperature. These heaters are safer by not using the cabin air for combustion, but don't deal with the high humidity either.

    I know a Wallas furnace uses outside air for it's combustion, so they will not dry a boat out. I have no experience with the Wallas 270.

    I believe an Espar can draw cabin air for it's combustion, which will dry things out nicely.

    The Dickinson Pacific or Bristol diesel stove/heaters will also dry a cabin out.

    If there was a 12 volt de-humidifier on the market, you could use any heater you wanted, but I have yet to find one.

  5. #5
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    Default Dry Heat

    rmkak is on to the issue with air exchange in the cabin space with outside air. Even though the outside air may be at or near 100% relative humidity, heating it will reduce this considerably allowing for moisture to be captured and sent outside. Taking combustion air is a good way to keep air flow positive from inside to outside though opening a window can accomplish the same thing. A good drafting stove like the Dickinson or a unit with forced air combustion chamber like an Espar will accomplish this but some of the small natural draft units struggle. I had a Force 10 unit (originally diesel converted to propane) that only had a 1" stack. This was too small to draft properly in my experience so our cabin on our 26 Tolly never dried out. I suspected some products of combustion, which include water vapor, was the culprit so I never slept with this unit running. I had an Ardic forced air system on a bigger boat drawing combustion air from the engine compartment which worked much better at keeping the moisture down though we still had condensation issues while on the hook for extended time without making sure we got the outside air exchange needed. I also had a Wallas which worked much better than the Force 10.

    One thing we found handy was a chamois covered sponge to wipe down the condensation on the windows. This worked as a dehumidifier and helped keep down the moisture level some.

  6. #6
    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    The Wallas 85DU does use inside air for combustion, thatís why it helps keep the boat dry. When we are underway and the inside of the boat starts fogging up to the point the fans donít clear the glass, turning on the Wallas clears things up fast!

    A quote directly from this link
    http://www.scanmarineusa.com/wallas_oven_85DU.pdf

    All combustion exhaust gases and water vapor is vented outside, keeping cabin dry.
    Call Scan Marine and talk with them, great folks and great support.

    Another helpful link:
    http://www.scanmarineusa.com/techtalk_WallasProductTips.pdf

    Wallas cooking products and the 40D furnace use a simple insulated
    28mm flexible exhaust pipe running to a through hull fitment. For these
    products, the combustion air is drawn from the room where the device
    is mounted.

    Hope this helps,
    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
    OurPlayground.


  7. #7
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Paul,
    If you have the room go with a Bristol diesel stove, i've got one on the bowpicker and it just works great, keeps the cabin bone dry and the gloves & hats dry nicely on the clothes line over it, the oven is nice for cooking roasts & heating sandwiches. Always have a pot of hot water going for coffee, tea or soup(the searails keep it from sliding around). If you don't have the room look at the dickinson wall mounted diesel heaters, a buddy of mine installed one under his table(with the proper insulation & spacing from combustables) and its worked great for him. One thing about the oil stoves is that the install instructions do say that you need a fresh air source to feed the stove air with, i've got a vent hose plumbed in to the back of my stove, if you don't then if you try to run fast with the stove on they will backdraft and start smoking. Best thing about them is no electric needed to run them and they go a long time on 5gals of diesel. Also check out the Refleks line of oil heaters.

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  8. #8

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    Webasto diesel heater works pretty well. I installed ducts and vents pointed at areas I wanted warmer or dryer - it de-fogs the windshield faster than the Wallas stove.

  9. #9

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    What about fumes or safety while sleeping with the above mentioned units? When I worked on a Cook Inlet gillnetter; I think the 34' Ohima I was on had the diesel burning stove Potbuilder has; the rig was running the entire time we were on the boat; kept things nice and as he said, you can cook on it; don't think it'd fit too well on a small boat though. Not to be too negative but
    I remember when I was a kid we had a cabin in Canada; one year some guys died overnight cause there was a propane leak in the line going to the stove in their cabin.
    Jim

  10. #10

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    Bristol, Dickenson, Webasto, Wallas all vent outside. You don't get any exhaust inside the cabin so you don't have to worry about CO.

    My big concern about most propane (and alcohol) heaters is the open flame inside the cabin creates CO2, water vapor, and maybe a bit of CO inside the cabin.

    PS - the Webasto Airtop 2000 is very small. I installed mine under a seat. Can't cook on it though.

  11. #11
    Member ACBMAN's Avatar
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    I put an Espar D4 13,000 btu diesel heater in my boat,small,pretty easy to install and lots of dry heat,not cheap,$2000,if you want to know more message me.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    What about fumes or safety while sleeping with the above mentioned units? When I worked on a Cook Inlet gillnetter; I think the 34' Ohima I was on had the diesel burning stove Potbuilder has; the rig was running the entire time we were on the boat; kept things nice and as he said, you can cook on it; don't think it'd fit too well on a small boat though. Not to be too negative but
    I remember when I was a kid we had a cabin in Canada; one year some guys died overnight cause there was a propane leak in the line going to the stove in their cabin.
    Jim
    I have a Wallas in my boat and more importantly I have a CO detector. And a smoke detector. If there's incomplete combustion, I don't know if all the CO would be directed outside through the exhaust or if some could stay inside. I know people have died rafted up near someone who had a generator running through the night and CO drifted into their boat. And I've had my CO detector go off when idling with the stern to the wind and exhaust drifted into the cabin. And sometimes a boat can get that "station wagon" effect where exhaust, while under way, can circulate from the back of the boat forward into the cabin. So I strongly believe in CO detectors in just about all boats.

  13. #13
    Member DMan's Avatar
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    I was very impressed with the Espar, consistent heat and very dry.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  14. #14
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input, at this point I'm leaning towards the wallas as it seems like the cleanest install and the lowest chances of the kids getting burnt. Also having a cooking surface would be a big plus, amazing how mama's mood improves with a hot cup of tea.

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