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Thread: Heater for 220 Searunner

  1. #1
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    Default Heater for 220 Searunner

    Well i just bought a new to me, hardtop 220 searunner and have been looking around at several different types of heaters and price ranges. I would like to know from anyone out there that has a 220 or similar sized boat, whether a plug in heater works to effectively keep the cab warm enough for overnighters? I don't mind spending the $ for a nicer propane heater that puts out 6-9,000 BTU's, but is it necessary? The cab seems to small to me to try to add in a heater, but that's what i am asking this on here... If i do end up getting a propane heater from west marine or wherever, how hard is the installation and where do you normally run the exhaust to? Thanks for any help...

    David

  2. #2

    Default Heater

    Congrats, David, on your new boat. I have a 19' Trophy soft top with cuddy, and I was looking for a heater last year at this time for those cold mornings and an occasional overnight. Space was a major concern for me, also. Someone posted on this forum that he used a Buddy propane heater and had been quite happy with it. I saw the portable Buddy at Walmart for $65, said what the heck, bought it to see what it could do.

    It worked out terrifically. Heats the cabin area quickly on high, then put it on low and it keeps the cabin toasty for hours. I was originally going to strap it down in place, but I found the little heater held its place on the deck on its own even when bouncing around in heavy chop.

    It uses one of those 20 lb screw in disposable propane cylinders--I've gotten about six hours plus use from one cylinder on low. Here's a link: http://www.mrheater.com/product.aspx?catid=41&id=24. There's a big one and a portable--the portable is more than adequate.

    And thanks to the boater on this forum who mentioned this heater last year!

    Larry

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    Default RE.

    Larry,
    Thanks for the information about the buddy propane heater. Like i said before i do not mind spending the money, but if i don;t have to then why would I ? If i can save some money on an expensive heaer then i can afford more gear for the boat and other little things like a portable BBQ... =) Thanks again..

    David

  4. #4

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    I used the buddy heater in my 26 ft Pacific Cruiser and it worked great except for the moisture it created in the boat. If you are willing to spend some money I would recommend an Webasto or Espar. Runs on diesel or Kerosene and will dry out your cabin. Both units just sip fuel. I installed the Webasto and really like it.

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    Member zigzag's Avatar
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    I own the 220 weldcraft and made some modifications to it with the Propane dickinson heater p9000. If I were to do it over I would get an Espar to be able to put the heat on the floor and to the front windows. The heater does well but on cool nights in Whitter it barley keeps up. It is suppose to be a dry heat but because it pulls air from outside instead of your cabin the air is still moist. Look on EBAY for Espars and they are comparable to the propane heaters in price. I have attached some pictures of the heater and where I installed it.
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    Another....
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    Default Where is the fuel source coming from?

    Zigzag,
    Where is the unit getting the propane from that it's running off of? Did you mount a bottle somehwere under the sink or another part of the boat? From the looks of your boat i have less usable room to place it in. I have the standard 220 with the bench 2 bed seats in the back portion and then a gap before the front seats... Just wondering...

    David

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    Member zigzag's Avatar
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    Mine also had the two bench seats in it. I turned it into a more user friendly boat for my family. The propane unit is in the back of my boat under the fish hold. I have the ext. transom so there is two compartments back there. I ran the line under the gunwale into the cabin. My next project is to put the propane bottle in a propane locker for safety. If you are going with propane I suggest you look into a locker and where you can mount it. I believe you have the same amount of space on your cabin wall as I do. If you go this route look into the p12000. It is a little bigger but should fit and puts out way more heat. These aluminum cabins take a lot to heat.

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    Default It uses one of those 20 lb screw in disposable propane cylinders

    That would last about a month....I believe he meant a 1lb disposable propane cylinder The little buddy heater is great, it will go out automatically if you tip it over or even tilt a little trying to move it.

    The big buddy can be run low, med or high, and has a d-cell battery powered fan which is nice to move the heat around. If you have room for it, you can heat the cab in a hurry and then turn it down. And, it will work if it's really cold and the little buddy can't keep up. It also goes out if tipped or moved carelessly, and can be run on a bigger 5 gal/20 lb tank that lasts a long time.

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    Default espar is out of my range

    Well when i said i would pay the $ for a better one, i didn't expect them to be 1,500 dollars for the unit. I was looking more in the range of 700 or so for a fixed mount heater. Guess the buddy is gonna win this battle until i get froze out or something. I saw where wallaces' smaller units were around the 700 dollar mark from west marine, so that may be an option is the instillation doesn;t run me too much. I was thinking a 1,000 was the high end to heat a cab that small. If you have any other suggestions throw this way, cause i am fairly new at this whole thing... Thanks

    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDwhatley View Post
    Well when i said i would pay the $ for a better one, i didn't expect them to be 1,500 dollars for the unit. I was looking more in the range of 700 or so for a fixed mount heater. Guess the buddy is gonna win this battle until i get froze out or something. I saw where wallaces' smaller units were around the 700 dollar mark from west marine, so that may be an option is the instillation doesn;t run me too much. I was thinking a 1,000 was the high end to heat a cab that small. If you have any other suggestions throw this way, cause i am fairly new at this whole thing... Thanks

    David
    Just a tip, here, if you go with the buddy, just make sure you don't check out another boat with one of the diesel/kerosene forced air units. It will end up costing you. I had the wallas 1300 in my old hewescraft and it was okay. I had some problems with it, but it took the edge off and pulled the moisture out of the cabin. I have an espar in my current boat and have never looked back. We have fired it up in the winter at -20 and it brought the cabin temp up into the upper 70's before I turned it down. Do a search on boat heaters. This subject seems to come up quite often.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member ken210's Avatar
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    I have a buddy heater in my 22 hewes hard top. It works pretty dang good for an $75 investment. It keeps the cabin toasty on chilly days. But I'm going to upgrade to the bigger one with the fan to push the air a little better.

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    Default I'm looking hard...

    Well i have been online for a few hours reading all the reviews etc. about a variety of boat heaters. The one thing that seems to be the biggest issue with the "big buddy heater" is that it tends to shut off alot on a rollers over 2 feet or it will crap out if you don't have a filter on the line (for the larger tanks). I was looking at a wallace and some other brand and they both are around 700-800 dollars each for one that puts out around 5-7 k btu's. I think that would be fine for the boat i have, but how much does the install cost on that kind of rig?? I am not that mechanically inclined, so i would more than likely have to have someone install it for me. In all reality i am not going to spend a ton of nights on the water, which is the biggest reason i have for getting one, but just something to cut the chill while out and around would be nice.. I just don't want to end up regretting not spending the $, but at the same time i have to appease the saving security guard (the wife) if i dig in too far..

    David

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    Default Mr Heater

    I mounted the Lil Buddy heater in my 20' soft top. I use the 1lb bottles and usually have to run it on it's lowest setting. We slept in the boat in April when temps were just below freezing and kept the cabin warm with only body heat and the pilot light. (granted we used good sleeping bags)

    I've never run an external bottle so I can't speak to the filter issues. I've run dozens and dozens of 1lb bottles over the years and NEVER ONCE had a problem.

    Rollers have never caused the "shock sensor" to shut off. Pounding wave after wave will shut it down but my wife and kids will sooner shut me down!!! Typically we use the heater when stopped (anchored or drifting). When under power it will occasionally shut off if we smack a wave but it is WAY, WAY easy to slow down, pick a different course and meanwhile have the co-pilot restart the Lil Buddy.

    As far as economical, safe heat... THERE IS NOTHING BETTER. (in my opinion of course)

    PS... We also used ours in the vestibule of our tent on a 15 day Kodiak bear hunt. We'd run it for 15 minutes in the morning to knock of the chill and then used it occasionally when we were hunkered down surviving 100mph wind gusts... They are fantastic little heaters. Buy one, try it... IF you decide you don't like it - post it on the swap and sale... It will sale in a heart beat.

  15. #15

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    Thought of something after hearing a few comments about moisture and aluminum boats; is it not advisable or feasible to insulate the aluminum cabin wall/ceiling? Seems like that would help solve some issues. How about a thin layer of spray polyurethane insulation (like for houses and such) and put thin plywood/doorskin over it for cosmetics? Would think it'd help keep the heat in and possibly quiet the boat a little?
    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    Thought of something after hearing a few comments about moisture and aluminum boats; is it not advisable or feasible to insulate the aluminum cabin wall/ceiling? Seems like that would help solve some issues. How about a thin layer of spray polyurethane insulation (like for houses and such) and put thin plywood/doorskin over it for cosmetics? Would think it'd help keep the heat in and possibly quiet the boat a little?
    Jim
    My walls,ceiling, and cuddy are insulated with foil backed foam board and then covered with thin sheet of plywood laminated with a marine vinyl. It really cuts down on the noise and keeps the heat in. I have seen people insulate the cabin of their hewescrafts with marine grade carpet, too. Looks like a lot of work!

    Here is a pic of the insulation installed (you can also see the Espar installed) :



    and the finished product:

    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Default Simple and easy

    Well i do have the ceiling and part of the upper sides covered with carpeting. After all the comments posted i am going to try to use the big buddy heater until i get a cash inject or the wife gets tired of being cold (if that turns out to be the case). A simple propane heater is easier and cheaper for now. I am ready to hit the water as soon as i get a weekend away from work. Hopefully the shrimping will be worth going for since i don't know where to go for halibut just yet.. Maybe some rockfish atleast or troll for some kings. I'll figure it out after i get out...

    David

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    MD...sent you a PM

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    Spoiled one,

    How is the insulation attached to your walls? Is it glued? That looks really nice and warm. That might be a little fancy for my boat but if it is easier than carpet to install it might be worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zigzag View Post
    Spoiled one,

    How is the insulation attached to your walls? Is it glued? That looks really nice and warm. That might be a little fancy for my boat but if it is easier than carpet to install it might be worth it.
    It is just friction fit. The teak trim holds the finished veneer in place , which holds the insulation in place. I believe the only glue used is the glue that laminates the vinyl to the I think it would be a lot easier than gluing in marine grade carpet. The stuff is cheap, too. I believe they just purchase it at home depot by the sheet and cut it to fit. A nice finished birch veneer would be fairly inexpensive and look great with the modifications you have already made. You are welcome to come and check it out if you would like.

    Pete
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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