Monday, May 2, 2016

Real Heat for Winter

Back in the fall, we had a Webasto diesel heater installed onboard. Now that winter is officially over, I can say that it was one of the best decisions we have ever made. This little unit turned our boat into a cozy home:

Ruler added to show size.
  • We were able to keep the boat at a cozy 65 degrees. We could have gone warmer if we wanted.
  • The warm air is blown throughout the boat so everywhere is warm. No more morning waking up to a 15 degree temperature difference between the foot and head of the bed. In the past, we used electric radiators. They do the trick, but heat only radiates so far. See my post from the 2013/2014 winter.
  • Our electric bills dropped. And by dropped, I mean plummeted. Those electric radiators use a lot of juice.
  • It's easy to use and the four new vents blend in nicely.
    Venting and control unit in the salon.
  • The unit is fed directly from our diesel tanks and uses a maximum of one gallon a day.
  • No smell. This was a concern of mine since I tend to be sensitive to fuel smells, but there was no need to worry.
  • We no longer need an engine room heater. There isn't a vent in the engine room but the unit itself kept the space well above freezing all winter.
  • The cats love it. Especially Latte. We had to buy another cat bed because she really wanted to sleep near the vent.
    The black circle in the background is the vent in our stateroom.
  • The initial install is costly. However, with the savings in electric bills, it will pay for itself within a couple years.
  • Install can take some time. It took two professionals from Eastern Marine Systems two full days to complete the install. We had the option of self-install but I'm really glad we had them do it. We do recommend Eastern Marine Systems if you are considering a diesel heater on your boat. They were professional and easy to work with. They even came back a couple weeks later to make sure everything was still up to par. So, this is listed on cons but it's not an actual negative.
  • The bow stateroom was not as warm as the rest of the boat. This is due to the fact that it is furthest from the unit. It may also be partially our fault because we keep the door to that stateroom closed to keep the cats out. I'm sure it would be warmer if air could circulate better. A small ceramic heater did the trick when we had guests.
  • It looks like a giant black octopus died in our engine room. The unit requires all new vents and the tubing has to go somewhere. I put this under cons but the venting doesn't get in our way.

By the way, we promised each other that we would stay on board at least three years. We just passed that mark this week and we are still thrilled with our decision.

1 comment:

  1. Love to see you back on the blog! I need to as well. :) And what…it has been three years? Wow, where did that time go? It's still so awesome you all made your dream come true. Sweet photo of Latte all snuggled up, and I can say for certain, your home is nice and cozy in the winter. Great decision!