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magictime

Electric heater - advice please!

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We're going to be stuck without heating for a couple of weeks while we cruise from Leeds to the Caldon to get both our Refleks stove and our Mikuni MX60 looked at. Hopefully the weather will stay mild-ish, but it's still likely to be chilly on board, especially overnight. So I was wondering about running a little - 500W? - electric heater on board, only during cruising hours while the engine is running. if that means, say, 6 to 8 hours a day every day, could we reasonably expect that to suffice to keep our batteries fully charged as well as running the heater? We have 1 x 70A and 1 x 110A alternator, if that helps.

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7 minutes ago, magictime said:

We're going to be stuck without heating for a couple of weeks while we cruise from Leeds to the Caldon to get both our Refleks stove and our Mikuni MX60 looked at. Hopefully the weather will stay mild-ish, but it's still likely to be chilly on board, especially overnight. So I was wondering about running a little - 500W? - electric heater on board, only during cruising hours while the engine is running. if that means, say, 6 to 8 hours a day every day, could we reasonably expect that to suffice to keep our batteries fully charged as well as running the heater? We have 1 x 70A and 1 x 110A alternator, if that helps.

No problem but you will not find it heats the boat whatsoever. Its the equivelant of half a electric fire bar and will disipate in the boat with not much warmth. I take it you want to run it through an inverter?

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3 minutes ago, magictime said:

We're going to be stuck without heating for a couple of weeks while we cruise from Leeds to the Caldon to get both our Refleks stove and our Mikuni MX60 looked at. Hopefully the weather will stay mild-ish, but it's still likely to be chilly on board, especially overnight. So I was wondering about running a little - 500W? - electric heater on board, only during cruising hours while the engine is running. if that means, say, 6 to 8 hours a day every day, could we reasonably expect that to suffice to keep our batteries fully charged as well as running the heater? We have 1 x 70A and 1 x 110A alternator, if that helps.

500w heater will be drawing (roughly) 50 amps.

An 800w will draw 80amps which should be OK assuming you are taking it off the batteries with the 110A alternator.

800w will be noticeably better (warmer) than a 500w heater.

 

I think you will find that 500w is not enough and the heat will be lost as quickly as it is produced as it is not actually 'big enough' to heat, and keep heating the space.

Close all the windows, curtains and doors and you may just feel some warmth inside.

 

Electric heating is not ideal and should only be used as a short term measure - it'll be OK if you manage it (keep it under control - make sure you switch if off before switching off the engine).

Monitor your battery state as you will be putting in much less than normal and if your normal consumption is fairly high (Fridge, freezer etc etc) then you stand a chance of taking your batteries a bit too low. Your batteries may not be fully charged as you go into the evening / night.

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How big is your battery bank at 80amps it won't last long, an hour or so at maximum before you are damaging your batteries. Most canal boat stoves are 5 kilowatts, most diesel heaters are 5 kilowatts the consensus being you need that much to heat a boat so 500 or 800 watts in a drop in the ocean. Try an electric blanket for a few minutes before getting into bed but spent the evening in the pub keeping warm.

  • Greenie 1

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1 minute ago, Detling said:

spend the evening in the pub keeping warm.

And fill up their black water tank rather than yours, whilst you are at it!

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11 minutes ago, Detling said:

How big is your battery bank at 80amps it won't last long, an hour or so at maximum before you are damaging your batteries. Most canal boat stoves are 5 kilowatts, most diesel heaters are 5 kilowatts the consensus being you need that much to heat a boat so 500 or 800 watts in a drop in the ocean. Try an electric blanket for a few minutes before getting into bed but spent the evening in the pub keeping warm.

This is invaluable information!! 😄

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Thanks all. Maybe I'll look for an 800W option; I know it's not much, but at this time of year we might only be running the stove on minimum (1.5kW?) and only through the day, so potentially a bit more than a drop in the ocean.

 

Pubs... Yeah... It might come to that but not really our thing (and we call ourselves boaters!)

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Its horrid going to bed with cold feet. Sit with feet in a bowl of hot water, wear woolen bobble hats.  Hot water bottle.  Electric blankets only use about 30-50 watts, About £15 on ebay, wrap yourself up in one. Hot soups and rum. Every 10 minutes leap up and jump up and down whilst clapping hands. Drink rum. Get intimate.

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18 minutes ago, bizzard said:

Drink rum. Get intimate.

But the balance is so fine Bizz. The more of the first, the progressively more likely the second right until the tipping point where perfect timing (which, we always fail to remember, is now becoming increasingly illusive) becomes absolutely critical.  The merest snifter in either direction, and by either party, leaves the gentleman out in the cold.  Its a miracle that there's any future generations of rum-swilling boaters.

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1 minute ago, ditchcrawler said:

The ideal thing would be a storage heater, heat it while the engine is running and get it back all evening

Nope, the ideal thing would be to fix the first one to go duff before waiting til the second one goes tits up! :D

 

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3 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

Nope, the ideal thing would be to fix the first one to go duff before waiting til the second one goes tits up! :D

 

Well yes, but to be fair I only had to wait about three days. Sod's law in action! And I was trying to fix the Refleks meanwhile.

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This is going to end in divorce..

I have considered this  heater/stove, https://www.force4.co.uk/origo-5100-heatpal-portable-heater-stove.html?utm_source=google_shopping&gclid=Cj0KCQiAn4PkBRCDARIsAGHmH3fvZx2hm-0mBkxKwBWK_0MaDMKdh06KKaystDWv3vp_0tMh6TUTpd4aAtA4EALw_wcB for emergencies.

Could be kept in the Refleks while cruising. 

Edited by LadyG

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1 hour ago, Sea Dog said:

Nope, the ideal thing would be to fix the first one to go duff before waiting til the second one goes tits up! :D

 

I cant argue with that 

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Book in to Travelodge, and hot-bunk. The male of the species takes the first shift on board, drives the boat over night, while his lady warms up the bed, breakfast at macDonalds and swap. 

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Book in to Travelodge, and hot-bunk. The male of the species takes the first shift on board, drives the boat over night, while his lady wams up the bed, breakfast at macDonalds and swap.

 

Do I hear an echo?

 

 

 

Echo

 

Edited by LadyG

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3 hours ago, magictime said:

Well yes, but to be fair I only had to wait about three days. Sod's law in action! And I was trying to fix the Refleks meanwhile.

Fairy snuff - s#it really does happen sometimes! :D

 

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6 hours ago, magictime said:

Hopefully the weather will stay mild-ish, but it's still likely to be chilly on board

.....err no!

Next week looks a bit chilly. After that the jury is out as the models are all over the place but could be equally as cold for an extra week. Looks like cold north westerlies for the next 10 days with some overnight frosts ....oh and windy.  Rain when Smelly gets back up to Yorkshire.

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13 hours ago, LadyG said:

This is going to end in divorce..

I have considered this  heater/stove, https://www.force4.co.uk/origo-5100-heatpal-portable-heater-stove.html?utm_source=google_shopping&gclid=Cj0KCQiAn4PkBRCDARIsAGHmH3fvZx2hm-0mBkxKwBWK_0MaDMKdh06KKaystDWv3vp_0tMh6TUTpd4aAtA4EALw_wcB for emergencies.

Could be kept in the Refleks while cruising. 

Ah - I'd forgotten about those. Hmm. Shame they cost ten times as much as a little electric heater, and use such expensive fuel, but I can see the sense as a backup option.

9 hours ago, Boater Sam said:

Gas stove?

That was one of my first thoughts, but from what I can see the portable, free-standing types that run off canisters seem to be marketed as outdoor items for fishing, camping etc. - are there examples that would be safe for use inside? Obviously the last thing I want to do is take chances with carbon monoxide.

 

9 hours ago, Dr Bob said:

.....err no!

Next week looks a bit chilly. After that the jury is out as the models are all over the place but could be equally as cold for an extra week. Looks like cold north westerlies for the next 10 days with some overnight frosts ....oh and windy.  Rain when Smelly gets back up to Yorkshire.

Yes, shortly after I posted that I saw a story about 13 inches of snow that may or may not be falling in Yorkshire!

 

Decisions, decisions. Maybe I should just cough up the £100 the heating specialist guy was going to charge to come and take a look at the boat next week while it's still in Yorkshire. But that's just money burned, whereas money spent on some sort of heater leaves us with a permanent backup option for future use.

 

If someone can point me to a sub-£100 freestanding gas stove that's actually safe to run indoors, that would probably be ideal, but so far I'm drawing a blank...

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There must be Catalystic gas wall heaters still about, most boats and caravans used them years ago.

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5 minutes ago, magictime said:

 

If someone can point me to a sub-£100 freestanding gas stove that's actually safe to run indoors, that would probably be ideal, but so far I'm drawing a blank...

Looking again now I see there are plenty of chunky stoves with space for bottles of up to 15kg which are therefore 'freestanding', but I guess what I mean is something smaller, more portable and preferably run off a camping-type gas canister.

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2 minutes ago, magictime said:

Looking again now I see there are plenty of chunky stoves with space for bottles of up to 15kg which are therefore 'freestanding', but I guess what I mean is something smaller, more portable and preferably run off a camping-type gas canister.

Remember that for every litre of gas you burn 'inside the boat' (no flue) you get 1 litre of water vapour / condensation - as well as potentially 'loads of' CO

 

I think if the BSS examiner sees one on a boat it is a 'fail', so you can see how they view them.

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