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Fitting diesel air heaters


vanboosh
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I currently I have a back boiler connected to the various radiators down the boat (which I'm very happy with), but due to my odd working hours, I can't maintain a fire 24/7, so I'm going to fit a diesel air heater into the mix. There's an old Mikuni boiler in the engine bay, so I'm going to remove that and hopefully use the exhaust and fuel pipes from it (need to double check this is actually possible, though). My main concern is the ducting into the boat: Has anyone else fitted one of these and did you have to cut a giant hole through the bulkhead of the engine bay into the main cabin? If so, how big was the hole? And whats the smallest diameter ducting you can use? I only want it for the bedroom and bathroom, so don't need it to go down the whole boat.

Edited by vanboosh
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From memory my blown air heating pipe is about 3" (75mm)  diameter. I'd suggest that you wrap the pipe in silver bubble wrap and wire it / tape it around the pipe or you lose quite a bit of heat between heater and vent.

 

Mine is 8Kw in a 36' x 14' boat with 6 outlets, it gets the boat more than 'warm' within 10 minutes, the heater goes on when we get on the boat and unless it is summer time, stays on until we leave the boat - temperature is controlled by the room thermostat.

 

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO CONSIDER IS ELECTICITY.

 

Mine uses a continuous (almost)10 amps whilst running (and 30 amps for start up) - thats potentially 240Ah per day so look very carefully at the type / size you buy , your battery bank size, and how you plan to replace / charge your batteries.

 

 

 

 

Screenshot (104).png

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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15 minutes ago, David Mack said:

So why not use the Mikuni to heat your radiators?

My back boiler does a good job with the radiators and I'm after something more or less 'instant', i.e. for the 30 mins in the morning before work, type stuff. Also, from what I can gather from the previous owners, the Mikuni was replaced by the current set up because it was fairly terrible. 

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15 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

From memory my blown air heating pipe is about 3" (75mm)  diameter. I'd suggest that you wrap the pipe in silver bubble wrap and wire it / tape it around the pipe or you lose quite a bit of heat between heater and vent.

 

Mine is 8Kw in a 36' x 14' boat with 6 outlets, it gets the boat more than 'warm' within 10 minutes, the heater goes on when we get on the boat and unless it is summer time, stays on until we leave the boat - temperature is controlled by the room thermostat.

 

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO CONSIDER IS ELECTICITY.

 

Mine uses a continuous (almost)10 amps whilst running (and 30 amps for start up) - thats potentially 240Ah per day so look very carefully at the type / size you buy , your battery bank size, and how you plan to replace / charge your batteries.

This is great info, thanks Alan! Most of the time I'm on shore power. When I'm cruising, I'll be onboard so I can maintain the stove. Is yours situated in the 'engine bay'? If so, have you just cut a hole in the bulkhead and fed the ducting through that and then through the boat?

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50 minutes ago, vanboosh said:

This is great info, thanks Alan! Most of the time I'm on shore power. When I'm cruising, I'll be onboard so I can maintain the stove. Is yours situated in the 'engine bay'? If so, have you just cut a hole in the bulkhead and fed the ducting through that and then through the boat?

 

Yes unit is in the engine bay with the air intake in the engine bay and the exhaust exiting thru the hull.

 

The  3" insulated air-pipe goes thru the bulkhead and is T'd  (actually a Y to minimise resistance) to route the air pipe to each cabin area (6 outlets)

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We've fitted one in the engine bay on our cruiser stern. As Alan said, 75mm hole in bulkhead for outlet. Ours takes the inlet for heated air straight from engine bay, but might change this at some point to take from cabin to reduce hot engine smells! Combustion air from engine bay as well, and exhaust to skin fitting on side. 

 

We fitted one of the generic cheap Chinese 5kw units that are all over ebay. Cost around £80 for heater, but budget on the same again for fittings if needed. You can't use any of the installation fittings that are supplied with kit, as not suitable for boat installation and will fail BSS unless you change them. Heater itself is fine though, well made, reliable, and easily controllable heat level. You particularly can't use the standard silencer - you need the marine silencer, standard silencer has drain hole for condensation, and is not sealed in any way! 

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6 hours ago, Tom and Bex said:

We've fitted one in the engine bay on our cruiser stern. As Alan said, 75mm hole in bulkhead for outlet. Ours takes the inlet for heated air straight from engine bay, but might change this at some point to take from cabin to reduce hot engine smells! Combustion air from engine bay as well, and exhaust to skin fitting on side. 

 

We fitted one of the generic cheap Chinese 5kw units that are all over ebay. Cost around £80 for heater, but budget on the same again for fittings if needed. You can't use any of the installation fittings that are supplied with kit, as not suitable for boat installation and will fail BSS unless you change them. Heater itself is fine though, well made, reliable, and easily controllable heat level. You particularly can't use the standard silencer - you need the marine silencer, standard silencer has drain hole for condensation, and is not sealed in any way! 

Out of interest, do you use any ducting inside the boat and if not how far does the warm air travel.

Cheers

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We just have the outlet straight through the bulkhead near the steps. Gets the bedroom very warm very quickly. Could easily feed more outlets, these heaters are very good and a quick way of getting heat into the boat. We also have an outlet on the back deck near feet which makes a big difference to winter cruising. Heater gives plenty of air flow to both outlets 

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