Boat Heat?

Hey Y’all!

Spring has sprung!….but it’s still cold-ish. And instead of trying to explain my absence, I’m just going to write a quicky of one of the none-existent projects done on ol’ Zoot Allures.

So…in order to heat up a boat (or any enclosed area) without electricity, you’re gonna need a chimney. What the chimney does is get the smoke and co2 out of the boat and also sucks out the humidity. Humidity is created not only by the burning of any heat creating fuel but also by us exhaling. How inconvenient! Plus… boats are surrounded by water and….. you get the picture.

Most common boat heaters are run by burning propane, diesel, kerosene or solids like wood, pellets etc. Trying to keep things simple and cheap, and since I have a 2 burner kero stove with a ventilator overhead, my first attempt (and only attempt) to warm things up went something like this.

Alright, alright…let me explain. The concept is to keep the heat in and bad stuff (co2, humidity etc) out. Influenced by the Force 10 Cozy Cabin Heater, you light up the burner and on top of that you have a contraption that absorbs the heat and dissipates it in the room whilst removing the fumes out the chimney.

The contraption is a cylinder with a bunch of metal disks within and the exterior with heat fins. And of course an opening at the top for the exhaust. I unscrewed the ventilator and left it dangling temporarily.

After about half an hour I took some measurements.

Heat conclusions….. well…. when I got to the boat it 9deg C and in a few hours it was about 15deg C. Pa mal but not ideal. The biggest con right now is the stability. There is no way in hell this thing wont fall over if the boat was on the water so I’ve been thinking on ways to support it.

Anyhoo…… I think next winter I might just fork over a couple a 100 clams and get a Chinese knockoff of a webasto diesel heater

So stay tuned and warm-ish

Capt. Pete.

ps…… %$^%& wordpress changed again and it is literally impossible to place pictures where you want them within a text. Bad wordpress, bad!

pss…. I have apparently lost my blogging mojo…something I’ll turn y’all on to at some point.

About Sailing Zoot Allures

A demoralized mechanical engineer/ bass player/ sound engineer/editor seeks Freedom
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8 Responses to Boat Heat?

  1. Steve Yoder says:

    We had a Webasto on Siempre Sabado. Some previous owner had it installed. Good thing because we would never have forked over the kind of money they want for those things. But it did a great job. The unit itself was suspended from the overhead in the engine compartment, so, nicely out of the way. Exhausted through a hole in the hull, well above the waterline. It did a good job and we’re glad we had it. But nothing beats the wood cookstove we had on our first boat up in the cold waters of Puget Sound. Didn’t actually cook on it but it sure was great for heating the boat. Good luck Cap’n.


    • Steve! Great to hear from you as always.
      I would love a wood stove but I “wood” have to totally renovate the interior. Zoot Allures was spec with a webasto as an option. It had one some previous owner removed. The ducking with 3 vents is there and also a separate feed from the diesel tank with a filter… but I have no idea where it was installed. I was always astonished how you fit everything in Siempre Sabado!
      Those things are expensive but I’ve been checking out youtubes of the knock offs and the seem work the try!


  2. Hanna & Gustav says:

    Welcome back bro of sista!
    We missed les Allures de Zoot and you! H u G


  3. Glad to see you tinkering on the boat again. That’s a complicated looking heating system! I hate cold too. And, although I’m still at the marina (not for long), I stopped using an electric heater. I wear a coat inside and rub my hands every 10 minutes. I don’t think it’s as cold here in winter. Good luck.


    • We get these bursts of north eastern wind which brings the cold from f%$ing Siberia! When I watch our weatherman zoom out to show what’s going on in Europe, except for rare occasions, Portugal looks absolutely balmy!
      Not in the marina for long, eh. You owe us a big explanation on what you’re hiding from us!


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