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How do you keep warm?

October 20, 2012

Many land dwellers ask us about “how do you keep warm”?

Having an engineer degree by education – obviously a response requires some thoughts, rather than just – well, buy a thick cable and use some xx amps to eliminate the chill/humid feeling.

Our answer- sounds pretty nerdy – goes like this:


So what does that mean?

Sources is the origin of energy that we need too translate to heat/comfort:

  • Electricity (can’t get that when out of civilization  and actually even in Sweden the grid breaks down, more because of poor wiring in marinas than supply shortage)
  • Fuel (yeah we have 800l diesel  tank, but still – some/many places don’t have supply)
  • Wood/peat/pellets/etc – actually most flex but requires storage and planning – tried to burn wet wood logs?

Solution = business/continuity planning – meaning you need all!

Electricity means having a 3x1000watt electric heating unit, that adjusts to different varying power supply. Sweden marinas range from” anorectic” 6amps  to 16amps. We use a fresh water circuit powered by a 300W pump to supply 4000w active radiators.  To make use of main engine surplus heating, we connected a heat exchanger to fresh water engine cooling circuit – adding 20% of 150 Bhp to boost heating whilst using engine with a  300W circulation pump switched to inverter powered supply.

Diesel Fuel. A lot of vehicles using Eberspächer can’t be wrong. We opted for a 5kw air delivered heater that is sufficient down to -5C. Requires 0.2 L/h. Silent. But still – not reliable for continuous services. Benefit – quick heating!

Solid fuel. Besides making the philosophy (3×3) complete – it adds to feeling of being able to cope with contingency/continuity/disaster recovery. Cosy log fire. Romantic feeling, back to basics. !

Actually – it is really great. Only drawback is today’s supply is for modern fireplaces. Which means you need to saw / ax down to more “boat like” logs. Keeps you warm. A great tip for sailors aiming for Scotland are Peat pellets. Does marry nicely with Islay Malt. We fitted  a 1940’s stove in our 49′ ship. Never regretted it – a must for serious liveaboards – specially > N 55.

So – to summarize

Electricity – delivered by heated water
Diesel – delivered by air
Solid fuel – delivered by radiation

Works well. In case a micro, compressed, nuclear heating device becomes available for yachting,

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 we might amend our philosophy to 4×4.

From → Sailing Notes

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