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Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:03pm

Post Subject: Central heating

We presently moved on to our 50 foot narrow boat with multi fuel burner found it very cold in winter so thinking of getting central heating we do not have a califior what would you recomend


Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:41pm

Post Subject: Central heating

There is no single right answer to this. It depends upon your personal preferences and ability to afford the running costs and installation costs. It seems that you have an instant gas heater for your hot water and this suggests to me it might be an old boat. If it is then the thermal insulation may be non-existent or very poor. If this is correct then your running costs will be higher than on a well insulated boat, whatever system you choose. Few boats have draught proofed double glazing and many have found covering the windows on the inside with clear plastic sheet or heat shrink DIY stick on double glazing for the winter makes a great deal of difference. gas heating is generally thought of as expensive to run, diesel heating is probably cheaper at present but the three major makes have got themselves a not very sparkling reputation for reliability although a lot may be to do with poor installation and poor use. A solid fuel stove with a back boiler running radiators by a gravity system is simple and has no electrical overhead, unlike diesel and gas boilers but the installation of the large pipes fairly high up in the boat may not be to your taste and may not be easy to retrofit in any particular boat. Diesel stoves like the Bubble, which can be fitted with a back boiler, seem to need frequent cleaning and in some narrowboat installations suffer from a lack of flue height. My own choice was a gas boiler feeding radiators for a controllable and fast warm up with a stove for "normal" use. In retrospect I think I should have organised the stove so a back boiler could also feed the radiators. If you want a diesel heating system then the Hurricane seems to have a fair reliability record but the Webasto, Mikuni, and Eberspacher diesel boilers are probably reliable enough as long as they are not allowed to run at low output for long periods. In the case of gas, diesel boilers, and a pumped solid fuel system you also need to factor in the effect their electrical consumption will have on your charging regime and electrical system. One reason I chose gas was the low consumption of the pump it uses. The lack of a calorifier may also imply an air cooled engine and they may not be fitted with a very powerful alternator for battery charging. I can easily use over 19Kg of gas over a week in the winter. Once you have had a good think and done a bot more research please feel free to come back with more questions.

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