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powa77
powa77

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:44pm

Post Subject: heating

Can anyone tell me what kind of heating system I should have in my new build wide beam, I will be living on the boat permanently. I have been told to go for gas by one person and diesel from another...confused.

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:29pm

Post Subject: heating

Dear Eve, I will confuse things even further - go for solid fuel. There are two subjects that seem to engender very entrenched views. Type of toilet and boat heating. As you specify a wide beam it should be fairly easy to ensure you have a separate tank for heating fuel. This is important otherwise you might end up paying extra duty of the fuel you use for heating, but you will not if you have a separate tank. If you elect to go for diesel using one of the "big three" makes of boiler (the ones that can do a fair impression of a jet engine at times)it will allow you to run it on 28 second heating oil rather than 32 second gas oil the engine uses. This seems to improve reliability in most cases. However I am not convinced that that type of heating is best suited to 24/7 use so if you are looking at diesel consider something like a Kabola boiler. Whatever you decide you will have to ensure you have an adequate electrical supply for anything other than a drip feed diesel stove/boiler. These can be fitted with a back boiler. Many people claim that gas boilers are more expensive to run than diesel ones but once repair maintenance cost are factored in I have some doubts about that, especially as the new Alde system is said to be much more efficient however that system can not be used if there is any copper in the boats plumbing so you need to make sure your builder understands that point. You will probably already have gas aboard for your cooking but if you are thinking of gas heating it would be worth ensuring the gas tank can accept 19kg bottles rather than the smaller sizes. You would have to be sure you can easily get new gas bottles because it would not be fun carrying any sized bottle down the towpath in this sort of weather. Again you need to assure yourself that your electrical supply will be adequate for the systems electrical demand, but it is usually modest, mainly for the pump which is thermostatically controlled so its not running all the time. Solid fuel can be messy but if you install a gravity circulated radiator system there is no electrical demand. You should also be able to store several months of fuel on a wide beam boat. It is also probably the cheapest system to run Now I can not advise you because it's a personal choice but what I can tell you is my decision. I have a combination of a gas boiler and solid fuel (no central heating) stove. The gas boiler gives a fast warm up and then the solid fuel stove helps reduce the gas demand. Nothing would induce me to fit a diesel boiler made by the "big three" because of past experience with one make and lots of anecdotal reports about reliability. However there are alternatives if you look in the magazine adds. I do not trust governments to play far with diesel taxation so I decided I did not want to be caught by future tax and duty policies so that put me off the diesel option. I hope this helps you firm up your ideas and please come back if you want more information. However if you want more detailed information you will need to em,ail me directly rather than ask on an open forum. Tony Brooks

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