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boat heaters

 
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turbohoje
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PostPosted: Sep 13, 2009 8:35 am    Post subject: boat heaters Reply with quote

i had the pleasure of riding on a proper wakeboard boat for the first time yeasterday... all i can say is wow.

at any rate, it had a heater in it. the driver said the heat came off the engine.

do these heaters work by having a heating element like a car that air gets pulled through?

is there anything to stop me from getting a heating element off ebay and adding it to my water system and ducting some output?
such as:
is there a best place to take water from the engine?
does the engine make hot enough water to get by with 1 element?
is engine bay air ok to use (my boat is old and carburated)?
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bchesley
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PostPosted: Sep 13, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heatercraft is the only marine heater manufacturer that I know of and you can look on their website to get a better idea of the parts and how its installed. They are not that expensive to purchase from them. I have one and use it regularly for my wife and kids.
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turbohoje
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PostPosted: Sep 13, 2009 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, i totally checked out the heatercrafts. from the looks of it they use really small radiator hose and there doesnt seem to be much of a heater core inside that box.

i dont think my boat is worthy of a heatercraft, but is worthy of $50 in ebay parts to make-shift a heater. ive got enough space in the engine bay to pull this off as well.

when you put yours in, did you have to do anything to the thermostat to get decent heat?

i was thinking of only have 1 hose, my boat is not very big so i dont need to spring for something special. at any rate a blower off ebay might be $30, same with some heater core.

i guess its not much of a risk, perhaps i'll just give it a go and post up results. the most expensive piece of the whole thing is the mambe blanket. and it by no means has to go with the boat when i sell/sink it.
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SilverMustang35
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Joined: 30 Jul 2008
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City: Johnson City

PostPosted: Sep 15, 2009 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanted to go this route. I looked at the junkyards at Chevy Cavalier heater cores/boxes since they are all contained. You could do it that way. You have a water feeding the core and exiting the core back to the block. You have to have 2 hoses and the squirrel cage fans are different speeds at diff voltages. We have a 160 thermostat and it works fine. I ended up going the heatercraft route and I am glad. I got a 4 port heater and all the plumbing and kits (full kit) for 493 or 392 shipped from go2marine..its been a while and many projects ago. They are worth their weight for sure. We have 2 hot tubes and 2 euro vents. We also got the mambe blanket, AWESOME Blanket, and the company is great to work with too....
Good luck on your project, Also be careful putting it in the engine bay. The heatercraft products arent iginition protected so make sure what you get is ignition protected if you put it in the engine compartment so it doesnt blow up lol..

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turbohoje
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PostPosted: Sep 16, 2009 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah the ignition protection did occur to me. i was looking at the CFM of the heater craft models and that of bilge pumps. to get a bilge blower of comparable CFM, it would be more expensive than i'm willing to go and i might as well just buy a heatercraft.

this is just an experiment, not going to risk more than $50 on the whole thing. i got an LS1 heater core off craigslist for $20. i think i have a yamaha radiator fan (i know its a fan and should be a cage blower) that i'll give a go. then some cheap lowes dryer hose and some fittings to tie into the engine should at least tell me if this is going to work at all.
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kartman
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Joined: 29 Oct 2008
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City: meridian, Idaho

PostPosted: Sep 16, 2009 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like it will work out just fine to me. you should pick up a cage blower from a car at a jy for around 10$. it will direct the air alot better.
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SilverMustang35
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PostPosted: Sep 16, 2009 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turbohoje, good luck getting the hose at lowes, unless you arent specific on the size you need. The dryer vent hose isnt the same as the heatercraft size. Heatercrafts is 3inch. Ironically what works is RV Sewer hose from walmart. It is 3 inches and 25 feet is about 6 bucks Smile
Its more insulated than the heatercraft original tubing neways.
Sounds like you are on your way to make it work...

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stinky_1
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Joined: 10 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Nov 10, 2009 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looking for updatges on this. I was planning a similar project on my old Nautique.

My biggest concern, or questions is, are these systems incorperating some sort of pump as well? When I built my shower system I was surprised to find out I need a pump as well to get anyt water to flow.
I suspect I will have to do the same thing with this. So, I would need a hose off the engine, to a pump, to the heater core, then back to the engine.

And a fan to blow air over the core to get the warm air out.

I was going to skip the vents idea, and just have the heater mounted under the front dash. Turn the front seat around, and the kids have a nice little warm air compartment.

We also end up with 2 life jackets for each kid. One they go in the water with, and one that they have dry to wear on the boat still.

Any pics, or details you can share would be great!

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txnx
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PostPosted: Nov 11, 2009 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinky

The water will be flowed by the existing water pumps on the engine. Ideally you will want to "T" in just before the manifolds, check your manifolds, you may have a water rail that is already tapped and threaded on the ends, if so you can simply get a barbed fitting to clamp a supply heater hose to. So you would need a hose from the engine to the heater core and then the return line to the engine. I personally like the air hose to vents, I have an air hose running from the front helm 10ft plus to the rear seating and the air still blows hot.

Someone mentioned ingnition protection - I don't see how that is necessary if you do not mount your blower and associated switches in the engine compartment. I have a heater craft but if I had to homemade a unit, I would still mount it under the driver's helm.

This would be an easy project if you have the time - IMO.

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stinky_1
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PostPosted: Nov 11, 2009 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont want to hijack this thread. But I think this will be usefull to others as well. If I am out of line, let me know and Ill start a new thread.

When I was installing my shower I figured the water pressure from the pump would be plenty to push through the shower head. Only to find out I had almost no water pressure at all at the location I was tapping off. (from the water pump on the engine).

I then tried to get the water form a different location, and still got nothing. I ended up throwing a marine grade 12V pump in the system, and added a switch. have had an endless supply of warm - hot water ever since.

I figured adding a heater would be a similar experience. I will attach a pic below for you to maybe show where your talking about that I should get enough pressure on its own.

My only other concern is that when the boat is running anything higher than idle, my temp gauge never comes of 0 on the display. And my hot water shower is putting out luke warm water at best (no cold added to it). If I let the boat sit and idle for a bit the water starts to warm up more, but never really gets all that hot. I figured this may create problems with adding a heater, since I wouldnt have all that warm water coming through the heater core anyway. Below is a pic of an engine with similar coolant hoses as mine, but not mine exactly.

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txnx
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PostPosted: Nov 11, 2009 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well you're just flowing water through the heat exchanger as opposed to pressuring through a shower head. You should have great pressure/flow anywhere AFTER all the water pumps, you're raw water pump (the first one usually easily visible) will not put out as much pressure as your recirculating water pump (the second one usually mounted on the engine).

Low water temps may be due to no engine thermostat. Some argue that the engine will run better at a cooler water temperature, thus eliminating the thermostat. I would check to make sure you have a thermostat present.

BTW - I don't see ur pics. - nvm had to wait for it load.

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txnx
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PostPosted: Nov 11, 2009 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

for hot water supply, I suggest tapping into the hose on top that leads from what appears to be the thermostat housing to the manifold. At normal operating temperatures that hose should be hot to the touch. For the return line I would simply tap into a hose before the circulation pump.

I have closed loop cooling and my lines go to and come from the heat exchanger.

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stinky_1
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PostPosted: Nov 11, 2009 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My original line was t'ed off the line that comes off the top of the tstat housing, and goes parallel with the Merc Valve cover to the rear of the manifold.

It was plenty warm, but had absolutly no pressurized flow. It would gravity feed to anything lower than it, but once lifted higher than the output side, would stop water flow all together.

I then ended up tapping off the block drain on the bottom by the oil pan. And ran a pump.

When I bought the boat it did not have a tstat, but I installed one soon after. The water temp still never went up on my gauge except for one time when I let it idle for a long while.

I dont want to get off topic though. My water temp problem I can sort on my own. The OP was asking specifically about where to tap off, and if there was enough pressure in the system to just run a line through a core and back into the engine.

My personal experience has been that my 77 305 merc engine does not have a spot that I can find with enough pressure to actually PUSH water through a core located anywhere. And that I am assuming I will need a pump to actually pull the water out of the block, and to circ it through the core and back to the engine. Its not a big deal for me to do that. But figured I would ask if anyone had tips, or advice from what they personally have.

Hopefully someone has some good points to say. And when the spring comes and I unwinterize my boat I will be spending a lot more time pulling lines to see if I get any that have significant enough pressure on them to actually run through a core.

Thank you for the help so far

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txnx
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PostPosted: Nov 12, 2009 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't upload the pic, we are talking about two different hoses. If you look at teh photo, the hose that attaches to the manifold at the most foward and top position is the one I referenced. I THINK that should give you the best heat and pressure.
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stinky_1
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PostPosted: Nov 12, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I threw an arrow on the one I was talking about. From your discription, I thnk we are talking about the same one.

Let me know.

Makes me wish I didnt have the boat under 2 tarps, and full of antifreeze right now. Otherwise I would go fire it up and start playing with hoses again.

if we are both talking about the same one, I know on my boat it didnt have a lot of pressure on it. There was TONS of heat, but not enough pressure to circulate it through a core and some piping. This is why I was considering using another 12V marine pump to just draw ALL the water off there, through the core, and then back to where the hose was headed in the first place.

In fact, Ill make a quick Paint drawing to show what I mean.

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stinky_1
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PostPosted: Nov 12, 2009 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like this..... the brown lines are NEW hose. I would basically remove the black original peice that says to cut it. Run a hose through the pump, then pump the hot water to the heater core somewhere else on the boat, and then run the other side of the core back into where the original hose would have been going in the first place.

This way it wont disrupt the overall design of the cooling system, and I can be sure I have ALL the water that goes down that line going through the heater core first instead

Again, I am really sorry for Hijacking this thread. I am hoping that this also helps the OP in some way. Or others looking for info of this sort

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