Vlog 74: Heated Debate

We’re right into the middle of winter now and, unlike last year, this time it’s quite cold with overnight temperatures in the Midlands (where I’m moored) dropping as low as -7C. So although I’ve talked about my stove and the radiator system before, this is a dedicated video on the subject of narrowboat heating including various types of stove, diesel-fired radiators and insulation. Plus – there’s a very special guest appearance from Mads and J√∂kull from Sail Life!

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  1. Window insulator.
    1, Cut out some 2″ thick selotex or polystyrene to fit in window recess. 2, Drill Small hole through centre. 3, Drill two holes through 4″ disk of plywood. 4, washing line or cord through plywood & back. 5, Push doubled line or cord through selotex or polystyrene. 6, Another small plywood disk with two holes for pulling your window insulator out in the morning. Job done. Now repeat for all windows. This will work for any sized window. Just add two tags at bottom each side for large windows.

    Lack of heat in bedroom of David’s boat.
    Ask Gary to make steel box to fit tight behind your multi fuel stove. add 22mm steel pipes about 1 foot and connect to 22mm copper to radiator in far end of boat. I’d just stick to one radiator first off or you may need pump or double pipe run.
    Hope that helps. And to think, I do not have a narrow boat. I do have a GRP, and please do not call it a yogurt pot.

    • The lack of heat in the bedroom is not a problem. I’m quite warm enough once under the duvet. Adding a back boiler and all that pipework would be a major exercise, and since I already have a diesel-fired central heating system, is unnecessary!

    • Nearly forgot – Fit a header tank. This will assist in two ways. It will allow for expansion of the heated water and allow you to top up when needed. You may only need (!) a length of 32mm pipe, although get advice.
      The water will also need heating additive or vehicle antifreeze.
      I would also add a slab of insulation to the rear of your new rear boiler box, but be sure you have the correct type. Good Idea to insulate pipes through cupboards.

      • Hi. As already mentioned, I do not intend to fit such a system nor do I need one because the Eberspacher can be used if I want heat in the rear radiators.

  2. Hello

    Our latest boat is a Hudson built three years before he sadly passed away.

    We are not liveaboards but use are boat extensively throughout the seasons particularly after us both taking early retirement four years ago.

    Heating on a boat is very important and after 40 years narrow boating
    ( started at 17 ) these are our thoughts.

    Double glazing is a problem. On our previous boat it consistantly broke down because of boat movement in heat or cold and the shocks caused by contact with locks etc.

    Large windows cause heat loss that is why our latest boat has opening portholes, three prisms and three side hatches ( extra light if required ).

    Kabola and possibly Hurricane are the only diesel c/h boilers worth having. The other types are just noisy, unreliable and eat batteries.
    We have an Alde Compact gas boiler which is both quiet, more reliable and does not rely on batteries.

    In the past we have had multi fuel stoves which are messy to say the least. On our last two boats we have had diesel stoves with seperate gravity fed fuel tanks. Besides being clean and efficient the heat is consistant which is particularly beneficial when going to bed and getting up in the morning to a lovely warm boat.

    In addition I installed a Alde engine heat exchanger which is fitted between the engine cooling system and the heating circuit. This means that when you are cruising just put the pump on only and you get red hot radiators for free. This happens when the heat from the engines water passes through the heat exchanger and by conduction heats up the c/h circuit.

    We have many other ideas like using grey grout on tiles as white discolurs quickly. Wetwall in the bathroom ( no tiles ) , proper domestic sized cooker/hob, Full size Waeco fridge with holdover ( no battery power required overnight ). The use of Utile wood around areas that get condensation and a first for the inland waterways – run free pulleys on the alternators ( no stress on the engine ) plus many other things.

    Keep up the good work


  3. That chair looks very steady and slight darker. Is it a new chair?

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