After spending a few weeks sailing during December 2014 and January-March 2015, it became obvious that our existing heating system (Webasto HL3003, original equipment on our Hallberg-Rassy 41), although functioning well, is consuming too much electricity for extended periods at anchor. The battery drain is also made worse by the fact that the solar panels are not producing a lot of electricity in the winter.
After researching the various alternatives (see separate post), we settled for a Swedish kerosene heater named POD (also known as Ge-HÃ¥). It is connected to convectors via 22mm copper pipes (one can use hoses instead). The heater itself draws no electricity at all, but we have fitted a 12 V circulation pump, which draws 1.2 W.
The heater/boiler itself. The fuel tank is integrated into the heater unit, which can be slid out from underneath the boiler simply by a single wing-nut.
Drilling a 50mm hole in the ‘roof’ was the most nervous moment of the installation. At least, it had the benfit of confirming that our HR41 has a foam core which is looking sound.
The chimney, a 42mm stainless steel hose, is connected to a clever little thing which prevents sudden wind gusts from entering the chimney hose. Instead, such winds are diverted into the cabin itself, leaving the heater unaffected.
Convectors can be bought ready-made (although hard to find and very expensive if they are made from copper pipe). Instead, we found a clip-on convector from www.radia-therm.de – cheaper and easy to tailor-make each convector. In the picture, the front panel covering the convector has not yet been fitted.
It’s crucial that the wick is set at the correct level. We found out the correct setting by mistake; we actually thought we had turned it off, when suddenly it seemed to re-ignite, looking a bit like an afterburner. When the wick is too high, the smell is terrible, but when the wick is at he correct level, there is no smell an no soot.