Saturday, 17 November 2012

House maintenance v's boat maintenance

So today has seen me sorting out the central heating at home. Yes I always wait until the cold weather starts to do this. Over two weekends I have sorted the cold radiators so the house is now very warm.

I reflected on the respective maintenance demands of house v's boat. They are very different and I think the house beats the boat hands down. There is plenty to fettle on a boat, and I suppose it depends on the install.

You don't really want to know about our Vokera boiler etc at home as this is primarily a boaty blog. So the boat....We (or I as I do the maintenance) are attracted to simple and if possible varied systems for our boating. Many will advise that a solid fuel stove and back boiler are in the main bullet proof. In fact the best advice is not to have to rely on a sole form energy for the whole boat. It is of course personal preference and also personal risk management.

Waterlily has a very effective back boiler with a pipe stat controlled pump. Hot water from the calorifier via the engine or via the back boiler... two loops in the cylinder. Battery charging via the solar panel and engine.

So here is the interesting bit... well it is for me anyhow. The boat we are having surveyed on Monday is pretty much the same with the exception of no water tank.... it has a gas water heater. Now I don't favour this as in my mind if you have to run the engine to charge the batteries you get hot water also. But if you do not have to run the engine as you have wind or solar you get no hot water. The real benefit of a gas water heater is instant always on hot water (as long as you have gas and who runs out of gas??) It has been an issue for us when overnighting on Waterlily and not being able to have a shower in the morning before work - or have a cold shower as when we arrived on the boat the batteries were fully charged from the solar.

The potential replacement boat has a bath - fantastic. My fibromyalgia sometime demands a good soak.... with the water heater there is no limit to the amount of hot baths - apart from what water you have on board.

Anyhow, it's good to have options and simplicity. Hopefully shortly I can really expand on the other boat in detail and tell you why we went for it.

Enjoy tomorrow it sounds like it is going to be a nice day !


Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

What's the chance of having the best of both worlds, A calorifier to take heat from the engine when you run it and gas for when not.

Nev Wells said...

I thought that as I waas typing the entry. Not sure how the hot water system would be plumbed to make such an arrangmeent but it would make sense to harvest the heat from the engine when running.

I wonder if anyone out there has such a system?