Espar D8 Forced Air Diesel Heater (8KW)

After years of fighting with an unreliable diesel heater, we are very pleased with the Espar heater we installed in 2000. It is one of the bigger ones they make and keeps us toasty in all weather.

One thing we would suggest, though, is not to use the exhaust exit in the hull that they normally specify. In heavy weather this will be very vulnerable to flooding. We had Mike Bowden at Ocean Options, where we bought the heater, fabricate us a 4′ high chimney with a ‘Charlie Nobel’ type top that is braced to the stern rail. With this setup we can use the heater even in very heavy weather at sea—when a wick type heater would almost certainly blow back—which is, after all, when you want to be toasty below. The drawbacks of this type of heater are the substantial electrical use and complexity, but these are balanced by the convenience of just flicking a switch when we want heat, even at sea.

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Meet the Author

John Harries

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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