Q&A: Which Heating System?

Question: What do you use for heating on Morgan’s Cloud?

Answer: We have an Espar D8 8KW (I’m not sure of the BTUs). It is one of the bigger ones they make and keeps us toasty in all weathers. One thing I would suggest 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 set up we can use the heater even in very heavy weather, which is, after all, when you want to be toasty below.

If I were doing it again I would install one of the Espar heaters that uses hot water and radiators or heat exchangers. It would be more controllable and it would cut down on all the ducting though it would be more complex to install.

We also have a heater that uses the waste heat from the engine to warm the cabin—essentially free heating with no fuel cost.

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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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