Thursday, December 11, 2014

Quest for Fire

Yep, that's snow. . .
...or heat, anyway.  Now that we're moving into winter, thoughts turn to staying comfy aboard ship. One of the factors common in almost ALL smaller vessels is that there is little or no insulation.  As you've probably noted in earlier posts, we've been steadily increasing the amount of insulation here aboard Floating Empire, and it's really helped.  Still, it can only do so much with the space and weight restrictions within which we must work.

For most of the fall, our big Kirkman #2 lanterns, cranking out about 1200BTU when turned up, were more than enough to heat the space comfortably.  As the evening temps began dropping into the 20's and teens, however, they began to be less and less able to cope.

One of our first moves was to purchase a small quartz heater for use in the colder evenings.  While this was safe, inexpensive, and took up very little space, it still tied us more to shore power than we're comfortable (resistance heating being a major battery suck).

With limited wattage available here on the dock, running the small heater, with the lanterns, proved barely adequate on the colder nights, not to mention being rather expensive.

With our earlier success with our new kerosene cookstove, and our love of lanterns, we thought we'd try a Kerosene heater as an option.  One of of dockmates had this lovely old Perfection heater that he was willing to lend us for a trial run.

I'll be honest, I've limited experience with Kerosene as a heat source, but having played with this thing, I'm now a fan.  The heat is dry, relatively inexpensive, an man do these things crank.  In coming weeks, we've ordered our own 10,500 BTU heater and will be running that through the winter.

So stay warm, folks. . .
Is it spring yet?
And watch those slippery docks.

Hey new posts on Morgainne's blog Life, Art, Water about artifying the boat.  Check it out.



  1. Since 1961 my answer to surviving winters has been to live, most of the time, in places with palm trees. Right now I'm retired and living in Panama, 8 degrees and a couple north of the equator. It's REALLY not much different than southeast Florida where I lived nearly half of my life. Sure, it gets into the 90s here and if you're in the sun it's HOT. But when the sun sets the cold air from the mountains descends down here onto "the flat" and around dawn it's in the mid to upper 60s.

    1. Sounds really lovely, Richard. How does one retire to Panama?