See this little contraption? It's a bucket heater. You want one.
So in casting about trying to find a decent way to heat our little collapsing hottub at dock, someone suggested I look into one of these contraptions. It's called a bucket heater and it's for...well...heating stuff in buckets. I bet you figured that one out already. It's basically an electrically heated coil within a circulation tube, and draws about 1000-1500 watts, which is well within the range of most dock power supplies.
The contraption is largely used in agriculture and for heating water on construction sites. You just splash the heater in a bucket and plug it in. I had rather assumed it would rather be like one of those little beverage heaters you stick in a teacup, that is to say, slow. It isn't.
|It cranks up the heat amazingly quickly.|
Starting with 70 degree (F) water, it heated five gallons up to over 120 degrees in about 20 minutes.(Your mileage may, of course, vary, depending on ambient temperature and how cold the water was to begin with.) That means that we can have a hot soak in our new little ofuro tub in about an hour. The max temperature seems to top off at around 168F
|Little Gail, Happy again.|
This thing, of course, has it's limitations. Take it out of the water while it's on, or let the water evaporate while it's running, and the thing would likely catch fire. They don't recommend that you run it, even in appropriate conditions, for over three hours. And, of course, the wattage is sufficient that you're not going to be running it aboard while on the hook (for more than about six seconds if you're on solar). It's a dockside-only convenience unless you're running a generator.
But still, the idea of having quick hot water for dishes, for washing up, or just for warming up is a great convenience, and at less than $30, it's rather hard to pass up.
Why didn't you tell me about these things before.....? Sheesh.
Fall is suddenly here on the Chesapeake, and I do mean suddenly. We scrambled to get the electric blanket out of the car, and to dig the sweatshirts out of the forward lazarette where they've been languishing for the last several months. But still, after months of pretty brutal heat and humidity, it's a welcome break, and the fall is the best part of the sailing season.
Much more shortly. Stay safe. Stay warm.