The heat is on!

Another job ticked off. Last spring when we spent time on Jorvik Rose, it would get chilly enough overnight that we would have to run the onboard diesel air heater to keep things comfortable. One morning, as the heater kicked in, the boat filled with a hazy white smoke signalling that something was not quite right with the heater.

We had a chat to Robin at Berthon who spoke with the local Webasto agent... the heater was condemned over the phone due to it's age, so this became a big job on the list to tackle. After much procrastination, we decided that we didn't want to have this done by the yard as we could tackle this ourselves. This started with sourcing the heater from SVB, a chandlers in Germany, who had the best prices and shipped to the UK for 6 Euro. It also helped that we purchased the heater last autumn, before Brexit and the fall in the value of the pound.

Finally, we got around to starting the work of fitting the heater - as you can see there are a lot of parts in the box! One of the key challenges was where to install the main unit - the old heater was mounted transversely in the steering gear compartment, but the instructions with the new heater would only allow this if we did not use it at sea. As this was not of much use, we had to find a way of mounting the heater in line with the forward - aft line of Jorvik Rose. After much thought and measuring, we finally decided that we could fit the heater in the same compartment and partially under the portside aft lazarette.

Decisions over, we removed the old unit and pulled out the old cabling. It is amazing how technology has allowed equipment to shrink 25 years on!

We started by running the new cabling from the chart table (where the controller would be located), overhead through the electrical cabinet, aft heads and into the aft starboard lazarette. From there it routed across the back of the aft cabin in the steering compartment. As always, no job is straight forward on a boat as we decided we needed to thoroughly clean out the steering compartment, followed by a coat of bilge paint. This made the compartment look fantastic and for the future it will be easier to spot any problems. We have also installed a light back there which will make future maintenance much easier. As you can see below, it is quite a small space!

Having painted the steering compartment, we then fitted the heater mounting plate to the old heater mounts and installed the heater. The easiest access was from the aft portside lazarette, which was a really tight squeeze.

We also had to run a new fuel line from the fuel tank all the way back to the heater, install the air inlet and a new exhaust outlet and exhaust pipework.

Finally, after completing the installation, the last task was to bleed the fuel line and get fuel pumped all the way from the tank to the heater. As you can see, I had careful supervision from Tiggy, who really wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing!

At last the heater fired up and warm air was blown into the cabin - success and a job ticked off!

Until next time, fair winds.

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