Date: 28 January 2014. Heaters Debunked.
If you read boating journals and logs you will see lots
of folks who claim to use flower pots to heat their boats. The
theory is (and everything works in Theory -- we should all live there!)
that by turning on a burner, inverting a clay flower pot atop it, that
miraculously you will warm your boat and make it comfortable during the
I also read about a video that showed using tea burner
candles, two inverted clay flower pots and again the place was purported
to be warm. Specifics if you do not want to seek out the video: use a
smaller clay pot without a hole in the bottom set atop a pan with the tea
lights under it. The larger pot with a hole in the bottom went over the
smaller flower pot. I also tried this method using a can of Sterno.
Tea lights are those dinky candles that offer ambiance but
not much else.
Another suggestion often flouted is to use oil lanterns. I
have six aboard my 23' boat and right now 4 are burning. The boat smells
of kerosene and I will admit that my larger lantern will take the chill
off, but heat? No.
This one, the larger copper lantern, does work if there
bit of dampness in the boat first thing in the morning. I will light it, put
it under my table on the little footstool I use, and it does warm things
up a small bit.
And no, this is not a real copper lantern. It was brass
until I took a too-strong cleanser to it and, well, let's just say that my
Daddy's probably going to come back and haunt me, after Mother finishes
killing me. Oh, she will bring me back to life again, but only to murder me
once more. That lantern was on one of the lobster boats her family
had back in Maine, and, well, it's still pretty. But the heirloom is not what it was
before I cleaned it. Sigh.
Experience is the name given mistakes,
after you have survived the event.
It is the clay flower pots that are flogged the most. On
Sparrow (a 40' Rhodes Bounty) the clay pot on the burner did warm his
galley however that is sailboat, long and lean. Built in 1959,
Sparrow has a 28' waterline, 40' overall and a ten foot beam. Because
Sparrow is a blue-water sailboat she is air tight below decks unlike my
Seaweed. Seaweed has sliding windows (say "drafty") and three doors
(again, more air) so for me, the flower pot on the stove trick did not
The flower pot did not function as a heater but it does
work nicely as a planter. As I have mentioned previously, I grow scallions
and I have four batches growing in my clay pot presently. I use scissors to cut
off an inch or three from the tops and that is my green onion supply.
It works, and the price is perfection. As long as you don't cut into the
white part at the bottom they will root and continue to grow.
Some of my scallions have been growing since last October.
I brought them inside because it's so cold in the cockpit right now.
And yes, that's Timmy from
-- one of my favorite online stores for the unusual.
So, basically I'm down to my
It's wonderful. The canisters burn for 14 hours so during days and
nights like these I am glad to be keeping the shares of Coleman up.
As long as the boat is warm I am pleased.
I put the heater under my
table and then using c-clamps hold the fabric I use as a
sunshade in the summertime as a heat funnel. Heat
rises so my dinette is warmed and that makes typing much
easier. And by leaving where I sit open I get the
full benefit of the warmth generated by the heater.
And yes, I do want to
make some new fabric covers for the dinette seats. I'm
totally tired of what I have now. Another project, eh?
A peek under my dinette:
The ladies may wonder about the fabric around my table.
I'd found it at a thrift store -- a duvet cover for a king sized bed in
the shower curtain section marked at $4. It was not splotchy when I bought
it, but another round of "cleaning" did it in.
I had enough fabric in the duvet for the bunk top-sheet, the back of my
Utilitarian quilt, plus a sunshade and a second cover. For four
dollars and a bit of sewing I was "set". Now however I am ready
change. The best part though is that because my initial costs were
so low, replacing it will be painless. For me, being able to redo the
interior cushions and valances is fun, and not expensive.
So anyway, as I was saying before I went off on the *Rabbit
Trail many of the heating methods flogged by others don't seem to work
well for me. I'm a southern girl, so my tolerance for cold is not
high. If you are like me, buy a
Trillium 12v Heated Travel Blanket With Safety Timer.
Now if my budget would cooperate I might even suggest one of those nifty
Newport heaters -- something that runs off diesel as the propane ones burn
thru the gas too quickly for me. But, the smartest and best idea of
all is to head for the equator.
*Rabbit Trail: a term my Kidlet uses when I start on one
subject and sort of meander around versus staying on topic. (But I
Good luck to you in staying warm.
As for me, I am going to make another cup of hot chocolate.
Addendum: 29 January, early
C-Quarters Marina I met a fellow who regularly drives to Wal-mart
which is over an hour away from here. Millard has been kind
enough to pick up propane bottles for me and this week was no
Kim (wife of Harold) made arrangements with Russell (drives
TowBoatUS boat here) to have a friend of his drop off a couple
of cases of propane for me. Captain Ray Appen onboard Samurai
pulled up to my transom and delivered the goodies in the
afternoon yesterday. How nice that was! And, as if that was not
enough to warm a girls heart (and toes!) two treats were
included for my Skipper.
To the right, Kim's all
bundled up on the porch at
C-Quarters Marina. I will not read the
temperature gauge (too afraid to enlarge the picture as some
things are best left unknown) but I do smile at the "What
happens on the porch stays on the porch" palm tree sign over her
right shoulder. [You also might note the router up high
especially installed so traveling boaters at their dock can
enjoy the wifi signal.]
know life, even in the cold, is pretty doggone good here in
Carrabelle. Thanks to the friends met and made, I'm warm without
having to leave home. And this morning when I came out to
make my coffee it was definitely beyond brisk. Again today it
was warmer inside the refrigerator than in my galley at 38 and
49 degrees respectively.
The heater is on in the
galley now. At night I bring it into my cabin. I am hoping
soon the temperatures will be more tolerable. Gosh though, it
going to be great to stop seeing my breath when I exhale.
I look like a smoker this morning though I confess that
Clan of the Cave Bear series
and of Ayla's travails in the winter certainly have more
reality at the moment. Brrr.
I'd love to hear what you do to stay warm in the winter.
And, are you a dock bunny or living life on the hook?
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