Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Low-tech Boat Heater

As we continue to cruise through the fall we are finding that the boat is getting pretty chilly at night. We have anchored out when the outdoor temperatures are in the mid-50's at night and the interior of the boat will be in the upper 50's by morning. That is about as cold is we are willing to tolerate.

I heard about a low-tech heater that uses tea candles and terra cotta pots. We decided to give it a try.


First, we put four tea lights into a loaf pan.

Next we inverted a terra cotta pot over the lit tea lights. We had plugged the hole at the bottom of the pot with foil.

Then we put a larger pot on top. We waited for it to get warm. It began to heat the interior of the boat within an hour. The outside pot got nice and warm and was great for warming our hands. The heater increased the temperature of the boat about 4 or 5 degrees and it was really quite comfortable. The candles lasted about 5 1/2 hours.

We did not keep them lit when we went to bed, but we did light some new candles again the next morning. Once again it helped to take some of the chill off. We are not quite ready to stop cruising for the season so this might help stretch it out a bit.


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