Pan2000 Cabin Heater
The “Pan 2000” heater consists of an upside down stainless “pan” surmounted by an alloy heat exchanger through which a 12v computer fan blows air giving a warm air stream. It is designed to sit on top of a cooker ring. The gases from the stove go up through a pipe to be vented outside the cabin to prevent CO build up and to minimise humidity.
The PAN2000 appears expensive, it cost me over £400 by the time I’d got it imported from Sweden. However the heat exchanger plates would be complicated to make oneself, and the cost is less than, for example, a charcoal boat heater. On the other hand it comes with a through deck fitting similar to that used for filling with water or fuel. It would have to be fitted in a location sheltered from rain, perhaps under the spray hood. I had a chimney made (see below).
Originally I planned to use it on my Origo Spirit Stove. However with the stove set to “number 2”, recommended to minimise sooting up of the heat exchanger, the warmth was disappointing, and the flue did not get hot enough to prevent downdrafts and condensation. I experimented with a fan in the exhaust flue and a method of catching condensation. However the best solution was to use the PAN2000 on a butane gas stove. This provided good heat without the soot, downdraft, and condensation problems. The result is a light weight heater system which more or less instantaneously provides comfortable heating. It is easy to pack away, or to remove from the boat in summer. The evolution of my installation is described in detail in the November 2014 diary entries. My final recommendation is:
Heat Source: Flat Butane heater (as recommended by Swallow Boats for cooking). Make sure it is specified for indoor use with a mechanism to cut the gas if the flame goes out. Not all similar looking heaters are the same! I have mounted it on a metal plate fastened to a plywood mount that slots into holders fastened in the forepeak.
Fuel: Use 220 gm “butane” cartridges that contain added propane so they will work in temperatures below 5C. Not the 227gm “pure Butane” cartridges. Even so the cartridges need to be kept warm to work well, I put one in my sleeping bag (with the plastic cover over the valve!) so it is ready for use in the morning.in cold weather
Chimney: Although the exhaust pipe is not too hot to hold at the point it passes through the deck, to be safe I insulated the fitting with woven glass stove tape. I had the chimney made for me together with the through deck fitting and the blanking cap. It might be possible to buy a ready made unit (for example those sold with “Hampshire” Boat Heaters). The outside of the chimney is insulated with the foam used to protect people from scaffold poles with the aim of keeping the chimney warm and hence maintain an upward flow inside it. I tested the foam which is self-extinguishing
It seems disappointing to carry both bio-ethanol (for cooking) and butane (for heating). However the spirit stove gives me a heating source for very cold weather. Butane has half as much again heat content as ethanol so using it saves weight compared to carrying ethanol for heating. Unless you want to use your boat in the depths of winter, a single butane stove could serve for heating and cooking.
Note (added 2017): I have now converted to cooking using a butane stove so I only have one type of fuel.
N.B. : The opinions expressed are my own after a relatively short period of use; there may be ways around any problems identified. Other users will have different priorities!