While Amazon 1-day shipping failed us (arriving a day after the perfect little weather-window we were eyeing up), Webasto has not.
The fuel pump on the heater was indeed the problem — a piece that we were assured was “the most reliable component in the whole system” (*insert slight eye roll*) — so the upside is that it was a super-simple swap out to get my favorite piece of equipment up and running again.
Case in point: It was 23*F / -5*C here last night, with a slight skiff of ice forming over the marina, but we were warm & snug inside, completely oblivious to the gross temps outside. And on that note, maybe I should be grateful to Amazon’s delay for keeping us from leaving on this very-very-chilly morning! 😉
Of course now that we’ve got the heater working AND a battery monitor, our thoughts have turned to “HOW much power does this sucker draw???” (Answer: a lot. Like 8 amps a lot. It doesn’t run constantly, so it’s not a straight 8 x 24 calculation, but it’s still more than we’re entirely happy with).
We’ll tackle this from all angles, drawing on our favorite “cumulative benefit of marginal improvements” perspective, to see what improvements we can make.
Current ideas include insulating the heat duct (our cupboards and bilges are getting nice and toasty warm, but this really isn’t the ideal destination for that precious warm air!!); insulating the known cold areas (Brio II is a bit of a warm-air sieve, with the aft cabin having two very thin cold walls – to the lazarettes – and very little insulation anywhere); connecting our solar panels to the currently-in-the-box-solar-charge-controller (it’s on the list, it’s on the list!!); and continuing to evaluate additional offgrid power options (wind generator? more solar?).
It’s a balance between the “easy but expensive” option of more batteries and more diesel consumption and taking the long-term approach of a more sustainably set up system.
Not that any of this matters when you’re comfortably tied up to a dock with endless power, but we’d like to think this won’t always be Brio II’s home 🙂
From our toasty warm home afloat,