Move Water Heater

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Move Water Heater

by Gusto » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:15 am

My boat, 2006 34 #83, tends to sit at rest with the bow up and listing a bit to the port side. I have a good 3 inches of bottom paint showing at the bow and less that an inch on the transom of the port hull. I assume that the boot stripe has not been changed and PDQ placed it in the same place on all the boats. Also the boat may not squat quite so much when running at speed.

I am thinking of moving the water heater to the shelf in the forward starboard locker and plumbing it into the water lines on the forward shower bulkhead. I disconnected the hoses from the engine long ago so the lack of engine heated water will not be a problem. Has anyone done that? What were the results other than the pleasure of instant hot water in the shower instead of a couple minute wait with lots of wasted water?

Bob MacNeill
Gusto, St Petersburg, FL

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Re: Move Water Heater

by AMCarter3 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:12 am

IF your objective is to get hot water to the shower faster, then I'd say go for it... as long as you are willing to give up the storage space in the starboard locker.

However, IF your objective is to rebalance your boat so it runs with less "squating" at higher speeds, I don't think shifting the 6 gal hot water tank to the Starboard bow is going to make much of a difference. 6 Gals of water weighs about 50 lbs (8.43 lbs/gal). It takes more than that to re-balance this boat. For example, a full fresh water tank is 80 Gals or 667 lbs. A full Aux Fuel tank is 70 Gals. or 581 lbs. A full holding tank is 35 Gals. or ~290 lbs. That adds up to a total of 1,538 lbs in the forward / bow area. That weight makes a big difference.

In our case, we added 368 lbs of AGM batteries to our stern 2 years ago. To offset this, I have experimented with adding different amounts of old 3/8" chain as ballast to the bottom of Port bow hull (accessed through the 6" circular twist-off hatch covers located in the floor of the bow locker). Since I carry a lot of spare parts and supplies in the starboard locker (about 135 lbs), I added 130 lbs of chain ballast only on to the port bow. This seems to work. When my forward tanks are low, the bow rides high. But when the forward tanks are 2/3 to full, the boat rides much flatter at speeds up to about 8-9 kts. After that, the boat still squats a bit... but less than before.

I also notice one benefit from adding ballast to the bow that I did not anticipate... our boat rides smoother... It feels "firmer" and more "steady" in choppy water with less rocking motion up & down in 2-4' waves.
Mac Carter
2006 34' PDQ PowerCat "All Heart"; MV 98; twin 100 HP Yanmar diesels
Bellingham WA (in charter with San Juan Sailing & Yachting)

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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:48 pm
Location: Punta Gorda, FL

Re: Move Water Heater

by deising » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:22 am

Interesting, Bob. First, I have heard of Stuart Yacht making that mod to a boat before, supposedly to avoid wasting all the water while waiting for hot water to arrive. I don't know if coolant hoses were run from one of the engines, or if the heater was solely electric.

We tend to move a lot so we get most of our hot water from the engine. If we are in a marina, we use shore power. Once in a while we use the genset.

My wife loves cruising, but it not crazy about cleaning the shower, plus we have decided it is a good place for the kitty litter box. Therefore, we take almost all our showers off the stern (in bathing suits, if needed). Yes, sometimes it is a bit chilly, too. That would not work for many people, but it does for us.

None of the above really helps you, however, I will say that moving the water heater is not likely to give you as much trim adjustment as you might hope for. Good luck.

BTW, I estimate the water volume between the heater and head shower to be about 0.3 US gals.
Duane Ising
m/v Diva Di
Punta Gorda, FL
2006 PDQ MV 34 - hull 91, 75HP, 3-blade

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Location: ICW (32043)

Re: Move Water Heater

by duetto » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:50 pm


i spoke to gregg at stuart yachts about moving the water tank. the project eliminated the engine heating and worked entirely off 110V. they increased battery bank capacity and rewired the heater to work off the inverter. sounded like the owner was pleased with results. give gregg a call. i'm sure he'd give you details.

with that said, i agree with mac, it won't do much to really balance the boat.
john & diane cummings
duetto mv34 #23

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