Hot Water Heater

Published date: January 1, 2012
  • Boat Type: Boat Type

If you want to stay on the boat for any period of time you need to keep things and yourself clean, and having running water is the first step, but right after that is hot water. I looked at various methods to create hot water, and due to the frequency of use I knew right off the bat that a hot water "tank" was not going to work well for our needs. I thought about doing an electric instant on water heater (this would be the simplest) but I could not spare that much power, and even with a 2000 watt generator the heat was marginal.

I finally found a unit that was designed for remote, outdoor use, it was an instant on system powered by propane. The best part was the design / shape of the unit aloud for a safe and somewhat convenient mounting at the aft of the boat. The water heater is an Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater. I bought mine about two years ago, but they are still readily available and very affordable.

Since I was installing the BWY stern rail seats on my boat, I took advantage of the framework to act as the main support to for the water heater. I modified the lower water heater mount to allow the unit to rest on the aft chime ridge where the top/bottom portions of the boat meet. I fashioned a piece of stainless steel into a bracket to secure the top of the water heater to the stern rail seat.

I added hot/cold water lines to the transom area that connect to the water heater via short flexible stainless steel hoses (see additional mod post for details on this). The only other necessary connection was for the propane feed. The system was designed to operate from a 20lb bulk tank, but I have an adapter to run 1lb bottles which also mount to the stern rail supports.

Operation: I've trailered and ran the water heater for several months now and have not has a single issue. The system uses two "D" batteries (internal) to automatically start the heater when water flow is detected. The 1lb bottle gives about 15 minutes of continuous hot water, which in reality last for several days, but eventually I am going to convert our BBQ & HWH to use a bulk tank.


Published by: u12fly

Model Year: 2006
Photo Caption: Most of the weight of the water heater rests on the chime (via lower attachment)

The support bracket at the top uses the same mounting screws as the seat

Here is how the installed water heater looks on the back of the boat


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