A great snow ski season with lots of snow means full lakes this year for us California skiers, so I spent some quality time this winter getting the boat set up for spring. Last year we had a couple of cool mornings and remember hitting the lake with a 37˚ chill in the air. That day I swore a heater would be my winter project. With lots of info from this TT site I made it happen in my 1990 Prostar 190.
I went with the Heatercraft two vent style for my project, and ordered the mounting kit to have all the brackets and fittings needed to make all the connections. I know I could have gone and found them myself cheaper, but I wanted to have everything I needed to be right there and avoid a treasure hunt. I am a picky boat owner who hates the thought of cutting a hole in the fiberglass of my boat, so cutting a heater vent mounting hole under the observers seat just was not going to happen. For this reason I decided to make a free standing tower out of PVC to mount the two Hot Tube Extendable Vents. A PVC fence post from Lowes made the perfect material for the mounting tower. A 5 x 5” PVC post fit the diameter of the vent tubes exact, it is impervious to being wet, and it was only $14.
The PVC is easy to work with, I cut it to length with a circular saw, cut the holes with a jig saw then smoothed the edges with a little Dremel tool. I located the tower under the dash on the left side of the driver’s seat. This will make it easy for the driver to reach under and pull a hose out for the observers, and would have the second vent keeping the drivers feet warm. I painted the tower black to make it blend it well beneath the dash. I used stainless steel “L” brackets that I primed and painted to secure the tower to the floor using stainless steel screws I got from the Marine supply center. I do not trust the stainless steel fasteners I get from Lowes or Home Depot since they seem to still corrode at times.
The heater core/fan unit I mounted under the bow, in front of the driver’s foot rest, with the supplied brackets in the kit. The brackets had slots which allowed me to slide the heater box up so it was about 1" off the floor, this will allow good air circulation under it and prevent any possible corrosion should the carpet get damp.
The heater core hoses were easy to secure to the rear of the fan box and looped around to get out to the engine compartment. I zip tied them together and used a zip tie to secure it them to the side of the fan box mounting bracket to minimized their movement.