QWHICH WAY UP? What might be the optimum capacity for a narrowboat’s calorifier, and is a vertical or horizontal model preferable? ALAN TIMMIS, via the CB website
ATONY REPLIES: I get the impression that more horizontally fitted ones can fail internally, but as with all things boaty, it’s a compromise with the space it takes up and boat design. I doubt you will ever have enough hot water for all situations, so again it’s a compromise between cost, space, and maximum capacity. The greater the capacity, the hotter the water is likely to be in the morning. Think about how the water is heated; how many people will be showering; is a washing machine involved? My 16-gallon one is fine on a boat that is basically a two-berth, but occasionally sleeps up to seven – but then, the kids don’t shower if they can help it…
I would advise twin coils: it’s cheaper than buying a new one if you later fit central heating or a back boiler.