Chilly weather out on the sea can put a damper on your trip. Having a proper heating system on board to regulate temperature can uplift your experience. We have compiled a short list of the best heating systems for boats for you. Do not light an open flame inside your cabin for heat, this can quickly burn the oxygen and produce carbon monoxide, and lead to a tragedy.

Electric Heaters

An electric heater that can be plugged in the boat’s electrical system, is probably the most elementary method of keeping your boat warm. Available in all kinds, shapes, and designs, these heaters are very convenient. However, one must keep in mind that they procure electric heaters made for the sea, or made from the materials that can survive the sea atmosphere, that can easily corrode most metals. Moreover, it has to be kept in mind that the heater is safe to use in the presence of gasoline fumes.

The drawbacks of electric heaters are:

  • You will require multiple heaters for different parts of your boat.
  • They require too much power and will drain your battery quickly.


Fossil Fuel Heaters

These heaters are very effective in keeping the temperature of the boat warm. These come in all varieties specially manufactured for boats. They can warm a relatively larger area and they do not require to rely on any sort of batteries, hence making them suitable for boats. They can be classified as bulkhead mount heaters and floor mount heaters. Further divided into solid fuel-burning heaters and diesel heaters.

Having these heaters on board is somewhat like having a fireplace on your boat. Usually, diesel heaters are used on boats since the fuel is more convenient to carry. However, solid fuel heaters, that burn charcoal or wood are also used.

These fuel heaters for boats are designed such that the toxic exhaust is let out into the atmosphere so you don’t have to worry about ash or smoke on your boat. Sometimes, all of the combustion processes take place on the outside, just to avoid any mishap on the inside. Look for heaters that also come with an oxygen level indicator and shutdown automatically.

In a fuel-burning heater, it takes some time to heat the entire unit. You can ignite them in a matter of minutes, however, they take up their time before they reach their full temperature. This can be the only drawback of these heaters, but it is important to ensure all safety precautions with them.


Air Duct Heating Systems

This kind of heating system requires you to have a duct system onboard that can serve as a passageway for the heat. These kinds of heaters usually come with a furnace that burns fuel and heats the air. This air is pushed into the ducts and move through them to heat the unit.

The benefit of this kind of heating system is that you can cover the maximum area of your boat so that you don’t require separate heating systems. Moreover, the furnace is usually burning the fuel outside so you don’t have to worry about fumes, they are exhausted properly.

The drawback can be that it often does not allow temperature flexibility in different areas. It serves more like a central heating system with one source. However, this can be catered to without much difficulty.
These are some of the best heating systems for boats. You can choose among these depending on your requirement and budget.

Do remember to not light an open flame inside your cabin for heat, this can quickly burn the oxygen and produce carbon monoxide, and lead to a tragedy.


Contact our team for boat repair services, boat refrigeration, and boat a/c support in San Diego.

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