So, winter is officially here. It’s not just cold outside, but with wind chill from the water, you find yourself experiencing a special kind of cold. You want to be on your boat but unfortunately, cannot simply move south with your boat and camp down there until summer. So, what can you do? We thought about it and came up with these ideas! Read below to find out how you can heat your boat in the winter!

  1. AC Space Heaters
    1. We highly recommend using a heater designed for the marine environment, not one for home use. These heaters are typically made of stainless steel and are therefore rust resistant. Also, they typically have some kind of safety switch so that if they are knocked over they turn off automatically. These kinds of heaters typically are not the most efficient and they can also take up a bit of space. Although, they are very cheap and you have direct control over the heat output.
  2. Fuel Burning Heaters
    1. Diesel heaters are commonly used with boats that use diesel fuel for propulsion engines as they have a ready source of fuel for the stove. Available as a bulkhead mount as well as a floor mount. They may or may not have a fan to circulate the warmed air. All require a flue that exits the cabin of your boat to dispose of the exhaust. Some heaters use natural convective draft, while others use fan-assisted draft to assist the removal of the toxic exhaust. Some of these heaters have a window, which allows you to enjoy the sight of the burning fire inside the stove. Propane (LPG) space heaters are available with “direct-vent” through fitting and flue cap, where the combustion process is completely isolated from the inside of the boat. Some of the better designs have an oxygen sensor, which will shut off the fuel supply if the oxygen in the cabin reaches a dangerously low level. A few solid fuel heaters burn charcoal briquettes or wood. These also require a ducted flue or stovepipe, as well as a source of wood or charcoal. In the past, coal was used, but modern solid fuel heaters are not designed for coal burning, as it burns too hot.
  3. Hydronic Heat
    1. What is hydronic heat? Thanks for asking! Hydronic heat offers extremely quiet operation. It’s a compact, diesel-fired boiler that is plumbed to a series of radiators with one or more small electric pumps to circulate a glycol solution through the system. This option is generally more expensive than many of the others, but it is typically the most reliable, and takes up the least amount of space on the boat.

These general categories are helpful for getting a basic idea to heat your boat. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages including price, size, and efficiency. If you have more questions, please do not hesitate to contact the team here at Marine Concepts and ask for one of our brokers!

A Warning About Carbon Monoxide: Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, invisible, and very toxic gas. Carbon Monoxide is produced when there is an incomplete combustion of carbon based fuel. If you decide to use a carbon based fuel, please be sure to use a heater with oxygen depletion sensors that shut off the fuel (or purchase a carbon monoxide detector). Also, be sure to keep a hatch or window open and be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Sign up in our