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Six Ways to Heat Your Commercial Boat

CATEGORIES: Marine Engine
Large commercial cruise ship with lights on at sunset

In the winter, cold temperatures can be a significant drawback to being out on the water. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to heat your commercial boat and keep your cabin, passengers, and crew comfortable in virtually any conditions. If you’re wondering how to best heat your boat in winter, consider these top six most commonly used methods.

1. Space Heaters 

Space and area heaters are a relatively inexpensive and versatile way to control the temperature on your vessels. Electric space heaters are ideal for smaller cabins and outside areas where people are working or passengers are sitting. There are portable models available, and it’s best if you purchase units made for marine usage.

2. AC Heaters

One of the most efficient ways to heat your commercial boat is by using an AC electric heater with the AC system. Installing a boat HVAC system can be a significant upgrade to your heating and cooling capabilities. Electric heaters are a smart choice when you have an onboard generator or if a source of power is typically available at most times.

3. Diesel Central Heating

Diesel fired marine central heating systems can be fueled directly from your diesel tank and are exceptionally effective at heating the entire boat. You will need a boat with a diesel fuel engine as well as a stovepipe to channel out the exhaust. While there is an initial cost to purchase and install these systems, fuel-burning heaters are a favorite choice for many boat manufacturers and owners because of their excellent heating capabilities.

4. Forced Air Heaters 

For quiet operation, fast heat delivery, precise temperature control, and low electrical power and fuel consumption, forced air heaters are the way to go. This method uses diesel or kerosene fuel. The warm air flows to the areas of the ship you wish to heat through installed ducts. Units come in a variety of sizes, making forced air heaters or furnaces a viable option for many different commercial vessels.

5. Water Heaters

Hydronic heating solutions provide even heat distribution and increased precision over controlling the temperature of specific areas of the boat. Water heaters are extremely fuel-efficient and save space, as they can be installed in the engine room. An added benefit of hydronic heaters is that you can typically install them with a cooling system for all-weather climate control. 

6. Charcoal Heaters

A bulkhead mounted charcoal heater is perhaps the most efficient way to heat your boat in winter. This method is easy to install and use, providing ample dry heat at a low cost. Charcoal heaters do take a relatively long time to warm up, and they may not circulate as well beyond the main cabin when used on larger vessels.

Learn More About the Most Efficient Ways to Heat Your Commercial Boat

Thompson Marine can help you identify the boat heating methods that make the most sense for your particular vessels. Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable live representative.

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