Diesel Boat Heater
Installing a diesel boat heater aboard is a decision one will not regret because it provides a practical source good dry heat well suited for onboard heating and it also offers the opportunity to extend the use of the vessel well into the colder season. For vessels that do not have diesel engines onboard the possibility of having a diesel boat cabin heater aboard is still an option and one that is simpler than one might expect. Boat cabin heaters are available as floor mounted or bulkhead units for boats up to about 40’. For larges vessels these handy little boat cabin heaters are used to heat up a portion of the vessel’s interior. The smaller diesel boat heaters such as the ‘Newport
®’ manufactured by ‘Dickinson Marine ®’ is also designed to heat water with the addition of a heating coil that is used to heat water for hot water use. These types of heaters require minimal power and are available in a 12-volt, 24-volt or 32-volt configuration. ‘Dickinson Marine
®’ also manufactures the Lofoten Floor Mounted boat heater
that sports a cast iron top that can be used for cooking. For owners of a larger vessel needing to heat the entire boat, installing a hydronic heating system is a more practical option.
While traditionally being used in the trucking and shipping industry, the proheat diesel heater is a good option for keeping boat cabins warm throughout the winter and when cruising near the poles. The Proheat diesel heater is ideal for diesel powered vessels as it will supply minimal heat to prevent freezing over long periods of time.
A hydronic system is composed of a diesel fired boiler that heats a circulating solution of water and antifreeze in a closed loop. The solution passes through radiators equipped with a fan or fans that supply the hot air to heat the spaces. Each space can have its own radiator or they can share. A hydronic heating system is complicated and requires a slew of additional components but the option of heating multiple zones with each zone controlled by an independent thermostat becomes a appreciated possibility. For a hydronic heating system boiler, units such as manufactured by ‘Proheat ®’ are compact, fuel efficient and draw little power. A hydronic heating system can also become a hybrid by diverting hot forced air from one radiator and ducting the hot air to separate locations.
A diesel boat heater will require some additional equipment such as chimney pieces, a deck penetration and a chimney cap.
The diesel fuel is either supplied from the main diesel fuel tank or from a stand-alone axillary tank such as the stainless-steel gravity fuel tank manufactured by ‘Dickerson Marine ®’. When fuel is drawn from the main tank plumbing rated for diesel fuels must be used and the likelihood the installation will require a low-pressure fuel pumps such as the unit sold by ‘Dickerson Marine ®’
Hydronic Heater Parts
One of the key parts in the hydronic heating system beside the diesel fired boiler are the radiator units such as those manufactured by ‘Red Dot
®’ or ‘Heater Craft
®’. For adding forced air to a hydronic system kits
that include the ducting and vents are available from manufactures such as ‘Heater Craft ®’.