There is something special about being out on the water long after most boaters have gone home. While many have winterized their boats, stowed them away and taken up winter hobbies; you can’t imagine not being on your boat. With all the options available to heat your boat, there is no reason to shiver; by heating your cabin, you can even invite your friends and family to join you. For those who live on their boat year-round, heating is necessary – speaking with other boaters in the same position can help you determine the best options. Here are just a few of the heating options available to you:

  • If you are a winter day-tripper, you can consider a simple hydronic heating system; which circulates engine coolant through a closed loop between the main engine and a small cabin radiator; with heat distributed by a small electric fan. This is a safe and affordable option for those who will have access to shore power at night.
  • Hardware store electric space heaters work well in dry, fully enclosed cabins; be sure to watch how many watts they draw, and avoid open coil models that may tip over. There are many fuel burning space heaters, but make sure you choose one that is engineered specifically for use on-board a boat.  Marine space heaters can run on diesel, kerosene or propane; venting exhaust properly is important both for safety and comfort issues. Keep carbon monoxide detectors close by.
  • Forced air diesel heaters offer a popular blend of quick warm up, quiet operation and thermostatic temperature control. Late models have become more and more reliable, safe and sophisticated. The ducting can take up storage space, so consider two or three small heaters rather than one large one.
  • Many new boats come with a reverse cycle climate control that both heats and cools. However, because RC units pump heat from the outside water, it may not be the best solution for winter boating; these units work best at around 50 degree water temperature or higher. You may wish to consider a an A/C system equipped with a resistive heating coil or an engine coolant heat exchanger; which will permit the AC blower to distribute warmed air throughout the interior.

Regardless of which option you choose to heat your boat, don’t leave the dock without your Sign and Glide membership. Should anything go wrong, we will be on the scene to get you untangled, jump start the engine, top off your fuel – whatever you need help with, we’ll be there. Sign and Glide is one of the most important precautions you can take as you take out into winter water. Give us a call today!