I have been researching boat heaters today. Coming from the South Island of New Zealand, I know only too well what it is like to be cold, and we would like to be able to do some sailing in cold places, and wintering over here and there, I think that a heater might be a good option for us to consider.
There seems to be all sorts of options from LPG, paraffin, diesel and solid burners, some are mounted on bulkheads and others are mounted in the engine room.
It will be interesting to see if the yacht production company offers heating as an add-on to the basic price. It seems that all of the options require decent ventilation to run, to avoid any dangerous fumes accumulating in the cabin.
Webasto seems to be a reputable brand which has been mentioned in a few forums. They suggest that live aboard people do not use their air heating system as the air can not be ‘stored’ which leads to excessive run times and maintenance issues. So they recommend their water heating system – which heats the boat and your water as well.
Mikuni and Wallas also get very good reviews but Eberspacher do not!
As there are a lot of pipes and installation looks quite technical, I think this will be something that would be best to be installed when the boat is being built.
From what I can see prices seems to start around the NZD$3000 mark for an air heater. I think we will be wanting hot water anyway, so the upgrade to the water heater with boat heater combined will be the best option.
More research required here!