Best Diesel Heater For Boat

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Maybe you’ve been wrap­ping your­self in every piece of cloth­ing you own, just to stave off the cold of a chilly anchor­age night. I feel you. Trust me, even the most stun­ning sea view can lose its charm when your teeth are chat­ter­ing.

Enter the diesel heater: your warm, com­fort­ing ally against the frosty assaults of the open water. Now, I know you’re think­ing, “Which one is the best for my boat?” Because let’s be real, no one wants to be stuck with a sec­ond-rate piece of equip­ment when you’re miles away from the near­est hard­ware store.

Best Diesel Heaters For Boat

When choos­ing a diesel heater for your boat, con­sid­er fac­tors such as the size of your boat, heat­ing capac­i­ty need­ed, fuel effi­cien­cy, noise lev­el, ease of instal­la­tion, and com­pat­i­bil­i­ty with your boat’s elec­tri­cal sys­tem. It’s also rec­om­mend­ed to con­sult with a pro­fes­sion­al or expe­ri­enced boaters to deter­mine the best option for your spe­cif­ic needs and boat set­up.

  1. Webas­to Air Top 2000 STC: This one tops the charts for reli­a­bil­i­ty and effi­cien­cy. It’s com­pact, fuel-effi­cient, and works silent­ly to keep your cab­in warm. Webas­to’s rep­u­ta­tion in the marine indus­try is unpar­al­leled, and with good rea­son. The Air Top 2000 STC is per­fect for small to medi­um-sized boats.
  2. Espar D2 Airtron­ic: Anoth­er hot pick (pun intend­ed!) for your heat­ing needs. Espar’s D2 Airtron­ic offers rapid warm-up times and works great in even the cold­est con­di­tions. It’s a bit prici­er, but the invest­ment pays off in its high-qual­i­ty per­for­mance and dura­bil­i­ty.
  3. Pla­nar 44D-12: Bud­get-friend­ly and effi­cient, Pla­nar’s 44D-12 is a diesel air heater that’s got every­thing you need. It oper­ates qui­et­ly and is sim­ple to install. A fan­tas­tic option if you’re watch­ing your wal­let.
  4. Dick­in­son Marine New­port P9000: This one’s a cab­in heater that uses diesel or kerosene. It’s a great choice for boats up to 30′. Not only does it pro­vide excel­lent heat­ing, but its sleek design will give your cab­in a cozy, tra­di­tion­al feel.

Tip: Whichev­er mod­el you choose, make sure it fits your space, pow­er require­ments, and bud­get. And remem­ber, hav­ing a warm boat means more than just com­fort — it’s about safe­ty, too. Hypother­mia can sneak up on you in cold, wet con­di­tions, even if you’re a tough-as-nails sailor.

How to Find Best Diesel Heater for Boat

The best diesel heaters for boats depend on the size and type of boat, as well as its intend­ed use. A few of the top-rat­ed diesel heaters for boats are Webas­to Air Top 2000 STC, Eber­späch­er D3WZ, and Wal­las 30DT. These heaters are reli­able, effi­cient, and pro­vide a com­fort­able envi­ron­ment for both the boat and its occu­pants. They are also easy to install and main­tain, mak­ing them ide­al for a vari­ety of boat own­ers.

  • Assess Your Needs: Size of your boat, cli­mate, and fre­quen­cy of use. A week­end sailor in mild weath­er has dif­fer­ent needs than a full-time live­aboard in frigid waters.
  • Bud­get: Decide how much you’re will­ing to spend. Remem­ber, a diesel heater is an invest­ment in com­fort and safe­ty.
  • Pow­er Out­put: Check the heater’s BTU rat­ing. High­er BTUs mean more heat, but make sure it’s suit­able for your boat’s size to avoid over­heat­ing.
  • Fuel Effi­cien­cy: A more fuel-effi­cient heater can save you mon­ey in the long run, even if it costs a bit more upfront.
  • Noise Lev­el: Some heaters are qui­eter than oth­ers. If you val­ue your peace and qui­et, this might be a major con­sid­er­a­tion.
  • Instal­la­tion: Some heaters are eas­i­er to install than oth­ers. If you’re DIY-ing, check the com­plex­i­ty of instal­la­tion.
  • Brand Rep­u­ta­tion: Opt for brands known for their qual­i­ty and cus­tomer ser­vice. User reviews are a good way to gauge this.
  • Main­te­nance: Look for heaters that are known for their dura­bil­i­ty and are easy to ser­vice.

There are a vari­ety of oth­er options avail­able on the mar­ket. Many of these heaters are designed specif­i­cal­ly for marine appli­ca­tions, and come with fea­tures such as water-resis­tant hous­ings, cor­ro­sion-resis­tant com­po­nents, and spe­cial­ly designed fuel tanks. Some are even equipped with tem­per­a­ture sen­sors, enabling them to main­tain a com­fort­able tem­per­a­ture even when the boat is in motion.

How to Find Best Diesel Heater for Boat

What to Consider When Buying a Diesel Heater

It is impor­tant to deter­mine the size of the space you wish to heat and the amount of fuel that will be need­ed to heat it. The type of fuel you choose should match the type of heater you are look­ing for. There are many dif­fer­ent types of diesel fuel avail­able, so it is impor­tant to ensure that you are select­ing the cor­rect one for your heat­ing needs. You should make sure that the heater is sized cor­rect­ly for your space. It is impor­tant to con­sid­er the cost of the heater, as well as any addi­tion­al parts or acces­sories that may be nec­es­sary for instal­la­tion.

  • Heat­ing Capac­i­ty: Deter­mine the heat­ing capac­i­ty you need based on the size of your boat and the desired lev­el of com­fort. Make sure the heater is capa­ble of pro­vid­ing suf­fi­cient heat for your boat’s cab­in or inte­ri­or space.

  • Fuel Effi­cien­cy: Look for a diesel heater that offers good fuel effi­cien­cy. This will help you save on fuel costs and ensure longer run­ning times with­out the need for fre­quent refu­el­ing.

  • Size and Instal­la­tion: Con­sid­er the size and dimen­sions of the diesel heater to ensure it fits prop­er­ly in your boat’s des­ig­nat­ed instal­la­tion area. Check if it requires any spe­cif­ic mount­ing or ven­ti­la­tion require­ments.

  • Noise Lev­el: Diesel heaters can pro­duce noise dur­ing oper­a­tion. Look for mod­els that offer qui­et oper­a­tion or have noise-reduc­ing fea­tures to min­i­mize any dis­tur­bance while on board.

  • Con­trols and Set­tings: Con­sid­er the user inter­face and con­trols of the diesel heater. Look for mod­els with user-friend­ly con­trols and set­tings that allow you to eas­i­ly adjust tem­per­a­ture, fan speed, and oth­er set­tings.

  • Safe­ty Fea­tures: Ensure that the diesel heater has built-in safe­ty fea­tures such as over­heat pro­tec­tion, flame-out detec­tion, and auto­mat­ic shut­down in case of fuel or elec­tri­cal issues. These fea­tures are essen­tial for safe and reli­able oper­a­tion.

  • Com­pat­i­bil­i­ty: Check if the diesel heater is com­pat­i­ble with your boat’s elec­tri­cal sys­tem and fuel sup­ply. Ensure that it meets the nec­es­sary volt­age require­ments and can be eas­i­ly inte­grat­ed into your boat’s exist­ing set­up.

  • Brand and War­ran­ty: Con­sid­er rep­utable brands that are known for man­u­fac­tur­ing high-qual­i­ty marine diesel heaters. Check the war­ran­ty offered by the man­u­fac­tur­er to ensure peace of mind and sup­port in case of any issues.

When it comes to buy­ing the best diesel heater for your boat, there are a few key fac­tors to con­sid­er. Here’s what you should look for:

Types of Diesel Heaters for Boats

When it comes to choos­ing the best diesel heater for your boat, you’ll need to decide which type is right for you. Here are the types of diesel heaters avail­able:

  • Forced Air Heaters: These are the pop­u­lar kids on the block. Forced air heaters work by com­bust­ing diesel to heat air, which is then pushed out into your space by a fan. They’re effi­cient, com­pact, and offer quick and pow­er­ful heat­ing. Exam­ples include the Webas­to Air Top series or Espar D2 Airtron­ic.
  • Hydron­ic Heaters: These are the ‘cen­tral heat­ing’ of the boat world. They heat a coolant mix­ture that’s then cir­cu­lat­ed to heat exchang­ers placed around the boat, pro­vid­ing a slow, steady, and silent heat. They also have the added ben­e­fit of being able to heat domes­tic hot water. Look at the Webas­to Ther­mo series for an idea of what’s avail­able.
  • Bulk­head-Mount­ed Heaters: These are small, vent­ed heaters that are mount­ed on the inte­ri­or walls (bulk­heads) of the boat. They’re more straight­for­ward in design and oper­a­tion but don’t offer the same pow­er or effi­cien­cy as forced air or hydron­ic heaters. Dick­in­son is a well-known man­u­fac­tur­er of these types of heaters.

There are sev­er­al types of diesel heaters avail­able, includ­ing forced air heaters, radi­ant heaters, and com­bus­tion heaters. Forced air heaters use a fan to blow heat­ed air into a space, while radi­ant heaters use infrared radi­a­tion to heat the area direct­ly. Combustion heaters are the most effi­cient type of diesel heater, as they direct­ly burn the diesel fuel to gen­er­ate heat. All diesel heaters require a venting sys­tem to safe­ly vent the exhaust out­side.

Types of Diesel Heaters

Installation Considerations

Once you’ve cho­sen the best diesel heater for your boat, it’s time to install it. Here are some things to con­sid­er when installing your diesel heater:


Make sure you have ade­quate ven­ti­la­tion for your diesel heater, as this will ensure it oper­ates safe­ly and effi­cient­ly. Take the time to mea­sure the area where you plan to install your heater and ensure that it has enough space for ade­quate ven­ti­la­tion.

Fuel Line

If you’re installing a direct vent heater, you’ll need to install a fuel line in order to oper­ate it. Make sure you use the right type of fuel line for your heater and have it pro­fes­sion­al­ly installed to ensure it is safe.

Electrical Connections

If you’re installing a diesel heater that requires elec­tric­i­ty, you’ll need to make sure the elec­tri­cal con­nec­tions are prop­er­ly installed. It’s best to have a pro­fes­sion­al elec­tri­cian install the elec­tri­cal con­nec­tions to ensure they meet local codes and are safe.

Maintenance Tips

Once your diesel heater is installed, it’s impor­tant to keep it well main­tained. Here are some tips for keep­ing your diesel heater in tip-top shape:

Regular Cleaning

It’s impor­tant to clean your diesel heater reg­u­lar­ly. Make sure you clean the air fil­ters and check the fuel lines for leaks.

Regular Servicing

Have your diesel heater ser­viced reg­u­lar­ly to ensure it’s oper­at­ing cor­rect­ly. A pro­fes­sion­al tech­ni­cian can inspect your heater and make any nec­es­sary repairs or adjust­ments.

Regular Refueling

Make sure you refu­el your diesel heater on a reg­u­lar basis to ensure it’s always run­ning effi­cient­ly. This will also help you reduce fuel costs.


Which is the most fuel-efficient diesel heater for a boat?

Forced air heaters like the Webas­to Air Top series or Espar D2 Airtron­ic are pret­ty fuel-effi­cient. They uti­lize diesel fuel direct­ly from your boat’s fuel tank and can run for hours with­out con­sum­ing too much.

Can I install a diesel heater on my boat myself?

While many diesel heaters come with DIY instal­la­tion kits and man­u­als, if you’re not mechan­i­cal­ly inclined, it might be a bit of a chal­lenge. The instal­la­tion involves mak­ing con­nec­tions to your boat’s fuel sys­tem and elec­tri­cal sys­tem, and poten­tial­ly drilling holes in your boat’s struc­ture.

How do I maintain my boat’s diesel heater?

Main­te­nance for diesel heaters usu­al­ly involves reg­u­lar clean­ing, espe­cial­ly the com­bus­tion cham­ber, and peri­od­ic checks of the fuel line, exhaust pipe, and elec­tri­cal con­nec­tions. Always refer to your heater’s man­u­al for spe­cif­ic main­te­nance instruc­tions. Reg­u­lar main­te­nance will keep your heater effi­cient, safe, and extend its life.


A diesel heater is a great way to keep your boat warm and com­fort­able dur­ing the cold­er months. But, it’s impor­tant to make sure you choose the best diesel heater for your boat. Con­sid­er the size, fuel effi­cien­cy, and safe­ty fea­tures of the heater you’re con­sid­er­ing, and make sure you have it pro­fes­sion­al­ly installed. Most impor­tant­ly, make sure you keep your diesel heater well main­tained to ensure it’s always run­ning effi­cient­ly. With these tips, you can be sure to find the best diesel heater for your boat.

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