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winter heaters on boats

can i use a greenhouse type heater to provide a low level of heat in my boat during freezing weather

Asked by: HGRIFFITHS  | 5.58pm, Monday 6 December

WW says:

If by a greenhouse heater, you mean a mains electric one (such as 60 to 500W in power) then, that is fine.
On the other hand, a paraffin-type heater might give a low-level heat, but I wouldn't be happy leaving it unattended. Also, as it wouldn't be flued, you would increase the condensation/humidity levels in the craft. Every litre of kerosene (paraffin) burnt will give about 1.3 litres of water, as vapour.
Also, there is the inherent danger of the heater toppling over, however remote- and I am not sure that most insurance companies would cover any damage caused. Even with a fail-safe wick (one that shuts off if the heater topples) is not enough of a guarantee. You would probably be invalidating your boat safety certificate as well, as freestanding fuel-burning heaters are not allowed (and for all new appliances, would have to be flued). This would probably then nullify your insurance, if something went wrong.
Other, safer ways of heating, if you have a 230V supply, is to leave on 3 or 4 60W (or 40W) ordinary, incandescent bulbs, which will give enough background heat to keep the interior above freezing.
If you have central heating, you could put it on to heat the boat up for a couple of hours twice a day, if you have a timeswitch.
The only other option is proper winterising, and draining anything that could freeze, that you can't frost protect.

Mark Langley  | 12.26PM, Tuesday 7 December

No problem- if we can be of any help, just let us know!

Mark Langley  | 3.17PM, Tuesday 7 December

Readers say:

thank you,i will consiser either electric option

HGRIFFITHS  | 2.28PM, Tuesday 7 December

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