How many heaters have you gone through?
I use a West Marine 1500W cabin heater, the ones you can buy for around $70 that sit on the floor, to keep the boat heated in winter. I leave a door open to the engine compartment, and it also basically heats the rest of the boat without a problem. However, the last 3 years in a row, I end up having to buy a new heater. One year, I had to buy two. The problem is they’re really cheap, and then the other issue I believe is the water and marine environment.
I found two major manufacturers out there who make bilge heaters, which is really what I care about. The best one with the smallest footprint appears to be Xtreme Heaters. I’m considering the 750W model, even though my boat isn’t that large, I’d prefer that it kept the majority of the entire boat warm no matter what.
I don’t like the temporary ones on the floor because of the potential for fire, movement, and because they seem to fail really easily.
I’d like to get one of these bilge heaters, and I know I have the room, but I would also like something that gives the rest of the cabin a little bit more heat – the bilge heaters I’ve found only kick in at 40 degrees, and then off at 55 maximum. Not a really warm temperature if you happen to be working on the boat in an evening. Of course, I know I could use one of the portable units when I’m on the boat, but if I’m wiring in something new, why can’t it heat the entire boat?
I can’t find anything but the bilge heaters that seem to have a decent enough warranty and design that they would last in a marine environment…
I suppose I could just install two of them, but again, it’s still only going to get to 55 degrees at the most.
What I really would like to find is a marine grade heater that runs off of AC power and is simple to mount and install.