How do I choose the right diesel boat heater for my needs?

Boat in Finnish archipelago

When it is time to wake up to a new boating season, many boaters begin to improve their boats and attempt to make the upcoming season even better than the last. The cold temperatures that cut the evening get-togethers short may still be fresh in memory and taking measures to not experience it again is on top of the “To-Do” list. But getting the most powerful heater to never experience the cold again may not be exactly what you need.

Choose a heater with the right power level for your needs

Wallas Advanced Control panel paired with the wireless sensor is equipped to optimize the heater power in a wide variety of spaces, but simply buying the largest heater may not be the way to go. If the heater is too powerful, it will most likely keep the space too hot. Keeping the windows open to remove the excess heat is not smart energy management either. In the other end of the spectrum, buying the most compact size heater may be good for a very small boat, but if it is not powerful enough for the space, it will work hard to try to follow the demands of the thermostat. Even if it is able to increase the temperature a few degrees, over-working the heater will surely end up in maintenance issues and increased noise. Over-burdening the heater will also result in extra fuel consumption, which is not to any boater’s advantage.

Distinctive to Wallas, there are two independent, brushless, ball-bearing, highly durable and long-lasting fan motors. The combustion fan, controlled by the electronics, optimizes a precise burning process, while the main blower transfers the heat to the cabin. Competitive products have only one motor with the combustion fan and the main blower on the same shaft. In these devices, the heat output cannot be adjusted without compromising the fuel-air mixture and their ventilation fan does not always follow the power variations of the device. This feature makes Wallas heaters more versatile for different sizes of boats. The big advantage is there is no need to be extremely precise about the size of the heater, because the power output can be adjusted; especially in the newer Viking and Spartan models.

For large spaces, it may even be viable to install two heaters to find the balance between comfort and energy consumption. The needed heat output is also based largely on the material (wood, fiberglass, aluminum etc.) and structure of the boat. These type of questions are best to go over with a professional Wallas distributor, who can present you with the different options and make suggestions. Typically, we recommend smaller heaters such as 22 GB to be used in boats that are 5-7 m /16-22 ft, and more powerful heaters like Spartan Air for boats averaging 9-12 m / 29-40 ft in length, but often a Spartan is sufficient for boats up to 15 m / 50 ft.

Wallas Remote Control App is easy to operate anywhere

When choosing the right heater, remember to also think about how you will control the heater, where you can install the control panel, and how easy it is for you to reach the panel in all weather conditions. Wallas-Marin has moved on to smart technologies, which allow you to control your heater with a mobile app. Even if you don’t have a wireless router on your boat, you can control the heater with the app through a short-range wireless connection built into the control panel. Pulling your phone from your pocket and adjusting the temperature couldn’t be much easier. With a wireless router aboard, you also have the possibility to access the heater from your home. This is particularly convenient if you want to save time and keep everyone comfortable without the wait. You can turn the heater on when you are leaving the house and the boat will be warm by the time you arrive at the marina. Wallas models that operate with the app are the Spartan and Viking models, and 40 EA water heater.

Having multiple air vents will distribute heat evenly

Another decision you would need to make is the number of air vents that you would like to have in the cabin. If you only install one, you will have hot air flowing only from one location and it may leave the other end of the space cool. Multiple vents are recommended for larger spaces, but again, too many vents only create unnecessary installation headaches. For a touch of luxury, you could also direct a vent to the outdoor deck where you like to sit and enjoy the evenings. When you don’t want to let the air outside, simply close the vent. The most optimal heater installation will allow you to relax on cooler nights indoors and on the deck!

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