Everything you Need to Know About Marine Water Heaters for Your Boat


When you’re sailing or cruising on your boat, the first thing you always want to do is make sure you’re comfortable. Heat and hot water are definitely a necessity when you’re spending some time on your boat, so you’re most likely going to want to have marine heaters installed. They’re a crucial component for your boat as a boat radio, and you’ll definitely want to have something that provides the most comfort possible. There are a few things that you need to know first before committing to a marine heater, which is why I’ve compiled this handy list of info for you.

What Exactly are Marine Heaters?

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When you’re out on the sea, you definitely don’t want to be left out without heat, either in general, or for a nice hot shower. The main purpose of a marine water heater is ensuring you’re always warm and have access to clean hot water for hygienic purposes. They typically use electricity, propane gas, or the boat’s engine wasted energy, so you have a lot of options to choose from. They are also designed with high quality materials because they’re meant to be used for a long time, which makes marine water heaters indispensable powered appliances that should be installed on any boat.

Types and Features

Like with most similar appliances, boat water heaters are designed differently. There are a few different types, each with its own set of features that makes them useful in different situations. The main similarity is that most manufacturers design their marine water heaters with a corrosion-resistant casing, typically made out of aluminium or stainless steel. They also have water tanks that usually vary in size somewhere between 20 and 75 litres.


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Electric units utilise the immersion heaters, which are typically found in the lowest part of the tank. That’s because the water in the lowest part of the tank is usually the coldest, and that’s where the unit can draw out the heating element’s maximum. Also, to avoid any mixing of hot and cold water, special attention is given to water inlets and outlets, so that you can safely enjoy cold and hot water separately. The electric-powered marine water heaters plug into 110V once they’re hooked on shore power.


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If you’re looking for water heaters for boats that have been designed with the marine environment in mind, then look no further than propane-powered ones. They’re incredibly sturdy and durable and can be mounted pretty much anywhere on the boat. They’re quite effective at what they do, and they still need some electricity to operate because they depend strictly on the engine’s performance. Pretty much all of the propane-powered heaters are good, with the main difference between them being the quality of the materials. Typically, the higher quality ones have Incoloy sheathed heating elements, while the others are built from copper, and they have a higher failure rate.

Top Manufacturers

There are a few manufacturers that you should consider before committing to a marine water heater. That doesn’t mean these ones are the only ones worth considering, but they typically have a good track record of quality.


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The main things you can always expect out of Atwood headers is that they’re always reliable and efficient. They’re usually equipped with high-quality 1.4kW and 1.5kW Incoloy heating elements, which are designed to provide hot water quickly and survive an operational attempt when the tank is empty, which is the main reason that kills copper heating elements. Atwood heaters are light, and they have a casing made out of corrosion-resistant aluminium. The tanks use specialised aluminium alloys that extend the tank’s life, while at the same time reduce the overall weight.


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Torrid heaters are known for their long lifespans. Their tanks have two layers of protective elements against corrosion, which are a heavy-duty glass lining and an oversized magnesium anode rod. That’s one of the main reasons why Torrid heaters last much longer, specifically because they’re built to withstand high-temperature environments. They also have high-density fibreglass insulation that greatly improves water usage as it keeps the water longer in the tank. Their super-efficient heat exchanger, along with high-quality materials used make Torrid heaters a favourite when it comes to installing marine heaters in the boat.


These marine heaters are highly efficient and consist of a high-efficiency extended surface heat exchanger with a finned tube, a stainless steel tank that is resistant to corrosion, as well as 1.5kW heating elements that have a long life. They also have a 5cm water-blown foam insulation that is entirely free of chlorofluorocarbon, which is also perfectly safe for the environment and protects the unit from wasting power, as well as reduces loss of heat.

Having a marine water heater installed on your boat is practically a must. They’re extremely important, not just for heat, but also for personal hygiene, which you don’t want to be without when you’re out for the sea. That means they’re quite vital for your overall health, besides keeping you warm at night. Make sure to follow all manufacturer instructions about keeping your heaters healthy and functioning, and after that, you’re going to have a great time out at sea.