We are currently only Gas Safe registered for domestic natural gas installations. Boat and other LPG services will follow towards the end of July.
Marine Heating Solutions is brought to you by the former directors of the Floating Boatyard, and started trading September 2018. Our services will include new installations and servicing of LPG boilers, diesel heaters and solid fuel stoves. We have marine gas engineers, boat stove fitters and other experienced professionals on our team.
We are passionate boaters and sailors, several of our team live aboard year round. This means we are well versed in the different marine heating solutions for keeping your vessel warm and can offer real-world, practical advice.
Each individual vessel has different needs, based on its construction and how it used. A liveaboard narrowboat in the depths of winter has different needs to a leisure fishing boat. Whether you are looking to stay comfortable during the worst of what the weather can through at us or just to take the chill out of a cool, spring morning, Marine Heating Solutions has the right equipment for you.
Marine Heating Tailored to Your Needs
Here we will talk you through some options to consider, depending on the type of boat you have and your planned usage. Visit the pages on LPG/ Gas, Diesel or Solid fuel for more detailed information on each type of appliance, or contact us to discuss your needs.
Residential vs. Leisure Usage
As touched on above, the way you use your boat will have an effect on the kind of heating you require. Residential boats are becoming ever more popular, particularly on the English canal system.
Leisure craft benefit from a simpler heating solution, no one wants to spend their precious free time aboard faultfinding on an excessively complex system. In our experience, most leisure craft are winterised October – April and thus the users miss the worst of the weather. For these systems, convenience is key. We recommend diesel or LPG systems for leisure boats, to minimise the need to source and store solid fuel.
For residential boats, we recommend a more robust installation, generally with more than one system (e.g. diesel heater plus solid fuel stove) to keep you warm even when the canal outside is frozen solid. Avoiding excess condensation is another concern, this can be resolved by proper insulation and adequate ventilation. Service intervals should be accounted for: your system should be able to see you through winter without having to hunt down marine heating engineers at their peak season to service the appliances.
Not every appliance is designed for continual use as would be seen on a residential boat during winter, we will take this into account while planning your solution. Our boat stove fitters become very busy during the winter months, as do our marine gas engineers.
Any gas works on a residential boat or a boat hired out to the public MUST be carried out by Gas Safe registered marine gas engineers.
Narrowboats, common on UK canals and non-tidal rivers, offer a unique set of challenges for keeping warm. Their long and narrow shape (6’10 wide only, and anywhere up to 72′ long) means that it can be difficult to heat the whole boat evenly. Traditionally, they would have been heated by a solid fuel stove and this is a system which many boaters use to this day.
Solid fuel stoves remain popular for several reasons. Firstly, if correctly maintained and fired, they can give out heat 24/7 for weeks at a time. Our boat stove fitters can give you advice on the most effective operation of your stove. Secondly, there is an existing infrastructure in place on most canals to supply the fuel, from passing coal boats or marinas. Finally, they are a romantic addition to traditional-style boats. Part of the appeal of boating through winter is the thought of whiling away a long, dark night reading in front of a warm stove.
Diesel-fueled stoves are popular for much the same reason, with the added bonus that they are cleaner in operation as there is no coal dust or ash in the living areas.
Solid fuel stoves do require some knowledge to operate, as do diesel stoves. There is also a delay of 30 minutes – 1 hour of getting heat into the cabin as the stove must warm up first.
Due to the shape of a narrowboat, with long, narrow corridors, cabins at the far reaches of the boat will not get warm. This can be overcome with well-placed stove fans to direct the air, our boat stove fitters can advise on this. Many people chose to have some additional heating in the form of radiators powered by a backboiler or a diesel heater or second small stove at the extreme reaches of the boat.
Finally, our marine gas engineers can help with all your galley and cooker needs, whether it is installing a boat-specific cooker or converting a suitable domestic appliance.
Marine Heating Solutions for Barges and Larger Vessels
As the size of the vessel to be heated increases, so does the strain put on the heating system. For larger vessels, there are arguments to be made for installing LPG combi or system boilers. Essentially the same as LPG boilers for domestic use, these provide both heating via radiators and hot water. Diesel powered marine boilers are also available for use where it is difficult to come by regular supplies of LPG.
Both of these systems can be scaled up to meet the needs of most larger vessels. They do attact a higher upfront cost, but in the long term, installing these systems works out cheaper than constantly maintaining a patched together system. We have marine gas engineers on our team (Gas Safe registered) who are able to install LPG systems safely and effectively.
GRP Cabin Cruisers and other Fibreglass Vessels
Fibreglass or GRP boats have different installation requirements to narrowboats and barges which are typical of a steel construction. It is often more straightforward to fit a hot air system into fibreglass boats, running ducting in inconspicuous areas. There is often minimal wall space for hanging pipework as found in wet systems. Hot air systems are usually diesel heaters, although there are some LPG heaters available. Our marine gas engineers can fit the LPG heaters safely and effectively.
Fitting solid fuel stoves to this type of vessel requires a professional. Protecting the structure of the boat from heat given off by the stove is vital, any hearth must be constructed correctly. Our boat stove fitters will be able to see if a solid fuel stove is right for your personal boat.
Heating Yachts and Sailing Vessels
Marine heating systems for sailing vessels such as yachts and sailing barges must take into account an extra consideration. When underway, the boat will heel over. Not every boat heating system on the market is constructed in a way that will allow this. Some diesel stoves are not suitable for sailing vessels, although there are alternatives available. Any stove, solid fuel or diesel, must be very securely affixed. Our boat stove fitters can ensure that this is the case.
Most heating system function by combustion – i.e. they burn the fuel. This can produce byproducts such as Carbon Dioxide, condensation and most dangerously, Carbon Monoxide. When installing systems, particularly on sailing vessels which are subject to high winds, it is vital that you consult a professional marine heating engineer who will advise on the safest place for the exhaust of these gases.
We strongly advise that you contact our marine gas engineers, who are registered with Gas Safe, to install any gas work on your boat, whether residential or leisure. Our boat stove fitters can advise you on the right kind of chimney system for any solid fuel stoves