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having decided that my old kontite gas fires are past their best i am looking at webasto or eberspacher sytems.as the boat cabin is only 21 ft long i was concerned that most sytems would be too powerful and one firm who are quoting for me suggested the webasto airtop which is 3.5kw at full output and only 1.5kw at the low one.


as these were orginally designed for trucks i was wondering how common they are in boats and how efficiently they would heat a long thin cabin rather than a square truck cabin?it certainly would create much less mess (it would have 3 duct air outlets to heat the boat) than a full wet system and with space at a premium i am tempted .anyone with relevant experience out there?


i also thought about fitting myself ...any body done this?




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  • 2 weeks later...

A friend of mine on the River Stort over in Essex had an elderly Eberspacher which gave up the ghost. He has bought a Webasto Air Heater from a written off, virtually new truck. We are just fitting it together this weekend. It came with a manual and all the fitting kit, so I guess he must have got it from some form of trade dealer. I'll ask him when I see him later.

Air heating is fine for smaller boats. His is 37ft and it heats up fine.

The installation is also pretty easy, providing you can get the air trunking, which is quite chunky through the bulkheads and around obstacles.


It also has a variable speed blower which moderates the heat.

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Just a postscript. The heater is in and works well. It is an Airtop 3500 and was bought on E-Bay. The heat output is good (not unlike the hand driers that you get in a public WC). We have even managed to connect it up to a thermostat like you get in domestic central heating so that the cabin temp can be controlled. The only downside is that the fuel pump supplied with it ticks, which I guess could be a bit irritating at night on a quiet mooring.

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thanks to all who replied .ive taken the plunge and am having a webasto air heater fitted next week.am looking forward to cosy winter trips only problem is the GU is closed a mile or so from the boat for the next 3 weeks.perhaps i'll just sit on it and read the sunday paper and listen to radio 4.

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