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Home » Product & Planning Guide » Heating » Heating Option Comparison on
Canal Boats & Narrowboats


Welcome to our heating quick comparison for canal boat heating.

Here we aim to highlight the main benefits, considerations along with the associated price ranges in relation to canal boat heating systems.

Typical Price Range: £500 - £1200
Features: Considerations:
The most reliable heating solution Regular manual lifting & sourcing of heavy solid fuels
Can be very economical Poor or inefficient combustion will generate CO
Extremely effective localised heat source Localised heat source, can leave cold spots
Low cost, low maintenance Hot, exposed fire is a burn hazard
Cosy ambience on cold winter nights Regular maintenance is required for efficiency & safety
Optional back-boilers for some models  

Typical Price Range: £800 - £2000
Features: Considerations:
Fuel Storage is already on your boat Localised heat source, so can leave areas of the boat cold
Silent operation Requires regular de-coking
Do not use any electricity when gravity fed No automatic thermostatic control
Heat output is easily controlled Burn hazard for anyone living in or visiting the boat
Constant 24hr heat Requires an electrically powered pump if not gravity fed
Optional water heating with many models  

Typical Price Range: £500 - £2500
Features: Considerations:
Low maintenance Can be noisy
Can be installed in the engine bay Require good quality fuel
Compact dimensions Maybe considered expensive if used all the time
Room or radiator thermostats  
Can heat domestic hot water  
Optional water heating with many models  

Typical Price Range: £1300 - £2500
Features: Considerations:
Much smaller hoses to run through bulkheads etc. Fuel Cost
Can also heat domestic water BSS pressing to remove gas fired appliances from inland waterways for safety reasons
Less heat loss over distance than blown air or space heaters Mains 240v AC alone only suitable for heating a small tank or calorifier, NOT a full radiator system
Simpler technology  
A well specified system can also run from 240v AC  
Home-style familiarity  

Typical Price Range: £30 - £500
Features: Considerations:
Silent Expensive to run
Maintenance Free Power hungry
Mostly simple installation Not practical for all owners
Cheap to install Some types are a fire hazard

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