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Bilge Heater Install Picks

old skool malibu

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Any crew members out there with a bilge heater? Woulld like to see some picks of your install... Thinking with the cold spring that is forecast may not be a bad idea. Will help extend our short season! Any issues/ safety concerns with leaving the boat pluged during the week when I am not at the lake?

Edited by old skool malibu
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I think you've heard my thoughts on the whole thing, OSM.... probably more than a few times. I have everything setup so that I can drain it all, plug in the bilge heater & on-board charger, cover the boat & park it in 10 or 15 min. And I sleep fine knowing that the boat will be fine even if we get some cold nights or a little snow on it.

Heres a shot of the Boatsafe Jr heater bolted to the firewall in my boat. The plug wire is coiled up under the back seat, so it's easy to grab it & throw it over the side or back of the boat to be plugged in.

Let me know if you have any questions at all.


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How much insurance do they carry in case your boat catches on fire due the boat heater and destroys your boat as well as the the other 4 in the storage units next to you..

J/K - you are a more brave man than I. I would be afraid of something catching fire.

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Wow, I don't get that one at all. Why would it be unsafe to run a marine rated heater in a marine environment? :unsure:

It's probably a lot safer than running a light bulb in your bilge. These heaters meet US Coast Guard standards that your own boats ignition, starter & alternator have to meet..... and yet your still willing to use them?! :crazy:

From their website


Safety – It’s in our name for a reason

From the very beginning, safety was of the utmost concern in designing the BoatSafe® heater. Ignition protection and thermodynamically safe and efficient heating is the design backbone of every bilge heater we have ever made. We have set the industry standard in safety for you and your boat. Boaters have trusted us since 1990, and no one else can make that claim.

Our bilge heaters have also been subjected to rigorous testing by the respected IMANNA lab in Rockledge, Florida and received the following certifications: ABYC:E11, ISO:8846, SAE:J1171, USCG Ignition Protection Standards, CE. Additionally, the casing is made with RoHS compliant materials. BoatSafe, Inc is an integral part of the marine and safety industries for your protection and confidence.

Ignition Protection

The patented Boatsafe® bilge heater has been certified safe to use around explosive gases.

Active Heat Window

The temperature range at which the Boatsafe® bilge heater cycles on and off to safely and effectively keep the engine compartment above freezing.

Marine Rated Cable

A cable that is specifically designed for a harsh marine environment.

5 + 5 Venting

The patented Boatsafe® bilge heater case design features 5 intake and 5 exhaust vents that safely and evenly distribute heat throughout the engine compartment.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky
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No sweat. I understand these heaters are not normally found in ski boats. But believe me, they are normally found in a LOT of other types of boats, eg; houseboats & boats that are moored on the water throughout the winter.

And after 4 yrs of using them personally, I find that it's just an extra level of protection that allows me to extend my season by months into the spring & fall, and speed up my "winterizing" process to the point that I can do it in minutes..... multiple times over a single year.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky
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I can verify that you can discolor your boat carpet by leaving a conventional fan type heater plugged in under your canvas boat cover. Like from beautiful blue to black.

It happened to a very very close personal friend of mine :whistle:

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Thanks for the comments. The heater would be used diuing the spring and fall months when the boat is parked in my driveway at the lake, 1 hr away. This would be early May till late Oct. I am doubtful there would be any serious cold days that I would actually have to drain the block etc, so this would be a "just incase". You never know up here in Alberta, it is quite possible to get a rapid change in weather. I really dont want to drain the block each and every time.

As Bill said these heaters are certified and really quite safe. I dont see the difference between pluging in your boat to a onboard charger and leaving it for the week. There is always a risk something can go wrong but look at all the big boats that run shore power.

I am more so curious to know if anyone does leave their boat "plugged in" when they are not around.

Bill - did you use a special bracket or is the heater directly screwed into the divider brace?

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The heater has small angle brackets on the bottom so it can be screwed directly to any flat surface. It also has a bracket to mount it standing up but I didn't find any way to make that work in the Vride. Bolting it to the side panel was easy to do, & easy to remove if I needed to work around it.

Good luck with your install. :rockon:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bill - I'm not trying to be a wise guy when asking, but in your first post on this topic you say that you drain everything, and then plug in the heater. If you drain everything, why still the heater? Is it just for peace of mind or something that I'm missing?

I'm finally full time on a lake and looking to put my boat in on April 1 when the ramp opens (assuming the ice is gone), rather than my typical Memorial Day weekend. I know I'm going to face some nights below freezing and trying to figure out the best plan of attack.

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Yea, it's just peace of mind. If we have the right riders around, we'll be in the water early & late enough in the year that we drain it after every day on the lake. No anti-freeze, but use the bilge heater instead. We can have snow here till May, and easily by Halloween. But still be riding any nice weekend.

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I can verify that you can discolor your boat carpet by leaving a conventional fan type heater plugged in under your canvas boat cover.


Ruhh Rohh.

See next post to verify what I have is what you're talking about.

I am more so curious to know if anyone does leave their boat "plugged in" when they are not around.

I have 2 of this style dehumidifiers running inside my boat 24/7 for the past ~5 yrs.

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I have 2 of this style dehumidifiers running inside my boat 24/7 for the past ~5 yrs.

When I lived in Seattle I used one of these too. Never had a problem. Now I live in the desert & it's dry as he11 about 80% of the time so I haven't needed it.

I didn't think that was what Dontw8 was referring to though. I wouldn't think the fan would cause the discoloration, but the heating element.

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