For a safe warm heat on a boat you won't go far wrong with a good oil filled radiator. This Dimplex doesn't break the bank or my flimsy electrical connection. Here's my tried and tested Dimplex Essentials Oil filled radiator after 6 years use.

Product Overview

Overall rating:



  • heats up a saloon comfortably, range of power settings, great for drying wet clothes


  • requires quite a bit of floor space, not as easy to stow as a smaller heater, takes a while to get warm


Dimplex Essentials 2kW Oil Filled Radiator – reviewed

Dimplex Essentials DEOC20 2kW Oil Filled Radiator

Best portable boat heater for all round heating performance

I use this radiator on my boat and after trying a range of others, this is the one I’m currently favouring for general all round ambient heat. It takes a while to get going as it is oil filled, but once it is up to temperature, which can be pretty hot, too hot for me to touch, then the saloon of my Dehler 36 is warm and consistently cosy.

It has three power settings with a 2kw top power setting and 800w Low setting with 1200w mid power setting. I combine this with my dehumidifier for a complete heating and drying solution. You can read about the dehumidifier here

dimplex 2 kw oil filled radiator

I often find myself straddling this radiator to “warm my cockles” so to speak as it is just a perfect size for hugging.

dimplex oil filled radiator straddled for maximum warmth

When it gets really cold I find myself hugging this radiator

It’s also really good for drying out wet gear if hung overhead. The safety instructions say not to put anything over it and cover it, but I’ve managed to dry out a freshly laundered dog bed, hats, gloves and all sorts of small items on it.

I’ve even defrosted my cooking oil because the fins are just the right size to balance a bottle of cooking oil on them. Obviously you do this at your own risk.

The thermostat might not be especially focused but with the three power settings and a rotating heat dial I find a happy heat for consistent warming. It’s easy enough to warm the whole boat up with the highest temperature setting then turn it down to a lower heat to save electricity. Once the radiator is warmed up, it goes a really nice ambient heat.

Although the instructions state that nothing should be laid over or used to cover the radiator, I do warm my socks and pyjamas on it before bed for a ridiculously cosy bed time routine in the depths of winter. I keep a close on eye on them of course and never leave anything unattended on it. But I can leave the heater running safely while I am ashore and don’t feel the need to turn it off, like I have to do with any kind of fan heater.

It’s also useful for melting my solidified cooking oil.

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