I think most would agree that given the space and $$, an installed forced air or hydronic (each have their advantages) is the ideal way to go.
The poster asked for opinions on three cabin
heaters. When we purchased ours, we researched the advantages of diesel vs. propane
, as well as the various size/btu outputs. For us, we chose the Dickenson P1200 (propane) for our Tayana 37
. No regrets. It draws combustion air from the outside and vents to the outside. No contribution to moisture. Just good dry heat. We cruised in the Pacific NW all year round... even below freezing outside, we could keep the cabin
at 70 degrees. A key for us was to keep a couple of fans on, to circulate the air. Even though the Dickenson has an internal fan, we use a small fan to the side of the stove circulating air around the stove and chimney area. A second fan (used sometimes) just to move air forward to the v-berth area.
We enjoy the ambience of the visible flame. Creates a 'home-like' feeling down below... even better with the kerosene lantern burning on low.
As a side benefit, my wife used to use the fireplace as a hair dryer (not now... we're in Mexico
and a bit too hot).
I like the fact that we can leave the fireplace on all night (yes, our boat is equipped with propane, CO, and smoke detectors), and with the fans off, it draws no electrical
power.... and minimum power with fans on.
A pic of our installation
is here: http://sailvictoriarose.com/images/C...%20Reading.jpg
Best of luck on your research
and final choice of heaters.