Abstract Dispersed flow film boiling heat transfer in vertical narrow annular gaps with gap sizes of 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 mm was experimentally investigated with de-ionized water as the working fluid at low mass velocities. Comparisons of the experimental data with established correlations show that the correlations are not accurate for small gaps. The influences of the heating mode (only one tube heating or both tubes heated), the gap size and the tube diameter were analyzed. The data was correlated in the form of the Groeneveld equation with a modified wall temperature factor as use in the Polomik correlation and a modified gap size factor as use in the Yun and Muthu correlation. A new correlation was developed for dispersed flow film boiling heat transfer based on the experimental data for 1.0–2.0 mm gaps.