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post #4 of Old 05-20-2013
krisscross
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Re: Solid Fuel Stove Fuel

Coal has the best BTU value, which translates into the least amount of storage required - several grades of coal are available and I would buy the best anthracite coal if available. Coal can be a royal PITA to ignite in a small stove. I always use smaller chunks of wood to start the fire and add coal later. Wood has the best smell but also makes the most ash. Coal will burn even if you get it wet by some accident - not so with wood (a 5 gal bucket with a good lid works great for storage). Keep small strips of wood for kindling and big blocks (as big as will fit into your stove) for regular fuel.
It has been a while since I needed a stove on my boat (moved to NC long time ago) but ash removal is always a PITA so resign yourself to it. Some folks convert their solid fuel stoves to diesel or kerosene, but it has to be done carefully or it will be smelly and dangerous.

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