Wood, Diesel or propane bulkhead heating stove? - Page 13 - SailNet Community
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post #121 of 181 Old 01-15-2012
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That's a lot of creosote. Have you considered insulating your flue? The hotter it is, the less combustion gas condenses inside it.
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post #122 of 181 Old 01-15-2012
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On a regular house sized pipe it would not be so bad but this is a 3 inch pipe. Not a bad problem....I run a plumbers snake through the top end every other day and it all falls back in the stove.
Might be the type of wood. Our western larch burns hot so less creosote, but the fir and pines seem to have a lot.

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post #123 of 181 Old 01-16-2012
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I've often wondered about the heat and sparks from the stack. Two years ago I sailed in a cold October rain on a classic boat (W Warner's "Mary Loring"). The owner lit up his coal stove. When I asked him about damaging the main, he told me to put my hand above the stack. The flow was warm, but not hot. I don't know if that was the stove, the stack, the fuel, or all of the above.
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post #124 of 181 Old 01-16-2012
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You're staying on top of it, then. I've seen 2 chimney fires, and they're pretty scary. They were like a 6 or 8 foot blowtorch spitting burning embers all over the roof and threatenning to blow apart the pipe joints. The second one, I had a chimney flare on hand. Put it out in seconds.
But I don't know if I'd want to use one on a boat. They work by producing massive quantities of smoke that displaces the oxygen in the flue. Probably make a real mess in a marina. You'd want one the size of a birthday candle.
I don't know if coal sends burning sparks up a flue the way wood can. I know hard coal burns hotter than wood does, but I don't believe the chemistry is the same. Pitch pockets in wood can burst and expell burning embers. Coal doesn't coat the flue with flamable creosote, either.
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post #125 of 181 Old 01-17-2012
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I use a wood stove I got at a boat flea market. Propane's got explosive concerns. Kerosene probably less mess. I use charcoal and have plenty of room for it for what my need. Pellets might also work, cheap and compact. You've got to shovel out the ash.

Walt Elliott
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post #126 of 181 Old 01-18-2012
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I have used oil before, but when I got frozen in a great anchorage with lots of oysters,venison , grouse and cod , etc. I had to keep going back for more diesel. So I converted it to wood , and lived happily ever after.
I have several wood stoves to build here, for people who are getting nervous about the cost of oil. One couple I know, living on an Ericson 37 spend $280 a month on diesel in winter, more than my total cost of cruising. It takes me 15 minutes to gather a weeks supply and gathering it is far more pleasant than going to work to pay for diesel. Wood won't overflow and flow thru your cabin. You can put an airtight stove out by simply closing the air intake. You can put a wood fire out with water.
When I was building my first boat, I was laughed at and ridiculed for saying I was using a wood stove, and not diesel. 6 years later, out of 6 boats anchored in Montague Harbour, four had wood stoves. Now the majority of full time BC cruisers I know use wood stoves, most having given up on oil. In the city , wood can be hard to find, but outside the city you are surrounded by it, in BC. .
It is very important that any wood stove you have has a big enough firebox and is airtight, so you can control the burn rate. Mine has ran for up to 14 hours burning time on a single load of wood. Of course when I get up in the night to use the head, I try stuff a few more sticks in the stove.
Stove pipe should be as straight as possible,to facilitate cleaning. Better to run them at an angle if needed, rather than use elbows.Best if you can run a pole down them, straight into the firebox. The best stove pipe here in BC is the four inch stainless tubing , available in scrapyards for under $2 a pound , from the pulp mills.
I put mine in the back corner of the wheelhouse, so I could put my stovepipe in the stern. This way there is no chance of downdraft from sails , no chance of burning a hole in a sail dropped on it, and no chance of smoke in my face when anchored.
Another option is by your mast, so the stove pipe is among the shrouds. An outside air intake eliminates down drafts.
The best heat shields I've found are aluminium sheet with an inch of fibreglass house insulation behind them . Aluminium dissipates the heat rapidly so there are no hot spots. The bigger the sheet the lower the temperature i
I pile my firewood in the cockpit in winter. Building supplies have plenty of free tarps used to cover lumber piles, which you can use as disposables to cover your firewood, altho a bit of rain on it doesn't hurt much. .

Last edited by Brent Swain; 01-18-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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post #127 of 181 Old 01-19-2012
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Thank you, very informative.
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post #128 of 181 Old 01-19-2012
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wood has bugs. Sometimes those bugs like to eat wood. Generally you should keep your woodpile at a good distance from your wood structures. Coal, otoh, doesn't have bugs. Pelletized fuel is pretty-much bug free as delivered, not sure how well it resists infestation.
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post #129 of 181 Old 01-19-2012
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Never seen a bug problem in 40 years of wood burning.
With my stainless chimney, I use a chimney fire to clean it sometimes.I pour diesel down ,open the door and stick a piece of toilet paper in the pipe, soaked in laquer thinner to get it started. Can be hard to start sometimes ,takes several tries.
When it gets going, it burns like a blowtorch. I quench the pipe down with water on the outside, until the fire goes out.

If you wake up in the middle of the night, and your boat feels like a sauna, it means your stove is full of nothing but coals, and is about to go out if you don't get up and stuff some more wood in.If you don't get up , things will begin to get very cold in the next hour. Stuffing more wood in will drop the temperature of the stove and cabin , by absorbing the heat, but the stove will then probably keep burning till noon.

Grates are for coal, wood burns best in its own ashes. An old steam tug operator said that when he took the grates out of his boilers ,his firewood consumption dropped by 30%
Cast iron cook stoves have grates ,which makes the firebox extremely tiny and short burning.
Friends have thrown out the grates, and built an airtight firebox liner for such stoves , doubling the size of the firebox and making the burn rate controllable.
A plastic squeeze bottle of diesel makes good "West Coast Kindling."
A splitting maul for splitting wood is far easier to use than an axe.
A cheap Cambodian Tire 15 inch chainsaw makes gathering beach wood extremely easy and quick. They only last three years, but you definitely get your money's worth in that time, then buy another cheapie.
Don't pack armloads of firewood over piles of beach logs. Airmail ( toss) it over them, one piece at a time, then gather them up later on the flatter ,safer, more easily accessible beach.

Last edited by Brent Swain; 01-20-2012 at 06:36 PM.
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post #130 of 181 Old 02-02-2012
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My little home made wood stove;no grates, lined with fire brick and completely air tightable will run all night on a load of hard wood pallet chunks. Gold plated glass door makes for great ambiance .Only cost is the occasional carbide blade in the skill saw when I don't get between the nails.
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