Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: British Columbia
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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.