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post #1 of 14 Old 12-08-2007 Thread Starter
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solid fuel heaters.

i am not a live aboard but do spend lots of time on my yachat, (more time than in a house durring summer) and more time than most in winter. I was considering some source of heat. Kind of like the idea of solid fuel which could also be used to dry the cabin on a damp day and for ambience when you dont really need a lot of heat. Currently i am at a dock in ct and have access to shore power and use some electric heaters which work well.
Dont want to spend the outrageous cost for a diesel heater. Dont want to run any more propane lines as they are constantly worring me plus the tank is out in the cockpit and i hear some times they freeze up. Solid fuel seems to be a good option. i know it is slow to start up but i have the elec heaters for taking the chill off fast.
1- can anyone tell me their experiences with solid fuel heaters (good and bad), can you recommend one or to stay away from one and why.
2- where do those of you have the charlie nobel. I am trying to find a good place in the cabin for the stove, takiing into consideration sail placement. ( i dont intend to use it under way but dont want to burn a sail all rolled up on the boom with the smoke stack directly below it.)
3- how do you cut a hole in the deck and headliner, run the smoke stack through it and keep it sealed , waterproof etc without melting the fiberglass or starting the wood core on fire because the smoke stack is in contact with the deck?
Thanks
jason
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-09-2007
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I can't say much about #1, not owning one, but having used a few on OPBs... I liked the small Dickinson solid fuel heater, that two friends have on their boat.

As for #2... It really depends on where you have the stove mounted in the cabin. Theirs is mounted on the aft main cabin bulkhead, so it is easy to keep the furled mainsail away from it.

As for #3, the stacks on many of these are dual concentric stacks, with fresh air for the combustion process coming down the outer section of the stack and the hot exhaust going up the central section. That effectively insulates the chimney a good deal, and reduces the exterior temp of the metal. You basically cut a hole through the deck and pot the edges, as you would for a ventilator. Then you use some sealant between the edges of the hole and the pipe. Most have a trim ring or other deck fitting that allows you to seal the exhaust pipe through-deck fitting pretty easily. Also, most heaters have a minimum rise distance that is stated... this is partially to allow the flue gases to cool a bit before then pass through the cabin top.

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post #3 of 14 Old 12-09-2007
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don't know if this affects your decision, but solid fuel stoves are not nice in marinas, not when you are moored next to them. the guy next door burns wood and alley cats and the smoke blowing into our boat when the wind is right is not much fun. we have to close everything down, which creates moisture problems in the boat.

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post #4 of 14 Old 12-09-2007 Thread Starter
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Not too concerned about smoke because i will be using it on a mooring or if at the dock it is usually late in the year and there are not many people around to be bothered by it. good thought though , thanks.

as for the double flue, is that standard for all the stoves?

My thought was to cut the hole and put a plasticdeck fitting that i could put the cover on to seal it up in the summer and actually remove the stove from the boat. then in cooler weather remove the cover and put the stove and stovepipe back in .

i have a mast that is closed in by wood and was thinking of running part of the stovepipe along side the mast in there. Does that seem ok?
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-10-2007
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The double flue design isn't standard to all stoves, but is fairly common on marine ones to allow the stove to breathe without depleting the cabin of oxygen.

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post #6 of 14 Old 12-10-2007
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My boat had a solid fuel stove when I bought it. I used it a few times, then removed it. The problem was the ashes. There was no way to remove the ashes and discard without getting fly ash all over the main cabin. There is a real advantage to a diesel heater.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-10-2007
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Jason,

In case you missed it, there is a wide ranging, on-going thread ( cabin heater ideas ) that discusses pros and cons of various cabin heaters. Some discussion of solid fuel heaters there.

As for your question "3- how do you cut a hole in the deck?" First you procure the correct size whole saw (the kind that plumbers use, that have a smaller drill bit as a pilot -- our Dickinson required a 3" hole for its chimney) and a powerful drill. After measuring all dimensions carefully, make a small pilot hole from the inside out. Then go up on deck and use the small pilot hole to guide the pilot bit for the hole saw.

Initially, run the drill in REVERSE. This will prevent the teeth of the hole saw from binding up and or chipping away harshly at your gel coat. Run the drill in reverse until you have cut through the layer of gel coat and begun penetrating the fibreglass. Then you can switch the drill over to the normal forward setting and begin cutting more aggressively. Let the saw and drill do the work and don't rush it.

So that's how you cut the hole in your deck. If you want more help/advice with installation, etc, I would suggest that you post the questions in the Gear & Maintenance forum... Good luck to you.
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-20-2007
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When you are away from your boat, how do yo keeep it warm during the day? The Espar & Webasto? Electric? Solid fuel?
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-20-2007
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Regarding the 1/4 million dollar price tag of 35 FT. Cruising boats, there are two sources to blame. The Manufacturers lied to people for years, because they could pop out molds like iceceam Cones.
" fiberglass boats will survive forever, bacause their materials are inert. We listened to these lies, and we are all paying for it today. With the current cost of oil and all plastics, There is nothing to replace a well designed and executed "STEEL HULL." It will never "rust out" with todays "coatings, and like you, if you were to hit a mostly submerged ship container at 0200 hrs. which boat woud you prefer to be in. Fibreglas boats are a marvel,but whether they are built by Ta Shing, or the other experts, I will take my chances anyday on a well designed and built Steel Yacht

Robert MacDonsld

Nova Scotia
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-20-2007
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Just curious as to what your post has to do with solid fuel heaters??? which is the topic of this thread.

Also, IMHO, if you truly believe that steel boats will never rust out with today's coatings, I think you're in for a rude awakening... Corrosion never sleeps... and if you have the tiniest pinhole or scratch in those miraculous coatings... rust will soon take over.
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Regarding the 1/4 million dollar price tag of 35 FT. Cruising boats, there are two sources to blame. The Manufacturers lied to people for years, because they could pop out molds like iceceam Cones.
" fiberglass boats will survive forever, bacause their materials are inert. We listened to these lies, and we are all paying for it today. With the current cost of oil and all plastics, There is nothing to replace a well designed and executed "STEEL HULL." It will never "rust out" with todays "coatings, and like you, if you were to hit a mostly submerged ship container at 0200 hrs. which boat woud you prefer to be in. Fibreglas boats are a marvel,but whether they are built by Ta Shing, or the other experts, I will take my chances anyday on a well designed and built Steel Yacht

Robert MacDonsld

Nova Scotia

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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