Wood stoves used to be aboard all commercial
sail vessels although most have switched to diesel or something like that at this point. If you look at the 12 vessels in the Maine
Windjammer Association, 10 of them still use wood stoves.
The coast guard does not like solid fuel
stoves but there are no regulations banning them. They were successfully used aboard the Gloucester fishing
schooners and there were extremely few fires in that time. I spent 9 years aboard a vessel with one and while I do not see them as unsafe, they are extremely inconvenient.
The stoves go through a lot of wood. For cooking
purposes, the boat that I worked on went through ~15 milk crates of wood a week but the stove ran from 4am-6pm. Because they burn so much wood, they put out a lot of heat and can make the galley
area unbearably hot. In addition, they take a very long time to get up to temperature so the instant gratification isn't there. Not to mention, how well the stove burns is a function of wind
spead, tack, and humidity.
Soot is a problem but not too much of one. The best way to deal with it is to keep the stove pipe very clean. Most of the soot will come out right as you light it. In my opinion, a bigger problem is the corrosiveness of the smoke which will damage sails
I am assuming that you are looking at this for cooking
. If you want it to heat, the Newport
stoves are very popular and do work extremely well. Generally either wood pellets or charcoal are burned in them.