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Old 04-11-2014, 06:31   #1
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Coal in Norfolk, VA

I'm prepping to live aboard my Tartan 27 this winter and built a small solid fuel heating stove out of 1/4" plate steel. It's a really neat project and I'll post the pics of it, if it's a successful project, when I'm done. I see many posts and blogs of people talking about burning coal on board which leads me to my question, does anyone know where to buy coal in Norfolk, VA? I'm not talking Kingsford charcoal, I'm talking real anthracite. Thanks.

John
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:57   #2
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

Ask:
CONSOL Energ Inc.
100 E. Main St., Ste. 250
Norfolk, VA 23510
Tel: 757-627-6261
Fax: 757-625-5088
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:08   #3
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

My Father used to play at being a Blacksmith, good coal is harder to find than you may think.
Why coal?
I concur with you using a heavy heat sink, not so great for that quick warm up fire, but does win in the long run. I've built a fireplace insert or two myself.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:56   #4
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

Gordmay, thanks for the info. a64 pilot, I'm looking to use coal because, according to what I've read online, it surprisingly burns the cleanest and not-so surprisingly, burns the hottest. Since I have such a small boat I need fuel that will pack as much energy into as small a package as possible. The interior of my stove is only about 8"x8"x9" so I plan on prepackaging lumps of coal in paper lunch bags and storing them away like that. When I want to start a fire, I'll just grab a bag, toss it in and light it. seems like the less messy option. I'll still have the option of other types of fuel; wood, charcoal, etc., but I like this option the best. I assume by your user name you were/are an Apache driver. A long time ago I was a 67N, a Huey crewchief. One of the most enjoyable times of my career.
John
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:50   #5
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

Coal has I believe a very high energy density too I think, and for Blacksmithing, you need the heat that coal can get to.
Yes I'm an old retired Apache test pilot. I started out as a 67V as a Private.
You really want to stay away from the bitimous (sp?) coal if at all possible.

I'd be tempted to do a wood pellet stove with a catalyst for heat.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:22   #6
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

I considered wood pellet. I also considered diesel and propane. I decided to go with just a plain old metal box wood stove for the flexibility. If I run out of coal, I can burn wood or charcoal or whatever, wherever I am in the world.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:31   #7
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

Periodic cleaning of a solid fuel heater and disposal of the residue is a challenging chore on a boat.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:14   #8
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

To me, it seems like the you need to strike up a friendship with a coal supplier. You will be buying so little, at a time, they might blow you off. If making a friendship they my give it to you. If you are diesel, why not just a gravity feed pot heater, even if you need to put in a small tank to accommodate the gravity feed. Fuel would be as close as walking down the dock and a tank need not be more than a jerry can.

Let us know and good luck.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:27   #9
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

Have you tried to find a supplier using the Internet? It seems to me that would be the place to start.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:53   #10
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdham137 View Post
I'm prepping to live aboard my Tartan 27 this winter and built a small solid fuel heating stove out of 1/4" plate steel. It's a really neat project and I'll post the pics of it, if it's a successful project, when I'm done. I see many posts and blogs of people talking about burning coal on board which leads me to my question, does anyone know where to buy coal in Norfolk, VA? I'm not talking Kingsford charcoal, I'm talking real anthracite. Thanks.

John

Where are you slipped John?
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:57   #11
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

Here are a few local places to call.

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Old 04-11-2014, 20:32   #12
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

That is quite a small firebox. Do you have coal grates? I burned coal here at the house as a supplement to the oil boiler for a few years -- get as good a quality anthracite as you can find -- I always had trouble keeping it going for more than 2-3 days, sometimes less
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Old 05-11-2014, 05:56   #13
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

I find it odd that you would want to rely on such a dirty fuel like coal, do you know that diesel has twice the energy density? it can also be regulated thermostatically with ease, that box thing will create a brief sauna with a freezer close on it's heels, if you want more energy for the space consumed and especially if you are (hopefully) already diesel powered then it makes even more sense.


Marine Diesel Heater Association of America
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:02   #14
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

East Beach Marina provides electric power for free with your slip.

Ever consider a $25.00 electric heater. Quite a bit cleaner.

Free WIFI and clean bathrooms also plus floating docks.
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:13   #15
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Re: Coal in Norfolk, VA

I have such fond memories of my grandfather's coal furnace. I can still see him standing there, turning the coal shaker through the big iron front. Back then, every grain elevator had a big supply of coal. Maybe some still do. It's a dirty mess. I imagine you can throw the cinders overboard, but nostalgia aside, I'd go with the diesel guys.
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