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Old 01-10-2015, 12:27   #16
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

@Bassears My wife and owned the Gulf 32 Duck for four years. We had a Dickensen Newport mounted on the port bulkhead aft of the port settee. We found that it heated the whole boat well even the forecastle, on the coldest nights, 75+F. We did use a small cube electric heater in the head when we had shore power as the door to the head was usually closed. Those small, stovetop, piezoelectric fans help shove the heat forward. We loved ours. Lighting that heater was always the first thing we did when coming aboard in the chilly months.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:36   #17
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

Brilliant, great to hear! I'd much rather go with the lower expense and simplicity of the solid fuel if I could.

Hadn't considered mounting aft of the port settee (all the ones I've seen have been mounted either forward of the port settee or forward of the starboard settee / table)... did your pipe just go straight up through the pilothouse or did you go at some angle?

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@Bassears My wife and owned the Gulf 32 Duck for four years. We had a Dickensen Newport mounted on the port bulkhead aft of the port settee. We found that it heated the whole boat well even the forecastle, on the coldest nights, 75+F. We did use a small cube electric heater in the head when we had shore power as the door to the head was usually closed. Those small, stovetop, piezoelectric fans help shove the heat forward. We loved ours. Lighting that heater was always the first thing we did when coming aboard in the chilly months.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:52   #18
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

Ours was a an older Gulf 32. The stack went up through the pilothouse roof. The boom easily cleared the stack. A "stack robber" inline fan would have been a nice addition.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:52   #19
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

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Is there anyone out there who keeps a supply of firewood aboard, for cooking and/or keeping warm? I know the focus these days is on saving weight... but Joshua Slocum used firewood, and I think there's something to be said for gaining more independence from civilization and fossil fuels. And for avoiding the hassle of getting propane bottles filled in foreign countries where the bottles are different.
I always wonder where those cruisers with those neat little pot belly stoves keep their firewood.

We have a diesel espar forced air heater. Diesel has a much higher energy density than firewood and we already carry 165 gallons of diesel.

The espar provides instant heat. We typically only run it for an hour or two morning and night. We also heat our hot water with it. Its hot enough for a shower.

Good insulation is key. We also have foam pads for our hatches and ports which cut heat loss significantly.

We lack the visual aesthetic of a wood burner.

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Old 01-10-2015, 12:54   #20
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

Having personal issue with uploading photos.
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Old 01-10-2015, 14:21   #21
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

I should have mentioned it takes very little time for my Cole Stove model 1655 to warm my 35 footer up above 70F. The PO ran the stove pipe through the bulkhead into the head and then out the cabin-top resulting in a warm head too.
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Old 01-10-2015, 19:12   #22
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

Not to hijack the thread, but yes, the Dickinson Newport SF does a good job in my B29's cabin. How frequently you feed it has a lot to do with the quality/density of your fuel; not all charcoal burns the same, wood chips vary. I have not tried coal. I start with a couple of the starter sticks (Lowe's) under a couple of wood blocks to get it going, then continue with charcoal. Clean-up is not as dirty/dusty as you'd think, if you're careful. I wouldn't trade mine, but I also wouldn't go through cutting that 5" exhaust stack hole in the top of my coachroof again.....it was frightening.
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Old 01-10-2015, 19:14   #23
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

To the OP, a useful link....
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Old 01-10-2015, 19:25   #24
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

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Originally Posted by Water Dragon View Post
Is there anyone out there who keeps a supply of firewood aboard, for cooking and/or keeping warm? I know the focus these days is on saving weight... but Joshua Slocum used firewood, and I think there's something to be said for gaining more independence from civilization and fossil fuels. And for avoiding the hassle of getting propane bottles filled in foreign countries where the bottles are different.
In a lot of the places we have visited it is a lot easier to get propane bottles filled than to find wood worth burning. BTW, we travel with 2 x 20 lb bottles and were always able to get them filled with North American fittings from the Caribbean to Oz to South Africa. You just need to ask around.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:02   #25
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

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What drives your desire to cut down on fossil fuels? I ask because from an environmental perspective, wood creates more contaminates than other sources of heat.
Independence. While I think a propane cooking system is worth having, I wouldn't care to be entirely dependent on it. What if I'm somewhere remote where I can't buy propane? What if I'm in the mood for spending elbow grease (cutting wood) rather than dollars? What if the system breaks down? If I have a wood stove, I have the option of going ashore and finding some standing dead wood to cut, or in a pinch, just about any combustible item. For heating in a cold climate, say Pacific NW, a propane heater would go through an annoying amount of propane, while firewood is abundant and free.

Where moving firewood is a concern, I suppose one could throw the wood overboard at sea (seems like the salt would kill any nasties) and cut some more upon reaching shore.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:21   #26
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

For sure Water Dragon, there is something that just feels right about heating with wood. Kind of like some people prefer to sail even the motoring is a perfectly effective way of getting around

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Old 11-10-2015, 05:32   #27
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

...sorry to be slow in responding. PILAR has an old Shipmate cook stove which we used and loved continuously in conjunction with a modified Sea Swing (for quick cups of coffee) until we reached Mexico. Finding wood was never a problem, storage was in a specially designed locker hugging the hull when we built her, top-loading inside the far galley counter locker at the bulkhead, extracted beneath the stove shelf, at the cabin sole.

In Baja, we purchased a cast iron single-burner for propane use, took out the firebox door and stovetop rings, and strapped the burner into the firebox with very minor modifications. It was easily and quickly removed when a wood fire was desired--most memorable time was a depleted tank while half-way through baking bread on a passage. Bread was edible but had not held up to the few minutes of temperature change.

For baking with the propane insert, we used either cast iron pans on the stove top (or in the modified sea swing) or a folding Coleman Camping Stove (found TWICE, years apart, for $5 in thrift stores).

The Sea Swing was modified with an aluminum cooking pot purchased at a Swap Meet, using a metal cutting bandsaw blade, a sabre saw for the burner hole, then tapping and drilling four small aluminum blocks to raise the pot above the flame, plus the couple of holes needed to fasten it to base and gimbled frame.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:38   #28
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

Just figured out how to add a photo of PILAR's galley:
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:59   #29
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

Adding image from your computer.

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Old 11-10-2015, 07:38   #30
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Re: Firewood on a boat?

On the Alaskan tv shows they all use some type of wood pellet. Never hear any of the boaters here talk about them. They say they burn longer and hotter with less ash.

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