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Old 04-02-2017, 12:48   #31
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

We have a Sardine with the glass panel on Sari Timur. We love it but do use two small electric heaters full time to assist and maintain when we are away from the boat. We also have a Mr. Heater Buddy for those days with contrary winds etc. we did not use it while sailing. But did use it when on anchor or in a marina all through Japan and the Aleutians. We are now in Seward and it has been a pretty cold winter so far.

Pluses and minuses

Plus wood is actually easy to get. Even driftwood dries out fast.
It is pretty and catches everyone's attention
It makes the cabin cozy.


Our boat is a tropical boat and one of those old leaky teakys so we couldn't find a convenient space low enough to mount it so it is quite high on a counter top. This means we have to watch not getting it to hot and also need a tall chimney.

It burns only an hour or so without restocking because of this. If you could get it low I do not think this would be a problem.

The biggest one is you have to tend it. So you need a back up source to keep things from freezing when off of the boat.

Last one though rare is back drafts. Note keep a steel bucket and a squirt bottle full of water and some tongs nearby. Big you are getting a back draft you can extinguish fire quickly get hot wood out and over the side in a hurry with little mess

You can see our installation on our blog but a long time ago.

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Old 04-02-2017, 13:47   #32

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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

Oddly tangents John, make a handle outta that 8-)

Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
Hi I am a little confused, are you suggesting that a wood fired combustion heater is dangerous to ones health or are you saying that a diesel fueled heater is less harmful or not harmful.
Wood smoke is very unhealthy in general, not just for humans.

Then safety issues on boats, but people do all kinds of stuff. Me? no candles, not inside a tent camping either.

The combustion chamber of those little high-tech mount-anywhere boxes, their small DC-efficient venting systems, can be (should be, also account for fan noise) kept away from the living space.

Canada and northern Europe, very common to heat truck cabs for stationary sleep time, now that wasteful stationary idling is banned many jurisdictions. Also hybrid/electric vehicles needing separate heating sources. And boats of course.

Water-heating, engine-heating, combined units all available.

Bee's knees, especially since no altitude worries on the water 8-)
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Old 04-02-2017, 13:48   #33
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

Had a Little Cod on a 36ft powerboat in Vancouver area. This is a bit larger than the Sardine. It heated the boat in 15 minutes but these are not airtight so they burn a lot of wood. You are not able to top them up before going to bed and turn them down for the night like an airtight. That was the only drawback apart from the mess. Wood was stored in the hold as it was an old Californian Swordfish boat. Quite a trip from Ventura to PNW too. Can recommend doing that passage if you like a challenge. No insurance so we did not have to deal with that problem.
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Old 04-02-2017, 13:51   #34
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

I have a Cole stove on my 45 ft steel ketch, I have used wood heat in my house for 30 years. I had to make a couple custom stainless heat shields where I chose to mount it. My interior is all wood, mostly teak paneling and wood mast. I am extremely happy with it, I normally just use it to take the chill off, for an evening of reading or watching TV, rarely try to keep it burning all night. Just sleep with enough covers and a stocking cap to not need what most would consider normal heat.

You can find pictures of a Cole stove at

it's mostly stainless construction, about a foot square and maybe a foot and a half tall, with a 4x6 inch door. I typically dig the ashes out with a large cooking stainless ladle spoon. I dump them into a stainless bowl to remove them from the cabin. If I am trying to keep the fire going I will dig the burning coals out of the ashes and place them back in the firebox before adding more fuel. I added an insulated stainless stack about 18 inches above the cabin top, that is removable if needed. The permanent stainless stack in the cabin is mostly single wall to get maximum heat out of the flue.

I have bought a diesel automotive heater, eberspacher, but have not installed it yet. I'll probably use it to keep the interior above freezing when I am up north. I would recommend it if you are used to using wood for heat.
A bad day sailing is 100 times better than a good day at work.
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Old 04-02-2017, 14:38   #35

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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

Note NA distribution Eberspacher they rebranded as Espar.

Both it and Webasto are German companies, nice engineering and build quality.
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Old 04-02-2017, 17:23   #36
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

A woodstove is great. But you can't leave it unattended, and I doubt you could use it underway.

You might try using a woodstove in a house first, to get the idea....but I LOVE woodstoves, and would love to have one on a boat to be cozy on those cold shoulder season nights.

And you need to chop your wood into really tiny pieces.

I think its a great it!!!
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Old 04-02-2017, 17:24   #37
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

My Invader C&C, '66 vintage came with a fireplace on the port bulkhead.
I start it with wood then charcoal and finally with some hard coal. It lasted through the night and kept her nice and dry on the cold Ontario nights.
The other side of that bulkhead was the head. Nice and cozy when you have to "go" during the night.
It was never a problem and I miss the ambience which my newer boat doesn't have.
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Old 04-02-2017, 19:06   #38
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

Fuel burners require electric power

Solid fuel stoves do not ! And the pleasure is great, it is a pastime to operate a stove.

Buy it, if you like it. I have a Dickinson stove, very much like the Cole
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Old 04-02-2017, 20:12   #39
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

Check out They installed a Kimberly wood stove in their Cal 31. Episode 15.

path to video:
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Old 04-02-2017, 21:10   #40
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
Cubic Mini Wood Stoves - CB-1008 CUB Cubic Mini Wood Stove

Love the look of this stove, but it seems the price may have gone up

. On sale for 345 US right now😁
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Old 04-02-2017, 21:12   #41
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

I like my Dickinson but am very tempted by the Cubic Mini
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Old 04-02-2017, 21:54   #42
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

Originally Posted by pawpah View Post
. On sale for 345 US right now😁

Great news!..... now I just need it in stainless trim not brass or black

MJSailing - Youtube Vlog -
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Old 04-02-2017, 22:13   #43
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

SeaSwingGalley.jpg (406.9 KB) Not sure if I've correctly added this photo of PILAR's wood stove. It can be found on an earlier post to this topic (11-10-2015, 20:38 Re: Firewood on a boat?) if not. Here's an amended copy of the post:

When we began building our boat, we also wanted an auxiliary wood stove for dry heat, having had a Tiny Tot on our 25' wooden boat. But, in thinking about the extra space needed, we soon decided to simplify by installing just one, larger, wood cook stove. Serendipitous, our son was able to trade his fine skills in boat woodworking for an abandoned Shipmate he'd spied languishing in the owner's back yard, and gave it to us.

PILAR's stovetop is 26"x18", overall height 21" top of sea rail down to feet. We used wood continuously (in conjunction with a modified kerosene Sea Swing for quick cups of coffee during the summers in San Francisco) until we reached Mexico, for eight years. 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.

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

For baking with the propane insert, we used either covered cast iron pans on the stove top (or in the modified sea swing), or a
collapsible Coleman oven (12" square/$5.00 thrift store purchase found TWICE!) works beautifully and stows neatly behind the stove (12"x12"x 2-1/2").

Because the original Sea Swing's tapered basket limited the use of larger pots, we bought and modified an aluminum cooking pot purchased at a Swap Meet. Using metal cutting blades to re-shape the pot down to size with tabs to fit into the gimballed arms, four small aluminum blocks were next
tapped and drilled to raise the pot above the flame, plus the couple of holes needed to fasten it to the Sea Swing's base and kerosene tank.

After crossing the Pacific, we found we needed to use wood for warmth when we reached Australia in winter, but now that PILAR is in the Philippines, the propane burner is again in use--but the lovely part is that it still warms up the stove top a bit, so with some thoughtful calculations of cooking times and proximity to the burner, several pots can continue to cook without needing to be ON the burner.

Because we ways to add flexibility to having a dedicated wood cook stove, I highly recommend having one even when not ALWAYS able to use the benefits of wood--which is a blessed DRY heat for the cabin, if nothing else when you need it most.

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Old 05-02-2017, 02:09   #44
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

Hello Diane!
This is a great story of ingenuity and adventure.
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:43   #45
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Re: Wood stove on a sailboat?

Insurance and stoves: I've never had a problem with getting insurance because I have a combustion stove. And I have a wood boat. When I have had my boats surveyed, I ask the surveyor to look over my stove installs carefully and note the stove is compliant or better. I also tell any new insurance company upfront that removing a stove is not in the cards. I have 3 stoves: diesel, wood, and pellet plus a boiler. I've never owned a boat w/o a diesel stove, but I keep to cool climates. Any combustion stove that is vented produces dry heat.
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