Fired the wood stove

It was slightly chilly a few mornings ago and I needed to begin learning the particulars of Swallow’s wood stove.  Come fall and through the dark and damp Pacific Northwest winter this will be my & Momma Kitty’s primary heat source (besides snuggling under the covers).

I talked with the maker of the stove,  Navigator Stove Works, and discussed the particulars of the boat’s installation.  After describing the boat and stove he said he remembered Swallow and the couple that built her.

I’ll be adding a damper to the stovepipe to increase efficiency and adding set screws to the charlie noble (it sits a bit to loosely on the deck for my taste and I’m worried it will not stay put during the winter winds).  The manufacturer said the 3″ stove pipe is now rated as being small and now recommends a 4″ pipe – seems this is a change since Swallow was built.  He said it isn’t a safety issue but one of burning efficiency.  He also gave me a few good recommendations on using the stove.

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SWALLOW’s charlie Noble.

The stove fired up a bit slow as the newspaper, though feeling dry, burned a bit slow as it was ever so slightly damp from the humidity on the boat.  I added more paper and only a slight bit of smoke went into the cabin as the wood caught.  I found while starting the stove with the door to open as the fire grew the stovepipe wouldn’t fully draw – a thing learned.

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A good flame going in the Sardine model wood stove.

I built up a good amount of coals and added larger wood pieces.  The stove put out a satisfying amount of heat with just a bit of that ‘smoke smell’ that makes a wood stove so nice.  I adjusted the stove’s vent air intake vent and it chugged along taking the slight chill and damp out of the cabin.  The smoke/CO alarm didn’t sound which was also encouraging!

During the few hours I had the stove burning I also heated some water for coffee and for washing the breakfast dishes.

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Breakfast dishes all clean.

2 thoughts on “Fired the wood stove

  1. I suppose you’ll address these questions in later installments, but…. a) Swallow is your only home now and you sold the truck camper? b) Was it a purposeful decision to switch to wood over fibreglass? c) Is this your indefinite life for the future now, roaming about the NW, or a step towards something else? Thank you. Enjoying your blogs much. – Brad

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    1. A – I still have the truck camper. It has many problems, built cheap, and has almost zero value. I’ll still find use from time to time after drying it out after a raindrop hits the roof. B – wood is warmer and dryer for the damp PNW fall, winter and spring. C – roam the Salish Sea and likely north to AK. Tropics hold no interest (to hot, to humid, to many people, to much trash in the bays and on beaches and to many folks trying to rip off and steal from a sailor.

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