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.
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.
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.