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“Taking the ‘Ahhhh!’ out of Agas!” or “Fuel for thought!”
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Thursday,10 April, 2014
4:54 pm
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Watford,UK
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Among the many strains of research I have come across in my desire for life afloat/off grid/independant – or as much as you can get on this crowded and over-regulated island is the matter of stoves.

Most boats have a solid fuel stove of some kind. From the traditional “Boatmans Cabin” to a nice Morso Squirrel in the lounge or sometimes a full Arga or is it Aga or even an AHHHHH GA! When the damned thing went out overnight and would not light in the morning and so there is no heating or hot water! (Cant you just feel the pain?? Oh the memories of childhood!)

Actually, I remember warm mornings, oven bread and a slow cooked stew! So one way and another I want a proper cooking stove type fire in my boat.
But what type?

The problems come down to size, cost and fuel.

There is only so much space available in a boat and if one heats the lounge area with it then it will probably not be big enough to cook on or if you do use it for cooking you get cook smells (not so bad if you are a good cook-like me!) and condensation from boiling water send a greasy layer all over everything (ALWAYS a nuisance).

Of course if you have it in a separate galley then you lose the friendliness/atmosphere of a real fire in the lounge and have a roasting hot kitchen all the time. Not ideal if it has a fridge or freezer in it.

Then the question of fuel. Again effected by space, or rather lack of it, as wood and coal are bulky to store. Of course if your stove is not very efficient you need more fuel.

Then cost. A small boat stove  circa £200 and for an Arga….Well, even if I sold a kidney AND the dog…I still would not get what I want.

Soooo… my various researches have sent me in the direction of a Rocket Stove “RS”, Rocket mass heaters and experimental stoves.

Most, but not all, folks on the various forums are outside the UK which is a pity as there is a common feeling between them and boaters in respect to doing things our way rather than following the herd!

I will put a few links at the bottom for those interested in all things “Rocket Stove”.

But what I like about them is they are 90% efficient at turning fuel into heat. Where as the ordinary solid fuel stove is 30% if you are lucky. This is because the RS burns more efficiently rather than let the calorific gas go up [the chimney] in smoke! They are, once running, smokeless.

They require about a third of the fuel of an ordinary stove. They heat up quickly and will burn safely with no smoke and  almost no ash.

For information on designs try the Woodstove forum.

http://woodstoves.forumotion.co.uk/forum

Or You tube and look for the channels of  “Trying2hard” and “ppotty1”.

I have a design in mind that I have pulled together from a lot of different ideas on stove design that will incorporate a firebox in the lounge, an oven/hob in the kitchen as well as heating my hot water and central heating. I WANT IT ALL!

But to build it will cost me £500! But If  it goes off I should be snug as a bug with  third of the wood needed.

I have also been looking at different types of solid fuel, pellets, bricketts, sawdust and woodchips.

A sawdust fire done properly burns for 8 hours! Pellets are efficient but expensive., bricketts you have to make yourself- but you need the time and space to dry them.  Need to research more on this.

So there you have it another piece of the dream.

 

 

 

 

“Never give up, never leave anyone behind!”

“Life is NOT a dress rehearsal !”

” I am NOT a 'civilian'…I am ex-military!”

“Once I was , young, handsome and immortal ! These days… I think immortality is overrated!”

 

Thursday,10 April, 2014
5:19 pm
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Southam, Warwickshire
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Saving money on boat heating costs is something very close to many a boaters’ heart. To help further your research, please read this post I wrote when I tested a variety of fuels. In summary though, beware of all solid fuels apart from coal. Wood is very difficult to store in the dry and season and compressed fuel briquettes are unusable if they get wet.

Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”

Thursday,10 April, 2014
5:19 pm
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Continuous Cruiser
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Oh, the memories of childhood!

My parents had a coal fired AGA for many years and whenever they went away for a day or two we were under strict instructions NOT TO LET IT GO OUT!

I recall dad once bringing the gas welding kit home from work to try and relight it. Nowadays, of course, they are all gas, oil or electric.

If going down the Rocket Stove route it might pay to talk to a BSC surveyor to ensure there won’t be any problems.

Living retirement in the slow lane.

20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!

Thursday,10 April, 2014
8:17 pm
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Where the mood takes me, from the south coast to the canals of England/Wales
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Something in the back of my mind says all stoves installed under BSS have to meet the BS standard for solid fuel stoves. Would suggest that you contact BSS direct about the Rocket.

Monday,14 April, 2014
4:19 pm
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Watford,UK
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GM said
Something in the back of my mind says all stoves installed under BSS have to meet the BS standard for solid fuel stoves. Would suggest that you contact BSS direct about the Rocket.

Hi Guys, sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

 

I will be even more delayed over the next few weeks as I had my bag pinched …my laptop was in it!

My fault left in on train. when guard went to check it was gone. my own fault but hey, ho!

 

As to the BSS it does not set a particular standard. but I do intend to have the thing welded up by a “proper” welder! I can stick two bits of metal together but that’s about all I claim for my personal efforts!

 

The majority of the rest of their info is only relevant to ordinary wood stoves. the Rocket Stove is a different beasty. For a start it is designed to burn hot, second it is self contained so no Carbon Monoxide (but your an idiot not to have an alarm anyway), third the whole idea is to have an efficient burn and  so use the heat inside so that there is no smoke and the chimney outside IS actually cool!

All a bit different from an ordinary stove.

But fear not good boaty folk, stlyon maybe adventurous…but he aint’ stoopid! Wink I will ensure it is all safe and sound before it is installed.Cool

 

“Never give up, never leave anyone behind!”

“Life is NOT a dress rehearsal !”

” I am NOT a 'civilian'…I am ex-military!”

“Once I was , young, handsome and immortal ! These days… I think immortality is overrated!”

 

Tuesday,15 April, 2014
8:35 am
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Where the mood takes me, from the south coast to the canals of England/Wales
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It sounds a lovely thing. The efficiency level for a solid fuel stove is phenomenal. 

My mind is thinking about use in a domestic setting.

 

Please keep us updated

 

Friday,25 April, 2014
3:24 pm
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Watford,UK
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GM said
It sounds a lovely thing. The efficiency level for a solid fuel stove is phenomenal. 

My mind is thinking about use in a domestic setting.

 

Please keep us updated

 

It IS a lovely thing. If you look on Youtube there are vids of lots of different house/room heaters all operating on the RS principles.

Some big ones in stone and steel, others in steel including one in a camper van. Or cooking stoves for entire schools in Africa or a barbecue in lapland!Surprised

“Never give up, never leave anyone behind!”

“Life is NOT a dress rehearsal !”

” I am NOT a 'civilian'…I am ex-military!”

“Once I was , young, handsome and immortal ! These days… I think immortality is overrated!”

 

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