Poop Deck: My 1976 Ranger 29

Skipper Jenn Installs a Wood Stove

I have my first ever YouTube video out!

You can watch it if you would like to:

  1. Lose 12 minutes of your life that you can never get back.
  2. Be amused by strange behavior.
  3. See what the hell it is like to do projects on my boat.
  4. View a how to video that teaches you almost nothing but entertains you anyway.
  5. Watch relationship dynamics play out before your very eyes including mansplaining.

In the process of making this video I realized that how to videos are not my strength, but I am fairly entertaining. I cut out a lot of flirty double entendre scenes because I am pretty sure no one wants to see our middle aged nerdy verbal foreplay. Dancing scenes were taken out for ridiculousness, and a few tantrum-light scenes of me getting cranky with Eric were deleted so I look like a kind-of-rational human. I feel I should admit to them in writing though. Then your imagination will most likely make them cooler and more dramatic than they actually were.

A little about the wood stove in case you actually wanted to learn something. I chose wood over propane and diesel because it burns dryer and I like the ambiance and smell of wood. My boat has an Atomic 4 gasoline engine and I use a small butane stove to cook and small propane bottles for my grill. I didn’t want to add more kinds of fuel and piping them in properly would cost more. Like many sailors, I am on a strict budget. I will make a small box to store wood under my table that will help dry it out before I burn it. I will post more about burn rate and needs later on this thread as I use it. Other people who use wood stoves have told me EnviroLogs are great and that non oily hard woods burn cleanest. I also like using starter sticks because I am lazy. People who have wood stoves already informed me that I shouldn’t use too much wood unless I am wanting hot heat and big flames. It only takes about 45 minutes to heat a small cabin like mine to about 75 degrees and ambient heat keeps it toasty after the fire is out. I learned in the process that some marinas do not allow wood stoves and that some are EPA certified and some not. Check into all of this before you install. You also have to pay attention to burn ban days. I will use my stove primarily at anchor off grid and it is not EPA certified. At dock I usually use my oil filled radiator heater.

I chose the Cubic Mini Cub out of Canada because it was affordable and absolutely adorable. They were friendly and helpful with any and all questions. Their flue pipe is double walled, which keeps it cooler and apparently helps it burn cleaner although I don’t know why. I got their heat shield backing plate with the slide out option and am glad I did. It just keeps it all more tidy with ashes. After installation, there is no heat anywhere around the walls on my boat with the heat sheild. I was advised to burn the stove for 30 hours before installing to help cure the paint and burn off manufacturing grease. I wish I had, it really stinks and makes me a bit sick. It does not linger in the boat, but until it’s cured I am keeping everything open.

A few issues that came up with the install is that nothing on a boat is square. So we had to do extra cuts to the backing plate and screws to make it all fit. My deck also slopes down so we made a raised epoxy mould to help level out the chimney. I purchased the Dickenson fitting from Cubic Mini Stoves and then the Dickenson Deck Fitting and DH cap from Fisheries Supply in Seattle. It is close to the mast so I also plan on running all my lines back to the cockpit and making an extension to my sail cover to go down the mast in order to avoid any smoke getting on my new sails coming this spring.

As you can see in the video, I also had to epoxy fill the old flue pipe hole before cutting the new one. When I cut the new 5″ hole I went ahead and put epoxy around the inside of the cut. That way if I ever have a leak the core is secure and can’t get wet. Better safe than sorry. I used West System 105/206 with 406 silica filler. The whole project cost around $1000 and took about 20 hours total. We worked on it over several weekends because of time constraints, but you can easily weekend warrior this project. I am pleased with the results so far and a boat neighbor also installed one. We both think it makes a world of difference for heat and dryness in our boat. Ultimately, my dream was to read a book in my cabin attending to my little fire with a cup of tea on rainy days and chilling out. Dreams can come true, with $$, power tools and epoxy!

Thanks to Eric as always for helping me with my project!



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