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Best stove for a narrowboat with oven and back boiler???


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Hi Everyone,

I'd super appreciate any advice...

 

The front from my Morso squirrel stove has come away, it's pretty nippy at the mo and I need a new one fairly quick! 

 

I am thinking this is a good opportunity to get a burner with an oven built in, I also need it to have connections for my back boiler. I'm a livaboard so need something that can take alot of use.

 

Any recommendations much appreciated, it's minus 2 outside! 

 

Thanks 🙂

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2 minutes ago, James H said:

Hi Everyone,

I'd super appreciate any advice...

 

The front from my Morso squirrel stove has come away, it's pretty nippy at the mo and I need a new one fairly quick! 

 

I am thinking this is a good opportunity to get a burner with an oven built in, I also need it to have connections for my back boiler. I'm a livaboard so need something that can take alot of use.

 

Any recommendations much appreciated, it's minus 2 outside! 

 

Thanks 🙂

Do you have enough room for an oven in the stove?  They tend to be a bit big.  Have a look at this thread     

 

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Its not easy, they are few and far between.

There is a dead cheap one about, probably Chinese, and best avoided.

At the top end there is Esse but they are costly (COSTLY) and even if you are rich are too heavy unless fitted centrally.

The old back cabin stoves (Epping etc) are great but hard to get of late, no back boiler,and  also a little small for the main cabin.

Bubble do a more modern version so have a look at that, not sure if it has a boiler. These cooking ranges often have quite a small firebox which is not ideal.

If you find anything let us know.

 

............Dave

Edited by dmr
repetition!
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22 hours ago, blackrose said:

If you want a quick installation you're best off going for the same stove. Boring but quick and easy.

As above and use a cast iron pot and lid as a dutch oven on the stove top.

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Bubble do the pie pod with a top oven and back boiler, either solid fuel or oil fired, as a plus it heavy duty steel so the front wont fall off

 

Edited by peterboat
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Don't think I'm hijacking this topic as answers may be of interest to the OP.  I too have a squirrel (with a cast iron back boiler). It is presently plumbed into it's pipework with 28mm copper using a combination of compression and ýorkshire fittings. I often wonder if it would be possible to connect the stove to the pipework via flexible pipes . I don't mean those semi flexible copper pipes. In my case it would be possible to have copper or iron stubs coming out of the boiler. I realise that ,if available, they might be somewhat specialised and expensive. Just musing as the Squiŕrel is 20 years old + and my knees far more. Thanks.

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4 minutes ago, Slim said:

Don't think I'm hijacking this topic as answers may be of interest to the OP.  I too have a squirrel (with a cast iron back boiler). It is presently plumbed into it's pipework with 28mm copper using a combination of compression and ýorkshire fittings. I often wonder if it would be possible to connect the stove to the pipework via flexible pipes . I don't mean those semi flexible copper pipes. In my case it would be possible to have copper or iron stubs coming out of the boiler. I realise that ,if available, they might be somewhat specialised and expensive. Just musing as the Squiŕrel is 20 years old + and my knees far more. Thanks.

The hoses don't last long before they fail due to the heat.

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59 minutes ago, nbfiresprite said:

The hoses don't last long before they fail due to the heat.

 

What sort of temperatures are we talking about ?

 

Silicone hoses ?

Wide range of standard shapes and sizes, very cheap to get custom ones made up and will withstand 220 degrees C

 

I had some moulded for my boat engine.

 

Coolant Hoses | Radiator Hoses | Turbo Hoses (viperperformance.co.uk)

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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58 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

What sort of temperatures are we talking about ?

 

Silicone hoses ?

Wide range of standard shapes and sizes, very cheap to get custom ones made up and will withstand 220 degrees C

 

I had some moulded for my boat engine.

 

Coolant Hoses | Radiator Hoses | Turbo Hoses (viperperformance.co.uk)

With a flue temp between 180-220 C, The stove body is about 40-60 C hotter. I did try silcone hoses on the old squirrel before I replaced it with a range. The hoses failed at the boiler outlet, not so much from the water, But heat transfer from the stove body. The hose became very soft and swollen until it burst, 

 

Some people  while enjoying the deep seated heat provided by a multifuel stove are tempted to continue piling fuel as high as possible to maintain the warmth often the case when the stove is to small for area to be heated. Which leads to overfiring, this is more common with stoves with double flues.  

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To answer the original question - the only practical answer is to replace like with like. It is expensive but we have used our Squirrel for fifteen years and it stays alight permanently from the beginning of October through to the end of the following April even now when we are not sleeping aboard. We bought a complete second stove (from another forum member) to use as spares but, so far, have only used the doors and grates on a rotating basis - i.e. fit the spare replacement and then repair or replace the original ready for next time.

We often cook on the top but it is useful to have a secondary means of cooking - an electric slow cooker works well when cruising or if shore power is available.

Edited by NB Alnwick
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9 hours ago, Slim said:

Don't think I'm hijacking this topic as answers may be of interest to the OP.  I too have a squirrel (with a cast iron back boiler). It is presently plumbed into it's pipework with 28mm copper using a combination of compression and ýorkshire fittings. I often wonder if it would be possible to connect the stove to the pipework via flexible pipes . I don't mean those semi flexible copper pipes. In my case it would be possible to have copper or iron stubs coming out of the boiler. I realise that ,if available, they might be somewhat specialised and expensive. Just musing as the Squiŕrel is 20 years old + and my knees far more. Thanks.

Do you mean the sort of corrugated copper pipe like ? I've linked to a 15mm version, because I'm lazy, but I know they are available in 22mm. Don't know if anyone does 28mm. I have used a short length of 22mm in my gravity back boiler system to get round a particular problem and it has lasted OK so far. Two potential problems with them. One is the minimum radius they can go down to. This will be larger the bigger the pipe, so if 28mm is made, this will be a big radius curve. The other is the extra resistance to flow that the corrugations make. If there is a lot in at some point it will interfere with flow, which in a gravity flow system might stop it when the stove is stopped down.

Jen

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1 hour ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Do you mean the sort of corrugated copper pipe like ? I've linked to a 15mm version, because I'm lazy, but I know they are available in 22mm. Don't know if anyone does 28mm. I have used a short length of 22mm in my gravity back boiler system to get round a particular problem and it has lasted OK so far. Two potential problems with them. One is the minimum radius they can go down to. This will be larger the bigger the pipe, so if 28mm is made, this will be a big radius curve. The other is the extra resistance to flow that the corrugations make. If there is a lot in at some point it will interfere with flow, which in a gravity flow system might stop it when the stove is stopped down.

Jen

No, they're the type I meant by semi flexible, I used several of those to connect Finrads in the back cabin but wasn't very impressed. I was thinking more of pipes intended for low pressure steam or boiling water. Maybe I'm seeking the impossible.  

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8 hours ago, nbfiresprite said:

With a flue temp between 180-220 C, The stove body is about 40-60 C hotter. I did try silcone hoses on the old squirrel before I replaced it with a range. The hoses failed at the boiler outlet, not so much from the water, But heat transfer from the stove body. The hose became very soft and swollen until it burst, 

 

Some people  while enjoying the deep seated heat provided by a multifuel stove are tempted to continue piling fuel as high as possible to maintain the warmth often the case when the stove is to small for area to be heated. Which leads to overfiring, this is more common with stoves with double flues.  

Did you have some form of metal tail coming out of the stove itself? I must put an IR thermometer on the back of the stove when I'm allowed back. 

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A quick google says that high temperature water hose is a thing.

Here as a typical example. Up to 100C continuous, 130C intermittent. The water inside will keep the temperature reasonable, even when the stove is raging. Available in suitable sizes, like 1,1/4" upwards. Have hose tails on each end. Set up before the stove is installed, then just connect the far ends to the rest of the system at a knee friendly height! No idea if anyone has used them in this sort of application before. No idea on minimum radius before it collapses.

Jen

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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To get a stove that is a wood ur er, with oven and a back boiler, I think the options are omitted, at least at the size that is practical for a narrowboat. I had a Villager C (I think) on a boat, it was very good at heating the living room and had an excellent back boiler, but no oven. I’d recommend an MBS thermo vulcan but it’s rated at 20Kw and a bit big. If MBS do a smaller one, it’s likely to be good.

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24 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

A quick google says that high temperature water hose is a thing.

Here as a typical example. Up to 100C continuous, 130C intermittent. The water inside will keep the temperature reasonable, even when the stove is raging. Available in suitable sizes, like 1,1/4" upwards. Have hose tails on each end. Set up before the stove is installed, then just connect the far ends to the rest of the system at a knee friendly height! No idea if anyone has used them in this sort of application before. No idea on minimum radius before it collapses.

Jen

I think I've found what I was looking for . Braded flexible steam hoses, various short lengths, up to 1"BSP connections, + 270 degrees C. Don't know cost but it says from £10. Can't do link (luddite) but company called Norris Steam. Now all I've got to do is wait 'til the Squirrel fails.

Thanks everyone. 

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6 minutes ago, Slim said:

I think I've found what I was looking for . Braded flexible steam hoses, various short lengths, up to 1"BSP connections, + 270 degrees C. Don't know cost but it says from £10. Can't do link (luddite) but company called Norris Steam. Now all I've got to do is wait 'til the Squirrel fails.

Thanks everyone. 

I looked at the same web site. The price goes up sharply with size. A 2' length with 1" BSP connections to fit the Squirrel back boiler is £60, so £120 for a pair. 😱

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On 08/01/2021 at 20:01, dmr said:

 

The old back cabin stoves (Epping etc) are great but hard to get of late, no back boiler,and  also a little small for the main cabin.

Bubble do a more modern version so have a look at that, not sure if it has a boiler. These cooking ranges often have quite a small firebox which is not ideal.

If you find anything let us know.

 

............Dave

I've been thinking about making a back boiler conversion for an Epping size range, I know people have done them before but I've never seen one. I've got a nearly new Midland Swindlers Epping copy, which only has a cast top plate so shouldn't be hard to work on.

If anyone's interested in it let me know,  or I'll put some pics on when I get around to it.

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53 minutes ago, noddyboater said:

I've been thinking about making a back boiler conversion for an Epping size range, I know people have done them before but I've never seen one. I've got a nearly new Midland Swindlers Epping copy, which only has a cast top plate so shouldn't be hard to work on.

If anyone's interested in it let me know,  or I'll put some pics on when I get around to it.

I gave this a bit of thought but decided against it, though part of my plan was to use the Alde or maybe a diesel replacement to gently warm the Epping via a backboiler on very cold days. The Epping only gets lit on Really cold days as otherwise it makes the cabin too hot.

 

The Epping has a very small firebox and is well thought out with firebricks and insulation so that it does not radiate heat to the sides and back, so you would have to take care not to upset this. A backboiler could be a heat shield too so it might be ok. The Epping back plate is thin steel which at least would make things a lot easier for you.

 

We might be getting a proper winter mooring if plans work out and in this case I am tempted to "convert" the Epping to electric, I suspect that only about 500w would be enough to take the chill off the back cabin ( 6 tealights do a half decent job). The conversion would need to be such that the Epping could still be lit when required.

Realistically a little radiator on the wall behind the Epping would be easier....but less fun.

 

I am aware of one boater who has done a DIY gas conversion on an Epping type stove, dunno how he gets on with the BSS.

 

..................Dave

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We have the Epping lit every day when boating in the cooler months,  but let it go out overnight so it doesn't get too hot in the bed hole. 

I really don't know how people boat in the depths of winter without the comfort of a stove by your feet,  I know that I certainly wouldn't anymore. 

I was thinking about a "C" shaped boiler,  taking the place of the fire bricks. We have the same set up in our cottage on a Victorian range that works well.

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