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Stephen Jeavons

Best Multi-fuel Stove?

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Yes, that old chestnut again.

I need a multi-fuel stove for my boatsmans cabin. What is the Rolls Royce to have and which is to be avoided (bad after sales service, quality of parts etc) 

 

Partner reckons it must have door with glass so flames can be seen etc.

 

It will be fitted in the usual place next to the rear door so preferably not over-tall.

 

Price not important but quality is.

 

Suggestions? 

Stephen

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If you genuinely men a proper back cabin, (i.e. only 8 or 9 feet long), then surely most stoves big enough to have glass in a front door would be complete overkill.

 

The normal approach would of course be a small range stove, but it is also a costly option of buying new, assuming you can.

 

The only recent new options have been the Epping and the Tomlow, the Epping having been priced I think around £1K when I last saw a new one for sale, and the Tomlow variants a good deal more than that I think.

However neither is now listed by Midland Chandlers, I think, who did stock both.

Brenmarl  Engineering is the place for eppings, though their website seems unclear if they will sell you a new one.

The excellent Tomlow initiative was by Brinklow Boat Services, and the last time I recall seeing them there, they had several in kit form.

 

If you want something with a nod to tradition, these are where I would make my first contacts.

If not look at something like the Salamander or Pipsqueak.  Or even the much vaunted Boatman stove, if it will fit, (you'll get your glass then!), but it maybe overkill unless it is heating a lot more than just a back cabin.

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Thanks for the suggestions thus far. The stove will provide heating throughout the boat to some extent using an Ecofan but I take your point. It would need to be a small, low output unit if it isn't going to turn the boatsmans cabin into sauna. I like the idea of a small range as it suits the space but I don't see one with a glazed door

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45 minutes ago, Stephen Jeavons said:

Thanks for the suggestions thus far. The stove will provide heating throughout the boat to some extent using an Ecofan but I take your point. It would need to be a small, low output unit if it isn't going to turn the boatsmans cabin into sauna. I like the idea of a small range as it suits the space but I don't see one with a glazed door

If you think an ecofan will shift hot air from one end of the boat to the other you are in for a disappointment............

  • Greenie 3

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Someone will be along shortly to instruct you on how to get your Ecofan to heat the whole boat.

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49 minutes ago, Stephen Jeavons said:

Thanks for the suggestions thus far. The stove will provide heating throughout the boat to some extent using an Ecofan but I take your point. It would need to be a small, low output unit if it isn't going to turn the boatsmans cabin into sauna. I like the idea of a small range as it suits the space but I don't see one with a glazed door

I have what passes for a rear 'boatman's cabin' and had to remove the range (an epping) because, while it would fit, I could not get it to run cool enough to be safe. I replaced it with a Hobbit (which has a glass door) and this has been fine. It would not however (even with a working Ecofan) warm the whole boat - a 70' narrowboat.

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1 hour ago, Stephen Jeavons said:

Thanks for the suggestions thus far. The stove will provide heating throughout the boat to some extent using an Ecofan but I take your point. It would need to be a small, low output unit if it isn't going to turn the boatsmans cabin into sauna. I like the idea of a small range as it suits the space but I don't see one with a glazed door

https://salamanderstoves.com/product/tiny-wood-cooking-range/

 

I think the Hobbit has back boiler add on, which may heat a radiator or two, but not sure about the little range.

Edited by LadyG

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Whilst some (back cabin sized) ranges can be arranged to  heat a  little bit of water, it wouldn't be enough to provide much heat to the rest of the boat.

 

Say a bit more about the size and layout of your boat and maybe more advice will come along.

But if you have (from the back) back cabin, engine room, then significant accomodation forward of that, I think trying to heat the whole boat with something that will not make the back cabin unbearably hot isn't really possible.

 

Normally your main stove would be in the main accommodation, and a cabin range would heat only that small area, (which often means over-heat that small area!)

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The intention was to supplement heating in the main living area rather than totally provide complete heating for the boat. There are also radiators fed from an electrical flow boiler when at our home mooring and via diesel heater when away. It's a 70ft traditional style boat with central walkway all the way down the boat. Layout is largely contemporary. At the moment the back cabin is still traditional. My thinking was that heat from a stove at the back would permeate forward and reduce the need for the radiators to be on except in very severe weather. From what I'm hearing, this can't happen so we'll stick with just warming the back cabin, engine room and possibly take some chill off the bathroom. The main reason for the post was to get a feel for which brands are the best and which to avoid as there is a confusing selection available. I'm not looking to heat the radiators from the back cabin stove so just a simple multi-fuel stove.

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1 hour ago, Stephen Jeavons said:

The intention was to supplement heating in the main living area rather than totally provide complete heating for the boat. There are also radiators fed from an electrical flow boiler when at our home mooring and via diesel heater when away. It's a 70ft traditional style boat with central walkway all the way down the boat. Layout is largely contemporary. At the moment the back cabin is still traditional. My thinking was that heat from a stove at the back would permeate forward and reduce the need for the radiators to be on except in very severe weather. From what I'm hearing, this can't happen so we'll stick with just warming the back cabin, engine room and possibly take some chill off the bathroom. The main reason for the post was to get a feel for which brands are the best and which to avoid as there is a confusing selection available. I'm not looking to heat the radiators from the back cabin stove so just a simple multi-fuel stove.

 

I do not live aboard but spend about 6 months per year on board, covering all the seasons.

 

I have the Hobbit in the back and a Reflex in the salon; there are no radiators and I have never needed them. So depending on your personal preferences, you may be all right.

 

We don't light the Hobbit during the day and not always in the evening.

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13 hours ago, dor said:

Someone will be along shortly to instruct you on how to get your Ecofan to heat the whole boat.

If you fix the Ecofan securely to the stove hotplate and use flexi pipe for the flue the stove will be blown from one end of the boat to the other keeping it all nice and warm. 

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Not relevant to your requirements but some refurbed boats cabin cooking ranges are the "wrong way arounnd " firebox nearest to the foot board /bulkhead if the cabin is wood it could be & has caused problems setting the footboard on fire

Edited by X Alan W

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Ecofan 

Bear in mind that all comments so far on ecofans seem to be missing the appropriate emoji. 

 

The only use I found for my ecofan was to remove and scrap all of the working parts from it and then use the base as a door stop. 

 

Many threads on the ecofan already, in fact you may find out in time that ecofans and ducks are a long running joke on this forum so please don't get side tracked by any mention of either of these. 

 

Oh and welcome to the forum. 

 

Edited by reg

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On 28/01/2019 at 15:03, dor said:

Someone will be along shortly to instruct you on how to get your Ecofan to heat the whole boat.

Place the ecofan inside the stove firebox until it is glowing red.  Carefully carry it using coal tongs to the other end of the boat and stand it on a heatproof surface.  Instant radiant heater in the bedroom.

 

For advanced use, when it has cooled down from red hot to just hot, wrap it in an old towel and use it as a bedwarmer.

  • Greenie 2

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On 30/01/2019 at 12:50, TheBiscuits said:

Place the ecofan inside the stove firebox until it is glowing red.  Carefully carry it using coal tongs to the other end of the boat and stand it on a heatproof surface.  Instant radiant heater in the bedroom.

 

For advanced use, when it has cooled down from red hot to just hot, wrap it in an old towel and use it as a bedwarmer.

Yes, Steve Haywood also had a bit to say about the questionable usefulness of the Ecofan in the latest Canal Boat. I guess I won't be bothering with one after all.

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. 

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On 28/01/2019 at 14:06, alan_fincher said:

The only recent new options have been the Epping and the Tomlow, the Epping having been priced I think around £1K when I last saw a new one for sale, and the Tomlow variants a good deal more than that I think.

However neither is now listed by Midland Chandlers, I think, who did stock both.

I collected the only remaining Tomlow from the Midland Chandlers stock from the Braunston shop before Christmas. As it was listed as "end of line" it was heavily discounted and less than the price you mentioned for an Epping.

 

Midland Chandlers haven't sold an Epping in the recent past as far as I know?

 

It may be a case of biding your time as Steve Priest of Brinklow Boat Services has mentioned, if I remember correctly, that they've changed firms for the casting process and production will start again at some point once things have been sorted out.

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For the last 6 years I have a woodwarm fireview and its great. Very controllable and good quality. Made in Devon. Not cheap then at £795. Have back boiler on it £145) to heat 2 rads on my 50ft trad narrow boat.

Simply great.

Have a look at Clearview and woodwarm. Also like Dunsley Stoves and Contura. 

 

My Sister bought a boat and we went cheap and cheerful with her stove. A 4kw hamlet hardy 4 by arada. £269 Delivered from plumbnation before Christmas. Steel bodied and cast door. It works OK and quality is good. Riddling grate could clear more ash and glass not totally clean but good value for money.

 

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Consider installing your back cabin stove in the middle of the boat. ? That way it will heat both ends and you won't be constantly trying to move heat from one end to the other.

 

Back cabins aside, I see so many narrow boats with stoves installed in the wrong place, usually by the bow doors. That might work in terms of being a convenient out of the way corner in which to install a stove, but in terms of heating the whole boat it's completely inefficient.

 

 

  • Greenie 1

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Hi, Yes in an ideal world the stove would be in the middle of the boat. Unfortunately, the layout of the boat prevents this. We have a traditional back cabin which once had a tiny cooking stove which was removed (before I bought the boat). This is the only space for a multi-fuel stove on this boat. Also the iron deck collar for the flu is already there so I'd like to use it. We intend converting the back cabin into a cosy lounge area.

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