Canal/Narrow Boats Forum

Author Topic: Heating  (Read 635 times)

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« on: June 27, 2012, 12:41:20 AM »
The first thing that comes to mind when you see a canal boat is how cold it must get on board during winter - but boats can be quite comfortable as they are fitted with little stoves/fireplaces - many different varieties.

If stoves/fireplaces are managed properly - and there is a knack to it- you can achieve quite a lovely and comfortable ambient temperature and atmosphere in living areas that you wouln't believe there to be snow drifts lying on top of the boat and to the sides of the canal.

As with all fires it can take even many months to learn how to light, maintain and even keep the fire going overnight so as to maintain the heat in the cabin.

I was fortunate enough to have grown up with a wood fire as our main cooking area and also it was what they call combustion - as it also supplied our hot water by means of copper piping ran through the firebox that cold water ran through and heated as it went. This was a great experience and I'm the first person that is given the duty of looking after the fireplace whenever we holiday with one.

Heat = fuel consumption so find the happy medium.  You can have a really hot - almost uncomfortable cabin if you want to go through lots and lots of fuel and keep adding and stoking etc.  Why it can almost be a full time and expensive job with the amount of fuel consumed.  My mum taught me how to use the flue.  The flue controls the amount of oxygen circulating through the firebox. So the next equation is oxygen = fuel = heat.

Pretty much after you get a fire started and going well I engage the flue and cut back the aiflow in the firebox so as to slow the consumption of the fuel. This is where the individual tweaking of each stove is different.  You will get the feel as to when you've used the flue too much and the fire is choking.  I will post more topics on choosing/sorting your timber later.

Stay warm. Lisa


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