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Old 02-23-2009, 06:21 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2009
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I am new to all this so forgive me if there is already the information here as I have not been able to find it yet.

Slightly different but similar question. I have a wreck of a DIY narrowboat with bits and pieces of disconnected copper pipes and hot water cylinder and another blue tank thing.

I have bought a small solid fuel stove with a back boiler but do not have any idea how to connect it up from scratch for the heating and especially the hot water. Unfortunately I cannot afford a boatyard to fit it all for me. I wanted to use the flexible piping for ease because of the of boat shape.

Can anyone tell me how to do it, where to find idiot proof instructions or a book to enable me to do this PLEASE??? I have bought recyled insulation made from plastic bottles to insulate the boat too to keep the warmth in when it's working? Thank you for your precious time.

Dreamboat in progress.

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Old 02-23-2009, 06:52 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
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This is a link to a solid fuel stove topic over in the "galley" forum:


Regarding insulation, you want to pick up something non-flammable. Anything made with petroleum products (including plastic) will not suffice as non-flammable. Go into a shop that sells stoves for the house and learn about the insulation materials that are used in your country. Here, a suitable "heavy" material is a backerboard also used for tiles. I used a US Gypsum product called Micore 300 Mineral Board. It is lightweight and used for fire proofing in elevators as well as around stoves on boats. There will be some similar product in your country.

Regarding piping: The stove pipe should be relatively straight forward. You can go look at some installation photos on the Navigator Stove Works site www.marinestove.com . On that site you'll see some good ideas and install directions for their stoves.

The installation of the stove is something you should be able to do yourself, once you understand the insulation needs and shielding requirements for your stove. The hot water could be a little more tricky.

What brand of stove do you have? If it is a marine stove, you should be able to get very good installation instructions directly from the manufacturer. This will include instructions on an associated hot water heater or whatever may be appropriate for that hot water system/recirc/ etc. I assume you mean flexible piping (tubing) for this part of the system NOT for the stove chimney . There are nice piping systems made of PEX that one may use to do this, but an appropriate thermal control has to be put in place to keep the PEX from overheating and its unlikely to be of utility to you in this project. Copper tubing is flexible but is thin walled. It may work for your application.

There really is no "idiot proof" install instructions for these things. However, if you have a good ability as a DIY person and can understand mechanical systems, you could likely do this on your own once you have instructions about the particular marine stove you're using.

If you have no instructions, you need to have a good understanding of the output of the stove (thermal units such as BTU) and the design of a hot water system for a similar stove. If you're not an engineer or someone used to designing such systems, you need help from a professional to do this safely and effectively--or you need to purchase a system that comes with good instructions.

If you can tell us the brand, we might be able to assist you in finding the instructions you require to install your solid fuel stove and its associated hot water heating system.

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