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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Installing a wood stove

I found a little marine wood stove on Ebay, a Tiny Tot cast iron coal stove (it will burn wood too).  Ours is an antique, probably as old as the boat but looks like it was never used.  You can buy new Tiny Tots they look just like our little stove but with stainless steel backs.
  We were planning on putting the stove on our sailboat but before we had a chance to install it, we decided to sell the sailboat.  It's a cool little stove and we wanted to use it but couldn't figure out where to put it on the tug.  One day I was sitting watching TV and it hit me, if we removed the rounded corner on the side of the stack next to the built in, the little wood stove would fit perfectly in that space.  When I told Bill about my idea it seemed he had been thinking exactly the same thing.  The stove ended up being a perfect fit for an odd space and it finished off the side of the built in nicely.

 Bill made the little niche for the stove by removing the side of the stack wall and putting in a couple of pieces of plywood to make a corner space and then added concrete backer board to fireproof.  Here Bill is grouting the seam between the two concrete boards. 

 Stainless steel sheets are set off the concrete backer board to allow air to circulate behind it and keep the wall cool.
  He also installed a damper in the stove pipe.  The stove sits in the wall and is easy to walk by without bumping into it.  We'll be adding some grab bars around it to make it safer if we're anchored out and the boat gets rocked.  Wouldn't want to trip and grab a hot stove or stove pipe. We wouldn't have it burning while the boat is under way, no need, the engine will be enough to keep the boat warm and the pilot house has radiators.  We plan on installing a boiler in the future and using hydronic heat.

 The stove pipe goes up through the deck, there's a deck iron or thru deck fitting that keeps the hot pipe from the edge of the opening in the deck.  We still need to fine tune the opening and make it look pretty.
The finished stove pipe topped with a charlie noble.

Bill lights the first fire, the stove draws well and burns hot.  It's just enough to take the chill out of the tug on a cool spring morning or additional heat on a cold winter night.


  1. Hello,

    I have the same stove I will be installing in an airstream trailer. Could you tell me what king of chimney pipe you used (manufacturer/retailer)
    Awesome set up!
    Thanks for your help!

  2. I tried to reply to this post weeks ago and it didn't show up. Anyway, we bought our stainless steel stove pipe at a marine store. Seattle Marine Fisheries www.seamar.com

  3. well told and photo's.. thanks a bunch.. I figured anyone restoring a Tug will have good judgement ! My Ford camper,a former Sportsmobile from circa '01- is getting Canyonized by me, Canyon- more like a early boat interior,mostly salvaged pine and sequoia once standing as fencing etc. about the Big Sur glens . I too have chosen a TinyTot, their Pet model . Got my essential part from the Seattle super crew- Fisheries Supply -- once you begin a relationship with then you'll hesitate before going anywhere else ! A super knowledgable kind crew there !

  4. I have a Tiny Tot in the wheelhouse of my tugboat. It's quite old and been modified. It's missing a few parts but burns well. It keeps the 1932 wheelhouse nice and toasty.
    Capt Gary Kelfner. "TwoBits"