Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Tortoise.

Some weeks ago I visited my Dad and his family, and whilst we were discussing all things houseboat shaped he gave us this:

It’s something of a family heirloom, the daddy having acquired it when I was maybe only six or seven years old, he bought it off some gypsies because he himself was planning on a travelling life. However, he never used it for its intended purpose but somehow miraculously hung onto it for all these years instead, and now we’re immensely proud to call a tiny piece of family history our own.

The Tortoise Stove company turns out to have quite a lot of its own interesting history (go on, google it) and the company motto was ‘slow but sure’ in reference to the speed with which the stove burned it’s fuel, the boast being that it made it more economical and efficient, and sure enough these words are embossed on the front of ours, which is the smallest model made. It’s so wee I reckon it’s probably designed for solid fuel but only experimentation will tell, and anyway someone may want to correct me before I indulge my pyromania; and we know it won’t heat the whole boat. But anything’s better than enduring minus 7 centigrade for several nights with no heating at all during the worst of last winter, which really was not funny at all.

We’re gleefully stealing the stoves motto for ourselves. The reasons should be obvious to anyone who’s read more than a cursory glance at this blog over the years.

Becky and I are enjoying arguing in our customary manner over where exactly it should go on Wendy Ann 2, and I’m itching to get on and make a flue for it out of heavy wall 3” pipe, as it handily has a slightly unusual 3 inch flue size.. Luckily our boat already has an original provision for just such a flue, as long as we put the stove down in the forward accommodation, which is fine by me. This boss shaped provision sits on a steel box in the superstructure just in front of the wheelhouse and is currently covered with a blanking plate that I made just before the great unveiling in February, but it will be no problem at all to remove to take a pipe instead- that's what it's designed for. So positioning decided all I have to do is cast a substantial concrete block into the floor level (and tile it) for our tortoise to stand on- hey, we need the weight anyway. Then go and pester my friendly local steel merchants and make that flue before I install the flue and start burning stuff. Hopefully just in time for the worst of the winter.


Anonymous cyberangel said...

Hi, just thought I would share my experience with a small wood stove. Because of the tiny size of mine, I had to cut the wood into toothpick size to fit it in the stove which was tedious to say the least. Then because the wood was so small, I had to basically sit there and feed the stove constantly, like every 10 minutes or so. It worked great at warming the boat but it couldnt be left for very long without burning out. I live in Canada and although we apparently mine coal and export it, we don't have any for sale locally. If you can burn coal in yours and its available, I would recommend you try that. I ended up using presto logs( the kind made without parrafin,it stinks) and although it wasnt as econmical as free wood, it fit my stove and burned longer. I kept an electric radiator in the bedroom, so we had constant heat at night while sleeping, then braved the artic air in the rest of the boat in the morning until I got a fire lit. Your boat is looking great, keep up the good work, I enjoy reading your blog.Rhianna

7:26 p.m.  
Blogger IsmilebecauseIhavenoideawhatsgoingon said...

'I live in Canada and although we apparently mine coal and export it, we don't have any for sale locally.'

What's wrong with our world??

Thanks so much for the heads up Rhianna, I'll let you know how I get on burning stuff, although luckily I CAN get coal locally if needs be.
Glad you enjoy reading de blog too.
Stay warm, Seb.

7:34 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello could u please tell me how old your stove is and how much its worth as ive got one the same and want to sell it ta paul

8:05 p.m.  
Blogger IsmilebecauseIhavenoideawhatsgoingon said...

Hi Paul. Sorry, I have no idea what it is worth. Priceless to me, although I rather suspect that is not the answer that you are looking for.
They do turn up on ebay, I suggest you keep an eye out there.
Sorry I can't help, web

9:45 a.m.  
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