It’s not all about length … or is it? – How to stay warm on a Narrow Boat

We’re visiting one of my favourite talking points again the fire! We’ve actually been doing ok with the Hobbit, despite hankering after a Mulso The Stoves Have Ears – Are Narrow Boats Cold?. Although in order to maintain the desired heat level we have been having to fill the Hobbit, with incredible amounts of fuel, and leave the lower ash tray open to prevent the coals from burning out altogether.


When topping up supplies for the incredible Hobbit’s appetite we got talking to a fellow Hobbit owner, but far from berating the Hobbit, they adored it. Humph! Their fires easily held throughout the night and they rarely opened their ash tray. The exact same Hobbit the exact same set up, except one minor difference. Their chimney was longer than ours, easily double the length.

Feeling a serious need to keep up with the Jones’ it’s worth a try we thought, so a quick pootle to the chandlers at Whilton Marina and we were in possession of a fancy new longer chimney. The super friendly Chandlers also talked us through some ideas, finally settling on the lack of chimney length being the most likely cause. For a bargain £25.00 the new chimney was ours.


And the results! Well what a difference, we now no longer have to keep the ash tray door open, and the fire is comfortably holding a toasty 250 degrees (Fahrenheit). Granted Fantine now resembles a sea worthy super boat with her giant funnel, and I’m starting to worry that by the time he gets round to us old Saint Nic will have had too many Mince Pies to get down all that way!

A now toasty James & Kirsty

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