New Stove

We bought Albert complete with a Brunel stove which has done a good job over the last twenty years. However it has been showing its age, or perhaps more accurately its rust. I suppose it all goes down to the damp conditions it has had to endure over the winters. The door and back plate had recently started to buckle causing sealing issues. The bar holding on the blanking plate at the rear of the stove (where an alternative rear-facing flue can be fitted) broke twice once in August 2007 (yes we had the fire on in August!) and more recently in March 2013. Over the last year it was clear that the Brunel was on borrowed time so over the winter I started the process of looking for a replacement.

Old Brunel 1 stove and saloon

Brunel stoves are no longer sold by Midland Chandlers who supplied ours to the original owner, Mike Hurd, back in 1994. They appear to hold some spares but not enough for a rebuild. The Brunel is still manufactured by Stovax  so, not wanting to sort out a new flue and cause myself other difficulties, I decided to seek a like-for-like replacement and go for another Brunel. Over the years Stovax have changed the design slightly although the main features (i.e. the castings) have remained the same and crucially its size and flue connections are exactly the same. I purchased a Brunel 1A (our original was a 1) from a stove supplier in Cambridge using the internet. To save the £50 transport costs I picked up the stove direct from the dealer. I did not fancy fitting the stove just before Christmas and I hung on for warmer weather. However, with  the prospect of spring boating looming I eventually fitted the new stove last week.

New Brunel 1A stove and Ecofan

It was not a difficult job but the heavy weight of the stove does require careful handling, and a mate. The old flue was in good condition and just required some descaling and sweeping. It fitted perfectly back in its original position,

We managed to splash out on an Ecofan when we bought some new glassfibre rope for sealing the flue - Midland Chandlers had an offer. Most of our friends with multi-fuel stoves on boats appear to use Ecofans and rave about them. We shall soon see if it is a useful purchase.