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May 20, 2019
Catalina 36 MKI GIG HARBOR
I am a little surprised I didn't find anyone who has installed a mini wood stove on a Catalina 36 when I searched. Has anyone done it and just not made any posts? My question is can I cut the chimney hole above the shelf across from the head door? I assume since it's a keel stepped boat that there is nothing structural I'll be cutting through. Man I wish someone has done this already to give me some pointers.


Feb 21, 2013
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Nope.......how do you plan to use it (at anchor, dock, sailing, motoring), what do you do for wood storage, how will you handle the dirt, soot, ash deposition on the deck from the flue, ash removal, risk of smoke damage and carbon dioxide poisoning, etc.?

You might find these threads, article and videos helpful if you go forward with this project:
Wood Stove Heating For Sailboats | SailNet Community
Wood, Diesel or propane bulkhead heating stove? | Page 9 | SailNet Community
Wood Stoves for Boats - Tiny Wood Stove
DIY Sailing: Cubic Mini Cub wood stove aboard a small sailboat. - Bing video
Creative Cubic Mini Wood Stove Installation on sailboat— Sailing Uma [Step 176] - Bing video
Kimberly Wood Stove Installation on a Sailboat | S1 EP15 - Bing video
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May 20, 2019
Catalina 36 MKI GIG HARBOR
I don't want diesel heating. Smells bad. I hate motoring for the same reason. Nor do I want a flammable heating option like propane or kerosene. I've seen plenty of mini wood stoves on boats for use when at anchor. Sounds like they're quite efficient, and most carry those compressed log whatevers that sound like they last for hours. As a live aboard, a little fireplace is pretty cozy. Living in the Seattle area it isn't like the arctic, otherwise yes, a diesel heater would be the only real option. Just like always having to fill water going out for wood once a week would just become a thing.
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Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
As a live aboard, your Going out for wood, filling the water tank when the marina has water (some times it is shut down for 10 days or so in the winter), are just tasks to keep you going.

There really is no diesel smell on my boat. You service the furnace and it runs at optimum temps providing consistent heat less fire and CO risk than a wood fire. But you do not get the pretty flames.

Some say that most of the time a burning oil lamp is enough heat. Perhaps it is. I just know that when aboard my boat in the port of Everett or elsewhere in the Puget Sound and the temps are cold enough to freeze the water around the boat, a wood stove would not be enough. I would head for a motel room if that is all I have for heat.
May 20, 2019
Catalina 36 MKI GIG HARBOR
We did some pretty extreme freezing trip last year, and the Catalina 36 is really just a plastic shell, so it was COOOLD. used a portable propane heater. But that's wet heat... Also been looking at portable kerosene heaters... guess I'll get more serious about researching diesel heaters.
Jan 1, 2006
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Don't go diesel heater so fast. I think GOB had an article several or many years ago about wood stoves and I think particularly the Cubic. I writer was a big fan. If I remember I think he was a Barnagut Bay guy who liked the off season.
The chimney provided protection from CO. The insulation of the Chimney was adequate to not heat the fiberglass deck enough for damage. There could be issues with wind blowing smoke back into the cabin but there was a way to deal with that. As far as wood, these are small units that wouldn't require very much fuel. Ash? Maybe a little messy but I emptied my Grandmother's coal ash enough. Not a deal killer.
And there's that romance of a flickering flame keeping you warm whilst reading stories of sailing lore. It was 91 degrees today in Fl. Good God Almighty give me a frosty night and a wood stove at anchor with a book and favorite libation.
Jan 7, 2011
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
There were a couple of YouTubers who did various types of heaters that required putting a whole in the cabin top… Not necessarily the same boat, but the same principles apply.

Jan 19, 2010
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
Had a Bristol 32 that the PO had installed a small pot belly stove in. First thing I did was yard it out and toss it. Then had a Glass specialist repair the overhead. The stovepipe was the culprit. It leaked and stained rust. Got everything returned to OEM condition. The PO was very lucky. Never installed a thimble . There was no evidence that he'd every fired the stove, and believe that he did't. Guess if I were to plan on installing a stove it would look to exhaust thru a port. I'd remove the port light and have a plug that allows for a power vent type pipe.. The type that draws in air for combustion on the outside( cooler against surfaces) and exhausts on the internal pipe.. Something along the lines of a Rinnai .
Oct 22, 2014
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
A fellow SBO member @LeslieTroyer and good sailing buddy bought a boat with an installed propane heater. He had the appropriate chimney to vent the bad gases and a little fan to tap the heat off the chimney. All worked nicely, till he located his inflatable dinghy on the bow.

It was a cold morning when he went to the boat. He thought he'd take the chill out of the boat to make the engine service task a little friendlier experience. All was going well till he started to smell rubber burning. Thinking that someone in the marina had a problem he went out on deck to investigate.... DAMN... It was his dinghy that was burning. The heater had put a perfect 4 inch diameter hole in the inflated tube.

There are dangers at every turn... Build a careful plan for your wood stove. Also get a couple of CO monitors for the boat. There is a story about them too, but I'll save it for another time.
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