This part of the flue system never gets hot as it is attached to the roof, so I used a builder's mastic. First I cleaned the area with white spirit, then I applied the mastic. Half way through smoothing it down it began to rain quite hard! Oh well. We'll see what happens.
Controllable coal? Yes, on this outing we've been burning mostly coal, and finding that it gives an excellent even heat. The fire stays in overnight, keeping the boat at a comfortable temperature. We lit it on Friday and allowed it to go out only on Monday, when we were away from the boat during the day. The coal in question is Stoveglow. It's worked superbly in the Morso Squirrel: every lump burning completely, leaving no part-burned remnants as I've encountered in the past.
Advantages of coal over logs: easy to keep going for long periods; even heat; takes less space
Advantages of logs over coal: "free" fuel if you cut/chop it yourself; produces a lot of heat quickly (but needs constant feeding); smoke smells better
This is my last post of 2013, my most prolific blogging year so far. I'm not sure I will keep it up at the rate of one per day - we'll see.
Thank you for reading my variable quality efforts. With the sound of fireworks exploding above Milton Keynes, I wish you a Happy New Year.