1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Vermont Castings Merrimack

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by daveydog, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. daveydog

    daveydog New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central MA
    What's the pulse on Vermont Castings out there? Would you have hesitations about buying this new model? The boss loves the big view and design... I'm skeptical about VC after reading about their recent history and all of the negative reviews of various VC products on this site over the last decade.... and this model has no track record... Dealer says new ownership is good and VC should be headed back in the right direction... Has a decent size firebox but sort of low BTU rating... I guess my other question aside from overall build quality is will it throw heat... Do you think the larger glass area on this unit affects it's heat output?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,057
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It could be a decent insert, but so far we haven't heard much about it. It will take a year or two to start establishing a track record. The insert is good looking and offers a very nice fire view. How much are they asking for it?
  3. daveydog

    daveydog New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central MA
    $4300 installed (full liner, cast iron surround, etc)...
  4. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,895
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    That's up there with the Hampton HI300 & the Jotul C550, but they're both proven products...
    Don't think I'd go with the VC this early in the game...Too many unknowns...
  5. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Messages:
    369
    Loc:
    NYC
    It looks like a larger Montpelier. This winter will be my third heating season and its been great! I have an 1800 sq ft home and it keeps us comfortable. There have been negative reviews but I think that is due to inexperience and unseasoned wood! If its anything like the Montpelier it will be really nice. You cant beat the large viewing glass of these units! I have posted vids. on youtube to show it operating! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW6bgkRrelM
  6. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,629
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    All I see is a video of Lady Gaga
  7. daveydog

    daveydog New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central MA
    Ok now no posting positive information on the Merrimack please... we're buying today (tax free today in ma) and I'm trying to convince the boss that the pacific energy summit is our boy.... she really wants the Merrimack for that view...
  8. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,075
    Loc:
    S.NH
    I thought you were talking about the VC dealership in Merrimack, NH for a second. I was gonna give a thumbs-down-a-roo on them--they quoted me almost double the install costs as three other dealers and triple the price for a hearth pad.

    Anyway, I steered clear of VC given the negative reviews. I'm not sure I've ever heard a negative on PE--good luck!

    S
  9. Fsappo

    Fsappo New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    3,551
    Loc:
    Central NY
    Anything from a company that unstable shouldnt be bought until it's been in the field for a couple of years. Just PE it and be done.
  10. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,341
    Loc:
    Central Kentucky


    Hard to get them "in the field" if they shoudn't be bought...

    just sayin'...

    somebody HAS to buy them to get real world reviews.. I say go for it, get back to us on how it works..
    rideau likes this.
  11. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    If the new VC company wants some guinea pigs, let them offer a sweet introductory discount on the new stove, like 50% off. Sacrifice profit to get new product into the field. That's the only way I'd consider buying one of these, and then I'd do it only if I knew the dealer personally and knew they would make things right if VC screwed me over. $4k to install a new product from a new company? No thanks. Surely the Mrs. can understand these issues.
  12. daveydog

    daveydog New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central MA
    now THAT is a good idea...
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,057
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Monessen is not exactly a new company. If VC can address the weaknesses in some of their refractory products and put out good new products, they should do ok. I'm hoping they are getting back on track, but it will take a couple years to see.

    FWIW, my understanding from the OP is that $4.3K was for the insert,fancy surround, liner and installation.
  14. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    $4.3k for the whole shebang installed is my understanding too. As has been pointed out, that kind of $ will buy a nice insert from many different mfrs. I simply see no incentive to buy the VC. It's an established brand, and the new owner is not a newbie, but the "situation" is new. It "should" work out, and I'm rooting for them, but I wouldn't give them thousand$ without a big incentive and more from the dealer than "VC should be headed in the right direction." I guess they are counting on brand recognition and dealers to wrangle guinea pigs.
  15. daveydog

    daveydog New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central MA
    thats correct
  16. thinkxingu

    thinkxingu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,075
    Loc:
    S.NH
    Monessen may not be a new company, but, if I recall, nor were some of the others who owned VC for a bit. Any company with a history of wholly disqualifying past sales for warranty support, leaving hundreds (thousands?) without recourse for defective products, is not one I'm willing to take a chance on.

    S
  17. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    Good luck with purchasing during tax holiday, Davey. Only clothes and school supplies qualify here.
  18. patrolman467

    patrolman467 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    Centerville, Tennessee
    So, have you made a decision on the Merrimack? Can you get a fire screen with this insert?
  19. dougb

    dougb New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Western, CT
    We may be getting the Merrimack as well. I have heard the same negative stuff about VC, but when you look at the materials and features of all stoves, how can you really screw something up that much? I had an old VC Dutchwest free standing unit. Worked pretty well. I think it was a "cat" and should have been serviced better. But now I am in a different house and the only stove that would fit our unusual fireplace was the VC Montpelier. Now my dealer is encouraging me to get the Merrimack instead (for slightly less $$ than the Montpelier). He's coming out to measure my fireplace, so he will be on the hook if it doesn't fit. I've seen some videos and information about the VC facility in Vermont and I think they should be fine to purchase from. I physically checked the workmanship of the Montpelier vs. Jotul 550 (wouldn't fit my fireplace), Lopi and others. The VC actually had an additional burn tube on the inside top that the others did not have. I will keep you posted as to whether I get the Merrimack or Montpelier (or something else)...Doug
  20. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    What is your dealer doing to "encourage" you? Financial incetive? Guarantee to swap for another stove model if the Merrimack is a dud? Yelling "Dooo it?" It's hard to imagine that VC makes the only insert that will fit your fireplace. . .it sorta implies that they have a very uniquely sized/shaped product, for which the market might be very limited. If you shared the dimensions of your fireplace, maybe we could make some suggestions. If you like cats, have you looked at the BK Princess, Buck 80 or 91?
  21. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Messages:
    369
    Loc:
    NYC
    sorry
  22. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Messages:
    369
    Loc:
    NYC
  23. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Messages:
    369
    Loc:
    NYC
    It looks like a larger Montpelier. This winter will be my third heating season and its been great! I have an 1800 sq ft home and it keeps us comfortable. There have been negative reviews but I think that is due to inexperience and unseasoned wood! If its anything like the Montpelier it will be really nice. You cant beat the large viewing glass of these units! I have posted vids. on youtube to show it operating! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW6bgkRrelM
  24. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    VC shows the minimum fireplace dimensions for the Merrimack as 29.75W x 23.75H x 18.5D x 25.0W at the rear. I think a BK Princess (and many other inserts) would fit into that space. If the 30 deg flue offset is what you need, the BK flue has a 45 deg offset. It doesn't have the large glass of the VC, but the BK reportedly doesn't put on much of a light show anyhow. Something seems off with the VC spec page. . .3.0 cu ft firebox, but holds only 40 lbs of wood. Many mfrs' specs exceed the usable space in the firebox, but a 3 cu ft firebox will hold more like 60 lbs, and will usually put out more than 55k BTU. Seems like it may have closer to 2 cu ft of capacity. Maybe that's why the two dealer pages I found don't show a capacity spec. . .the same pages show 32k BTU for output, so somebody needs to get the specs straight on this stove. One of the issues with a new product, I guess, which brings us back to the question of what incentive does anyone have to try this new stove. . .
  25. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    Looks like MSRP on the Merrimack is $2593 + $229 for the plain surround or $499 for the fancy cast surround, so ~ $3100 with the cast surround. . .add $400 for 25' of stainless flex liner, and you're at $3500 for parts. I wouldn't be feelin' any incentive to buy for $4300 installed. Actually, I'd feel insulted at being asked to pay full MSRP + $800 installation to be a guinea pig! Common courtesy would be to offer at least an off-seasonish discount of ~ 30%. To do otherwise implies that the buyer is a sucker.

Share This Page