Question re Vermont Castings Vigilant Coal II stove

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New Member
Nov 27, 2023
Sloatsburg, NY
Can anyone inform me of the usefulness of coal burning stoves, please? My sister has 3 never-used, Vigilant Coal II cast iron stoves in original boxes. Her husband was a ”prepper” and passed away unexpectedly ….we discovered these in storage, along with chimneys, dbl wall pipes, elbows, thimbles, etc (all 8”). All are boxed and new. Sadly, we cannot use them but they are quite beautiful. Local Vermont Castings distributors in NY state are telling us there is no market for coal stoves here, but there is in PA. Is this true? I stumbled on this forum while researching the stove for pricing, etc., and hoping someone with coal stove smarts could advise…..can we find a home for these beauties?
I burn coal once in awhile in an old European small stove. Coal is a different animal than wood but with a good stove and quality hard coal it is the best heat. There was a big price spike in coal a few years ago in which in some areas nearly doubled in price. Pennsylvania is hard coal territory and burning coal there is probably more cost effective than some other areas. There is a following for coal burners for sure with its heart in the PA area. I think those VC coal burners worked fairly well. NOS VC coal stoves should do well in the PA area and I think in NY and New England area as well. Most folks that switch to coal from wood don't go back to wood. Especially if they pay for all they're wood and it's not free. I think the price jump in coal has put a damper in that though.
I have burned coal for 35+ years. It is a great way to heat your home, if a bit of an effort. Here is my experience. You need to tend the stove (I have a Vigilant multi fuel) 2 times a day. And then deal with the ash. As noted above, coal has gone way up in cost, I'll stay away from the political commentary. Used to be able to finid coal all over but now not too many outlets have it. Way back I used to buy loose tons, paid maybe $125-130. Now in what is convenient 40 lb bags, over $450 a ton. In my application I use about 1700-1800 lbs per month in January and Feb in Massachusetts so its a fairly inexpensive heat source with my 1200 ft2 house staying at about 70 deg constantly for that time period. Every now and then you will need to change out the stove pipes but never really need to clean a chimney. Interestingly, the place I've been buying coal told me they still sell a fair amount because there are a number of pizza shops that buy coal for their pizza ovens. Who knew? VC stoves with the 8" oval outlet are annoying but I was able to find a 6" round flue collar that make installation in my hearth location a lot easier. If your stove is in the open you will need an 8" oval to round adapter which in recetn years has got more expensive, But what hasn't? Anyway, I am sure there are people here and there who still burn coal. No electricity needed, no need to worry about power outages, if you are not a climate zealot who thinks people are changing the climate, its a great way to heat. As I noted my stove has last decades.
There is a coal forum that would be good to post on. I suspect that to the right person, these stove would get a healthy price.

@coaly, @defiant3, @D. Hermit, do you know of anyone looking for a brand new Vigilant coal stove?