Thinking about upgrading... Current equivalent of a Resolute Acclaim?

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New Member
Mar 25, 2024
Eastern PA
So, here's the deal... My folks put a Resolute Acclaim in back in the late 80, or possibly early 90's. I just don't quite remember when... That said, it's been a great stove for their, and now my application. While the primary heat is an oil fired boiler, the wood burner is a nice supplement, along with being able to take over if the boiler has an issue. It will heat the whole house, and drive me out of the second floor, unless I run it dampped almost all the way down.

Well, I've noted that the movable ash grate is warped at this point, and seems to be unobtainable... I'm quite sure the combustion package should be done, and I noticed that the panel on the right side is not quite in the correct position, and the wedge that holds the fireback is tipping out easily. (perhaps it's been that way for ages, but I just noticed it) In short, it would need a significant amount of work/parts.

I really love the style of the VC... I find top loading to be easier than front. I could live with a side loader if I really had to. I like the warming shelves (and I love the dragons holding them). In short, while I can certainly look at other brands, I imagine I'm going to be back looking at the VC brand for a replacement.

The spec sheet I found for the Resolute Acclaim says it put out 51,000 max BTU. That lands between the Defiant, and the Encore in the VC specs I just pulled from their website. The dimensions are closer to a Dauntless though.

The Defiant is gigantic, so that's out. The Encore is just 3 inches wider than I have now. The Dauntless is basically the same width as current. The Intrepid is cute, but probably too small both visually, and in terms of the BTU's, and burn time.

i can easily deal with a lower max BTU than I have. Probably be better on the system to not run dampped down so much anyway. So I kinda lean toward the Dauntless... But then I don't see warming shelves available for it, let alone shelves supported by the dragons...

Ok... All that said... Where's the question right? Here they are...
Has anyone replaced a Resolute Acclaim with another VC, and feel like they got an equivalent? If so, how did you go?
Has anyone seen warming shelves on a Dauntless?
Does anyone know if VC kept the same warming shelf design/spec over time? Would I be able to transfer my old shelves to a new stove?
Have your modern VC stoves been reliable, or are they fussy?

The 2 most important things are.. 1 What is your current chimney setup and will it run.the 2 stoves your looking at.. you definitely want to have more then the minimum requirements for the chimney. 2 do you meet the clearance requirements for either stove.
Well, I was looking in to clearances... I'm pretty sure I'm fine. Below, and behind, there's at minimum 12 FEET of solid concrete, or fieldstone masonry (bit of over kill on that). Left is wide open, and right is a small wall that's got 4" of fieldstone masonry protection. the slate floor footprint is 48" wide, and 44" deep.

As for the chimney, I will need to do a bit of research there. I want to say it's an 8" clay flue buried in that massive masonry piece behind the stove. I'm going to need to get a sweep in to inspect it. My gut tells me I will need to have a liner dropped in there, which is fine. It'll just be a royal pain the way the chimney is built. There's not a ton of room to work between the slate slab rain guard, and the flue, and the roof is 60 degrees, so not exactly a comfortable work surface... The current stove is running with 6" single wall color matched VC pipe up to where it enters the chimney.
There's a 45 and a 90. Probably 7' of straight pipe total. Straight up out of the stove for 3 or 4 feet, 45, and then 3 or 4 over to the 90 that enters the masonry.
No, just one of each.
Draft is pretty good it would seem. I've certianly never seen an ember, or smoke come out of the Resolute as it stands currently when the top is open. Chimney top is clear of the roof ridge by several feet. I'd say it's almost 25' from the point the pipe enters the chimney to the top of the stack. Once there's some heat in that flue, it has no issue drawing.
If I understood it correctly from my dealer the Dauntless doesn’t come stock with the catalyst option. If you choose to purchase it you’re getting close to the same cost as the Encore. The catalyst becomes a whole discussion on its own.

I replaced my 79 resolute with an encore 2040 cat-c. I have mixed feelings nearing the end of my first season with it after 15 years or so using my old stove. My opinion is on the upswing which is a positive sign but I’d advise you to carefully consider your expectations and compare those to some opinions here.

This is not the same Vermont Castings company as the late 80s/ early 90s so factor that in as well.
I'm quite sure that by the time I'm done the price is going to be appalling... Pretty much all the stoves I'm tossing around in my mind are expensive when I can find any on-line prices. Obviously that's not the same as getting a hard price from a dealer, but it's reasonable for where I am now in the process.

If there was good parts support from my current stove, after doing a lot of reading about the experience with modern stoves, I think I'd be back to the idea of rebuilding. That doesn't seem to be possible, so either I have to buy new, or go out and find something vintage that I can support, and not check with anyone about if I can even install it legally.

As we have had such a good experience with the current VC, that's where my mind went. I still really prefer the look to anything else at this point, but I'm not opposed to other brands. I don't recall the brand of the first stove from childhood, but that was followed quickly by a Jotul Combifire 4 that was still running great last year when I sold my parents house. Then there was a monster Nashua that would consume disturbing amounts of wood to heat a 1760's building with nothing between the outside but 2" thick planks and clap siding, plus a layer of plastic sheeting to keep the wind out through PA winters. We ran that one for 15 years while the current house was being built. It had no style whatsoever, but it put out some serious heat... During that time there was some unknown cast iron antique heating the house under construction. Big vertical cylinder stove that fed in the same flue my VC runs in now.

On my first read of the current VC operating instructions, I thought it would really be a pain in the neck. There are plenty of posts screaming out the same thing. Of course, there are haters for every brand. I try to look at what it is that the haters are spun up on, as there's something to be learned from it. People that turn a negative opinion in to a holy quest typically have an outsized amount of influence on a discussion since they're willing to put in the time for their negativity, while most folks would rather just get on with life. Most likely the overwhelming amount of folks just go about their lives, in this case using their stoves, without ever logging in to a forum.

So I've read through the instructions multiple times now, and then the posts from folks that have detailed what they do for successful fires. I really had to sit and think about how I have run the current stove in comparison, since it's pretty much an auto-pilot experience now. It isn't really that horribly different. Yes, there's a bit more going on for sure, but I don't think it would really be a massive change during the depth of winter. The front and back of the season seems like it would be less ideal. It strikes me as not really being great for a 4 hour fire in the mornig, or evening just to take the chill out, or as an atmospheric situation. The current stove has no issue with that type of use. (I assume that since that's how it has lived for 30 years)

At this point, I think the Dauntless is out of the running. Without the warming shelves, it looks like any other stove (in the basic styleI'm looking at), so I don't think I'd pay a premium for the name... I could probably get by with an Intrepid since the main heat is oil, but it would look too small in the space. Unfortunatly it isn't just a utilitarian issue since I don't NEED a wood stove, I just Want one, and most of the year it just sits there, so it better look good/right. It's probably Encore if it's a VC. Still looking in to Jotul, and Blaze King, and a coworker keeps going on an on about his Drolets, so I have to look in to them too. VC is my closest dealer. They carry Lopi too, but for some reason they don't really catch my eye... (I don't know why, these things are all iron/steel boxes with a window, and fire inside)

The research continues...
Pacific energy T5/T6. N/s loader with swing out warming shelves.
Reliable, easy to operate, proven design
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