Friday, May 31, 2013

Vermont Castings Resolute

Back in 1980, I was a young guy with a young family living in a raised ranch house in Saratoga Springs, New York.  It was a time of spiraling energy prices and shortages.  Remember the so called gasoline shortages and odd-even days to buy gas?

I decided that since our home had expensive electric heat, and if we had an extended power failure we'd freeze to death, that I'd install a wood stove.  I did a lot of research, which was difficult because the only computers around were Vic 20s, Sinclairs, and Tandy 1000s.  Al Gore hadn't invented the internet yet.  I had to resort to magazines and brochures.  Remember those?  Those paper things you had to manually scroll though.

I finally decided on a Vermont Castings wood stove for a number of reasons.  Vermont Castings used recycled engine blocks for their iron because the alloys were designed to endure extreme heat without cracking.  It made sense to me.  Their designs were also innovative, using a side draft burn to consume wood instead of updraft, which means that a stove load of wood could last all night.  You could front load or top load it, a nice thing when filling it for the night.  The only problem was that Vermont Castings had no dealers then, and so I had to drive to Randolph, Vermont to pick up the stove.  It wasn't a big problem because I was working for a car dealer at the time and had access to a truck to transport it.

We had that stove for many years and loved the heat it produced.  Now that we're building a place in the woods, a wood stove makes perfect sense as our primary heat source.  Not wanting to reinvent the wheel and knowing that nothing could really improve on that old Vermont Castings design, I started scanning Craig's List for Vermont Castings wood stoves.  I found plenty of old rusty Defiants, Vermont Castings biggest model, but that would be too big for us.  It's important to get the right size so you can run the stove hot to reduce creosote.  I'd want a Vigilant, the mid-size stove and the one I had in Saratoga, or a Resolute, their smallest stove.   I found a Resolute.

The stove has some of the options that my Vigilant had,  such as a warming rack on each side and a glass door.  The asking price was a more than reasonable $375.  The seller asked that interested parties call on the telephone since Craig's List is peppered with scammers, but I emailed, explaining that we have no telephone yet in Bleecker.  I included a link to our blog so that he could see that we're legit.  It worked, and he sold me the stove.  I didn't even dicker and paid the full asking price.

Pam and I borrowed Earl's trailer and picked up the stove yesterday.  The couple that were selling it have much in common with us.  First, they had the good sense to buy a Vermont Castings wood stove.  But in addition, they too are now retired.  They're boaters, but rather than cruising in a trawler, they cruise in a motor home, spending winters in Arizona.

While chatting outside I noticed a lot of traffic passing by their Gick Road house, and remarked that when we both moved to Saratoga in the 1970s how it was a quiet country road.   Lee agreed and lamented that there are now thousands of new homes up Gick Road, and it's a main thoroughfare to get to the Northway to commute to work.  He has a hard time getting out of his driveway sometimes, and said he and his wife have been thinking of selling and moving to someplace quieter.

I suggested Bleecker.  We're famous for our Black Fly Festival.  No one wants to move here, and we like it that way.

We loaded the Resolute on the trailer, stopping at a wood stove dealer along the way to buy new gaskets for it.  It is now safely sitting in Earl's garage next to the diesel generator.  I know how attached Vermont Castings owners get to their stoves.  We'll take good care of it, Lee and Jan.  Feel free to come visit it once it's installed in our Unabomber cabin next year.

1 comment:

  1. Because selling just from literature is deceiving, a trip to our showroom is the best choice when making your decision, and we have about 35 live displays which always gives you a better feel to the actual heat and looks of a fireplace. buy Vermont Castings