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Is there any members on this website who are interested in marine gas-powered steam engines, as the power source of their model boat, as opposed to electric motors. If so could you drop me a line as I would be very interested in making your acquaintance. I have never seen anything at all to date concerning steam power, which is rather a shame as it's the nearest thing to the real thing, and you don't have to shovel coal, use gas.
Hi Gary I to am interested in steam and have been researching the ins and outs of steam and I'm in the process of building a Clyde Puffer with a steam plant if your interested in seeing and finding out more look for Keith Appleton's steam videos. Rick
Hi Rick and good to hear from you, I also have a soft spot for Clyde Puffers a great little working boat, you have definitely chosen the most difficult boat to fit a stem plant into, as the boiler and chimney are right on the back end, with the prop shaft running underneath them. A 1930s Tug or Drifter would be less of a headache, and easier to remove the complete steam plant if necessary, let me know how you get on. Thanks for the info on Keith Appleton he has a lot of stuff on youtube. Regards.
Hi Gary nice to hear from you as well yes the Clyde Puffer will be a challenge but I'm scaling up the project to close to 1/20 making the boat around 30" and I've sourced a steam plant to fit and will build a funnel to come out of the right spot I hope LOL . Rick
Hi Rick, I am going to try to post you a bit of video of the steam plant in my latest not completed as yet tug, the Lady Jane from Mobile Marine, I don't really rate the kit, it is more of a scratch build using their hull. I don,t know what this websites M.byte limit is so maybe I'll be unlucky, mind a really nice steam plant using a TVR engine which is very efficient and runs well at 30PSI. Regards. (Sorry it won't allow me to upload it.)
Hi Gary Thanks for thinking of the up load it's nice to hear from people on this site I started the build of the Puffer frames are cut and mounted on my building board looking good so far now that I have it set up I'm looking at bow and stern to see how to proceed will try and up date but I'm bad I don't do pictures . Rick
I have been interested in steam for a considerable time, and even have an article stashed away on making a turbine for a model of the SS Savannah, which is, after all, a steamship with a nuclear powered boiler.
My own work has been limited (mostly by budget) to the Midwest Models single cylinder steam engine, and I have a "Fantail Launch" kit ready for some upgrades and installation of the steam engine. Stay with us, as I am sure, as already stated by others, that there are interested members of the forum, and you will pick up more when they see you are not just talking about a little pop-pop boat running in circles. (I do have one of those, as well. I had one when I was much younger, but it is little more than a memory these days.)
My memory is kicking in, now. My first little steamer was a "Putt-Putt Boat," NOT a "Pop-Pop" boat. These had a little boiler over a candle or a heat tab that directed the steam out a little underwater pipe in the back of the boat. The boiler would make a "putt-putt" sound, which gave them there name. The one I have now is a tinplate reproduction toy. It is designed to run like the old ones did -- I just haven't done it yet.
I have also seen a larger one of these in a 1940s book like "The Boy Mechanic," where copper tubing was used for the "boiler." The two ends of the tubing were directed aft at a shallow angle, just like stuffing boxes, and the middle of the tubing was would in a coil with three to four turns and supported so that a can of "canned heat," used for keeping chafing dishes hot, could be inserted under the coil to generate the steam. If I recall correctly, the two ends (steam pipes) have to be bent so they are both a little higher than the bottom of the coil to avoid having all the water drain out immediately. If I find that book I will post any drawings they have.
Hi Peejay, You kick started my memory as well!👍 A few years ago I was astounded to find some repros, also made from Coke tins and the like, in a flea market. So I bought a few. Gave most away as presents and just spent half an hour fruitlessly looking for mine. 🤔 Guess it'll turn up when I'm looking for something totally different. It used slow burning tablets about 2cm diameter as I recall. I have no idea where I can get such things these days. I'm currently trying to sort my stash of kits and materials to reorganise the workshop so I can find 'stuff' quickly and get some projects finished at last!! TOO MUCH STUFF😲 Cheers, Doug
Young at heart - slightly older in other places 😉 Cheers Doug
Hello to Rick and Peejay, Rick this bit is for you, Good to hear you have a steam engine fitted, and are contemplating a bench run to see how long it will run on a boiler full of water. It will bench run longer than on the water as the engine has no loading, I would recommend you fit a gas cut off valve to be on the safe side. I once years ago ran out of water and had to watch the boiler turn its wooden lagging to charcoal. No major damage was done but it did smell a bit for some time. Peejay may I suggest that you Google the likes of Microcosm and other Chinese manufacturers of model steam engines, there is an awful lot out there you will be surprised, try for a twin double acting side valve as they are very efficient, and will run on only 20 - 30 PSI, plus a 1/2" bore twin cylinder will easily power a one metre length hull. Regards to you both, Gary.
Hi Gary Good to hear from you the bench work is still on and yes it will run longer on the bench than on the water but for now it's good to see the plant run. Your idea on the shut-off is good I'm still researching. Regards Rick
Morning Rick, well it is morning here and bloody cold also, on the basis that a picture is worth a thousand words, we're going to have to get you into photography, I would love to see some photos of what you are up to, and plan to stick more pictures on here in the very near future. Regards, Gary.
Hi Gary It is snowing here and I'm hold up thinking of what I will need for my steam engine assembly. Pipe sizes and fittings and thread sizes and the one thing I forgot to order was the fly wheel so I'm going to order from the site I got the engine from do you know of another spot I might look to get a fly wheel . Rick
I really can't believe that considering all the members that use this website, that no one is interested in steam engines and what steam has to offer. Why go to all that trouble of adding artificial engine sounds and smokers, when you can have it all and more, by installing a gas boiler and steam engine. When I think of the problems involved to find plans and scratch build a boat, why not go for the authentic look and fit a steam engine. In the fifty years or so I have been involved in this hobby I have NEVER ever installed an electric motor in a boat. If anyone out there in the ether shares my passion for steam, kindly get in touch, I would appreciate not being completely on my OWN.
I have only built static ships /boats so am probably not the best person to comment but one of the main factors that I can see are if you are young and just starting out saving pocket money or older and living on a limited budget. Is the cost differential between a basic electric motor and a basic steam plant I may be wrong just my opinion. Cheers Marky👍
Not everybody can afford the investment in steam, I would love to build a model with steam power if only I could pick up a steam plant for around £40 -£50.The unit you show I think would come in at something more than that. so I suspect there are other admirers of steam but out of reach because of cost. Just a quick search sees prices of a complete installations in the region of £1500 -£2000
I have the same issue...cost / budget. I enjoy mechanical devices and have though about steam for years. But cost is high and I do not have machinist quality tools to scratch build. Are there low cost solutions out there! Joe
"Why go to all that trouble of adding artificial engine sounds and smokers, when you can have it all and more, by installing a gas boiler and steam engine. When I think of the problems involved to find plans and scratch build a boat, why not go for the authentic look and fit a steam engine."
1. Cost. 2. Space available in the model. 3. Complexity of the engine and difficulty of control. 4. Fire risk, and not just to the model.😲 5. Shorter run times, longer 'steam up' times. 6. Unsuitabilty for many types of ships / boats. I.e. originals weren't steamers.
If I read above posts correctly I thought you had already found at least two kindred spirits here. I'm sure that if you take the time to cull throught the hundreds Build Blogs and technical Posts here you will find others. Try using the Search function. See the panel on the left of the Home page. Good luck,😎 BTW: Nobody likes a fanatic! Don't get steamed up 😁
Young at heart - slightly older in other places 😉 Cheers Doug