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Old Jan 20, 2011, 02:02 AM
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United States, ID, Rexburg
Joined Sep 2008
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was looking at the wheel(s) (two separate wheels on one axle, like twin screws?). Interesting if they are be a challenge to model, that is for sure. What the does the Major draw any way?
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 08:51 AM
River Rat
towboatjoe's Avatar
Flatwoods, KY
Joined Feb 2006
792 Posts
The hull draft at higest point is 3' 10" and at the lowest point is 2' 14".
The waterline draft is right at 2'
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 10:08 AM
River Rat
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Flatwoods, KY
Joined Feb 2006
792 Posts
By golly it looks like they do have steering rudders under her and those would be access plates to get a crane hook to the rudder to drop it out of the hull for repairs. Never noticed them before. I took some video inside I think long ago I'll see if I can find it.
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 01:43 PM
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Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Joined Dec 2003
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After sudying the pictures of the Major I am wondering if it is just the fact the drive chain is centerally mounted and the wheels at either side of the drive rather than how most sternwheelers are set up with the drive on one or both sides and the wheel in the middle. I could be and probably am wrong with my deduction but I fijnd it weird to have independantly controlled wheels.

HELP JOE!!!!!!!!
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 04:46 PM
River Rat
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Flatwoods, KY
Joined Feb 2006
792 Posts
The Major is only 18' wide so they placed the drive in the center to keep a balance on the hull. In the 40's there were several boats built with split wheels wiht seperate drives. Just like the newer prop driven boats they found they could get a tighter turning radus and be able to walk the barges sideways into the fleet. The sternwheelers were starting to be phased out and several converted to diesel props in that era.
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 09:11 PM
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Rmay's Avatar
Louisiana
Joined Sep 2006
1,325 Posts
I played around with a drive system for the towboat and it looks like it should work! There will be some compromises with the look. For one the "cylinder timber" is too wide to have it away from the main superstructure so that will be different. Two I upped the scale to 3/4ď = 1í and I come up a little short on the hull length as compared to the Major. I will be modifying the deck shear anyway so Iíll add a few inches and it should be close. Should have some time this weekend to get really started, although looking at my lathe youíd think Iíve been in there a month.
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 10:04 PM
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Bozeman, Montana, United States
Joined Aug 2003
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Gosh, looking good, Rmay.
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Old Jan 20, 2011, 11:31 PM
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United States, OH, Maineville
Joined Oct 2008
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A friend of mine built a 1/2" = 1' scale Wild Goose and heres photos of how he powered the twin wheels. He was a professional model builder and did outstanding work. As you can see, he used two motors and worm gears with delrin link chains to each wheel. His name was Gary Imwalle and he passed away a couple of years ago, but the model was purchased by Jim Peters, one of our club members, and completed.

I have plans for both the Wild Goose and the Major and her sister the Criterion (same plans) Both sets include some of the original builders plans for the full-size boats.
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Old Jan 21, 2011, 05:36 AM
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Louisiana
Joined Sep 2006
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Outstanding is right. The more I find out about these early towboats, the more I'm impressed. Thanks to TowBoatJoe I have a ton of pictures to push me in the right direction.
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Last edited by Rmay; Jan 21, 2011 at 12:40 PM.
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Old Jan 21, 2011, 02:12 PM
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Bozeman, Montana, United States
Joined Aug 2003
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Beautiful photos of the Wild Goose. Much prettier in color than the b&w photos I've seen of towboats of the era. Inspires me to complete my towboat, thanks John Fryant. (a plug for his plans, they are really nice, btw)

Rmay, try to keep as much weight forward as you can, otherwise you will have to add ballast at the bow to keep the paddles from too deep an immersion. Even with the boiler located forward on the AJ Goddard, John Hartley and I still had to make a wood box (and barrels) to hold lead shot ballast, positioned as if it were deck cargo at the bow.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 08:23 PM
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Louisiana
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I worked on the drive system today. Iím trying to keep this a low budget build, so I using whatever I have on hand. With that in mind I used some gears I had gotten off of an old discarded printer. Then turned some shafts and pressed fitted them into the nylon gears. I may have to use some type of glue if they start slipping. Right now they seem to be staying put. I donít want to buy a chain drive so Iím using a pulley and belt to the paddlewheels I built a flat for the drive system that can be removed entirely. So if I want to later on I can go with a chains and a split drive system. I also started on reconstruction/altering the cylinder timbers and the center timbers. The paddlewheel will be riding on bearing in the middle as well. I think the pull from the belt would cause warping of the main shaft if I didnít. Thatís a far as I got today before I got ďThe LookĒ from the wife. Donít know how much I will push it tomorrow. Weíll see
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 10:37 PM
Taking care of the pond.
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United States, CA, Sanger
Joined Apr 2004
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Looking good. Ware did you get the drive belt?
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 09:02 AM
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Louisiana
Joined Sep 2006
1,325 Posts
Sony BVU 800 - 1980s 3/4" tape recorder/player. Had them for years sitting in my junk box. As TV stations make the transition to digital there are more and more older tape players junked with lots of goodies inside The newer tape player are more solid state and have less moving parts, so anything after, say the late 1990s will still have pulleys, just not as many or as big. Don’t worry about tearing up a useful tape player. By the time a broadcaster gets rid of an item I can just about guarantee you its totally useless to its original intent!
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 01:35 AM
Taking care of the pond.
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United States, CA, Sanger
Joined Apr 2004
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Thank You.
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