Live steam A.J. Goddard sternwheeler - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Dec 15, 2009, 08:09 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
Video up. Silent movie....both of us had camera batteries problems.
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Dec 16, 2009, 04:26 PM
Nothing Special
grouch's Avatar
Too cool. The video is nice, need bigger water!
Dec 17, 2009, 11:55 AM
3 Blades to the Wind
Shaun Hendricks's Avatar
The paddle wheel appears to by flying! It could just be the blur from the encoding compression, but man, it looks like it's moving.

Dec 17, 2009, 12:07 PM
meatbomber's Avatar
btw, brooks to extend teh run time have you thought about adding a second water tank that is connected to siphon water into the boiler and the water tank could be pump filled with a float switch might be a bit too much hardware for teh paddle boat but small enough for the tramp
Dec 17, 2009, 04:45 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
MB - a pure syphon would not work unless both tanks were at the same pressure - but connections are the basis for multiple boilers as used on steamboats: they had a manifold connecting all boilers (as many as 8) at the top (for steam) and a manifold at the bottom (for water). The bottom manifold also collected sediment (it was called the mud drum). Riverboats pumped replacement water directly from the river, and on the lower Mississippi, and the entire Missouri, the water was very muddy. Parts of the Yukon are clear, and parts are full of glacial silt. Mud, or anything other than water (eg. CaCO3, Ca sulphates), insulates the boiler iron from the water. This allows the iron to get hotter than water. If it gets hot enough, it sags and then fails...Kaboom! Steamers might have to clean the boilers 2x a day on the Miss. or Misou.

Models avoid the sediment and calcium problem by using distilled water. Some steamers will pump from the boat pond, but not many will risk clogging small intake pipes with gook. Modern steamers (real) will pump from freshwater, using filters, and adding compensating chemicals to keep dissolved solids in solution. The steam itself is pure (distilled), so it's just the boiler that has the problem.

Shaun - yes the wheel was flying :-). We will probably be able to move with less rpm, thus a cooler fire, thus the water will last longer on the river :-). btw, John took Fergus down to the river today, and found a good spot to steam...If the weather permits, the maiden voyage may be on an actual river (2' of ice along the sides of the Gallatin, but a good 1' deep pool above a diversion dam) It would not be safe to hang out above the dam during normal flow, but during the winter and late summer, water drops enough that you can wade safely.
Last edited by Brooks; Dec 17, 2009 at 05:00 PM.
Dec 20, 2009, 06:54 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
Making progress, she should be done by Christmas. I covered the butane gas tank (taken from an Accucraft 4-4-0) with pine logs. Easy to get boughs this time of year :-). The boat needed more weight forward for trim, so the weight of the logs should not be a problem. 4' logs were the standard steamboat size. You can see the cords of wood stacked for easy measurement and loading in photos of the Yukon. A boat might burn as many as 3-4 cords an hour breasting swift water, and as little as 1 cord an hour on the downstream passage. The real Goddard had a beam of 10'; she could barely load an 8'x4'x4' cord of wood on the foredeck. Even though she had a smaller boiler and engines than the boats cited above, I bet she had to make frequent wood stops on the way up from Dawson to Whitehorse.

Head of navigation, when she was launched, was actually Bennett (on Lake Bennett). Miles Canyon, between Bennett and Whitehorse, would be exciting in a kayak, hard to believe that they actually took steamboats thru it. A.J.Goddard must have gone thru at least once, as she was assembled on Lake Bennett. When steamboats went downstream, they'd point downstream, naturally, but run the paddle in reverse. This slowed the boat, and perhaps even more importantly, pushed fast water over the rudders. Since the rudders were located ahead of the sternwheel, they were more effective when the paddle was running in reverse. To assist forward steering, monkey rudders were developed later - they hung off the paddle beam spreader bar,aft of the paddle, and worked in fast water slung by the paddle when it was running in forward.

A tramway was constructed to skirt the worst of the canyon, but prior to that, some boats did traverse the canyon, up and down. A railroad was constructed in 1900 from Bennett to Whitehorse, allowing boats to skip Lake Bennett, Miles Canyon, and Whitehorse rapids. After the RR, the normal upper river trip was between Dawson and Whitehorse. The lower river trip was between St. Michael, at the mouth of the Yukon, and Dawson. It took 120 cords of wood to go from St. Michael to Dawson.

In some places on the Dawson-Whitehorse route, eg. 5 Finger Rapids, there was a line strung from upstream down through the favored channel. A upstream bound steamboat would pickup the line, and winch it's way through the passage. That's why the A.J. Goddard had such a large winch forward, for traversing rapids, not because she needed to haul an anchor (unlike the Nat. Geographic commentary). The photos are from "Yukon river steamboats, a pictorial history" by Stan Cohen.

I'm also including a photo of the boiler&burner system. The galvanized mesh works well as a boiler wrapper for potboiler firing. But you need to do the first few firings in adequate ventilation, because part of the galvanizing oxidizes when first heated. The windscreen is aluminum flashing, with a ceramic insulation blanket (McMaster-Carr). The insulation increases burner effectiveness, and also protects hands that might touch the windscreen while loading Army men :-).
Last edited by Brooks; Dec 20, 2009 at 08:33 PM.
Dec 20, 2009, 08:32 PM
Semi-Official Tinkerer
Subdave's Avatar
Very nice.
It looks like you made your own ceramic burner. Dave.
Dec 20, 2009, 10:29 PM
Registered User
peconic steam's Avatar
Brooks, Steamboat in the kiddie pool, LOL. That paddle wheel is throwing a ton of water, Let's see it go on a straightaway. Is that a steering servo taped down to the foredeck? What's going on with that? -Good to see the small displacement, inexpensive single oscillators performing so well.
Dec 21, 2009, 03:03 AM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
It's the gas tank taped down to the foredeck. The rudders will be RC-ed; trying to decide between a line system, like the Aldebaran's rudder, or a pushrod system. Either way, the servo, rx, and battery will be hidden under "crates" on deck.

The real Goddard used line running on pulleys leading aft from the pilot house to the rudders, the standard steamboat setup. It's not clear from the reconstruction drawings, but the lines may have run along the deck. If so, the sinking scenario may have been: Strong wind gusts heel the ship while traveling on Lake Laberge. Cargo shifts, jamming the rudder cables. Ship out of steering control, can't head into the wind&waves. Water comes aboard. Ship capsizes, knocking the pilot house off. 2 of the crew cling to pilot house raft and are rescued by a trapper. The other 3, including the captain, succumb to hypothermia.

Shallow draft steamboats were at the mercy of winds. On the Mississippi and Missouri, pilots would tie up to a tree when the wind howled. Because of the twisty nature of these rivers, it was easy to find a windward shore, where the boat could shelter behind bankside trees. Lake Laberge is 3km wide, however; if the captain lost control while traveling along the windward shore, the ship would have long drift to the leeward shore, subjecting herself to wind and wave action for a half hour or more. Clearly the ship sank off shore, otherwise the crew could have swum to safety. They'd have had 10-20 minutes to survive, even in freezing waters.
Dec 21, 2009, 03:49 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
A nice Yukon steamboat website, by Parks Canada. Unfortunately, neither John nor I can get the flash videos to play - one is lining thu rapids, the other is launching a ship, sideways, in springtime.
Dec 21, 2009, 06:20 PM
3 Blades to the Wind
Shaun Hendricks's Avatar
You can't get them to run because they screwed up their links. I had to wade through the French HTML to get a chance to guess at where they goofed. I guessed correctly (it was just an educated guess folks). Try this:

Spring Launch:

Lining Rink Rapids:

Paddle Wheel shots:

Massive amounts of Wood to burn:

I'd love to get ahold of the original footage, set it to music and do something of a "Silent Movie" style interleave with information and made up quotes... would be fun.
Dec 21, 2009, 11:53 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
Shaun you are a genius :-). Thanks for figuring it out.
Dec 22, 2009, 11:37 AM
3 Blades to the Wind
Shaun Hendricks's Avatar
No genius. If I was that I'd be far richer and not have to read French HTML. I'd have some 14 year old doing it for me...
Dec 22, 2009, 04:21 PM
Registered User
P_J_Glor's Avatar
Very interesting subject and great execution! Is her scale something that could let you find some model RR figures to act as crew/passengers?

Pete G.
Dec 23, 2009, 05:53 AM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar

Doug Davidge looking for information

I wrote Doug Davidge, discoverer of the A.J.Goddard wreck. Here's his reply:

"Hi Brooks,

Thanks for your note. You have done an excellent job on the steam powered Goddard replica. I like the idea of building a scale model of the Goddard. I noticed on your web link an old photo of the "Rose" looks very similar to the Goddard. Coincidentally, Mr. Goddard - the man who built the steamer here in the Yukon - came from Iowa originally. We are trying to track down any information on the builders of such vessels, where they originated from and if there are any examples of these boats still surviving. Any help you can provide would be appreciated. All we know is that Mr. Goddard brought the "A.J. Goddard" and the F.H. Kilbourne" up from San Francisco but that is all we know. The photo of the Rose shows that this type of small steamer was used elsewhere so there must be more photos out there somewhere.

I found this on the web recently:

A nearly identical replica of the Goddard. The Goddard had a little more free board than this vessel but you can see why it would not do very well in heavy seas.

Take care,

Doug Davidge"

The url for a series of photos of the modern steamboat Doug mentions above.

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