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Feb 14, 2011, 03:34 PM
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Mad Mad question about steam.


Hi,

I am a newbie here, and live in the UK. (Birmingham)

Now, I have a question that is posted here as you model guys have very nice automated systems that impressed me a while back, and might just fit the bill....

Mad as it may sound, I was thinking of powering my very very very light rowing skiff (20lbs) with a steam plant as found in the modern RC model steam boat. This will enable me to actually see where I am going while I potter along our canal system in it at the speed limit of 4 MPH, and it would sure beat the hell out of rowing.

I really like the TVR1A and it's price, but it may be a bit small? I don't want it to be thrashing around! A nice gentle chug is more the thing I was after!

The boat in question is a Whitehall Jr, and is here http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:A...FKxUo-bFBuFzWw

and here http://nelson-xintian.com/photogallery/whitehall.jpg

Any suggestions.....

Thanks,

Rog
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Feb 14, 2011, 04:26 PM
3 Blades to the Wind
Shaun Hendricks's Avatar
Those Whitehall style Dories are nice. I would probably steer you away from steam on something that small. Burns and accidents are very easy in confined spaces. I've seen pictures of folks that have done nifty steam stuff like that but usually canoe sized or slightly larger width wise.

You have to take into account the boiler and power necessary to move a boat that size and a small RC rig would likely be too small to move something of that size very fast. There are some larger rigs that might be able to do it, see the thread on the Stuart Twin here, but again, very heavy for such a small boat.

I'd probably opt for a trolling motor, a battery or two and a solar charger.
Feb 14, 2011, 04:33 PM
I SEE NO SHIPS
dunc2504's Avatar
Hmmmm!
my initial thaught is that the TVR1A will be far too small.
You may just get some motion out of a Stuart Double 10 , but then you are going to need a large boiler or boiler feed pump .
Gas for the burner should not be a problem , as you can use a large can.
But my best advice would be a scratch built larger steam engine and decent sized boiler.
Trouble is , unless you are going to build it yourself , it is going to cost plenty!
I am not trying to be negative here , but a TVR1A will power a 50 inch model boat at a pinch .
Dunc2504
Feb 14, 2011, 05:55 PM
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peconic steam's Avatar
..going to try posting a short video..
Last edited by peconic steam; Feb 14, 2011 at 06:08 PM. Reason: video failed
Feb 14, 2011, 06:27 PM
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peconic steam's Avatar
posting video is not working
Last edited by peconic steam; Feb 14, 2011 at 06:32 PM. Reason: same
Feb 14, 2011, 08:24 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
The TVR1A is a nice engine. I have not heard of anyone using in a real boat. I imagine it would move your whitehall on a calm day, but I've no idea how fast.

The problem with steam is always the boiler. If you have a good boiler, then a small motor will do more than expected. We have a 4' tramp model that runs very well on a Midwest single cylinder oscillator, about the cheapest (and one of the smaller) steam motors you can buy. But that only occurred once we had changed the boiler firing system.

Motors are cheap compared to boilers. Before you dive in too deeply, check out the prices of boilers at Maccsteam - high quality, but will cost you. I have 2 of his smaller ones, great quality. His 6" horizontal marine boiler, which *might* work for your purposes, costs 820 pounds. Maccsteam is model boat oriented, but you could get good advice from him, I am sure.

I hope you can find a boiler and motor that will work for you, sounds really neat.

http://www.maccsteam.com/index.html
Feb 14, 2011, 09:34 PM
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steamboatmodel's Avatar
It can be done, but you wouldn't find off the shelf parts.
Regards,
Gerald.
Feb 15, 2011, 07:50 PM
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Brooks's Avatar
I talked today with a steamer/machinist familiar with the TVR1A. Here's what he said to me: You'd have to replace the bearings in the TVR1A if you wish to run it at high speed. Mr. Graham (a good friend of his) designed the motor to run at the slow and moderate speeds suitable for benchtop demonstrations and model-sized boats. The bearings could be replaced. But, the steamer, who likes the TVR1A a lot, did not think it would meet your needs.

I think there are Stuart engine kits (which would have to be machined and assembled by you) which would work fine to power your boat. I remember the catalog saying that one of their bigger engines would work fine for a small real boat. But I don't remember the exact kit.
Feb 15, 2011, 08:36 PM
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steamboatmodel's Avatar
I was talking to a fellow a couple of years back that was doing two No. 4 engines in D10 style for a small launch. I don't know what boiler he was going to use.
Model: Stuart No.4 Unmachined Set of Castings
http://www.stuartmodels.com/inprod_d...ting/mod_id/65
Height 10 Inches.
Flywheel Diameter 5 Inches.
Cylinder Bore 1 1/2 Inches
Cylinder Stroke 1 1/2 Inches.
Regards,
Gerald.
Feb 16, 2011, 12:22 AM
Registered User
Gerald that seems like the best way to go , gas fired boiler save sparks and cleaner , i rember cheddar put a Protus in a rowing boat for the launch of the engine and it pushed it around there lake two up no problem so a little biger would be great if there was any flowing water to go against, a nice big boiler so no messing about topping up as you will have loads of space.

peter

Go for it
Feb 16, 2011, 11:37 AM
3 Blades to the Wind
Shaun Hendricks's Avatar
Guys, you should probably look at the hull difference in the picture steamboatmodel posted vs. the whitehall photo Silverbrewer posted.

If his whitehall is indeed that round bottomed, any weight above the waterline could roll that boat over. Steam powered boats tend to get some weight up high and it could destabilize that small boat. I don't think the hull is correct for steam plants. If he put a decent weighted keel on it, maybe, but the total weight of the plant and keel make the boat a problem.

These boats would make nice small steamers:
http://www.clcboats.com/shop/boats/r...iling-kit.html
http://www.boulderboatworks.com/bbw_...wing_dory.html
http://www.ghboats.com/16_dory.shtm

I'm just worried about that small whitehall being capsized. Maybe I'm completely wrong.
Feb 16, 2011, 06:31 PM
Registered User
Hye's's Avatar
The engine at my E-bay alert is fairly big. Approximately 2.5 cu in
as opposed to the Stuart 4 at about 3.5 cu in though.
Feb 16, 2011, 07:14 PM
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peconic steam's Avatar
Live steam tug pulling kayak (0 min 45 sec)


A Gage TVR1A towing a light kayak and its 105 pound occupant...
Feb 16, 2011, 10:13 PM
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steveciambrone's Avatar
deleted
Last edited by steveciambrone; Feb 16, 2011 at 11:07 PM.
Feb 17, 2011, 02:42 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by HS93
Gerald that seems like the best way to go , gas fired boiler save sparks and cleaner , i rember cheddar put a Protus in a rowing boat for the launch of the engine and it pushed it around there lake two up no problem so a little biger would be great if there was any flowing water to go against, a nice big boiler so no messing about topping up as you will have loads of space.

peter

Go for it
Ahh yes, I remember that. The two occupants were Iain Holland (Cheddar's Technical Director) and.......... ME!

As I recall, it was turning a 4 blade 100mm Rivabo prop. We didn't go fast, but we did go.

The same plant was later installed in a demonstration model and is probably still out there doing fine service.


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