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 Post subject: Draggin the bottom
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:48 am 
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Anne from Little Britan
Anne from Little Britan
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:17 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Roseville, MN
Posted on behalf of Alphawolf45:

Alphawolf45
Just Starting Out


Joined: 10 Jan 2008
Posts: 18

Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:22 pm Post subject: Draggin the bottom
I want to steam up and down the Mississippi river and the Arkansas, the missouri and the Illinois...Those rivers are all shallow in lot of places unless you are out in the channel....I am not keen on paddleboats ,instead I want a launch with a propeller unless that type boat would just drag bottom too much causing problems..................Anybody here with a conventional steam launch have much experience running in any shallow muddy rivers?
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..I guessing the prop has a shear pin there at the prop or inboard somewhere in the shaft itself?..I wondering how much trouble it might be to shear a pin on rock or log and have to effect repairs at the riverbank..
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Those rivers all have knee deep mud , I wondering if the prop could push through deep mud if depth of water suddenly got shallow?..Reckon a steam launch would get stuck or be able to back out of a mudflat?..It would be easy to say it adviseable to stay in deep water but I think it inevitable to end up with prop in the mud sometime-....I been out there many times when I had to lift an outboard engine and use oars to make it back into deep water...How do you cope with a fixed prop and no oars?
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I hoping this is a non concern..This is chance for you guys to tell some stories of your own river trips..
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Maltelec
Site Admin


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 156
Location: Cumbria, UK
Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:08 pm Post subject:
Some of the canals over here can be shallow. Theres no shear pin on our boat, but then the engine is only 4HP. The few times we have found the bottom of the lake Windermere.

You could make a boat with a tunnel stern. That would mean the prop is as high up as you can realisticly get it.

Court Nosels are another alternative to protect the prop. The rudder is probably the most vunrable with it often being on a much weaker supporting bracket than the prop.

From what I remember about the paddle boats over there, and the narrow boats over here, they all have smooth flat bottoms and large props (or paddles) to literally push the boat over the mud. This sounds better than trying to make the prop churn up the mud. If you find something solid in there you are going to know about it. Trees stuck in the mud used to be a serious problem for the paddle boats on the Mississippi when they were forced through the hull.
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I've got the vehicle , just need the boat.
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Edward
Lighting the Boiler


Joined: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 39
Location: Ambleside, Cumbria, UK
Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:26 pm Post subject:
Dear Alphawolf,
Again I agree with Maltelec. A tunnel stern is probably the best solution for shallow water cruising but it can restrict the accommodation inside the hull. My boat is a Patricia hull from Bossoms Boatyard at Oxford. It is 32' long, can mount a 20" prop and according to the boat yard should only draw about 21".
I don't know if any steam boats have shear pins in the drive train. On the face of it it would appear sensible, BUT: I would rather have a damaged prop that would help me out of a dangerous situation (such as being swept into a weir or rapids) than an undamaged prop which couldn't be used because the pin had sheared on first contact with a rock or floating log.
As to backing off from grounding on a mud flat it's probably not a problem if you've been cautiously nosing in to an interesting looking beach. If however you're going flat out and suddenly find you're ploughing (plowing) not floating then you have got a problem!
I strongly advise any steamboater always to have a boat hook and paddles on board, although I speak from experience when I say that polling of from soft mud is HARD work!
All the best , Edward.
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Alphawolf45
Just Starting Out


Joined: 10 Jan 2008
Posts: 18

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:06 pm Post subject:
Edward
I am probably 600 miles from any cluster of steamboats, no chance to look at what anybody else is running except here online..Have you posted pictures yet of your boat??..What is yet to be done before you launch? ....What your plan , keep it in the water or keep it on a trailer?..32 footer would sure hog space in a shop..
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My situation is that I just have irresistable compulsion to build stuff and a steamboat sounds like could be the next bit of fun....My interest in boats is not sufficently keen to justify building anything big and purty....18 to 20 foot plywood launch with suitable home built boiler and engine is what I am looking at.....Plus I figure to slam it all together within little more than a years time , working pretty much fulltime on it.....I have couple custom rifles builds to finish first,that's couple months work then I ready for new project..
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I am also looking with some interest at antique gasoline outboard boat motors..I thinking I could enjoy collecting and restoring small antique boat motors..I may need to also build small wood boat for outboard engine use....Draft is too great typically with these steam launchs , cant use an antique short shaft outboard engine on steam launch even if you wanted too......?.
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marinesteam
Lighting the Boiler


Joined: 28 Nov 2007
Posts: 39
Location: Colorado, USA
Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:20 pm Post subject:
Alphawolf,

From the intended purpose and condition that you are describing and the time frame that you have stated, I would look into a paddle wheel steamer. The reason that you found paddle-wheeler on the waters that you intend on traveling on is that they evolved to be perfectly suited to those situations (shallow reefs, log strewn waters). I know that you have mentioned that a paddle-wheeler wasn't what you had envisioned. Take a look at these boats and we can address what you may feel as shortcomings.

This one's a little large but good pics of the working bits
http://www.stanleysteamers.com/5.htm

Here's a nice little boat
http://www.mysidewheeler.com/

Scroll down
http://steamboating.19.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=52

For simplicity and holding to tradition I personally would avoid using a launch engine to power a paddle-wheeler. It should be easy to find info on how to design cylinders to drive a paddle-wheel on the web. Using a launch engine means you would need to add the complexity of belt or chain reduction drive.

Also, I would like to add that if you don't have experience welding pressure vessels (hold an ASME stamp) I would stay away from building the boiler yourself. The liability for yourself and the hobby in general is just too great here in the US.

Can someone more knowledgeable that I fill in on boiler inspection requirements here in the US, I know it varies by state but a general overview would be good.


Ken
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Alphawolf45
Just Starting Out


Joined: 10 Jan 2008
Posts: 18

Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:38 pm Post subject:
Yeah I just dont like paddlewheelers in small size looks like a toy version of the real thing..Few if any were built in the small size 'back in the day'.
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I will be building plywood hull, the boiler and the engine for a launch.
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marinesteam
Lighting the Boiler


Joined: 28 Nov 2007
Posts: 39
Location: Colorado, USA
Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:46 pm Post subject:
I see where you're coming from. I had a pretty strong idea in my mind's eye before starting this project as to what I wanted my boat to look like. I have discovered a lot of variations that I never knew existed. It's been a lot of fun.

In the midwest and pacific northwest there were small paddle launches anywhere there was water and a population. Here is an example.

http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/ful ... Fby%3Ddate


Ken
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steamboatjack
Urchin


Joined: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 39

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:52 pm Post subject: small stern wheelers
Hi If you fancy a small stern wheeler take a look in the book,
"Steamboats & modern steam launches" a publication from the sixties but in re print I believe. There is a workable paddle steamer design by Cliffe Blackstaff one of the foremost small steamer designers.
Incidently I once spent five hours nursing an overloading engine getting from the south west pass to pilot town, a journey usually taking half that time. That was with 15000 horse power. pushing against the soup that is the mississipi at its muddiest.


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