Steam Paddlewheel Boat

Discussion in 'Propulsion' started by fredrosse, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. fredrosse
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    Location: Philadelphia PA

    fredrosse USACE Steam

    I am looking for good technical design data for a small sidewheeler paddle boat.

    Technical details:
    Boat 16ft x 5ft x 8 inch draft, 1400 pounds, flat bottom hull, similar to older style large wooden rowboats. My hull software indicates 1 hp giving 4.5 knots, but the software is based on conventional propeller drive.

    I am tentatively planning paddlewheels with 8 or 9 floats, 28 inch ID x 38 inch OD, running at about 90 RPM. I would not use a feathering wheel, too complicated and too vulnerable to damage. I need to get an idea of expected slip, and float width for reasonable propulsion efficiency.

    Thanks in advance for any technical references or websites which could provide engineering guidance.

    Fred Rosse
     
  2. You should have posted this question 100 years ago.
     
  3. Have any idea how much power and rudder area you will need on a breezy day? Electric power or a very muffled underwater exhaust? You may want seperate power to each wheel for docking control. A high wind restance boat of 16' is going to need + 20 hp with low eff. wheels in a breeze. Look at Party Boat requirements and size to them, then double the hp. Real wheels? You need lots of luck.
     
  4. IF you are going to do it , no mater what. Build the boat for seperate wheel power. THEN get it towed on a calm day, on a breezy day. Use boats who have their engines almost at max. power to do each. Now you know whats needed. use at least a 100' rope. good luck. You realize docking is almost impossible as we know it in a boat with prop and rudder?
     
  5. fredrosse
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    Location: Philadelphia PA

    fredrosse USACE Steam

    Paddlewheels

    There are several similar steamboats in my area, larger than I plan, that operate successfully with 1 hp or less (propeller driven). 20 hp is out of the question.

    I have considered separate drive for each wheel, but the great majority of real side-wheelers did not have this feature, therefore I plan on one shaft driving both wheels. The boat is only 16 ft long, I can row it if necessary for maneuvering.
     
  6. artemis
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: USA

    artemis Steamboater

    Check out Reliable Steam Engine Co. http://www.reliablesteam.com . They have plans for Rebel, which is 20'4" LOA, 17' 1" LWL by 5' beam. Although somewhat longer than you're interested in, it might be worthwhile to get the plans (they're only $ 50 on CD and they accept credit cards online). The plans also contain detail drawings on fabricating the paddles. They sell the plans and castings for a "walking beam" engine to power Rebel as well as the appropriate boiler. The walking beam engine develops 4HP.

    Ron Fossum
     
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  7. Ssor
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    Location: Bel Air, Md

    Ssor Senior Member

  8. artemis
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: USA

    artemis Steamboater

    You might want to join the North American Steam Boat Association http://www.northamericansba.org - they pretty much cover the east coast. Their bimonthly newsletter has some good articles and also classifieds (boats and engines for sale as well as ads from steamboating vendors).
    :)
     
  9. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    For docking a simple 6hp or better shiftable outboard engine mounted on the bow facing sideways will work as inexpensive bow thruster .

    FAST FRED
     
  10. fredrosse
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    Location: Philadelphia PA

    fredrosse USACE Steam

    Steam Sidewheeler Margaret S.

    Finally got this sidewheeler together, 19 ft - 3 inches overall. Making 5 MPH on one horsepower with a traditional American Walking Beam Engine, direct connected to the paddlewheel shafts. Shallow draft and paddlewheels allow operation in the shallows and underwater growth areas, the nemesis of the propeller driven steamers. Can be seen on Youtube under "Sidewheel Steamboat"
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. rayman
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: brisbane

    rayman Senior Member

    Fredrosse, you have done a mighty job there, very impressive performance. Leave all the free advice where it is, you have a lot of power in those wheels, have you tried towing a loaded dinghy yet, I think she will surprise you. That's the first decent size walking beam I have seen, most people go for conventional types. I have long been interested in a diagonal D/A oscillator just to be different, along with a loco type boiler, keep the weight down low. A friend has a 22ft steam canoe, will dig out some pics when I get home. regards Ray
     
  12. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    Very nice! How maneuverable is it? After researching, did you ever find a way separate drive wheels? What do you think for the effeciency/slip of the wheels?
     
  13. fredrosse
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    Location: Philadelphia PA

    fredrosse USACE Steam

    Sidewheel Steamer

    Ray, thanks for the kind comments. Love that slow walking beam engine, and the exhaust note is music to my ears.

    I was going to use a Gunboat Boiler (similar to Loco Type, but with a circular furnace, and no hot ashpan in the bilge), but decided on a regular Vertical Firetube Type Boiler which I could get (with ASME Power Boiler Stamping) at a much lower price. A section drawing shows the arrangement with a Gunboat Boiler next to the walking beam engine.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Fred,

    Well done.

    -Tom
     

  15. fredrosse
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    Location: Philadelphia PA

    fredrosse USACE Steam

    SamSam, Thanks for the compliment also.

    As 99% of the original steam sidewheelers had direct connection to both sidewheels, and I wanted to be as traditional as possible, I never considered independent rotation as an option. A late friend (Ray HasBrouck) had a small sidewheeler with a lawn tractor differential between the sidewheels, and he could brake either wheel, so the opposite one would then turn twice as fast. He could turn that sidewheeler on a dime.

    Maneuverability without the differential action is good, I have twin stern rudders on the transom. It is not as good as a propeller driven boat, because the wheels are far away from the rudders, but it steers well once some forward (or reverse) motion is established. When making a sharp turn the wheels slow down considerably, sort of like driving a car with a live axel. The following attached video shows this.

    The stern rudders can fold up so I can back right up to a beach, and passengers can step off the boat onto solid ground. This is necessary as the paddlewheels and paddleboxes often preclude conventional docking. There is a portable stem rudder, which allows steering when completing this type of maneuver. An added bonus of the stem rudder is that it allows a forward passenger to steer the boat when traveling in the forward direction, without the ropes and pulleys that are usually associated with a forward steering station.
     
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