Mo's Gear

Live Steam boats and lever espresso machines

Steam boats, that is what its all about!!



  What a great paradigm shift, I don't need to move boats across the water with my head, I can use steam to propel them!!


As soon as I had been bitten by the steam bug in 2008 , I realized that I needed more than a stationary steam engine to keep my interest. Busy hands - happy hands and all that sort of thing I guess... I checked out sites like this one run by Mooseman from the Unofficial Mamod and Other Steam Forum and saw that boats would soon be my focus. check out Moose's great site HERE.


I have had many a steam boat project come through my shop- I will only list a few of them below for you to get an idea of the breadth of types that are out there. By shortest boat was 12" and the longest so far is 52"- they range from 3 1/2" wide to over 17"in width. Propeller driven - stern wheel powered to side wheel- I hope to one day have a steam turbine powered boat also.



The Pemberton Modeen "River Princess" kit....... Really, My TUGBOAT

This little jewel came to me from the UK , of course.  A 20 year old kit built boat that I had fun getting back into running condition. Although small for it's size it will also sport a single channel R/C for rudder control. 



I decided that since the windscreen in the front was missing and the aft decking was a goner too- I would improvise a bit with the interpretation of this little boat..I had seen some old ad's for the Bowman tugboats with a little mast and was familiar with tin toys of the 1930 and 40's were made with "tab in slot" type construction. Basic and straightforward. BTW- I also like copper as a material that will tarnish as the years go by...


So this is what I can up with.  I named here after my daughter..


Here is the MADDY B


The aft cover removes with the one simple knurled knob and covers the R/C components. The Wheel house acts as a slight insulator to keep the boiler from cooling off too much since it is very small. About the size of a Mamod Minor 1. It uses a alcohol ( meths ) burner . Paint colors are destined for the aft end - It just seems to need the right color for splash..something period also.. we will see.


 A little paint, a nice fender for her bow and  she will be done.




BOWMAN of Derham


This famous maker of boats not only made steam boats starting prior to WW2 but also made sailboats for the many ponds in the UK. There were several sizes of steam boats - but they all originally came in simple wooden boxes. They had single cylinder engines that ran on steam from a small boiler heated by a alcohol burner. 

 Here is my Snipe that  restored.





She is an elegant yet simple boat of about 22" in length and has a manual tiller. Point and shoot!! Sailing her with a friend to catch and turn her around is a very handy thing to do!! She was made in about 1937 .. English lad's have been having fun with them for years!! ..I now have another derelict Snipe n drydock... more work!!!



So time for a few more projects under way or others that have come and gone. Another Bowman Snipe-- Nick named the Spitfire for the kids depiction of the British rondel on the rear deck


 These are fun boats and I couldn't pass another chance to get one back on the water- she now resides in France. Bon Voyage



An oddity steam boat I found was a Atwood paddle steamer- Made of very light almost "vacu-from" plastic- this little boat proved to be too much of a poor functioning toy --I would say avoid them if you really want to run your boat on the water



Home Built Clinker Hull

 I ran across a very nice and lightly build "clinker" type hull that was outfitted wit ha Midwest boiler and basic oscillating engine- It is also due to be fitted with a better running boiler and engine.

 But here she is as she came top me


 and after I reworked her boiler-- 



  You will see here in her own page once she is finished ( even with a name!)



 A derelict hull found on ebay became the "WHALE" - she was badly beaten up and constructed around 1940. I had to do major restoration of the hull and replace the boiler as the one found inside was crude and too small. She was made to look like a passenger steam ship from the pre-war era


Here she is as she sowed up from a short trip from Yakima


 And here she is as she finished up the dry dock work and is waiting for me to finish her power plant


 A shot of the engine and original boiler

 Here is the new- old boiler






A recent arrival is my steam paddle tug It resembles the type built in Glasgow  late in the 1800's She is 48" long by 17" across her wheels sponson'.



 Here she is with her superstructure off to reveal the expansive area I have to work with for the boiler, engine, condenser and auxiliary water tank etc


 And here a few comparative pictures with the new boat next to my USS Cushing project and my daily runner the Alexandra



 The Cushing hull is 52" long and is now sporting her hand-laid fiber glass hull and the original blue foam plug has been melted out. Her boiler is almost 10" long



 I really look forward to getting this boat in the water Spring 2012.. She will sport my Cheddar Puffin engine and boiler and I hope to compete with her in some tug competitions.



Lastly I have a model of this sternwheeler underway- The SS DISPATCH was the first stern wheeler on the upper waters of the Columbia River in the Arrow Lakes region of Western Canada. Working during the gold rush era of 1888 she didn't last long due to her catamaran style hull design. The model is 36" long and 12" wide wit ha 10" diameter paddle wheel

 As she was in around 1888



 And with the first rough forming of the foam used to shape the hull






 Yes, that is a RC truck differential I will be using for to drive the pitman arms for the paddle wheel!! 


 A couple of rough sketches of what she will end up like