Newbie needs mentor

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Anne from Little Britan
Anne from Little Britan
Posts: 232
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:17 pm
Boat Name: No Boat Yet
Location: Roseville, MN

Newbie needs mentor

Post by csonics » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:41 am

Posted on behalf of nhammar:

Just Starting Out

Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 2

Posted: Wed May 28, 2008 3:24 pm Post subject: Newbie needs mentor
I am thinking about building a 20ft (or so) cuddy cabin to be powered by steam. I need a mentor to help me figure out how to do this and how much it will cost.

Please reply to Norm at

thanks very much
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 156
Location: Cumbria, UK
Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:58 pm Post subject:
Hi Norm

The best thing to do is to have a look at what other people have done, see where they've gone wrong and that way you can make some new and original errors of your own

1st thing you should do is think about how complicated you want the boat. Personally I like them very complicated and a real challange to do, but I find most people want a simple system with less to go wrong.

The next task is to decide wether to make the engine and boiler or buy them. Both cases can cost a lot of money, but at the end of the day you'll have a steam plant.

Of course a boat is not much of a boat without a hull. I am assuming here that you plan to build the hull yourself? I would consider this the hard bit though I suspect most would claim the engine to be the hard part. Getting a cabin on a 20 foot boat has problems but its not by any means impossible. You may want to consider a wider than normal boat (like Mudlark) for stability of a cabin. Wood, metal or fibreglass are all easy to work with.

After you've got the 3 main parts, its just a case of putting them together.

This may make it all sound easy, but then again, it is. The real hard stuff comes when you have to decide a name for it, what colour it should be, what angle to mount the funnel etc.

Things you should consider (in no perticular order):

Engine size
prop shaft location
rudder position
rudder steering
boiler dimentions - choose the boiler for the size of the engine, however its the boiler which does the work.
engine power (I'd say 5HP or so)
engine and boiler weight, in relation to the bouyancy and passengers
Puffing or condensing
engine speed and thus propeller pitch (a typical size is 16" diameter on a 20 foot boat)
height of the cabin - both to not look out of place and for stability.
Do you bodge it up redneck style or do a propper job? (propper job every time for me, though most parts are made from scrap).
Thrust bearing
Boiler working pressure
engine controls

I've got the vehicle , just need the boat.
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