Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Air-Cooled Marine Engines

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    zabriskie point marina, ca
    Posts
    12

    Post

    (This message started as a rely to a another thread on some guy's homebuilt boat powered with a lawnmower engine.)
    Using lawnmower engines was quite the thing back in the '30's. If you can find some old Pop Mechanix etc boat plans, you'll see a few examples. I saw one recently on the web, can't recall where.
    Unless you do a gearbox, you can't reverse - do they make make-n-break lawnmower engines? ha ha.
    not a bad idea though, considering the hideous prices of marine engines. for some time i've been thinking that a cheap way to power a larger boat would be with a recycled motorcycle engine - NOT a harley!
    There is, btw, an air-cooled marine engine made in Germany, I think (NOT a VW ! ). It's diesel, and I recall an interview with the skipper/owner who said he loved it. It was in a tugboat, actually. Probably a pretty big engine. But an air-cooled engine does solve a lot of plumbing problems, while creating a few new ones. But I think the net of problems makes it worthwhile to consider.
    TTFN
    p.s. - does anyone know what a tartane is (no fair running to the dictionary)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Lower Marlboro, MD, USA
    Posts
    649

    Post

    p.s. - does anyone know what a tartane is (no fair running to the dictionary)?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    14,791

    Post

    I've seen some of the Popular Science/Mechanics mags from the 1930's and 40's and one type of engine that showed up in DIY boats was the Maytag washing machine engine. It's an interesting bit of hardware.
    I saw a nice motor launch at the St. Michaels WB show a few years ago powered by one of the newer Briggs & Stratton air cooled "V" engines. It was so quiet that I stood next to the boat for maybe a minute before I realized it was running. It's a nice little engine with lots of options (super quiet muffler for instance) available. If it uses the normal B&S electronic ignition it should be totally water proof which is a nice thing in a boat. These engines are designed to run in filthy gritty situations that they would never encounter in a boat. My only concern might be with corrosion problems since that's not normally a serious lawn tractor problem
    If you're a tinkerer there are a bunch of riding lawn mower transmissions out there which would serve pretty well for reverse. I have no idea what you'd do with the 6 or so forward speeds though. It might be fun to experiment with them to get the best efficiency.
    Recovering Atheist

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    14,791

    Post

    Just remembered something...
    That air cooled German Diesel might have been a Deutz. You might want to do a search on them at:
    http://www.deutz.de/framee.htm
    The boat you're talking about might have used one of Deutz's marine air cooled engines. In my area there are lots of similar engines used on tractors. The engine on those machines is very cleverly designed. It's possible to bolt together multiple single cylinder castings to make a 2,4, or more cylinder engine. Only the crankshaft (and a few other bits) needs to be changed.... or so the farm implement dealer told me. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Recovering Atheist

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    14,791

    Post

    "p.s. - does anyone know what a tartane is (no fair running to the dictionary)? "

    Darned if I know! But you can get a nice etching of one leaving Venice by James McBey at Allison Gallery Inc. for $2,250.00.
    Recovering Atheist

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    N.E. Connecticut.
    Posts
    3,396

    Post

    Some of the small air cooled engine makers (Briggs & Stratton, and Wisconsin for certain) used to make a 'transmission' for marine applications. Years ago I had a small one cylinder air cooled Wisconsin engine with the marine 'transmission' on it (unfortunately it was in "parts condition" & I gave it to a friend). They were actually only a forward / neutral gear with no reverse. There are still some of them around out there (I've heard that they used to be all over the Pacific N.W. up into the 1950's).
    The big problems with building a boat today with one in it is that you have to meet USCG regulations which do not allow any fittings in the bottom of a fuel tank - tough to get away from with a gravity fed carb. & you are also required to have a CG approved flame arrestor on all gas engine carburators - they don't exist for the small 1 cyl air cooled engines.
    Other than those items it would be a fun idea - I haven't ruled out building something yet

    [ 06-20-2002, 12:43 PM: Message edited by: nedL ]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    14,791

    Post

    The larger (& and some smaller) B&S engines come with fuel pumps and pressurized oil systems with filters. The larger engines of both B&S and Tecumseh have had fuel pumps for at least 30 years.
    I don't know the CC regs on flame arrestors but I bet the hardware is available. Spark arresting mufflers have been out there for many years as well. These engines are much more sophisticated than they were in the old days and don't have a reputation for bursting spontaneously into flame.
    Go look at the 18-20 hp version:
    http://www.briggsandstratton.com/Mai...brand=VG18-20H S&l=0
    Recovering Atheist

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    16,265

    Post

    A tartane is a double-ended, fine-lined vessel from the Meditarranian part of France, with a lateen rig. I first ran across the plans in Architectura Navalis Mercatoria by Chapman, first published in the 1760s. Many libraries have copies of the book if you want to check it out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Holmes Harbor, Whidbey Island, Puget Sound
    Posts
    1,154

    Smile

    When I was a kid there was a family on Waldron with a dory with a Wisconsin for power. Time passed, they mostly opted for dity life, but he kept that engine and the place on Waldron. When he retired he rebuilt the thing to run his well pump.

    I remember Poulsbo boats with aircooled singles, mostly Wisconsins.

    And what about those Asian "outboards" that have the long straight shaft out the back?

    [ 06-20-2002, 04:46 PM: Message edited by: Kermit ]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Hopkinton NH USA
    Posts
    229

    Post

    I believe Phil Bolger and Suzanne Altenberger run a Deutz air cooled Diesel in their 37' Lug Rigged ketch.

    Dave Thibodeau

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    16,265

    Post

    Longtail engines are said to have started out using Wisconsin air-cooled irrigation pump engines. I once met a former Wisconsin southeast asian rep who claimed he invented them. He was lying. They were used in France in the early 20th century. I've seen Rotax air cooled engines used there, but most people want more power. There are hotrods using souped-up car engines, often with stepped hulls, and the commuter boats are mainly vessels 20 meters long and a meter and a half wide with a water-cooled Isuzu four-cylinder diesel. When they turn at high speeds, they have to be very careful, because they heel to the outside of the turn. It's mostly because of the narrow beam, but also because the push from the engine contacts the boat above the deck level. The engine mount looks a bit like an oarlock.

    Aside from the simplicity of the drive train, they have an advantage in shallow canals. The prop isn't as low in the water as it would be with an outboard. At high speeds, they can pull the shaft completely out of the water and use the prop in surface-peircing mode. They put out quite a rooster tail when they do that.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    zabriskie point marina, ca
    Posts
    12

    Post

    Yahooskies! This is cool! And, yes, the air-cooled, marine, diesel engine I was thinking of was a Deutz!
    Tree-mend-ous!
    I was thinking today of pirating a Cushman transmission (in lieu of an old Harley tricycle tranny) and when you stop to think of it, there are many, many possible alternative sources for the creative engineer/scrounger.
    I personally am impressed by the amount of stuff that Americans throw away. Recycling just a few percents of it could be the gateway to tomorrow.
    But I digress... I found the word "Tartane" in a story by Joesph Conrad in which it is likened to the now-famous Xebec, which login name I would have chosen had it not already been stolen.
    Anyway... alternative power is a truly fascinating topic... has anyone read some of the late Weston Farmer's writings on things like, say, Producer Gas Engines?
    ttfn,
    tartane, his own damn self!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    N.E. Connecticut.
    Posts
    3,396

    Post

    And from ... We'll just say "South of the Mason Dixon Line" we seem to have a few places that market these 'Mud Motors' !



    This one is using the 27 hp. Isuzu air cooled diesel.




  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    England
    Posts
    196

    Post

    I have an aircooled Farymann diesel in my 27' gaff cutter. Part of effort to reduce through hull fittings when building Hope. The engine works fine. If it has a fault it's a bit noisy, but I guess I could do a better job of soundproofing the engine compartment. The fact is I don't use the engine much.

    In the US http://farymann.com/

    More details of the engines at http://www.farymann.de/frames_englisch.htm

    John

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    16,265

    Post

    A tartane is a lot smaller than a xebec, but a lot more romantic than a herring bus, a Danish kof or a yankee kettle-bottom.

    That mud engine lacks the elegant simplicity of the long-tail motor.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Quadra Island,B.C.
    Posts
    236

    Post

    Hello.I plan to put an 8 H.P.Kohler, aircooled, in my newly built Poulsbo Boat, 16ft. This engine comes out of an boat that disintegrated on the shores of Discover Passage where all the cruise ships pass through. I have a small Hirst transmission so even if the boat does not go backwards very well I will be able to slow down I hope. Any comments?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    101

    Post

    I used to work on lots of old fishing boats, clinker launches etc. with Lister and Petter air-cooled diesels in them. No problem with using air cooled if the engine box gives enough ventilation. Noisy though, and said ventilation might be akward to achieve in a silenced engine box deep inside an enclosed yacht.

    As to using lawnmower engines, (I mentioned this in a previous thread) when I was in Greece I used to see all these little open kaikes (fishing boats) with B&S engines and similar (usually just rubber hose and a couple of hose clips for a coupling!), and it got me thinking....

    For the Folkboat I looked into fitting a Honda 10hp pull-start general purpose petrol (gas) engine. I could get one with a reduction gear and a centrifugal clutch fitted for about 1/5th of the price of a Yanmar 1gm10 diesel. IMHO for a boat the size of the Folkboat or smaller you don't need a reverse gear. Obviously a thrust bearing would have to be fitted to the prop shaft to take the forward load.

    I liked the idea that 'cos its small and light it would be very easy to take out every winter for maintenance, which would largely offset corrosion problems. What mainly put me off was what to do with the exhaust. Plus finding out that a small ouboard works perfectly and having no engine box in a Folkboat is great!.

    Interesting to hear about USCG regulations - that would obviously make it a non-starter with you guys. I guess those regs make sense (?), we're probably not too far away from similar legislation over here, although with the EU you just know they'll be inane.....

  18. #18

    Post

    F Y I Briggs and Stratton will introduce a 5 hp outboard in 2003.To sell for around $800.00

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    34,105

    Post

    I have an ancient Deutz in Grana and I love it. We call it the African Queen and it clunks along at a pace you can make up rap bit to, like:

    The wind is down
    But I ain't no fool
    I crank up the Deutz
    Be looking cool . . . .

    The big difference between marine use and almost anything else is that marine use is a continuous load. Very different from the intermittant load of an auto or truck and the light load of a lawn mower. Of the engins not built straight out for marine use, the Deutz engins designed for stationary use as generators or pumps work quite well as marine engins as those applications are also continuous duty.

    The B&S adaptations to weedwhacker outboards - which really are the coolest thing from bayou to Bangcock - work ok because it's not hard or very prolonged duty.

    Any air-cooled needs a bit of trunking to get rid of a lot of air. Mine lops about a foot off one cockpit bench and powering with a starboard wind is a little annoying as the muffler is mounted inside the cooling duct (the hot exhaust is actually piped out of there to a port near the water line) and it leaks a little.

    When I make the ideal installation, the engin exhaust and cooling air exhaust will join in a straight up well insulated dry stack.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Glasgow Scotland
    Posts
    462

    Post

    Another Air cooled engine that was common in boats till recently is the Enfield, some of the R.N. Motor Whalers have them installed, most of them now in private hands. The modern boats from 1970's onwards are usually Listers, they run for ever with very minimal maintenance, and are still built by hand in the factory, this also makes them expensive compared to a production line engine. Recommend a pair of ear defenders in close proximity, boy are they noisy when you are going full tilt boogy, bags of torque too.
    Shug.
    Happiness is a Trawler conversion in a warm part of the Globe!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Oriental, NC USA
    Posts
    3,253

    Post

    Add Lister air cooled diesels to the list:

    http://www.engnetglobal.com/search/c...andprodid=3705

    Made in South Africa now, I think.
    Tom L

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Temp: 3350'S 15114'E (Sydney, Australia)
    Posts
    549

    Post

    Hi,

    Not very commonly known is that there have been Wankel or rotary marine engines around for at least thirty years. I recently saw an example of a single rotor, Sachs air cooled marine engine in perfect working condition - however over twenty years old! Low maintenance cost, very quiet, very efficient and also very reliable. If I would be in need of an inboard engine, this would be my choice.

    Greets, Leon Steyns.

    [ 08-17-2002, 06:48 PM: Message edited by: Leon Steyns ]

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •