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Thread: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

  1. #1
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    Default Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    i have purchased a Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design unfinished project.
    it has
    a Stuart 3" steam engine (thats all the info i have about the motor) in it, no boiler or anything else.
    My question is what would be the cheaper option to power it, the steam plant, an electric system or even a small single or twin cyl petrol/diesel motor?
    I dont want it to be a fast boat, just a nice cruising boat that turns heads.

    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/u2cAA...OH/s-l800.webp
    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/ZwYAA...PK/s-l800.webp
    Last edited by flyinwall; 01-13-2019 at 04:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    Hey man, you want to turn heads.
    I would choose the steam engine - you have the engine a boiler runninbg on vegetable oil will make life easy.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    how much would it cost to get a boiler and all associated gear to finish it off?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    Steam will certainly have the most ‘Wow!’ Factor, and it will be the most expensive.
    I find that often times guys with small steam boats are really in it for the steam engine and associated operational tinkering, and the boat is more of something to put their steam plant into so they can use the steam engine.
    I don’t know how hot the summers are down where you are, a steam engine and boiler will ‘comfortably’ add to that warmth (lol).
    I like small steam engines and think they look like great fun, but I am into this kind of thing more for the boat and boating and not so much for the ‘steam tinkering’.

    If it were me I would find a small antique make and break gas engine, or something a bit more modern like a Stuart Turner. There is still enough ‘tinkering factor’ in those to keep you interested, but they more generally allow you to go when you want (without waiting 20+ minutes for stem pressure), there is a lot more usable space in the boat, and you aren’t sitting next to a 55 gallon bonfire in the blazing sun.
    That’s how I see it.

    A long time ago I worked at a yard that built reproduction 22ft fan tail launches that I was in charge of. We used the same hull and finished them out with either steam, electric or gas engine power depending on the customer. So I have put all three together. They all have their pluses and minuses.
    Last edited by nedL; 01-10-2019 at 08:58 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    I recently built an 18' Palmer fantail launch and have powered it with the components from a large trolling motor. Works OK, but does not get the boat to it's hull speed of 6mph or so. I believe the Selway is 21', too big for the trolling motor option.
    Some folks cobble together the motor and parts from an old golf cart which seems to work if you can figure it out. There is a guy up in Maine who puts out an electric inboard for about $2500. Elco electric motors are probably the best, but run around $5000-$6000. Another is E-Tek motors, about the same price range.
    Good luck!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    That's a slide valve engine, so it's a power stroke both up and down, which should be plenty of power. It also has reversing gear. Steam is more complex than you might think and there is almost certainly more than just a firebox and boiler missing. Oil/water condenser/separator for exhaust steam, maybe some kind of mechanical or displacement oiler? The little I know about steam is from building small, <1" bore, hobby engines, but I do know steam can be dangerous. Much as it pains me, I think I'd look for an old make and break engine.
    Everything changes . Everything is connected . Pay attention

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    If you're inquiring about cost steam is the last option you want to consider. It's not only cost that is high with steam. The level of knowledge that you need to build, operate and maintain a steam plant is exponentially higher than with the other two options. With your hull and engine you have about 1/3 of what is needed to get underway. The boiler and piping are the difficult bits and not something you can go out and buy "off of the shelf". Not only are hobby boilers relatively difficult to source but they need to be need to be appropriately sized for the engine and boat, making the odds that you will find one available even smaller.
    If you decide to chose steam you should come over here https://thesteamboatingforum.net/forum/ It's the gathering place for those of us crazy enough to be pursing this passion. There is also an active steamboat community down under http://www.steamboat.com.au/
    Cheers

    Ken

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    Guess somebody has to stick up for steam here ... I was the fireman on a boat on SF bay for a couple years, steam is great fun. Heat was never a problem but then, the Bay never gets really hot.

    It's a great deal of fun, but you really want two people. One to drive the boat and one to drive the engine ... the other options are more practical but steam is an adventure. Maybe I have an overactive imagination but going out in a steamer always takes me back a hundred years. One of my best memories ever is a foggy evening, kerosene binnacle and running lights, steaming up Raccoon Straits. It could have been 1880 ...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    thanks for the responses guys...
    well that takes steam out of the equation as i am not wanting to spend a small fortune on the boiler and all associated incidentals
    Now to decide which of the electric and I/C motor i will go for.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    if i was to sell this steam engine, what sort of money should i be asking for it?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    Ok so now the project can begin... we drove the 2 and a half hours and picked her up and we are so glad we did...
    The trailer is brand new (cost them $3500 less than 18 months ago) full set of plans for the boat and full set of Plans for the motor and also for a boiler (now to pull the motor out, give it a bit of a clean up and see what someone is willing to give me for it so we can get started with the electric conversion).

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    Check out Eco Boats there in Australia. They sell an inboard brand from Bellmarine. I was just talking the other day to the guy who owns a high-end boatshop in my neck of the woods. He's installed many Elco motors and just installed his first one from Bellmarine. He was very impressed with it. Extremely quiet and less expensive then the Elco.
    I'll probably be going to see him next week to take a look.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    Post pictures. I, for one, would love to see the boat.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    As for the engine, first you have to identify it. All the Stuart engines I've ever seen have an "S" trademark on the valve cover.



    I'm not an expert on Stuart steam engines, but if I had to guess, I'd say it wasn't a Stuart. It may be a Semple, but that's just a guess.

    Don't expect to sell it quickly. There's a very, very limited market out there. I'd suggest you post it for sale on the Steamboating Forum. (https://thesteamboatingforum.net/for...forum.php?f=10) A small engine such as that may bring a few hundred dollars. It's going to depend upon who built it, how it runs, and "condition, condition, condition." It doesn't appear to be a particularly special engine. Realize that someone could easily spend eight or ten thousand dollars American for the rest of the steam plant to run it. You'd get pretty accurate conclusive answers to your questions on the Steamboating Forum.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    Last edited by flyinwall; 01-12-2019 at 08:00 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    it turns out the motor is a Boltons No.17

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design


  18. #18
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  19. #19
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    Very nice! She’s pretty much finished. It looks like all the heavy work is done and you get to finish her out as you like,... lucky you!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    I'm not familiar with the Boltons engines. That's no surprise. There was a time when many small machine shops were turning out steam engines along with the larger manufacturing firms. Many of them looked quite alike. It looks like a well-made engine. Somebody will pick it up at some point if it's posted in the steam enthusiast forums.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    Based on this catalog, Bolton engines both model and some full size were available as plan sets or casting sets as recently as 2017.

    http://www.ejwinter.com.au/images/E%...gue%202017.pdf.

    Maybe ad 30% to the casting set price for a finished engine, but that's a guess. I think I would try oiling visible moving parts, injecting oil into the steam inlet, turning it over by hand, and then hooking up a compressor to see if it runs
    Everything changes . Everything is connected . Pay attention

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    it is the No. 17 engine from that catalogue (page 8)

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    for all those knowledgeable folks on here who know about electric propulsion would a 24v 500w motor be up to the task of pushing this design or should i step up to a 36v 800w motobr />
    https://www.motiondynamics.com.au/da...r-500-rpm.html

    https://www.motiondynamics.com.au/da...ry-500rpm.html

    https://www.motiondynamics.com.au/xy...red-motor.html (not sure if this one is variable speed)

    or should i just jump up to this one? https://www.motiondynamics.com.au/my...r-500-rpm.html
    Last edited by flyinwall; 01-17-2019 at 08:56 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    The steam engine has been sold so now i am in need of a replacement

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Fanny the fantail steam launch. Selway Fisher Design

    well work has officially begun on the boat today, we pulled up all the floorboards and gave it a complete clean and to see how well it has been made and it is all made well and all sealed with plenty of paint.
    Now to get to work finishing off the seating area and putting teak down on all the deck.

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