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Thread: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

  1. #1
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    Default Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    I'm looking for ideas on an appropriate boat design for a vintage 5 hp gasoline engine that I have. The engine is a running single cylinder 4 Stroke 5hp Frisbie model A motor built between 1911-1920. The engine weight is about 400 lbs. The Frisbie Motor Company was located in Middletown Connecticut on the Connecticut river from about 1905-1927 It's a beautiful heavy little motor that I hope to do something with. This is my first post in this forum and if I'm in the wrong place please delete.

    Thank You

    Jeff Hecox
    Sequim WA
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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Welcome to the forum & what a cool engine! If you're looking for plan ideas, I think you posted in exactly the right place.

    That engine could power lots of things: a launch, a small cabin cruiser, a sailboat, etc. Some more detail on what you're thinking of would help. Your skill level as well.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Welcome to the forum & what a cool engine! If you're looking for plan ideas, I think you posted in exactly the right place.

    That engine could power lots of things: a launch, a small cabin cruiser, a sailboat, etc. Some more detail on what you're thinking of would help. Your skill level as well.
    I'm thinking a small open launch. Possibly modifying an existing launch or having one built. there is a fair amount of boat building going on near me in Port Townsend and Port Angeles WA. I have average or above average fabrication skills with a very good indoor wood working shop to build in. I mostly do Vintage car and motorcycle restoration. In looking at another post I came across a Poulsbo Style Launch that looks interesting.

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    I built a Danish Seine Boat our of Nielsen's book Wooden Boat Designs for a 5hp Atlantic make and brake engine. Atlantic engines were built by the Lunenburg Foundry in Nova Scotia. The brother of the head of the Foundry said that the hp rating might well have been 18hp, more correctly. The Danish Seine Boat is 20' x 8', displacing more that 2 tons, maybe 3, and that engine pushed that boat along at hull speed easily. Just saying.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Welcome! Very neat engine. I agree that something like a Poulsbo Boat would be perfect for it. While Poulsbo Boats and other suitable open launches aren't exactly common they do come up for sale from time to time if you wanted to find an existing boat rather than building one. If you are interested in building a boat, the Poulsbo Boat lines and construction details were available from the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle a long time ago. I don't know if they are still in print but you might inquire at the CWB or possibly find a copy from the usual vintage book sources.
    - Chris

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    A Poulsbo Boat or the like would be grand. If you don't want to build it yourself, you might inquire at the NW School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Hadlock. They take commissions of sorts for boats that will fit in with their teaching program. The work is done by students under the faculty's watch and guidance. The incorporation of your antique engine may be a welcome project. I suspect they can also advise on the final design you might want.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Welcome! Very neat engine. I agree that something like a Poulsbo Boat would be perfect for it. While Poulsbo Boats and other suitable open launches aren't exactly common they do come up for sale from time to time if you wanted to find an existing boat rather than building one. If you are interested in building a boat, the Poulsbo Boat lines and construction details were available from the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle a long time ago. I don't know if they are still in print but you might inquire at the CWB or possibly find a copy from the usual vintage book sources.
    Thank you Chris I will take a look at CWB!

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    A Poulsbo Boat or the like would be grand. If you don't want to build it yourself, you might inquire at the NW School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Hadlock. They take commissions of sorts for boats that will fit in with their teaching program. The work is done by students under the faculty's watch and guidance. The incorporation of your antique engine may be a welcome project. I suspect they can also advise on the final design you might want.

    Jeff
    Thank you I will certainly look into the school in Port Hadlock!

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    I built a Danish Seine Boat our of Nielsen's book Wooden Boat Designs for a 5hp Atlantic make and brake engine. Atlantic engines were built by the Lunenburg Foundry in Nova Scotia. The brother of the head of the Foundry said that the hp rating might well have been 18hp, more correctly. The Danish Seine Boat is 20' x 8', displacing more that 2 tons, maybe 3, and that engine pushed that boat along at hull speed easily. Just saying.
    Interesting insight about the hp ratings, I don't think the Danish Seine Boat is what I'm after, but they are a beautiful boat!

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    I agree about a Poulsbo boat. This organization may give you more to think about regarding them: https://poulsbohistory.com/poulsbo-maritime-museum/
    For the most part experience is making the same mistakes over and over again, only with greater confidence.

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    A Poulsbo boat would be a great choice but I can't help but think that your engine would be a perfect choice to convert a fiberglass sailboat to a launch. There are so many waiting to be chopped up but that have perfectly solid hulls that can be got for cheap or free. Sawzall everything you don't want and build back with plywood and glass. A lot of trailer sailors around 20' have cast iron swing keels that are easy to drop. The swing keel on my Catalina 22 weighs exactly the same as your engine.

    Maybe I'm in left field but I can imagine a very pretty and efficient boat as a result.

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Another vote for Poulsbo: Very sweet looking boats, and the only critique I had of them is that they were powered with 'clatterbaskets' (various aircooled lawn equipment motors). Your engine would be a totally different experience. Regarding hp/output ref above, probably more that the boat requires, but I'm pretty sure it could be propped to keep rpm low at hull speed with no harm to the engine. There are a few members who would be able to opine on that with more authority (Canoeyawl, NedL, Dr. B, among others).

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    do you have a propeller for it?

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Does it really weigh 400 lbs? I think that might be too much for a poulsbo boat. 400 lbs is a serious chunk of weight, probably more suitable to a boat of a at least a ton or two displacement. If what Thad says about actual power is right, it is way too much power too. I would look for something on the chunky side, even if you don't use all the power, you need to haul all the weight.

    If you get ahold of a lines plan for the Poulsbo boat, we can give more educated insight. I'm just going off of memory.

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    Does it really weigh 400 lbs? I think that might be too much for a poulsbo boat. 400 lbs is a serious chunk of weight, probably more suitable to a boat of a at least a ton or two displacement. If what Thad says about actual power is right, it is way too much power too. I would look for something on the chunky side, even if you don't use all the power, you need to haul all the weight.
    Oooh, yeah. I think that's too much for a Poulsbo boat as well. They are not heavily built. Something like the William Hand Tug design might be perfect though.



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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    do you have a propeller for it?
    I don't have a propeller and I still need a gearbox

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Rich Jones' thread on building a 17' launch: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ghlight=palmer

    Probably smaller than what your engine would be best for, but it'd give you an idea of what's involved.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    Does it really weigh 400 lbs? I think that might be too much for a poulsbo boat. 400 lbs is a serious chunk of weight, probably more suitable to a boat of a at least a ton or two displacement. If what Thad says about actual power is right, it is way too much power too. I would look for something on the chunky side, even if you don't use all the power, you need to haul all the weight.

    If you get ahold of a lines plan for the Poulsbo boat, we can give more educated insight. I'm just going off of memory.
    I don't have a real weight yet for the Motor it's just a guess, the Flywheel is 110lbs alone and I still need a gear box.

    -Jeff

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Rich Jones' thread on building a 17' launch: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ghlight=palmer

    Probably smaller than what your engine would be best for, but it'd give you an idea of what's involved.
    That is a elegant launch.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    I have been unable to find any technical information on the Frisbie Motor, like max engine RPM as of yet or what type of transmission that I should track down. If anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears. I'm not against using a more contemporary transmission for the project if needed.

    The Frisbie Motor used a Ford Model T ignition buzz box and Carburetor so that is easer.

    -Jeff

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    The make and breaks generally had no gearbox, direct drive and reverse under way by cutting off ignition until the flywheel is on it's last turn when ignition will reverse the engine if you hit it right. Fun!

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    oops, I too forgot about the weight, probly not a Poulsbo...

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    The boat I am currently rebuilding for a customer would not be too far off. A 19 foot clinker built Nordic doubleender. However I suspect your motor may be a bit more powerful than it's rating so a 21 or 22 footer would probably be better suited.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    The make and breaks generally had no gearbox, direct drive and reverse under way by cutting off ignition until the flywheel is on it's last turn when ignition will reverse the engine if you hit it right. Fun!
    You can do that with a Two Stroke engine like the Ferro Marine motor or maybe even a Hit Miss engine, this is a full 4 Cycle engine and its not going to run backwards.

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    There are folks here with credentials to offer much more qualified suggestions, but were that Frisbee mine, I believe I'd like to have it powering a displacement launch whre-in the motor stands uncovered at midships, so everybody can enjoy seeing it.

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor


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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor



    https://store.gartsideboats.com/collections/steam-launches/products/20-ft-sea-angler-design-8





    Your engine’s weight and heavy flywheel will spin a larger prop at lower speed than ‘modern’ engines. With modest horsepower, you’d do well with it fitted to a steamboat launch which were designed with heavy plant and big prop appertures. Coupled with an emphasis towards longer, narrower ‘slender’ hulls the modest hp will still give plenty of hull speed and a smooth ride through chop.

    You could build an historic design of course, but Gartside is alive and well (east coast usa but has lived pnw) so he’ll be able to do the figuring of hp, gearbox rpm, prop size and pitch to boat weight and waterline etc for you.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 03-26-2023 at 04:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    That motor will be the centerpiece of whatever you mount it in. Agree with the above post that midships is where you want it.

    As far as the hull, are you flexible as to build material? Do you want to take on a multi-year wooden boat build? Have it built? Find a used wooden boat? A sailboat hull may be the easiest way to find a displacement hull which you need but it will have a lot of freeboard which will detract from the looks of a power launch.

    I'd look at steam launches, new builds and old stuff, for ideas. They usually have more than enough the needed capacity and room.
    Suggest you contact the steam guys, even though you have that new-fangled internal combustion device they'll be a great help.
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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    That Gartside design is ideal. The point about having a living designer is important on several levels. Existing building materials and modern technique being one.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    A chum had a similar problem. He was given a 1908 Ferro engine and the only thing we could think to do with it was to build this 17 Palmer fantail launch to plans from Mystic Seaport.

    D53B85BF-47C7-420B-A498-B53F9B1D6EBD.jpg

    THis is the same design that Rich Jones built.
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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    There are folks here with credentials to offer much more qualified suggestions, but were that Frisbee mine, I believe I'd like to have it powering a displacement launch whre-in the motor stands uncovered at midships, so everybody can enjoy seeing it.
    Yes I would like to keep the Motor uncovered in a centered mount

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post


    https://store.gartsideboats.com/collections/steam-launches/products/20-ft-sea-angler-design-8





    Your engine’s weight and heavy flywheel will spin a larger prop at lower speed than ‘modern’ engines. With modest horsepower, you’d do well with it fitted to a steamboat launch which were designed with heavy plant and big prop appertures. Coupled with an emphasis towards longer, narrower ‘slender’ hulls the modest hp will still give plenty of hull speed and a smooth ride through chop.

    You could build an historic design of course, but Gartside is alive and well (east coast usa but has lived pnw) so he’ll be able to do the figuring of hp, gearbox rpm, prop size and pitch to boat weight and waterline etc for you.
    Thank you for the insight about the large flywheel turning a larger prop. The Steamboat launch designs are very elegant and would showcase the motor. I well certainly look at what Gartside has.

    -Jeff

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
    That motor will be the centerpiece of whatever you mount it in. Agree with the above post that midships is where you want it.

    As far as the hull, are you flexible as to build material? Do you want to take on a multi-year wooden boat build? Have it built? Find a used wooden boat? A sailboat hull may be the easiest way to find a displacement hull which you need but it will have a lot of freeboard which will detract from the looks of a power launch.

    I'd look at steam launches, new builds and old stuff, for ideas. They usually have more than enough the needed capacity and room.
    Suggest you contact the steam guys, even though you have that new-fangled internal combustion device they'll be a great help.
    I don't see me modifying an old fiberglass sailboat, that would not do the old motor justice.

    -Jeff

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    The Palmer Fantail is a stunning looking boat, This Frisbie motor is 3 times the size and weight being a 4 cycle engine

    -Jeff

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    Default Re: Designs for a Vintage 5hp inboard motor

    No love for Tug? I'm sad. She may not be elegant but she has fathoms and fathoms of character. One might even call her "salty" if one were inclined toward such things, before breaking into a sea chanty.

    "There once was a ship that put tae sea..."
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