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Author Topic: Engines  (Read 23996 times)


  • Guest
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2006, 04:29:28 PM »
Yes, the electric motor does sound more and more practical everytime I think about it.. I was speaking to Dad this morning about it and he reckons it is useless.. What if you run out of battery? It will be too expensive!! They will be as heavy as lead!! But I counteracted them, hopefully!!
Just thinking though, would it be strong enough to haul a - not too light - boat through the water.. Going into a headwind against the current etc..?

Offline Roderick Smith

  • Senior Member
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  • Posts: 1662
  • Gender: Male
Electric power
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2006, 08:31:52 PM »
You have moved past this group's knowledge.
You should have gone to the four experienced operators, then reported back here:
Duck Flat (electric Mundoo)
Lake Burley Griffin
Gnatty site

Electric has heaps of range for 1 h cruising from a base, and seems to have all-day range too.

Contingency plans:
* Buy Sean's fence planks, and paddle on dull days.
* Collect dead redgum limbs, and light a fire on the roof to illuminate the solar panels to run your motors.
* Install a pedal-generator (there was one in the technical museum in North Tce, Adelaide; humans could reach a half hp, 350 W).
* Carry a hand-worked winch, and work yourself forwards 100 m at a time.
* Cruise only in Lake Goldsmith, Burrumbeet or Wendouree.  When you run out of power, climb out into the 30 cm depth, and push.

Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor


  • Guest
« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2006, 10:40:30 PM »
I just read about powering a 13" paddler in a Murray book just the other day. During the actual riverboat era one family (and probably more) had a paddler that was operated by a square bend in the shaft being rotated to make the wheels rotate...similar to pedal power but without the strain of the legs. The paddles could be operated standing up or sitting down.

I know it's not electric but the fact that that's how they powered a 13" paddler in the day may be interesting if you want a historically acurate boat!  :wink:


  • Guest
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2006, 07:15:24 AM »
The original idea for SJ was pedal power (or some other type of manual power).. it acutally sounds quite fun.. but tiring.. I will have a good look at that too..

Also I had emailed Gnat Riverboats, DFWB and Rubeena cruises, but yet to recieve a reply. Hopefully they turn up something good..

Murray Whaler

  • Guest
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2007, 08:29:12 PM »
Manual powered paddle boat.    I have a book called the "Incredible Trevors".  It is a record of a couple who set out from Bourke in May 1894 to row to Albury a distance of 1800 miles while both rivers were in flood.   They fitted a stern wheel to their rowing boat so that one could row while the other used the paddle wheel.    From the ladies diary "He made a rough model and that being satisfactory set about the big one.  There were five fans from the axle and fencing wire running through holes at either end connected them firmly together.  I had a handle at either side of my stern seat and as I pushed one forward I drove the other back.which turned the wheel.  Ofcourse to backwater I just reversed the motion..The trial trip was a great success."      Trevor was an artist who painted many pictures of the rivers, boats etc,and the book contains a very good picture of the boat complete with wheel.  The picture shows seven paddles not five.    There are no details of the boat but from the picture I would estimate 17 feet painted yellow and black because that was the only colours they could get and named it appropiately the Wasp

Murray Whaler

  • Guest
Re: Engines
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2008, 09:45:19 PM »
Re:Engines and paddle drives.    I have found the discussion on engines and drives most interesting.   I'm not sure of the size of the paddle boat or whether it is stern or a side wheeler.    The principals are similar.   The first thing to establish is the maximum hull speed.  With a displacement hull it is fairly easy.    From there establish the revs of the wheel(s) taking into account the pitch diameter of the wheel noting they can be very inefficient hence normal people use propellers.   The number of paddles is important,   too many and there is cavitation  Best,   one at maximum depth,   one entering and one exiting.   One of the problems with internal combustion engines is that they run fast and need a big reduction it get down to paddle wheel speed which in over come with gearboxes and money............I have made a major change to the drive on P.S.Minimus.       I originally bought a steam engine and was advised by the manufacture to run it at 500 rpm.which meant a vee belt drive to an expensive hollow shaft gearbox.      Experience showed the engine,boiler and me were more comfortable at 250-300 rpm.knowing the extra was there if I needed it.....A re-design has allowed me to eliminate the gearbox altogether and just have a vee drive.  Nice and quiet.     The main pulley is very heavy at 45kg. which is the same weight as the gearbox was......There is a stern wheeler of about 20 ft. being built at Goolwa SA at the moment using a steam engine (mill configuration) using a countershaft to reduce the rpm. and to get the drive from down in the hull up and out to the paddle shaft.      I'm looking forward to a trip to the UK in March to visit my daughter....I'm a member of the Steam Boat Assoc. of Great Briton and looking forward to a day with them in Bristol.     Regards Murray Whaler


  • Guest
Re: Engines
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2008, 10:41:57 PM »
Gentlemen fwiw
Gophers/ electric wheelchairs generally have 24v systems. (& 24v motors) these are much more e-fish-ent systems than 12v.
Brushless motors may be the way to go.

A  solar panel or two 100w each for two batteries will suffice for occasional running, remember (1) overcast cond. do not allow for full capacity of charge,(2) as well as to hot a day( charging capacity drops with temp rise as well),top it up with a 500w wind genny of 24v ( blade dia of 2 metres ) size becomes a problem.
You may get out on the lake but not back, easily.
(wind, batt size, water currents, etc all conspire agin you)
with the manual stuff, the paddleboats on the Torrens R near Adelaide seem to work ok, yes small dia wheels but a sitting posn is better than the arms doing the work (leg muscles are bigger)

And in other words don't believe the salesmen on solar energy claims.


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