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What to do with a mid 1800s paddle tug

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John S:
Not really sure where to start this tale but if not the right place then I am sure it will be moved to somewhere more suitable. Imagine if you will the finding of an old tug basically complete and with original oscillating engines. Basically a sound hull apart from the counter stern which having been uncovered had sort of rotted away. This of course is all in my imagination so influences how I will proceed with the latest project. An 1845 or so paddle tug no longer really has much purpose in life these days other than a museum piece, no towing jobs available so no point in her being a tug any further so what can be done. In my imagination the rotted stern is chopped off and for convenience (otherwise known as how to bend clinker planks round the shape of her stern) the chain saw is to be used to chop off the offending parts and a replacement square transom fitted. no towing jobs so the mind asks why not convert to a Paddle Cruiser by removing the tow gear and substituting a deckhouse? While drastically changing the purpose in life why not add bow and possibly stern thrusters as well (very good for moving sideways away from a jetty. These changes would help with the steering problems and not be unheard of in the real world as thrusters have been fitted to at least one Swiss paddler and the little Monarch. So having set the scene I must admit to being inspired by the photo of Monarch in the gallery when it popped up as the random picture early this morning so spent some time watching Monarch videos and looking at photos.
The actual subject is a slightly modified Strongbow that since having been made longer to fit the part finished engine and 5 inch diameter boiler shell I suppose should be classed as a Longbow style anyway apart from the length the beam was determined by the maximum size I could cut on my home brew CNC router so not including sponsons comes out to 8 inch beam and with the extra sections for engine and boiler rooms now comes out to 50 inch long. I tend not to follow normal procedures making one part at a time but switch to different parts mainly as materials become available but at present I have a Halloween Hull, sort of skeleton ribs and keel on a building board, almost all the boiler materials other than a few more 5/16 inch flue tubes and a problem inverted oscillator that needs the Penn valve gear making. OK so I might be a heretic thinking of such drastic alterations but Monarch suits my ideas of minimal bits to get knocked off at a pond side and for better or for worse this is how I will continue. Of course I expect to be tried and found guilty of vandalism and be hung in chains or metal cage from a Wapping Dock  Gibbet as punishment.

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