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Author Topic: PV Sundowner Rebuild  (Read 54035 times)

michael

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PV Sundowner Rebuild
« on: March 15, 2008, 02:33:08 PM »
Well today was the first day under new ownership with the hull and engine being removed from present location to my place. With the help of a few friends, a crane, semi-loader and a couple of tractors the nightmare I had didn't come true and everything ran smoothll all in a couple of hours. Present I have the hull in the paddock waiting to be put in the shed. Engine in the shed about to be dismantled to see what condition its in, whether it can be re-used or not.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2008, 08:05:32 PM by Eddy Matthews »

Offline ljhall

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2008, 05:23:09 PM »


Hey Michael, - glad you got her to your place OK !  -  she looks much bigger in these photos !
I have some images of her from 1986/87/88 etc. but unfortunately they are all in slide format - no photos.
Then again, the Plowman Book of 2005 has a fairly decent photo of her in it.
I'm pretty sure she was built in 1981, by Basil Bryce, who also built the 'P.V. Colonial Lass', and I'm still thinking that her hull was ferro-concrete but this could have been an error, unless the hull was replaced at some stage.
She looks to be about 35 - 40 feet in length, so maybe a smaller deckhouse than the original one would be better.
Actually, where abouts did you find her ?

Good Luck with the re-building - you're sure going to be busy now !

Cheers,
Regards,

Leith Hall

thewharfonline

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2008, 05:58:36 PM »
She is much bigger than I thought she was from the original photos.

Very exciting Michael-would have got back to you yesterday but I'd just got to a wedding!

Sean

michael

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2008, 09:13:06 PM »
At the moment I am thinking of leaving the hull as it is, except for a couple of sections need to be replaced from where the chain bent the chine when it was lifted from the river, put  a diesel in it, walk  though hull and cabin at the stern, open front and use a pleasure boat so will be like PS Murray Queen or Austria. The reason it sank was it was top heavy, I don't know how the hull managed with the superstructure as it actually isn't very big 10m long 2.6 at its widest.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2008, 08:06:25 PM by Eddy Matthews »

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2008, 01:38:21 PM »
Michael and I are chatting about his plans offlist.  Stability, rather than space, has been an important issue.

As is, the Sundowner hull (10 m x 2.6 m) is little larger than Jessie II (9 m x 1.8 m), and is similar to the Mundoo update (9 m x 2.4 m) of my Tennessee hull.  The Mundoo can hold a double bed, a dinette for four (converting to guest beds), a kitchen, a toilet/shower and the wheelhouse.  Both styles achieve this by using walk-through hulls.

Stability issues have been explored elsewhere in Paddleducks.
* PV Eliza-Ann (page 4 of APAM lop1); search refused to find that post.  This recessed the lower deck into the hull, but then had an upper deck too.
PV Lady Rae (try a search).
Both are regarded as top heavy, and both have outrigger floats.

Somewhere else, the history of PS Ruby records that deckhands maintained trim on bends by rolling water-filled barrels from port to starboard (or vv) on curves.  This is similar to ballast tanks with high-speed pumps on modern roro ferries.  Ruby had a shallower draft than the other big passenger paddlesteamers.  The restoration has reduced the amount of superstructure on the third deck.

Potentially, Sundowner will be trailable, with a permit.  Most other paddleboats are too large.  'Murray Whaler', has given some insight into how PS Minimus is trailed.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor


michael

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2008, 08:38:35 PM »
Just a quick note, I got some paddlewheel rims today, abit bigger than i expected, 8ft dia, oh well, she will probebly be a mini PS Adelaide!

Offline Excelsior

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2008, 11:48:55 PM »
Where'd the wheels come from?  Off a boat we might know?  They're pretty huge wheels for a boat that size.  Get the paddle boxes right & she'll look pretty impressive!

michael

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2008, 07:56:39 PM »
Sundowners history: Built about 1981 by Basil Bryce at Bamwan, south of Echuca. Used a pleasure boat around the echuca area doing a couple of trips up to Barmah. Was sold to a mexican who used it as a houseboat and was moored below the Caravan park, near Gemma's old mooring.
The owner went away and the boat sank, apparently he sank it to claim the insurance! The Amelia Jane(Rochester) owner( Jim Lawford) eventually got the rights to the mooring and raised the boat and took it to his place at Rochester. But he stripped it and moved it to his daughters property west of Echuca.
Their neighbour who i work with saw the fella stripping it and told me about it. I approached him and made an offer and he sold it to me. I put support beams in it and trucked it home. Jim Lawfors was going to rebuild it as a stern wheeler and made three 8ft paddlewheel rims but since he got rid of the hull the wheels ended up under a tree. I was told about the wheels and he sold them to me for a cheap price. And thats about the story so far
Attached is a photo of the hull in the shed with a wheel beside to show how big they really are!

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2008, 09:34:18 AM »
I just skimmed through some of my own photos to look for typical wheel sizes.
Perhaps most are designed for looks, rather than for any ideal size to transmit the power?

8 ft (2.4 m) wheels seem to be common on large two-deck vessels, where the lower deck is not walk through.  This provides the convenience of having a stairwheel climbing up a paddlebox to the upper deck.  PV Avoca had wheels which came higher than the lower deck.

Most smaller single-deck vessels (eg Ranger, Billy Tea, Tarney) which do not use walk through hulls have wheels which do not reach the top of the deck cabin (hinting at 6 ft, 1.8 m wheels).  See Gemma on APAM lopm&r p11.

Some of the small but two-deck vessels have wheels which to not reach the level of the upper deck (for boats which do not have walk through hulls), or which do (for boats with a walk through hull).  See Colonial Lass on APAM lopm&r p9.

On sternwheelers, Chalka appears to have a 2.4 m wheel (APAM lopm&r p5); Gypsy Ellen's (APAM lopm&r p13) appears to be smaller.

Enclosed: a photo familiar to Paddleduckers.  SS Moose (which I interpret as SWPV) was one of the regulars in the random opening-page selection when there was just a small pool of photos.  As it flashed by this morning, I grabbed it.  Michael had been talking of going stern wheel for Sundowner, partly because it has a square stern.  This would save the work of extending the hull to provide better water flow, and would remove the need to build sponsons.  The result would be less spacious, but more trailable.  Is the owner a member or friend of one?  Could we obtain a report of how effective the paddle is?

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 01:44:41 PM by Roderick Smith »

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2008, 05:20:20 PM »
I tried to sketch a design concept over Michael's photo, using Photoshop, but it was too crude.
A scale drawing was quicker, and posting it here reaches more people in one hit.  Michael has seen it already, but was busy crewing for Sunday night's major paddlesteamer fleet sailpast at Echuca.
Michael and I have workshopped multiple design concepts over multiple hulls over the last few years, and this one incorporates many ideas which we have explored in the past.  I have set up the main cabin and front deck to pick up the party deck of PS Adventurous (but with space freed by not being steam) and to match the aim of resembling PS Austria.

The surprise for me is that the large wheels don't look out of place on the small hull, despite the fact that they dwarf Michael, and the hull is no larger than that of Jessie II (same length, and only fractionally wider).

I put the cabin height at 2.4 m to match the wheels.
I put the engine amidships for weight-balance reasons.  It would be quite easy to step over a floor-level driveshaft with a safety cover.  There is space for the necessary supports for stub axles, and chain drives from the driveshaft to the axles.
The engine compartment and toilet/shower get the dead space, with no view, between the wheels.
The forward cabin gets forward and side views, and is the wheelhouse and guest lounge by day, and the master bedroom by night.  The double bifold doors link it to the front deck: great for party cruising.
The immediate front deck is sunk to hull level (a technique used on UK canal boats), but the forepeak is raised above a rope & anchor locker, and to provide convenient access to riverbanks when moored overnight.
The rear cabin gets stern and side views, and is the dining saloon by day, and the children's or guests' bedroom by night.  The table has a folding leaf to make it the right size for four people.  It fills the seat gap to make the lower bunk; an upper bunk lowers from the ceiling.
The rear deck is extended on a cantilever over the rudder, and provides a sheltered space by day, and a barbecue deck adjacent to the kitchen and dining saloon when entertaining.
The roof provides a sun deck, with convenient stairwell access.

Normal mooring would be bow in to the bank, keeping the wheels and rudder clear of rock or mud.  At high wharves, mooring alongside would work, with boarding via the roof and rear stairs.

The engine could go under the rear deck, but having a false floor for the dining saloon as well as amidships (2.1 m headroom instead of 2.4 m).  An automotive-style driveshaft could sit between the floor and the hull.  The fresh- and grey-water tanks would be relocated to the space shown as engine on the plan, adjacent to the toiler/shower and to the kitchen.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor


Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2008, 12:46:20 PM »
He who hesitates is lost.
Make hay while the sun shines.
Strike while the iron is hot.

In this case, aluminium (not iron) and strike while the kitchen can-opener is available, the beauty of this construction material.

I am onforwarding this view from Michael.  For efficiency as a sidewheeler, the water has to be able to flow back in around a tapered hull to reach the rudder, and also to reduce retarding turbulence.  This is being achieved by narrowing the as-purchased square stern, rather than lengthening.  Michael has the welding skill to assemble the needed fourth wheel centre; a mate has the necessary aluminium-welding skill to stitch the hull together in its new style, and to add sponson brackets.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor
« Last Edit: April 06, 2008, 03:13:06 PM by Roderick Smith »

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2008, 11:09:20 PM »
I called by Michael's Merrigum marina on Friday, en route to collect Jessie II for a cruise.
The rear view of Sundowner hasn't changed.  The sides have been tapered; filler pieces are needed to link them to the stern.
The boat now wears its name: a task undertaken that day.
The floor has lots of angle cleats welded, to hold transverse or longitudinal runners.  It seems that the main strength of the the hull comes from the internal framing.  There will be a minimum 100 mm bilge.  Michael was talking of an initial version resembling a gigantic personal watercraft (little noisy wake-making beasts like a motorcyle on floats, or a snow skidoo).  This one will have a tractor (brand not checked), with the drive or auxiliary shaft connected to chains to the stub axles holding the paddlewheels.

Enclosed: Michael with Sundowner.

Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor
« Last Edit: April 06, 2008, 03:14:48 PM by Roderick Smith »

michael

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2008, 02:01:44 PM »
Well I had the welder around today and he welded up the stern, and also put some patches over some of the chine where it was bent from being lifted out of the river. He will be back next Saturday to finish off a couple of small welds.
Had friends of the port cruise last night on PS Pevensey, was good to cathc up with Geoff (Murray Whaler) who was up for a few days.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2008, 02:09:43 PM by michael »

thewharfonline

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2008, 06:01:16 PM »
She's looking good Michael.

Keep up the speedy work and when I'm up at the start of July we should be able to go for a cruise!  :P

Sean

michael

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Re: PV Sundowner Rebuild
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2008, 03:54:45 PM »
Well the speedy work kinda came to a halt with work and backyard jobs becoming to busy, but I've managed to get a few more hours spent working on the boat. I've sanded the paint off ( the first 1/4 the full height and the rest of the side about 300mm high) so i can paint her bottom half in black and paint the top half a bit later. Hope to frame the hull inside soon.

 

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