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    Steam Engine & Equipment

    Hello all,

    I've owned the Chautauqua Belle now for three years, and unfortunately the owners before me stripped her clean of many of the authentic items that were installed on her when she first was built. I'm trying to make her more nostalgic, and being a 20 year old, I haven't had the chance in my life to visit the remaining steamboats left or create many contacts in the field of steamboats...

    If any folks know where I could get ahold of vessels or equipment being decommissioned, where I could salvage and preserve there instruments it'd be great. We are also looking to upgrade her two horizontal reciprocating engines with more powerful units.

    Any information helps, I try to devote as much time researching and running her, but being a full time student at NY Maritime College, time & money is tight, so hopefully you all can give me some pointers!

    #2
    be more specific. Describe the authentic items. What size engines does the boat have now? (Diameter and stroke)

    Comment


      #3
      Two Mat(t)hews

      You need to get with the other Matthew on the board, Matt Bubba Dow. His company has more steam machinery stashed than any other I would bet. Known entities include the engines from the MISSISSIPPI III and the GEN. JOHN NEWTON, which would be too big for your boat, but who knows what else lurks in the storage sheds in New Orleans or Lake George????
      all3phases@hotmail.com is his address...

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Judy Patsch View Post
        You need to get with the other Matthew on the board, Matt Bubba Dow. His company has more steam machinery stashed than any other I would bet. Known entities include the engines from the MISSISSIPPI III and the GEN. JOHN NEWTON, which would be too big for your boat, but who knows what else lurks in the storage sheds in New Orleans or Lake George????
        all3phases@hotmail.com is his address...
        Thank-you Judy! Yes I went out and visited Lake George last season, I never met Matt however, I met with Mr. Dow there, he gave me more information in the hour I spent talking with him then from months of research at historical centers!

        Comment


          #5
          MATT;;
          You still need a Steam CaLLiope on that boat ,,?!?!
          Best Wishes and Welcome to the board ,,....

          DAVE,,,.....

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Dave Morecraft View Post
            MATT;;
            You still need a Steam CaLLiope on that boat ,,?!?!
            Best Wishes and Welcome to the board ,,....

            DAVE,,,.....
            Great to hear from you Dave! I'm sorry you couldn't make it out with us last summer when the group made the trip onboard, I was looking forward to talking to you about your calliopes! Hopefully down the road you'll be able to make a trip with the group, and we can figure some more out about getting one back onboard!

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks Matt;;
              would enjoy that very much,, I need a SteamBoat fix about now ,,..LOL

              Here is a U tube vid i posted ,,enjoy ,,...

              YouTube - Steam CaLLiope at Tall Stacks1992 ,"Herbie Head"

              Dave,,,....

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Lexie Palmore View Post
                be more specific. Describe the authentic items. What size engines does the boat have now? (Diameter and stroke)
                Lexie, I'm at school now so I'm not 100% positive on the engines, however my notes I have say they have an 8" Bore & 28" Stroke. I talked to Captain Bates, about when he designed the vessel and he said they were built by a man in Fulton, Illinois, named Harry McBride. He also gave me the fun fact of back then the chief engineer on the Belle of Louisville saw the engines and said "Now those are the right-sized engines. You can set 'em on a bench to repair 'em."

                I have attached a photo of the engines that I had saved on my computer, rest assured however this isn't anything what the engines look like now, the photo was from when I first walked onto the vessel when they were planning to send her to scrap pile! Today the engine room and engines are shined up, on full display, as any of the folks who came out last season can attest to.
                Attached Files

                Comment


                  #9
                  is that a Stephenson valve train linkage I see?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I believe that would be a Stephenson Valve "Marine" Linkage ;-) haha

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Mathew: You do not say what boiler you have/had and the psi carried and its rating in pounds per hour of steam. You want to upgrade the power of her engines and that can sometimes be pretty simply done by increasing the pressure and quantity of the steam supplied within the limits of the engine of course. I say, pretty simply, if you have no boiler now, get one that has more pressure and pounds of steam per hour output. And, yes, it will use more fuel per hour but you might get far more speed per hour to balance out. You don't say why you desire/need more power...to make progress against the current perhaps, but you are not likely to set any speed records so why worry about it? It might be as simple as more fuel burned (heat release) in the boiler you might now have. You need a knowing steam engineer to look over your rig and make recommendations lest you end up with new wine on old bottles! Judy is sending you in the right direction for parts and pieces. Good Luck! Cap'n Walnut.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Good idea. Those engines might need some tuning, new rings, etc., but I bet they willl be sufficient with an adequate boiler. Our engines are a mere 4" x 16", which will not do the Mississippi River, but excursions on calm water, no problem, and they're ok with less than 20mph wind, more than that would give anyone fits. Also, put some insulation on those cylinders, steam lines, anything that gets hot. It makes a difference.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Mathew, Lexie is right on...those cylinders and steam lines could use some insulation. Lack of insulation will lower the steam temperature and thus the pressure if running at saturation. A bit of superheat will help keep the pressure up but too much will cause lube problems in the cylinders. A traditional lagging material for the cylinders was wood and it looks good too. I see a lube pump on the valve box and that is good. You are probably not running condensing but that too would, alone, raise your mean effective steam pressure at least ten psi on the pistons without changing anything else. But then you have to have an oil separator unless you are using other water for makeup. Space considerations may take precedent because condensers take up room on board. Lexie will tell you too that riders like to hear that gentle chuff-chuff of non-condensing engines. Lots of things to think about and trade-offs involved. Cap'n Walnut.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Hello all, Yeah those lines are all insulated now, all the way back to the boiler, as I said that picture was from 2 years ago when I first purchased the vessel, and I don't have any new ones unfortunately on my computer. You are right Cap'n Walnut about the system being non-condensing, I wouldn't ever want to loose the sound of the steam exhausting.

                            Also the notes on the boiler, the boiler onboard is a Johnston 218, 100HP, 3 Pass, Fire-tube. When I bought the vessel we replaced all 128 tubes inside of her, and as of last year she was running between 84-86 percent efficiency. The boiler max operating pressure is 250lbs, however we normally run at 150lbs where we burn around 4-6 gph of No.2 fuel oil. We have more steam then we know what to do with, the boiler cycles on for about 10 minutes and off for around 25 minutes when we are our daily excursions.

                            Since I've owen the vessel I've never actually taken apart the main cylinders, I've taken the top off the steam chest with the slider and it was perfectly clean with no buildup or rubbing wear. If I was to take about the main cylinder what is there to replace or repair in there to make it run faster?
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Mathew,
                              Everything is a trade-off. Stroke of the engine is limited by the crank pin offest, which is limited by the water line to crankshaft distance (you really don't want to dip your bearings in the water each revolution--although some might argue that that would keep the bearings cool). Then there is the practicality of distance of stroke. Valve timing gets in here now too. Diameter of wheel, number of paddles, size of wheelshaft. . . I think you might get my drift. Wheelshaft too small=cracked shaft. bearings too small=overheated, failing. Hull/engine bed not strong enough. the whole thing will rack as it goes around under power. Lotsa stuff here to consider! Seems the DQ designers musta got it right, as she ran for over 80 years, and can still run if'n a little law could get updated.
                              Me? I just overbuild everything--I could tell you a story about a box kite that never made it up in the air! As I age, I am finding out that "build it for stout" is sometimes not best! :)
                              S'
                              David D.
                              Last edited by David Dewey; 04-07-2009, 03:07 PM. Reason: typo, as usual!

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