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Old 02-02-2019, 09:23 PM   #1
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Stern wheeler cruiser

I know this thread is all about trawler cruisers,,, Are us sternwheeler guys allowed?????
Am currently rebuilding a 75ft by 20ft sternwheeler to cruise the inland river system of the US.... projected completion is December 2019,,,,
Paddlewheel power only.. I will cheat a bit with stern and bow thrusters for those close quarter maneuvers.
Will be a bit too tall to make the loop... Might have to rent a boat for that.
Anxious to see if theres anyone interested in this kind of cruising,,,
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:40 PM   #2
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"Trawlers" are a state of mind, but it's helpful if one cannot exceed hull speed.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerrico77 View Post
Am currently rebuilding a 75ft by 20ft sternwheeler to cruise the inland river system of the US.... projected completion is December 2019,,,,
So cool!!

I'm a big fan of sternwheelers. I named my current boat after the SS Kokanee, which was the fastest sternwheeler on Kootenay Lake BC when she was built in 1897. She did 16 knots.

What speed do you expect out of yours?
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:57 AM   #4
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The steamer Telephone built in the 1880s and rebuilt twice worked on the Columbia River and SF area. She was known to do 22 knots. May still hold the Portland to Astoria record.
Paddle wheels are not as efficient as propellers. The USN when trying to decide how to build new steam ships had a paddle wheel frigate and a propeller frigate of the same size and design built around 1840. The ran a hawser between the two sterns and both frigates went to full power. The propeller ship towed the paddle wheeler backwards at several knots.
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:03 AM   #5
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I'd love to see pictures of the rebuild process. Sounds like a great project.
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:42 AM   #6
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Thanks for the interest in my project. I hope to maintain at least a 9 kt cruise.
Will try to post a couple of pics soon if I can get my 10 year old grandkids to show me how.... It will be named Liberty, after a sternwheeler my mom and dad lived on in the 1930s.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:11 PM   #7
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I did sea trial tests on a stern wheeler that ultimately ended up somewhere around Long Island Sound. It was built on a steel barge hull and had Detroit 6-71's (two) driving two wheels through hydraulics. It was pretty slow, can't remember speed, but it was cool.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:51 PM   #8
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Jerrico- What's the history of the boat you are rebuilding?


Here's some info on the Kootenay Lake sternwheelers. I have an interest in these as this is the area where I grew up and first got into boats.

The Boats | Sternwheelers of Kootenay Lake
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Old 02-03-2019, 08:47 PM   #9
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Sternwheeler

Hello AusCan
She was previously the Spirit of West Virginia, Based in Charleston WV and used as a head boat for a number of years. I purchased it and ran it down to Houma, La. where I am now still in the process of rebuilding her into a livable cruising paddle boat. As I tell friends, Im entering year six of a one year project.
Google Spirit of West Virginia.. Some neat pics and video will pop up...
Not the train of the same name. My name will probably pop up also,,,,
Jerry
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:13 PM   #10
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Hi Jerry, I was about to tell Jerrico77 from Pensacola that I have a friend in Houma doing the same thing,then I realize it's You! I still need to make that tour.
Welcome,
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:02 PM   #11
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Hey Lepke,,
Very interesting about the steamer Telephone.... Especially her supposed speed. Also interesting about the pulloff of the two steamers. One with a paddle wheel and the other with screws..... I wonder how they compared against each other in Hull speed in a race...
The Teleohone looks a lot like the sternwheeler Sprague that still to this day holds the record for pushing the largest number of, and highest tonnage cargo upstream on the Mississippi River... So much for propellers being more efficient than Sternwheel.
I’ve owned tow boats that would be pushed backward by boats of lesser horsepower only to out perform them when we latched on to comparable size oil barges and beat them in speed on the long haul,, and vice—-versa.. There are just so many variables out there.
This could be an interesting debate, perhaps on another tread..
I ran my little sternwheeler, 80hp Diesel engine, 7 mph, 1600 miles, 30 days, for 10 hrs per day and averaged 2.8 gallons per hr, or 28.5 gallons per day.
Charleston, WV to Houma, La. We were also running a 20KW generator on average 12 hrs per day also... I was quite pleased with the numbers.
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:37 AM   #12
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My dad was a marine engineer and was around for Telephone's last days. Still a speedster. I got a better picture of the Telephone, but can't find it. In SF bay. My dad was full of stories old timers told him when steamboats raced and engineers put their cap over the pressure gauge. When I was a kid, 1950s, there were still steamboats around. I remember log rafts with one pushing and another across the front of the raft to help in tight turns and bridges. Most had folding stacks to make it under the bridges. They burned 3-4 cords a day.

As I remember the story about the navy frigates, hulls were as close as possible with allowances for the prop or the side wheel boxes. I believe the test was on the Potomac. And propeller design was nothing like we have today. An early RN ship had a prop that could be disconnected for sail and hoisted up out of the water stream. About that time there was a sidewheeler that had a mechanism for angling the paddles so they entered straight down w/o slapping the water and wasting hp. And the paddles stayed 90 to the water until lifted out. I can't remember the name but it was a US warship, later sold and converted to passengers and eventually sank in Florida.
In tugs, current means a lot, too. I remember in the 1950s when a tug went missing towing a barge to Alaska. At night, in Johnstone Strait, BC, before radar was common, the current pushed the barge faster than the tug. They found the barge anchored. The tug was the anchor. The barge bow apparently just pushed the tug down. No survivors.
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