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Model Steam Engine Plans

 Boat Engines

Model boiler in boatSteam engines for model boats - even full size - require a boiler of limited height and an engine able to sit low in the hull for ballast purposes.

It is for this reason most boat engines are of the horizontal variety with relatively small flywheels, if any - depending on the style of engine and the number of cylinders, and if a larger power source is required the use of multi-cylinders is called upon.

OscillatorFor lighter model boats oscillators work well (as seen in the Pre-machined Model Steam Engine Kits link on the left) although they are less economical with fuel than a proper steam engine, but far easier to produce for the amateur model engineer with limited workshop facilities. In fact this twin cylinder upright on the left has much simpler cousins shown in the 'wobblers' section for the beginner to building steam engines to make.

Owing to the distances involved between the operator and the boat, radio control using servo's for direction (forwards and reverse), steering and engine speed is required. More often than not a spirit fired boiler is used in the much smaller scales, moving up to gas powered boilers, although there are many coal-fired ones in use in the larger scales that of necessity need regular ash removal, but these also require a damper to restrict the air flow to the fire rather than a simpler servo to control the gas supply.

Spirit firing is very hit and miss with regards to control for the operator and very often your boat will simply run out of steam when it is well out of reach, causing endless waits for the wind to blow it to the side, but this has now moved on to running boilers with larger gas tanks which is more predictable.

There are even regulators available now to control the gas flow acording to boiler pressure - a great boon for the operator.

Check out the engines and kits on the left...


Free plans
River Queen     -    open column single cylinder steam engine       -      easy build                              Free
Model Marine Engine   -   no castings needed   -   twin cylinder   -    mid easy build                          Free
Twin cylinder boat engine & boiler     -     very basic format    -   drawings only   -   easy build         Free

Simple steam engine and boiler
How to make a model steam engine
How to make a toy steam engine
Model boilers guide
Build a steam whistle   (its not what you think)
Model water - steam pump
Plus others.....
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