Just joined your group and have a strong interest in the older sternwheel towboats. I'm mostly interested in the old coal burning steam and have been builind my own waterline models of these in several scales.
I do have a nagging question concerning the smaller towboats/ferries I've seen photos of (ca.1900-1920) that don't seem to have a visible power plant or exhaust system. Were these early gas marine engines and just vented out the side? Any stacks I see look more like the ones used for heating stoves. If this were the case, it would seem that these would have had little power and would have had severe limits for useful towing and fighting any river currents. Also, I assume the wheels were chain drives in most cases? Also, many have what looks like a tank forward of the pilot house, not sure what that would be used for but maybe potable water?
Thanks for the assistance and appologize for jumping right in with the 20 newbie questions, but they've been a puzzle to me for over a year and I've not been able to find any discussions about them. I also have problems trying to model items I don't quite understand:)
Cheers and looking forward to being an active member of the forum!