- Nov 2, 2004I have been building rather a large number of boats
recently in my "cerebral boatyard". Most of these are
designed and built only "cerebrally", but some get put
down on paper and get fleshed out and detailed.
While i was at work yesterday, I saw something that
inspired yet another deswign. I work at a nuclear
power plant, and we had a contractor in to harvest
weeds from the intake channel (which supplies large
volumes of cooling water to the condensers).
This rig was about 25' long, and was essentially a
steel scow with a chute at the front to scoop and cut
weeds, and a conveyor belt to move them to a storage
bin in the stern. Pretty tame stuff....except for one
As I watched this rig work, I noticed that it was a
diesel powered side-wheeler! It has a Detroit Deisel
four cylinder engine (either a 4-53 or 4-71) coupled
via a gearbox (Allison automatic) to a modified rear
axle. This whole rig could be lifted from an old
school bus intact! My mind pictured a shantyboat form,
like Shanteuse or Harmonica, with open fretted side
paddle wheel boxes, her hull all in white with red or
dark green trim, a wire-stayed black smokestack made
from stovepipe, with a crown cap and "foghorn"
whistle. A small cabin aft, and canvas surrey top
forward,similar to Paul Esterle's "Winton M. Green",
draped in "icicle' Christmas lights (powered by the
battery mounted inverter), she would be a dream slowly
chugging up the lake at sunset, while the crew and
passengers sat on lawn chairs, watching the steaks
cook on the small hibachi, glasses of cold something
in hand (can you TASTE it Bruce?)
Perhaps instead of the school bus power unit, I could
revamp the old VW rabbit deisel from the houseboat
days..hmmmmm, it has a transverse mount with two
halfshafts.......differential braking could provide
steering.....oh god, here we go! I can see the wife
shivering already! Yet another crazy project!
Offered for your comments and ideas...........
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