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Boat building/restoration


I am involved with the restoration and construction of a boat near Geelong - a wooden boat at about 60ft long.

The original boat was a 40ft tug boat called the Hero, however an extra 20ft has been added to extend the boat. Some original timbers from the Hero have been used in the construction of this boat and most of the timber, that is being used, is second hand.

The boat will be driven by a 1911 steam engine and boiler plant. The engine and boiler are a matching pair that came out of the tender for the admiral on the battle cruiser Australia. (A tender is a navy launch that ferries the admiral into shore.) The boiler will initially be fired by wood with the option of later firing it with recycled oil.

The boat, when finished, should carry approximately 60 people on a cruise. Its main area of operation will be around the Geelong area, most likely "Steam Packet Place" and in fact the boat will most likely be called a Steam Packet rather than a Steam Boat, Steam Launch or any other name - however this is yet to be decided. The name of the boat is another thing that is yet to be decided but that is probably taken care of because the owner has a young daughter, less than 18 months old, and the boat will most likely take on her name of Olivia also.

Therefore the name will probably be the Steam Packet Olivia.

It is an interesting project to work on and it also gives me a little bit of pocket money also which is a bonus.

As for the finish time of the boat, well Bill hopes to have it finished by November so that he can take advantage of the "Silly Season" more commonly known as the summer tourist season. The construction is well under way and the boat is starting to take shape inside, so I hope that the aim of November will be fulfilled.

I have taken some photos of the boat, but the film that they are on has not been developed as yet. I will scan some pictures and put them onto this page when I do get them.

For now, though, if you have any questions about the boat or want to know more, then please feel free to e-mail me and ask me about it. I am happy to answer any questions that I can, or pass them on to the owner - Bill.


Over the 1999/2000 summer break I have been working on the boat.
Mainly I have been working on the boiler, expanding tubes. (See Boiler picture).
This involves a fairly lengthy process from cutting out a length of tube to the right length then cleaning the ends cleaning the holes that it is to go into, hammering the tube up into place (that is another story... some people will know why!! hi hi.) then expanding the tube out so that it fits tightly against the tube plate.
This whole process is quite time consuming, and can get quite frustrating sometimes. Due to my build, I was the one that had to crawl through the manhole into the steam/water drum to expand the tubes from there.

There are a total of 444 tubes in the boiler. This means that 888 ends of tubes have to be expanded or rolled out to fit tightly up against the tube plate.
Broken down, there are 44 screen tubes and 400 generator tubes. Screen tubes are the tubes that take most of the radient heat. They are closest to the fire and are therefore a little thicker and larger in size. There is a row of 22 screen tubes on either side of where the fire will be.
The generator tubes are behind this single row of screen tubes. These tubes use the hot combustion gasses to heat the water inside the tubes. These tubes are a little smaller in diameter and there are 25 in each row.


Here are some pictures of the boat...

This is a picture of what the boat is going to look like on the water after it is all finished.

A picture of what the boiler looks like and also some information about it.

Techincal information on the engine with a picture of the engine.

Pictures of what the engine looks like with some additional information. (Second page.)

Here is a series of the actual pictures of the boat.
It has developed well past this point, but these pictures are all that I have at the moment.
The original boat (1)
The original boat (2)
Boat picture 1
Boat picture 2

There are more comming....


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Leighton Judd - [VK3TLJ]