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We got there!

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  • We got there!

    I started a thread some time ago about work I'd been doing on my little river tug. Mentioned, I think, at the time that the aim was to have it ready for the Diamond jubilee Pageant on the Thames, Jun 3rd.
    Had a wagon & crane booked for Monday 28th, to go to Watford, which just gave time to go by water to West India Dock in London for the official scrutineering etc.
    It was a completely new engine installation, with Gardner 4LW built up by me from a pile of bits, with brand new hydraulics - variable displacement pump, closed circuit with swash plate motor & about 2.5:1 effective reduction to run the existing propeller. I'd done all the fixed plumbing for the hydraulics, the local travelling hydraulics service guys came in Friday & Saturday to do the flexibles. I ran the engine for the first time on the Saturday evening, just for a little while to prove the hydraulics did work, then had to do all the water cooling system, water pump mountings, heat exchanger, controls etc. Worked all night Sunday apart from 1 1/2 hours in bed from 3:30 to 5 am (I'm too old for that game, but wasn't going to give up easily having got so close!). First proper engine trials were through a 2/3 mile long tunnel, then a 12 mile trip to the loading point. Got loaded onto the wagon about 12 midday, then off down to Watford (4 hours with a wagon) to unload. Spent the next morning doing some inevitable snagging, then down the canal to London with bits & pieces including some basic electrical wiring being done en route.

    Sorry no pics of the work, no time for such frivolities, but here we are passing the Royal Barge (actually a monstrosity IMO):-

    & a pic taken by my sister from the shore:-

    BTW I'm an agnostic when it comes to the Royals, please don't start that one again, but it looked like being a worthwhile adventure. There won't be another chance ;-)

    Got home last night for a rest! The boat is still darn sarf so that we can see a bit of how the other half live, later in the summer when I've had a chance to replenish energy & pay a few bills.


  • #2
    Nice.... What are it's dimensions?
    Precision takes time.


    • #3
      Very nice. Great job and glad you were in time to participate.

      Not my area so I'm pretty ignorant on driveline setup for things like this, but do I understand from your sketch of the work that the prime engine runs a variable displacement pump with a hydraulic motor to turn the propeller? It sounds like a very nice flexible, controllable arrangement.
      "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill


      • #4
        Glad to see you got everything together in time, I saw your earlier post, sounds like a lot of work, congratulations !!!!




        • #5
          Very good captain Pugwash, now get some work done.

          Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


          • #6
            Congrats on all the work getting this project done in time!!

            The previous pics you posted were very interesting!!


            • #7
              Mighty fine job Tim and you get the "been there done that" rights on the Jubilee cruise
              I just need one more tool,just one!


              • #8
                She is a Beauty, Congratulations, what a ton of work. Top Notch!


                • #9
                  Shipshape and bristol fashion Mate... very nice
                  Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 06-09-2012, 09:51 PM.


                  • #10
                    How cool is that?
                    I'll bet there are not many on here that can say they have a working tug.


                    • #11
                      Definitely cool. I didnt know tugs were built so small. How big of a boat/barge can that thing tow?

                      Congrats on the rebuild effort. Any other site we would likely see a restore thread on a fishing or speed boat, but not on HSM.
                      "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."


                      • #12
                        Very nice, thanks for sharing!

                        I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.
                        Oregon Coast


                        • #13
                          Really really nice work Tim.

                          I recall the thread referred to.

                          There must have been some blood sweat and tears and a lot of sleepness nights, money, patience, endurance and very great skill go into it.

                          I am really pleased that your met your objectives and time-lines etc. and that you are satisfied with it.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by .RC.
                            Nice.... What are it's dimensions?
                            35' x 9' x 3'6" draught

                            Originally posted by justanengineer
                            Definitely cool. I didnt know tugs were built so small. How big of a boat/barge can that thing tow?

                            Congrats on the rebuild effort. Any other site we would likely see a restore thread on a fishing or speed boat, but not on HSM.
                            It was built in 1931 for the Thames Conservancy, for among other things towing maintenance boats, dredging hoppers etc on the Upper Thames. Quite small stuff, maybe 50 ton barges at a guess. Original engine was a 54 bhp Gardner, but it was a direct-reversing 3-cyl 2-stroke. There have been two other engines in between, but now it's back to a Gardner of similar horsepower only maybe one-third of the size & weight. The basic engine, based on engine number, is actually late 1930's, not that much younger than the boat but the next generation of diesels and they (L2 & LW Gardners) were a huge advance when the were introduced in the early 1930s and were some of the first diesels to be successfully fitted into motor vehicles. The point of the recent change was to free up some space for some basic accommodation so the boat can be used for more than just occasional nights in the tiny fo'c'stle cabin, the new engine is transversely mounted to maximise space available.
                            The drive system works really well, speed can be controlled both with engine speed and the pump displacement setting, so it can be set so that the prop is just flopping over to give low speed steerage. A huge improvement on the previous arrangement. The engine (Kelvin) and hydraulic gearbox were good, but the prop was a bit big for the engine and in deep water we would be going at about 4mph on tickover - not great for manoeuvring. It was also 90 bhp, which is too much for pottering about on restricted waters, never had any work to do. The one downside, so far, is that it's noisier that I had hoped for. There doesn't seem to be any way of predicting noise levels from hydraulic systems, some are very quiet but others less so. I'll be applying some sound insulation in due course to see whether that helps. Even with the hydraulics whine, it's quieter in the wheelbox with the new system than it was with the old one so maybe I shouldn't complain.

                            Here she is being loaded on to the wagon for the journey south:-

                            Last edited by Timleech; 06-10-2012, 07:22 AM.


                            • #15

                              Well done with your little river tug, Your dedication & hard work has paid off She looks a really nice little craft with fine lines & if i may say so, "eye candy," Proceeding along with her red duster flying

                              Was she originally a coal fired vessel? I somehow or other recall some of your previous posts on this little ship, But not the details, Health to enjoy sailing her

                              Tim your last posting on the details, beat mine by a second or two Thanks again
                              Last edited by oil mac; 06-10-2012, 07:20 AM.