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Vaughan

Old Broads Engines

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You live and learn. The 1200 super that I taked about was not a 105E it was a 123E.Screenshot_20180724-155138.thumb.png.a71689f1e8edd273b60cfc37938294c6.png

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39 minutes ago, LondonRascal said:

Interesting reading this.  I have always wondered about mechanical engineering, but growing up was more into electrical stuff and later computers and so on but it did not stop me always wanting to look at the boats engines.

It was often the case that on the first night moored up I would be down there looking about, inspecting, wondering what did what and the like. Way back then I had a preference, I preferred the BMC over the Perkins they ran smoother and did not seem so 'smelly'. 

What is really rather amazing is while relativity few vehicles exist with these engines now, there are many many boats not just on the Broads who have these engines still going strong, some have been completed restored to as original condition by specialists and will probably outlive the boats they are installed in rather than die.

One thing I have noticed is the sounds of engines have changed so much. Modern hire boats have modern engines, they run smoother and quieter and often also have more complex waterlocks to further reduce the noise coming out the exhaust. Since a great deal of new boats are run with hydraulic motors run off the engine you get a gentle whine as they pass, but every so often an older boat will come alone with an old Perkins or BMC with their distinct note - they may have passed you by any minutes ago but you will still hear the engine note change as they increase revs - that to me represents the sound of the Broads and boating and I while I may be all for modernity, frankly it would not be the same without those old exhaust notes out on the water.

I heard Broadland Wave being given some proper welly whilst manouvering in HWs the other week, real old school exhaust bark, took me right back to my earliest broads memories, very nostalgic..,

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And the Borg Warner gearbox was a war time requirement for a gear box for landing craft they wanted one that could be thrown in reverse from full a head Borg Warner adapted there three speed automatic car gear box to first and reverse gears only expensive but boat hire proof until hydraulic drive came along.John

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4 minutes ago, WherryNice said:

Oh eck! could a nice mod please remove the duplicates please, thanks and sorry:default_unsure:

Done

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I remember much huffing and puffing (and no doubt under-breath swearing) as my uncles grappled with the dash-mounted throttle and floor mounted gear lever on the old Ripplecraft boats! Intricate mooring basin manouevring was nigh on impossible, especially as the old woodies wouldn't "spin" on the water, like modern lightweights. Ahead with throttle meant "AHEAD", not "stay here and spin on the spot".

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The BMC 1800 cc diesel was a marinised Sherpa van engine many of which were built under licence in Turkey. Ours is still running well after nearly 40 years of use in France,  on the Thames and now the Broads. 

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1 hour ago, StillCruising said:

The BMC 1800 cc diesel was a marinised Sherpa van engine many of which were built under licence in Turkey. Ours is still running well after nearly 40 years of use in France,  on the Thames and now the Broads. 

Ah, the Sherpa van...the black Mariah, when we all used to be scared of coppers! 

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All this talk of old engines and boats takes me back. When I was at school in the early 60's a classmate's uncle had an MTB at Newhaven. the story was that he had bought it from someone who had started to convert it into a live aboard but  having 'remodelled' some of the superstructure and interior abandoned the project. My friends uncle and father changed it about again with the intention of using it for fishing trips. They fitted or more likely had fitted two huge diesel  ex lorry engines which I seem to remember were 6 cylinder, I don't know about the drive train. The things that I do remember was the sudden disappearance of Newhaven in a cloud of smoke when the engines were started up and the wonderful exhaust sound that  accompanied it. In fact when the engines had warmed up and stopped smoking it had a fair turn of speed but regrettably the size of the engines was not matched by their reliability, and although you went out on two engines you often came back on one. The creature comforts were primitive to say the least there were a couple of camping type cookers in a gimbal mounted box to heat water for a brew and galvanised iron bucket type Elsen type toilet with a wooden seat which was fixed to the floor with a couple of wing nuts which were undone when it  requiring emptying. This was later replaced with a proper sea toilet, possibly the original which was regarded as great luxury and certainly appreciated by its users. In the days before elf and safety it was a terrific  and eagerly awaited adventure to go out for a days sea fishing on it and bring back a few fish  for mum.  I have often wondered what those engines actually were an indeed what happened to the boat.

A question for Vaughan: Did Freeman make a rear cockpit cruiser with two Cortina engines ?. I ask because in the early seventies I knew someone who having hired for many years bought a brand new boat that as I recall looked like a Freeman 26.

 

 

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We  still run the original Parsons pike in Star Premiere 2.7 litre 4 cyl ford with Parsons hydraulic gearbox, baring a major mishap we will continue to do so. Very large a little noisy but very economical.

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Our first boat was a Dawn craft with moggy 1000 engine 2nd twin perkins 4107 now got a connoisseur with a bmc 2.5 All still running well 

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11 hours ago, StillCruising said:

A question for Vaughan: Did Freeman make a rear cockpit cruiser with two Cortina engines ?. I ask because in the early seventies I knew someone who having hired for many years bought a brand new boat that as I recall looked like a Freeman 26.

Not sure about that one. I have seen much larger aft cockpit Freemans with a solid cockpit housing, about 34ft, and with twin Parsons Pike diesels. Very powerful!

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I have just remembered another one, which must be mentioned! The Thornycroft "Handy Billy".

These were a big, cast iron lump which seemed mostly flywheel, with two cylinders, and used to blow smoke rings out of the dry exhaust.

They were used for motorising wherries and I believe some wherry yachts may still have one. One I remember was fitted in the ex Gorleston lifeboat "Friend Of All Nations" which used to moor in Thorpe.

The engine mountings were part of the cast iron sump and the engine and gearbox were bolted onto it as a unit. So when you took the engine out for repair, you left the sump in the boat, still bolted down and still lined up to the propshaft.

A genuine marine engine!

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Apology if already listed but how about the Coventry Victor a marinsed motorcycle engine. Anyone had one of those in a dayboat?

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 What a brilliant article so much information Always wondered when the good old diesel engine stepped in to the equation, the first boat we hired had a Morris Vedette Engine which I seem to remember was actually a side valve and had just been rebuilt but unfortunately lost compression on one cylinder, after the mechanic had flushed it with red X it was back on four cylinders but I do remember seeing a flat cylinder head plugs on top, and he mentioned It was Similar to that used in the Morris 8 car of the thirties.

As for memories coming from the sound of marine engines, I think the sound that brings back childhood memories to me is that of the good old British Seagull (not the sort that pinches your chips LOL)

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41 minutes ago, eddybear said:

 What a brilliant article so much information Always wondered when the good old diesel engine stepped in to the equation, the first boat we hired had a Morris Vedette Engine which I seem to remember was actually a side valve and had just been rebuilt but unfortunately lost compression on one cylinder, after the mechanic had flushed it with red X it was back on four cylinders but I do remember seeing a flat cylinder head plugs on top, and he mentioned It was Similar to that used in the Morris 8 car of the thirties.

As for memories coming from the sound of marine engines, I think the sound that brings back childhood memories to me is that of the good old British Seagull (not the sort that pinches your chips LOL)

Or what about the Sea-Bee outboard, we had one of those and a Seagull when I was a kid........both VERY unreliable, although that may have been down to age/previous abuse...

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26 minutes ago, WherryNice said:

Or what about the Sea-Bee outboard, we had one of those and a Seagull when I was a kid........both VERY unreliable, although that may have been down to age/previous abuse...

I had a Sea-Bee on a 12' plywood beach boat that I serviced a half dozen lobster pots from off Felixstowe in the late 60s. Great fun getting the b*gg*r to fire having clambered aboard just beyond the wave-line, I think I covered more ground under oars than engine, a J.A.P I seem to remember.

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I have a workshop manual for the Ford 500E 4 cyl diesel if any wants one. John

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Vaughan, I mentioned your name in a normal friendly conversation with a mate of mine - Jason Hatch.  He knows you and states that you were the base manager for Hearts, main guy at Crown in France plus P&H and that you have plenty of experience.  From what I read in here of your postings 'Plenty of experience' is an understatement.

I have utmost respect (And yes probably a little envy if I'm really honest) for the depth of knowledge that our NBN Broads 'Historians' have to share with the rest of us.  Barry B. is one such lovable character that should really write a book before the old duffer forgets it all.  Yourself and Barry as our historians are a real bonus to the NBN. (Yes, of course, there are a few others too)  I have had the pleasure of Barry's company on many occasions and could listen to him for hours, and have done so as I can't seem to get a word in edgeways!

Wouldn't it be great if you two could remiss over a couple of pints in a riverside pub and allow the rest of us to eveasdrop?  My broads memories go back to the early Sixties, even further back on looking at Mum/Dads photo's and notes but it is so much better to hear it spoken direct from the likes of you two.

Just to say a small Thanks really :default_icon_bowdown: and if the pub thing doesn't happen, being selfish  then can we do it one day onboard 'B.A' ?

Griff

 

 

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14 hours ago, eddybear said:

 What a brilliant article so much information Always wondered when the good old diesel engine stepped in to the equation, the first boat we hired had a Morris Vedette Engine which I seem to remember was actually a side valve and had just been rebuilt but unfortunately lost compression on one cylinder, after the mechanic had flushed it with red X it was back on four cylinders but I do remember seeing a flat cylinder head plugs on top, and he mentioned It was Similar to that used in the Morris 8 car of the thirties.

As for memories coming from the sound of marine engines, I think the sound that brings back childhood memories to me is that of the good old British Seagull (not the sort that pinches your chips LOL)

 

13 hours ago, stumpy said:

I had a Sea-Bee on a 12' plywood beach boat that I serviced a half dozen lobster pots from off Felixstowe in the late 60s. Great fun getting the b*gg*r to fire having clambered aboard just beyond the wave-line, I think I covered more ground under oars than engine, a J.A.P I seem to remember.

Having built the Seawych through the "Summer of 76" it is now 1967, Jubilee year and it was an awful summer but we were sailing. Our Seagull engine power can be seen over my left shoulder. I must go against the trend and say my engine bought new from J. G. Meakes at Marlow was unbelievably reliable, always starting first or second pull. These newer engines from mid 70s onward could be re-jetted to take a 25:1 mix instead of the 10:1 and I think it really helped. I always when leaving the boat turned off the fuel and let it run dry. I remember being becalmed as we left Yarmouth I.O.W. and motoring all the way back to Poole. Although I had the bigger tank on my engine as opposed to the little oval one we had to re-fuel at sea twice which was interesting.20180302_170855.thumb.jpg.fd8468d69a548cef1b97ab64d82f2c6d.jpg

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They could do a quiet evening with. The two of them chatting about history and experiences and an audience listening.

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I keep trying to entice Vaughan to Beccles. I reckon he would know half the boats personally so just imagine the memories the rest would trigger.

 

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3 hours ago, Maxwellian said:

They could do a quiet evening with. The two of them chatting about history and experiences and an audience listening.

Could even be recorded for posterity, and saved for future generations

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22 hours ago, JanetAnne said:

I keep trying to entice Vaughan to Beccles. I reckon he would know half the boats personally so just imagine the memories the rest would trigger.

Thanks for that Dave, and I appreciate the way you keep me in the "loop" on the e-mails.

Trouble is, we try not to travel in the high summer, as there is too much Border Agency hassle on the cross channel ferries and the French motorways are death traps during the summer holidays. Much easier in May or October! And we gave up in disgust on the low-cost airlines about 10 years ago.

Maybe we should move back to Norfolk and live in Thorpe. We are thinking about it.

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Our first boat Springsong had an overhead valve  998cc Morris (BMC) I guess a marinised Morris Minor.

It would push her along happily at hull speed, around 10mph at well under a gallon an hour.

Springsong.jpeg

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