Roger Pellett

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About Roger Pellett

  • Birthday 06/04/1943

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    Duluth, MN
  • Interests
    Naval Architect, Scratch Modeler and maritime history researcher. Current modeling interest- Navy ship's boats.
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  1. I am currently scratch building a 1:32 scale longboat model. My principal reference is the Admiralty draught reproduced on page 90 of May's book that you have on order. It is considerably different- both in hull and rig than the kit model that you will be building. With a kit, you're locked into the hull shape but this is the only draught that I know of that also includes a detailed sail/rigging plan. The rigged longboat model in the NMM was supposedly restored in the 1930's so rigging details for this model are suspect, making the drawing in May's book even more valuable. The Kregstein Brothers' collection includes a model of a longboat. The hull is original but the rigging was added after they received the model using rigging parts that came with it. Excellent illustrations are included in their book "17th-18th Century Ship Models from the Kregstein Collection." Useful information is also included by Brian Lavery in "Arming and Fitting British Men of War" In 1717 William Burgis published a print of New York. You can easily find this on the Internet. In the foreground is a sloop rigged open boat- a longboat or one very similar. The book "The Fore and Aft Rig in America" by E.P. Morris discusses the rig in some detail. This book published in the 1920's and 1930's is long out of print but used copies are available or check google. Finally the NMM includes several longboat drawings in their digital drawing catalog. Roger
  2. This looks like a nice model worth salvaging. Roger
  3. Gerhard, The wide deck overhangs were called "guards" on the rivers and were typical, particularly on side wheel steamers. They provided additional deck space for stowage of cargo and wood fuel as cargo space was not provided below the main deck in these very shallow draft hulls. It is my impression that European practice was to use paddle wheels equipped with mechanical feathering devices so that the paddle buckets entered the water perpendicular to its surface. Western River paddle steamers used paddle wheels with fixed buckets- the larger he diameter of the wheel, the more perpendicular the angle of entrance to the water. Roger
  4. Hi Eric, Were these vessels registered by customs authorities? Vessels, steam and sailing on the Great Lakes of the same era were. If so, where are the records located? These can sometimes include useful information. The photos that I sent you include one showing a collection of steamboat half models at the Ohio River Museum, in Marietta, Ohio. Although they did not have an active research program when I lived there, perhaps they know something about the models that would be useful to you. The existence of these models means that these vessels were not built by eye but that offsets were taken from the models and lofted in a mould loft. Roger
  5. Oops! This time my post was apparently not entirely correct. Thank you Eric for clarifying this. In in a true condensing system, the condensing steam causes a vacuum in the condenser which in turn causes a vacuum in the engine cylinder at the end of its power stroke greatly increasing the energy that could be utilized from the steam. A condenser could be either the shell and tube type where the steam and cooling water did not mix or a contact type where they did mix. Vessels operating in salt water have used the shell and tube type for 150 years or so to avoid getting salt water in the boilers. The direct contact type, used often used on the Great Lakes required careful attention by the engineer to prevent water from backing up into the low pressure engine cylinder. This system also featured a high capacity low pressure "air pump" between the condenser and feed water pump to ensure drainage from the condenser. The system described by Kane appears to be a hybred, mixing the steam and cooling water but not drawing a vacuum as excess steam was vented overboard at atmospheric pressure. If the tank were not so vented, without an air pump, water would not flow by gravity into the doctor and could back up in the engine cylinder. Roger
  6. The paper that amateur referenced is a great resource and answers my question. The drum is a feed water heater. I do have a quibble with Eric's post above. The high pressure system used on Western Rivers steamboats was a once through system. Water was drawn from the river, turned to steam, expanded in the engine, and then exhausted to the atmosphere. Condensing engines were not used on the rivers until much later. If I recall correctly the WP Snyder an example of a late steam towboat and preserved in Marietta, Ohio has a condensing engine. On a vessel like the Arabia, water would be drawn from the river and pumped into the heater by a low pressure "lifting pump," and would pass through one or more pipes within the heater before passing on to the suction of the Doctor. Steam exhausting from the engine cylinder would pass into the heater drum, transferring heat to the river water in the tubes before exhausting either up the smoke stacks or through separate exhaust stacks. Roger
  7. Eric, Do you know what the large drum above the engine is? Can you tell which side of the engine it connects to, the inlet or the outlet? Roger
  8. The boiler photos that Eric posted above are most interesting and help to explain why these Western Rivers steamboats were so dangerous. Before studying these photos I had assumed that river boat boilers were just skinny versions of the fire tube boilers used on railroad locomotives and on the Great Lakes. They are not. These are more primitive "return flue" boilers where the hot combustion gasses pass directly under the boilers and then return back through the two large flues within the boiler shell before exiting up through the stack. Locomotive boilers have separate fire boxes so the fire does not impinge directly on the boiler shell. The furnaces for scotch marine boilers used on the Great Lakes were placed inside the boiler shell and were therefore surrounded by water. Since the furnaces for the steamboat boilers were placed directly below the shell there was a serious risk of overhearing it. A hot spot caused by scaling from raw River water or low boiler water level would cause the wrought iron shell to lose its strength and to rupture. Failure could also be caused by prolonged exposure to elevated temperatures not high enough to cause an instant rupture- a phenomen known as "creep." Loss of life from such failures was so high that in the late 1800's the Federal Government asked the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to write standards to regulate the design and construction of boilers. Over 125 years later the ASME Boiler and Pressure Code is state law in almost every state and continues to be kept up to date by committees of industry experts. Roger
  9. I believe that the pivot for the safety valve is at the edge of rhe cylindrical outlet, and the plunger that acts against steam pressure of course acts through the center of the outlet. Just like the lever system of a wheelbarrow with the pivot (the wheel) at one end, the handle at the other, and the load (steam pressure) in between. The hole in the end of the lever allowed the force holding back the steam pressure to be varied by handing weights like those used on a scale on it. The W.P. Snyder in Marietta, Ohio has the same type of relief valves. Roger
  10. For steamboat fans as well as those modeling the USS Cairo, the "Doctor" is clearly visible just behind (in front in the picture) in the photo above. An interesting project. Roger
  11. Joe and Charlie, Thanks for posting the pictures! It is great for those of us living in the hinterlands to see what others are doing. I particularly enjoyed model of ships "off the beaten path"- the YMS and USS Vesuvius. I also agree that the model of USS Boxer is beautifully done. I assume that the starting point was the plan in Grimwoid's book? Thanks Again Roger
  12. If you know someone who has original archival materials from the Browns relative to the construction of the Lake Erie brigs, that would be a major find. Roger
  13. In purchasing the five volume set of books about the archaeology excavations at Red Bay in Canada, I wound up with a duplicate copy of Volume III. For modelers this is the best of the five volumes as it contains complete information about the galleon that was recovered and documented. It includes a reconstructed lines drawing as well as longitudinal and cross sections, isometric assembly drawings and details of many parts. An envelope on the back cover includes a separate large scale fold out drawing. The book measures approximately 8in x 11 in and is 319 pages long. It includes 100's of photos as well as drawings. The book is brand new, never read, and the galleon is a perfect subject for an accurate model of the period. i am willing to trade this for a similar maritime history book. Send me a PM if interested. Roger
  14. 50 years ago the wood of choice of professional model builders carving models for the University of Michigan's ship model towing tank (now called their Marine Hydrodynamics Lab) was "pattern makers pine." This stuff came in beautiful, long, clear, straight grained lengths. The models towed in the tank were large- 8 or so feet long. Today, the models are styrofoam core fiberglass made by outside contractors. So what is pattern makers pine? One Internet site that I looked at said that Northern White Pine was used for patterns. This is the stuff being recovered from the bottom of Lake Superior near Bayfield WI. Living in Maine and Illinois you should be able to find some at a small mill. The other possibility would be western Sugar Pine. Our local Menards store has been carrying some nice 5/4 lumber that I believe is sugar pine. The preferred way to build a large solid hull is from laminations to minimize chances for warping and cracking. Roger