GLOW ENGINES  in model boats 

Your Glow engine

Carburettors Glow plugs
Engine Mounts Shafts & props Silencers
Tuned pipes Fuel & Supply Starting Up
Maiden Voyage Tweaking Maintenance

On the other page,
BOAT ELECTRICS AND A LITTLE BIT MORE!     we discussed electric power ,  now lets go  in  search of higher speeds and longer run times. The answer is to turn to IC  engines.  Here I want to cover how   Internal Combustion ( IC )  engines  are used in speed and sports boats and more importantly,  how to get them  started. (There are a couple of good books and sites about how glow engines work so we  won't  go over that,  lets take it for granted that the one in your  boat  will work.)

    Get  a lot of advice before investing in an engine as they are not  cheap  and some are better than others. The quality of engines varies from maker  to  maker and even between engines from the same  manufacture.  Everybody  will  have  their own personal favourite engine,  especially  model  shop  keepers, so make sure you know what your requirements  are before buying. Second  hand engines can be a real bargain or a costly mistake. If you don't know  what  you are looking out for,  don't buy second hand,  take someone with  you that's experienced in these things.  Whatever engine you do buy, make  sure spares are easily available in case the worst happens..... and it will.

There  are generally five types of IC  engine available....
1.  Glow engines  (or  two  strokes)
2.  Four strokes
3.  Diesels
4.  Rotary
5.  Spark ignition, 

.. but   GLOW engines  are  by far the most popular. 

   Glow engines come in a  range  of  sizes from 0.5 to 20cc+.  The most popular sizes being 3.5, 6.5, 10,  11 &  15cc.  Some of the real powerful race engines can develop 5bhp and/or rev  over  30,000  r.p.m.,  but even the power of a small IC engine should  be  respected, so Always take proper safety precautions with IC engines to avoid  lost fingers.  

  There are practical limitations to what size engine you can  put  in your boat i.e.  a 3.5cc engine won't push a 6 foot boat very fast  whereas  a  15cc engine in a 2 foot boat will probably leave the  planet!  All  kits  or hulls give a range of recommended engine sizes,  usually  I  would lean towards the largest size as the smaller ones tend to leave me  with an under powered boat.

Well  all of this is just my opinion,  but what do I know ! 


    Glow  fuel  burns  with an almost invisible flame so  no  smoking   while   fuelling  up  your  boat.  Remember that  IC engines get  hot,   when  you  forget,  an  angry exhaust pipe will quickly remind you.   Marine and air   propeller  are very sharp and can take a finger off without even  slowing  down  or  at  least can give you a permanent scar.  Have a first-aid  kit  handy  at all times,  at home and by the lake,  just in  case you have  a  really  bad day.  Be careful of the water to because if it's polluted and  gets  into  the body,  say through a cut,  the consequences can  be  very  serious. Have fun but take care.

    And that's all there is to it. Look after your motive power and they will  last a long time. I have tried to cover all the basics so a lot of it may  be seem brief but there is more details in the review of my various boats.  If  I've  missed something glaringly obvious out,  then email me and I will ask somebody else that knows what they are talking about!


Further reading on model IC engines...


Well  all of this is just my opinion,  but what do I know ! 


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