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Author Topic: Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.  (Read 362 times)

Edmund

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Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.
« on: July 10, 2018, 09:51:10 PM »


I've built a few paddle steamers, and living in the town of Dundee on the banks of the Tay, one is always being asked the question by the side of the pond, is that a Fifie?  That's one of the old car ferries that used to cross the Tay before 1966 when the road bridge was built.


In fact the two ferries operating at that time were motor ships operating with Voith Sneider units that made them very manoeuvrable.  In reserve was the old steam ferry the B L Nairn, last of a long line of roll on roll off ferries that had existed since the turn of the century.  It dated from 1929, and was pretty manoeuvrable itself having independent paddle wheels


Now I have thought this would be a lovely topic for a build.  A double ended car ferry, one end a vehicle deck the other a passenger saloon, the bridge in the middle and a tall smoke stack doubling as mast in the middle.  A nice wide stable paddle steamer.


I've posted a picture at the bottom of the boat, and a copy of the plans I've drawn up - now the originals are in the Dundee City Archives and I was kindly allowed to examine them and photograph them.  I could have had them scanned, at a price, but actually I like the challenge of drawing up the plans, as as I do it makes me think how the model is going to be constructed.


So 1/48th scale, but with a few changes to make a better model.  Slightly deeper draught, to be more stable, slightly larger paddle wheels, to give a little more power, and a simplified hull shape because the original was little more than a barge with pointy ends.  And no rudders, because all the steering can be done with its independent paddle wheels - I realised this from my Director class paddle tug.


I was told my a fellow modeller last week that the Heng Long tank gearboxes and motors make excellent drives for paddle boats ,and so I quickly and cheaply acquired one from that well known auction site, and it fits very neatly inside the plan.


So here goes, and wish me luck, as I start off on this new venture, a Fifie, or paddle driven steam car ferry.....

JimG

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Re: Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 03:18:54 PM »

Hi Edmund, if you are going to follow club tradition you will have to make it from aluminium sheet. We have had two fifies so far, both built by Findlay from alloy.
Jim
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Edmund

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Re: Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 04:06:26 PM »

Hi Jim,


I think a break from tradition is required!  This Fifie’s going to be a wooden one!

Mackenzie

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Re: Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 01:39:19 AM »

Hi Edmund, good to hear about your next project. I will have look to see if have some pictures from Dad's build. You are aware Dave Ellis donated both to transport museum. Keeping up tradition the both have to sink on maiden voyage. Re Jim
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hama

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Re: Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2018, 08:52:53 AM »

What an interesting subject, and a really good looking boat! That drawing you are making is a piece of art in it self :-))
One question, on the original is it the wheels or the wheelhouse that is positioned in the middle of the vessels length? Can't really tell from the picture.
All the best
Hama
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Edmund

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Re: Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2018, 09:11:15 AM »

Hi Hama,


The half way point of the hull is the break between the salon and the car deck. This puts the wheels well into the salon section and the bridge slightly forward of the centre line. One side of the funnel is on the centre line.


Thanks for the comments on the drawing. I've always enjoyed making plans for ships. Look closely and you'll see scribbled out mistakes. These are working plans!

Edmund

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Re: Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2018, 09:16:00 AM »

Hi Jim McM,


I know the models in the transport museum, even seen one on the water. And you know my boats- I always take a bit of the pond home with me as a souvenir.....

hama

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Re: Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2018, 11:20:10 AM »

Ok that makes sense, its where the mast is then :embarrassed:
Hama
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hammer

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Re: Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2018, 05:50:58 PM »

Edmond, your my kind of modeller. I also like paddlers. I have two Duke of Devonshire & Glen Usk, I am now building Totnes Castle. West country boats. All three have steam plants fitted T.C.s not working yet though. I shall be following your build.
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Edmund

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Re: Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2018, 09:53:53 PM »


Hi Hammer,


What a lovely model you have built there!  I love these early paddle steamers and yours actually steam!  That is way beyond my capabilities!  I built a model of the PS Forfarshire - though the build log I think names it PS Sirius - its a generic early 19th century paddler, which paddles really well with a full rig.  You can search for it here or on YouTube and if I can pull a photo out of it I'll perhaps post it in this build log.


Today I popped into the McManus Gallery in Dundee (local museum) and took a few photos of the half-model of the B L Nairn that they have there.  I came away deciding that I might be simplifying the hull but I would build in a shear to the hull.  It would look so much better.   


So the build has started and when the glue has dried I might be able to post a first few pictures of the hull.  For the moment though a few pictures of the half model - useful because the builder's drawings are not clear as to quite how the boiler housing was shaped and this gives a clear view of the shape and of the front view of the saloon - also not contained on the builder's drawings.


But how it is placed in the cabinet in the museum , behind other models, doesn't make it at all easy to photograph....



Edmund

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Re: Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2018, 11:10:42 PM »


So a little time in the workshop and the strangest hull I have ever made has been put together.  I have simplified it slightly , though actually its not so different to its original drawn lines, and I have made it a scale 18"s deeper than the original.  It allows for slightly more ballast and battery and should make it a little less tender in sailing - paddle steamers have that tendency to list for every and no reason.


Construction is plywood deck and bottom and 1/8" balsa sides.  It makes a strong light hull. 


You'll notice larger timbers around the paddle shafts.  This is half inch marine plywood, to make the hull sides and another block to take the centre bearing of the paddle shaft.  These were drilled for the paddle shaft and then glued in position with a tube lining them up, so no drilling needed later.  Its important that the paddle shaft is well supported.  It takes a lot of forces.  And one picture shows the Heng Long tank motors which I plan to use as the power unit to the independent paddles.

Edmund

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Re: Paddle Steamer B L Nairn, the Fifie, a paddle car ferry.
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 04:51:17 PM »


And a coat of resin, and the supports for the outrigger decks made up of garden wire.


That will be the underside complete - next turn the hull over and start on the exciting stuff - paddle boxes
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