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Author Topic: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft  (Read 8307 times)

Edmund

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Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« on: June 22, 2015, 07:23:35 PM »

I found a paddle wheel on a German shop's website last year.  It wasn't too expensive and so I bought it and then I was left trying to decide what to do with it.
The result was an Alaskan sternwheeler the W H Bancroft.  The original was built in 1907 and worked for a fish canning company in Alaska.  Plans are available I beleive in America but I drew up my own from photos of other models and from photos of the original ship  from the University of Washington archives.
Scale is 1:24th giving a model of about a 120cm long and 25cm wide. 
The main reason for choosing this ship was it is only one deck tall. Most sternwheelers are rather tall and have a lot of windage.  In Dundee our pond is rather windy!
So it was a nice simple build.  1:8th plywood deck and bottom and 1:8th balsa for the sides.  A 1:50 geared motor to a 1:1 toothed belt drive powers the paddle.  Purists will complain about that but I wanted a nice reliable drive!
Five rudders controlled by 3 servos control 3 rudders before the wheel and 2 monkey rudders behind the wheel.  It steers rather well in forwards and even better in reverse, even from a standing start.
In addition our pond has rather a lot of waterweed these days, but the W H Bancroft speeds its way through the weed.  If it picks up weed on its mass of rudders, a  quick spin in reverse washes it away and off one goes again.  So lots of fun while the rest of the club is unable to get their boats on the water. 

Photo corrected.  :-)

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 08:57:03 PM »

I had to check your location , due to the  photo being upside down  !
Malcolm  NZ
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Edmund

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2015, 10:14:13 PM »

My apologies, it looks ok on the iPad!
this on a PC - I hope its the right way up this time!

Edmund

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2015, 10:38:58 PM »

A couple more pictures

U-33

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2015, 11:48:19 PM »

Now there's interesting...I'm just in the process of researching an African river sternwheeler  ferry...the one in the pic is a side wheeler, but mine will be a sternwheeler.
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Rich

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2015, 12:07:05 AM »

That's an interesting wee ferry.  Is the model yours?  I'd looked at some of the Denny Bros boats from Dumbarton.  They had built some flat pack sternwheelers that were sent  off to Asia and Africa and erected when they reached their destinations.  I liked the fact that the bolier was exposed rather like the Zulu plans available  from MMI .

U-33

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2015, 12:14:05 AM »

No, not mine...I just happened across the pic whilst searching for information on how to build a set of paddlewheels. I plan to build mine to similar look, but as a sternwheeler. It'll be built on a styrene lighter hull from MMM, with a planked deck (coffee stirrers), and an operating loading ramp...if I can manage it. I'm also planning to fit two long rudders just in front of the paddle wheel, and might even split the paddle wheel into two halves and run each half separately. With the low superstructure it shouldn't be too bad in a breeze...in theory.
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Rich

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Edmund

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2015, 04:52:56 PM »

Rudders before the wheel steer surprisingly well with a flat bottomed boat.  Mine are large, 3 inches long an inch deep and there are three of them.  In reverse she will spin on herself with the wheel turning slowly.  In forwards she will turn in 3 x her own length but at the moment the rudders are connected with meccano.  I am planning to connect it properly and have her steer even sharper. 
The monkey rudders behind the wheel are just for show.  The original boat had them so so does this.  They will steer it from a standing start at slow ahead but at speed have little effect.  They were a real bother to wire up as well with thin piano wire through brass tubes to bring them round to the line of the servo. 
I will add some photos at the weekend of the inside and outside arrangements when I can stick them on the PC and not get them upside down!

U-33

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2015, 05:55:00 PM »

Very interesting, Edmund...many thanks for that. I look forward to seeing the pictures...
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Rich

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Edmund

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2015, 06:22:40 PM »

Here are those photographs of the rudder arrangements.

First is inside - overkill but there are three servos working the five rudders on a splitter so just one channel operates them all.

Second shows the monkey rudders worked by fine wires that are taken through tubes up to the servo.

Third shows the underneath with positions of all the rudders.

I've only ever put one rudder on a boat before - except for a double ended train ferry with a propellor and rudder at each end.  That is very difficult to operate!

Arve

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2015, 08:13:46 PM »

Hello


I am a model boat builder from Norway who have planned to build a model of the W H Bancroft for years (but never started).  Seeing your model got me thinking again;maybe I should make the same model?


I have the plans from Paddlewheels and Props (USA).  My model will be approx the same size as yours (1:24 - 1:32 scale).  An important factor is weight and stability.  What is the weight of your model?  Is it stabel on the water, or is it leaning over when you turn?


The Hull Model Boat Club has a couple of pictures of a model of W H Bancroft on their WEB-site (Boat Galleries, Paddle and Steam, Your Paddle and Steam Boats).  Is this your model?  If not, do you know anything about the model?


Do you have the 2 rudders behind the wheel working?


Thanks for your commenst on this.


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Edmund

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 09:44:46 PM »

Hi, the model of W H Bancroft was built to my own plans, drawn up from photos and drawings found on the web.  I have built it with a flat bottom rather than the rounded bilge of the original, partly as I wanted to build a quick model.  Saying that it is quite heavily built out of 1/8th inch ply (3mm) for frames, bottom, decks and deck houses.  I use an Sealed Lead Acid battery as well, which is in the front compartment forward of the modelled boiler under the bridge house.  I use no other ballast, and the weight for this 1:24th scale model is approximately 5.5kg.


It is a very stable boat, even sailing in windy conditions which stops other boats on the pond. I chose this sternwheeler to model because it is a low and stable boat as opposed to the sort of showboats of the Mississipi for example.  It doesn't lean on turns and in fact with its rudder arrangements it turns very sharply.


There are 5 rudders - I've tried to show this in the photos above.  They are operated by three connected servos.   Two servos operate the forward rudders connected with stiff rods.  The two rear rudders are operated by a single servo with a very fine piano wire through brass tubes.  It was a bit complicated to put together.  Are they necessary?  Probably not- however they do allow steering  from a standing start forwards when docking. The steering in reverse is very sharp - it will turn on itself in reverse.  Forwards it turns in about twice its own length.


I'm in Dundee in Scotland.  The Hull model boat club is not my one!  I'm afraid I know nothing about that model.  It looks a very nicely made model however.


I hope all this is useful- I'm happy to answer any other questions if I can!

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2015, 09:45:10 PM »

Hi


Thanks a lot for your reply.  I will find my plan of W H Bancroft and study it again.  Your comments really increased my interest.  I was particular happy to hear that the model is stable.


I am not a very technical person so I have to work on how to make the wheel, the shafts (can I make them work?) and the rudder arrangement.


I am now on track to build a model of W H Bancroft, thanks to you.




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Edmund

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2016, 06:24:36 PM »

I've been experimenting with a waterproof camera purchased cheaply on that internet auction site and here are some results. 


It makes a nice little bit of film of the W H Bancroft making progress around the Swannie ponds in Dundee, with a little bit of weather to cope with later on in the film.  Also shows how manoevrable the stern wheel can be with those five rudders.  I do hit the side at one point.  Notice the crewman whose knocked off his feet and then gets up again!


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=trqyRKsbjp8.


Enjoy the youtube link!  Though I notice that like old films the paddle wheel appears to run backwards at all times!

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2016, 12:44:47 AM »

Excellent movie.  Excellent model.


Arve
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Edmund

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2016, 08:33:27 AM »

Excellent movie.  Excellent model.


Arve

Glad you liked it!  It was quite a windy day and as you can see the model is little affected by the wind, not tilting and able to be steered perfectly well.

How is your model of the Bancroft progressing?  I hope you have started the build.

How is the

ballastanksian

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2016, 12:11:43 PM »

I envy the residents who can see you sailing every week from their bedroom windows! I would try and rent a house there for that reason alone:O)

She looks great on the water and I commend you for the crew that you signed aboard. They obviously have good sea legs!!!!
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Pond weed is your enemy

Edmund

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2016, 04:57:59 PM »

We have an excellent boating pond in Dundee shared with the swans - hence the Swannie Ponds.  However we have had a terrible weed problem each summer which has stopped everything but my paddlesteamers - though it eventually stopped them as well. 


I must confess I have one of those houses that looks out over the pond...... I check the state of the waves and the weather  before I choose the ship for the day....

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2016, 07:51:26 PM »

Is the pond owned by the council or pivately? If the latter maybe a session or two of weed removal and subsequent dye addition will reduce or remove the problem. I appreciate the Swans eat the weed as well, so maybe you are in a catch22 there.

I am envious, talk about 'location location location!
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Edmund

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2016, 08:33:18 PM »

Council owned, and they have done maintenace.  It's 18 inches deep with a puddle clay bottom.  Two years ago they dredged it and carted away tons of weed.  It came back worse the next year.  The pond was emptied and the weed dried out last year and then it was refilled without any other work.  One can see the weed creeping up again even now.  They put dye in last year as well, but it didn't stop the weed.  It was put in rather late.  They don't like us going and dealing with it ourselves.

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2016, 10:28:03 PM »

Excellent footage there Edmund :-)).......we see what you mean @ the 1:37 minute point...the wheel appears to be providing FWD thrust & she then starts to move astern

She also appears to handle that windy chop very well........Derek
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Edmund

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2016, 10:50:52 PM »

For a shallow draft sternwheeler, she's remarkably steady and manoeuvrable.  Three large rudders ahead of the wheel and two monkey rudders behind makes her very responsive both forwards and astern, though astern only works going at slow speed otherwise the paddle lifts too much water.  My wife likes controlling her as the boat "does as it's told" - unlike me!

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2016, 06:03:49 PM »

Hello


I have just started my build having finally decided on a model in scale 1:32.


I am wondering whether I should deepen the hull, did you do that?
I model in scale 1:32 should give a model with a weight of 6-7 kg.


I am building and keeping my models in the basement.  I have to carry it upstairs to get it to the car to go to the pond.  If it is too heavy or too long, i will not manage it.
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Edmund

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2016, 10:44:59 AM »

Hello


I have just started my build having finally decided on a model in scale 1:32.


I am wondering whether I should deepen the hull, did you do that?
I model in scale 1:32 should give a model with a weight of 6-7 kg.
 

Congratulations on starting the build!  I look forward to progress reports!

I calculate at 1/32 scale the model will be 90cm long and 19cm wide with perhaps a depth of 2.25cm.  If so I also calculate that the total weight of the model will be only 3.2kg not 6-7kg that you are suggesting.  Mine has a sailing weight of approximately 5.5kg.

The trick is to try and build lightly.  The paddle assembly weighs a surprising amount and the way the stern tapers up to the waterline means that the battery has to be under the bridge structure to balance the ship.  There is always a danger with stern wheelers that the stern floats too low in the water, which spoils the way it will then run, as the paddle will then dig into the water.

I didn't deepen my hull, though it is squared off.  The original W. H Bancroft had a moulded hull but I went for a flat bottom and flat sides for a quick and easy build.  It is also very strong because it is basically a deck and a bottom of 4mm ply, made into a box with 4mm balsa as the sides.

It depends on the way you are building, but a slightly deeper hull may be sensible.  However because the Bancroft doesn't have a tall superstructure and is quite wide, if I deepened the hull it wouldn't be for stability but simply to increase the buoyancy  to ensure that the model will operate well with its load of battery and motor and modelling detail.

Don't hesitate to stay in touch as you build - I do look forward to seeing your progress!

Arve

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Re: Sternwheeler. W H Bancroft
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2016, 07:13:54 PM »




Thanks for coming back to me on this one.


According to my calculactions a model in scale 1:32 will be 106 cm long (126 cm long including wheels) and 25 cm wide.  This is based on the original: length 111 feet = 33,80 meter, wide 26 feet = 7,92 meter.  Please correct me if I am wrong here.


On my drawing it says that the depth is 5 feet 6 inches, calculated to 1,676 meter, in scale 1:32 that is 5,2 cm.  Here something must be wrong.  I am from Norway, English is not my language, but is "depth" measured from the waterline to the bottom of the boat, or is that "draft"?  Your figure for "depth" means my calculations for weight is wrong, looking at the drawing I assume you are correct.  The original had a depth/draft of 80 cm from waterline to the bottomn ?


Thanks a lot for bringing this to my attention.  More calculations and thinking must be done before I continue building.

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