Builder's Notes


 

 

To the best of my knowledge there is no other engine on the market anything like the Elliot Bay Triple.

If you want an engine that looks like it was built in 1900 and you want a triple there is no choice. There are other triples around but they don't look like a "real" ship's engine.

Pat Spurlock of Elliot Bay Steam Launch Co. has done a amazing job in producing castings for an engine that can be built and run. There are three engines running that I know of and I have seen and experienced one of them. Those engines are an amazing credit to the engineers that have built them.

The engine is sold on the basis that it is not ready for production. What this means is that if you take all the castings and machine them to the drawings supplied it will not all go together, let alone run. Some of the builders have tried this approach.

I was aware of this when I bought the engine and was prepared that building it was going to be a bit more involved than assembling a Stuart steam model.

What it means in practice is that you have to think forward several steps and just check that what you are making will fit the next bit and the bit you have already made. That's not a bad idea anyway.

Pat has gone to considerable lengths to get the engine to the production ready state and is currently re-drawing many of the original drawings. He has gone out of his way to make modifications to a number of castings and to investigate and take steps to correct many of the problems that some of the builders have had.

The problems in manufacture might be seen as a criticism of the design but in hindsight the problem solving necessary to overcome them has proven to be one of the more rewarding aspects of the entire project.

One of the builders commented to me that he was interested in designing and building an engine and that is close to the truth.

The bottom line is that it can be done and one of the purposes of this site is to encourage people to do it too.

When the engine turned over on the bench for the first time in April 2002 at 300rpm driven by an electric motor all of the problems seemed worthwhile.

Would I recommend the engine as a project?

Absolutely, BUT take note of these comments.

 

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