Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
NB 'Wrong 'Uns'

Classic Engine With Hydraulic Drive?

Featured Posts

Hello There,

I have a unusual question for everyone... I'm self fitting out a narrowboat at the moment, well I will be when the hull is finished, I'm putting a classic engine in it, specifically a Russell Newbery DM2 (I know about all the restrictions on classic engines, and the way to get one in a new build so I don't need any information on that). Now, I don't want a 70 footer as I will be a solo boater, and I would like to cruise as many canals on the system as possible. So rather than having a boatmans cabin (please don't have a go at me, I see the space in those as useless), I am going to have my bedroom at the very back of the boat.

 

But as the prop shaft has to go underneath the bedroom I loose headroom. But I have thought of a solution, I'm not sure if its possible though. I want my boat to feel like any other classic engine but with a twist. I want it to have the classic engine controls (speed wheel and handle), so for that I would need a normal gearbox (PRM 260 or something similar), and with that I would need a propshaft unless. from the gearbox I have a hydraulic pump, and then hydraulic pipes go to a hydraulic motor at the back of the keel.

 

If you don't understand what I mean I will make it a bit simpler here:

 

  • Engine goes to gearbox
  • Gearbox goes to hydraulic pump
  • Hydraulic pipes from the pump go to hydraulic motor
  • Hydraulic motor goes out keel to the prop

 

I hope that little extra bit helped, I would love to know whether this is possible to do or not.

Thanks, Niklaus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Easy to do and you don't need a gearbox. You just need to fit a hydraulic pump directly on to the engine and the motor on the tailshaft/propshaft. A spool valve controls the flow and direction. Hydraulic pipes connect the two together It means you can put the engine anywhere and in any orientation. My engine is under the front deck so you can't hear it when you are travelling. You can put traditional controls onto anything but in my opinion single lever is much better. A company called ARS make and supply these systems but you can make your own up with a little knowledge.

Otherwise you can use a drop centre gearbox and the run the shaft at a lower level and then connect it back up to the propshaft with belts/chains and pulleys but with that engine you would need a heavy duty  set up which would be prone to damage and likely to give rise to all sorts of noise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A double bed will normally cover 2/3rds of the width of the boat, so you can still run the shaft underneath it. Depending on how high you want the bed may restrict the storage underneath, but that’s a decision you have to make. Personally I would rather have a traditional shaft setup rather than go hydraulic. You could also put the engine nearer one side and run the shaft at an angle which would maybe give more room under the bed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Mike Tee said:

A double bed will normally cover 2/3rds of the width of the boat, so you can still run the shaft underneath it. Depending on how high you want the bed may restrict the storage underneath, but that’s a decision you have to make. Personally I would rather have a traditional shaft setup rather than go hydraulic. You could also put the engine nearer one side and run the shaft at an angle which would maybe give more room under the bed.

Hey,

I was more interested in having more head room than space under the bed, as I am 6ft tall. Thanks for the advice though. 

Edited by NB 'Wrong 'Uns'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mike Adams said:

Easy to do and you don't need a gearbox. You just need to fit a hydraulic pump directly on to the engine and the motor on the tailshaft/propshaft. A spool valve controls the flow and direction. Hydraulic pipes connect the two together It means you can put the engine anywhere and in any orientation. My engine is under the front deck so you can't hear it when you are travelling. You can put traditional controls onto anything but in my opinion single lever is much better. A company called ARS make and supply these systems but you can make your own up with a little knowledge.

Otherwise you can use a drop centre gearbox and the run the shaft at a lower level and then connect it back up to the propshaft with belts/chains and pulleys but with that engine you would need a heavy duty  set up which would be prone to damage and likely to give rise to all sorts of noise.

Hello Mike,

Would it be possible to hook the traditional gear lever up to the spool valve? This is a very idiotic questions... I don't know much about hydraulics, but if I have a hydraulic pump setup, how I stated earlier, but without the gearbox. Would the speed of the boat still be controlled by the engines speed? That is a very stupid question, but I was unaware as to whether a hydraulic motor needs more rpm to get moving properly. I am sorry about that, but I'm a joiner, so I don't know much about this kind of thing.

 

I dont really like morse controls, as I think that they are too modern. I am also a traditionalist... For items/ideas that are practice/useful/or just cool.

Edited by NB 'Wrong 'Uns'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can connect a gear rod to a morse control and cable. You have to work out the leverage required and hide the morse mechanism. ( in our case this was up an overhead cupboard.) . You have to build in enough throw on the rod.

 As for a speed wheel cable is easy enough. There is a certain engineer in Braunstone who makes lovely devices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, NB 'Wrong 'Uns' said:

Hello Mike,

Would it be possible to hook the traditional gear lever up to the spool valve? This is a very idiotic questions... I don't know much about hydraulics, but if I have a hydraulic pump setup, how I stated earlier, but without the gearbox. Would the speed of the boat still be controlled by the engines speed? That is a very stupid question, but I was unaware as to whether a hydraulic motor needs more rpm to get moving properly. I am sorry about that, but I'm a joiner, so I don't know much about this kind of thing.

 

I dont really like morse controls, as I think that they are too modern. I am also a traditionalist... For items/ideas that are practice/useful/or just cool.

Yes and yes. to save one bell crank the valve can be mounted twisted through 90 degrees so the lever moves in a vertical plane. You will also need a reservoir and oil cooler for the hydraulic oil. You can probably get a spool valve that has a PRV built in but if not you also need a PRV.

 

The capacities of the hydraulic pump and motor gives you the "gear" reduction ratio.

 

ARS will sell you a complete package but if you want to mount the spool valve vertically you will need to discuss this with them. Do not skimp on hydraulic pipe diameter.

Edited by Tony Brooks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The spool valve require just a forward or back motion just like a gearbox. You have have a simple system ,like mine, where there is a fixed relationship( reduction or not) between the motor speed and the propshaft speed so for example you have a 19cc/rev pump and 39cc/rev motor the reduction ratio is 19/39 or about 2.1. The latest systems use a variable displacement pump so that you can in effect vary the reduction ratio. Using this system you can get better control, engine loading etc. Have you used a traditional handwheel/gearchange single handing? So much easier to manage a single lever whie trying to do other things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Mike Adams said:

The spool valve require just a forward or back motion just like a gearbox. You have have a simple system ,like mine, where there is a fixed relationship( reduction or not) between the motor speed and the propshaft speed so for example you have a 19cc/rev pump and 39cc/rev motor the reduction ratio is 19/39 or about 2.1. The latest systems use a variable displacement pump so that you can in effect vary the reduction ratio. Using this system you can get better control, engine loading etc. Have you used a traditional handwheel/gearchange single handing? So much easier to manage a single lever whie trying to do other things.

Yeah, I have, at the moment I have a 70 footer with a RN DM2 in it with the traditional controlls

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, NB 'Wrong 'Uns' said:

Hello There,

I have a unusual question for everyone... I'm self fitting out a narrowboat at the moment, well I will be when the hull is finished, I'm putting a classic engine in it, specifically a Russell Newbery DM2 (I know about all the restrictions on classic engines, and the way to get one in a new build so I don't need any information on that). Now, I don't want a 70 footer as I will be a solo boater, and I would like to cruise as many canals on the system as possible. So rather than having a boatmans cabin (please don't have a go at me, I see the space in those as useless), I am going to have my bedroom at the very back of the boat.

 

But as the prop shaft has to go underneath the bedroom I loose headroom. But I have thought of a solution, I'm not sure if its possible though. I want my boat to feel like any other classic engine but with a twist. I want it to have the classic engine controls (speed wheel and handle), so for that I would need a normal gearbox (PRM 260 or something similar), and with that I would need a propshaft unless. from the gearbox I have a hydraulic pump, and then hydraulic pipes go to a hydraulic motor at the back of the keel.

 

If you don't understand what I mean I will make it a bit simpler here:

 

  • Engine goes to gearbox
  • Gearbox goes to hydraulic pump
  • Hydraulic pipes from the pump go to hydraulic motor
  • Hydraulic motor goes out keel to the prop

 

I hope that little extra bit helped, I would love to know whether this is possible to do or not.

Thanks, Niklaus

 

If you want an alternative way to get a low floor, you could consider something like we have, in a boat with an engine room and fixed double in the back cabin area. 

 

The prop shaft leaves the engine low: just above floor level, and travels under the bed in a casing which is about 10cm high. The floor at the side of the bed is at normal height. At the end of the bed, the floor steps up the 10cm to clear the propshaft underneath, and then going backwards towards the rear  it steps up again. Under this step is a bearing and UJ, and the prop shaft then angles up to a second UJ and thrust bearing that the stern tube. The effect is that the floor is low as one walks down the side of the bed, then steps up naturallly to the rear door and steering step.

 

The tricky bit is arranging the engine so the prop shaft starts low. We have a Lister-Blackstone gearbox and on these the reduction box naturally steps the line of the drive down, so it al works out. I don't know id something simiar is possible with the engine and gearbox you're using.

 

MP.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I’ve no direct experience I get the impression that hydraulic drives can be a bit noisy. It would seem unfortunate if over the chug chug of a trad engine, one could hear the whine of a hydraulic drive. Or is that a non-problem?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Although I’ve no direct experience I get the impression that hydraulic drives can be a bit noisy. It would seem unfortunate if over the chug chug of a trad engine, one could hear the whine of a hydraulic drive. Or is that a non-problem?

They might just think you have a Japanese generator running at the same time to run your microwave and washing machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I applaud your wish to build a 'traditional' style boat with a family engine but you're doing your best to avoid  the KISS principle.

This is particularly inportant where canal boats are concerned because the knowledge base is either thinly spread or non existant. I don't doubt that you can get it done - but could you get it fixed if / when something goes wrong.

Would it offend you if you-

  • kept the rear cabin really, really small as an acknowledgement to the trad principal
  • Have the engine room  perhaps a little bit further aft than is usual

That way everything in front of the engine room forward bulhead is 'modern' (or at least with 6' + headroom) and the rear is trad with all the bells, whistles and control shafts are behoves a 'proper' boat.

 

If you're exceptionally clever you could hide some of the modern  fixtures (heaating, inverters, batteries behind the trad: cabin features as well.

 

You then have confortable living space for when you've finished boating for the day, whilst the real boat - within the traditional style and standards is at the rear.

All that fits well ina 58' 6" length for any where or mebe 60' for going anywhere that you could sensibly want to.

 

Don't dismiss the above out of hand - wsith a bit of firtling around with the idea, you might well come up with a compromise that

works,

is reliable,

is repairable,

mebe resellable

 

and will give you a lot of fun....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

I applaud your wish to build a 'traditional' style boat with a family engine but you're doing your best to avoid  the KISS principle.

This is particularly inportant where canal boats are concerned because the knowledge base is either thinly spread or non existant. I don't doubt that you can get it done - but could you get it fixed if / when something goes wrong.

Would it offend you if you-

  • kept the rear cabin really, really small as an acknowledgement to the trad principal
  • Have the engine room  perhaps a little bit further aft than is usual

That way everything in front of the engine room forward bulhead is 'modern' (or at least with 6' + headroom) and the rear is trad with all the bells, whistles and control shafts are behoves a 'proper' boat.

 

If you're exceptionally clever you could hide some of the modern  fixtures (heaating, inverters, batteries behind the trad: cabin features as well.

 

You then have confortable living space for when you've finished boating for the day, whilst the real boat - within the traditional style and standards is at the rear.

All that fits well ina 58' 6" length for any where or mebe 60' for going anywhere that you could sensibly want to.

 

Don't dismiss the above out of hand - wsith a bit of firtling around with the idea, you might well come up with a compromise that

works,

is reliable,

is repairable,

mebe resellable

 

and will give you a lot of fun....

 

I do agree with this.

Keep it simple,accessible,repairable,and live with the shortcomings that most of us endure.

Having owned three boats now,I don't think that a 100% suitable boat exists for me,there is always something that I don't like,and changing that something has always caused something else I didn't like!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first boat had a DM2. Although a semi-trad, the first thing inside was the engine room. Then through a door to the cabin and the rest of the boat.

 Could be the same with a trad stern.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On thing pops in my head and I do not know the answer. But will the old engine turn enough RPM's to properly power the pump? I know these are different but my experience with hydraulic powered tractors  you have to keep the speed up to have enough hydraulic power for many tasks. Just something you should probably look at. Maybe not be an issue at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that all depends upon what type of pump and motor you choose.I suspect gear pumps and motors will be the least efficient with piston pumps and motors being the most efficient vane type I suspect are between the two.

 

I suspect your tractors have a single pump for all tasks so if a takes requires lots of power there will in effect be a gear reduction between pump and motor/cylinder so the operating will be slow unless you rev up. I the boat's case the reduction is fixed because you are only using the hydraulics for one thing so the pump-motor ratio can be optimised to suit the engine and prop. If you had a large reduction ratio driving an undersized prop you would have to rev the engine to get anywhere but that is a design fault, nota  feature of hydrostatic drives per-say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes sense and while I was a mechanical designer (many years ago) I never dealt with hydraulics past specing out some cylinders. We always left the pumps and details to someone experienced in that area. Glad you chimed in on this. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW I think ARS now use piston pumps and motors. I was in early on hydrostatic marine drives having the first fleet f Broads cruisers with them on the Thames. We started with sine pumps and motors. they were a weird thing with a sine wave rotor and a couple of sliding vanes in the body. They tended to erode the rotor and the swarf then caused failure, often of the drive plate as well. As reliability was more important than efficiency I changed the lot from that to gear pumps and vane motors. That seemed to solve the reliability issue. As long as you keep the oil clean I think piston pumps and motors will be even more efficient and just as reliable.

 

One form of piston pump/motor  uses a variable swash plate (as mentioned above) that would allow the engine to run at a constant speed and the motor at variable speeds but I don't see any advantage in straight marine propulsion use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tony Brooks said:

One form of piston pump/motor  uses a variable swash plate (as mentioned above) that would allow the engine to run at a constant speed and the motor at variable speeds but I don't see any advantage in straight marine propulsion use.

I think most use bent axis piston pumps that are  very efficient but costly and those with a variable swatch plate even more. The advantage of the variable swatch plate ones is you can go very slowly (like a trolling valve) so if you have a large engine, K2 kelvin for example, with a limited speed range you can get better control and loading and you don't have to keep going in and out of gear going past all of those 'slow down to tickover signs'. You can also get faster acceleration if needed to get to the next sign. A bit like those Vaporettos in Venice that have a two speed gearbox for a quick get away. If you get weeded up you can change the ratio as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.