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[4]

Building an Aligator

January Project of the Month [3]
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JPigg55

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#91
We're going to have it trucked on a low boy for launch. We'd winch it the traditional way but haven't found a suitable winch yet.
If you ever decide to add a winch or two, might try looking in old automotive scrap yards.
Not sure what it's like in your area, but within 50 miles of me are 4 or 5. I know from looking some have old wreckers, tow trucks, etc that have the old PTO drive winches on them.
Would probably take a bit of work to remove and rebuild them, but may be an option.
Just a thought.
 

brino

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#95
This week we fired the boiler and spun up the paddles.
Ho....ly..............crap!

WOW!

That looks like a furnace on a deathtrap on a boat.
Something that could pull you in and spit you out.
I FREAK'IN LOVE IT!

My hat is off to you and to anyone that built one so many years ago when it was even much harder to do.

Amazing,
Thanks for posting!

When is the launch? I'd like to be there.

-brino
 

f350ca

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#96
Occupational Health and Safety and steam power can't be used in the same sentence Brino. lol
Morris and I were using the bandsaw to cut the curved segments for the paddle covers and commented how long it must have taken to build these with hand tools.
We're getting close to a launch, need to make the covers for the paddle wheels and steering linkage. The rudders are almost complete.

Greg
 

easttex

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#97
I took a two hour cruise out of New Orleans on the steam-powered paddle wheeler Natchez on Monday. As I was standing in the engine room watching the big steam cylinders work, I actually thought of your alligator and wondered how it was coming along.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
 

f350ca

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#99
Can't believe 4 months have passed by. Im afraid to say some of the crew are getting a bit older so progress has slowed.
However. Yesterday with a HUDE SIGH OF RELIEF she made her made voyage.
We enlisted a 50 ton crane to load and unload her. I estimated her weight at 8000 pounds and planed on her drawing 12 inches of water. The crane operator said he had 16,000 pounds hanging. HUM



Miraculously when she hit the water it drew 12 inches. HUM claims the block cable and spreaders were probably 3000 pounds, wonder where the other 5000 went.

I was running chase/rescue boat. The guys said they had 35 psi steam on and she ran about 2-3 mph. No idea why they wouldn't get the fire roaring for speed trails.



She has a slight list to the left, the bull gear is on that side but didn't think it would do that much. Some ballast will correct the problem.

We had to run 6 or 8 miles across the river to her new moorage and daylight was dwindling so we gave her a little tug.



All in all a great day, was glad to see a few smiles on the faces of the crew, myself included.

Greg

(hope these photo's come through, Im NOT using tapatalk)
 

ch2co

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All in all a great day, was glad to see a few smiles on the faces of the crew, myself included


Put a big smile on my face too. Great project!
 

Silverbullet

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Man that's super , what great job. You guys deserve a big thank you from everyone who lives near there. Should have filmed its maiden voyage. Good luck and great job you guys.
 

savarin

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Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.
You cant believe how jealous I am. :cheer::clapping:
 

MozamPete

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I've been following this thread since the beginning - fantastic to see her in the water . A great achievment, well done.
 

brino

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Wonderful! Fantastic!

Congratulations to you and your team.
What a great adventure.
Thanks for sharing it with us here.

-brino
 

tweinke

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That put a smile on my face to see the finished product, cant imagine how it felt to actually be there. I've followed this since the beginning and at times wondered if it would get completed. Nice work!
 

kd4gij

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Nice build. :applause: But living down here in Florida we could of sent you all the Alligators you want. :laughing:
 

JPigg55

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Curious, any special meaning for the name "Alice May" ???
Excellent job guys. Hope to see a video of her plowing through the water soon.
From the video of the engine and paddle wheels running, it appears all the engine control functions are local at the engine (throttle, reversing lever).
Any plans on making linkages for remote control from the wheel house ???
 

f350ca

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The name came from a Robert Service poem, the Cremation of Sam Magee

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May."
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then "Here," said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."

Look up the poem, its a good read.

My camera was sitting on the console of the boat and must have overheated. This is the only video I got.

Greg
 

valleyboy101

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Hi Greg,
Congratulations on a successful maiden voyage and on all the work and imagination that made it possible.
Michael
 

f350ca

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Have some very sad news. Dr William Burwell who I've know most of my life and proud to say was a great friend and confidant passed away yesterday at the age of 89. He was the one who started this crazy project and provided the funding. We'll be laying him to rest in a few days, and today we put his creation to rest for the winter.
KIMG0444.jpg

Greg
 

JPigg55

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My prayers to the family and friends. It's never easy to lose someone.
I'm glad he lived to see his creation steam the water.
God bless.
 

Z2V

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What a great project, RIP Dr.
 

brino

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Greg,

I am very sorry for your loss.
I bet you will always cherish the memories of working with him on this great project.

-brino
 
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