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I first thought of making the SC No Rush for several reasons:
- I wanted a fairly fast boat
- I didn't want to pay a tax by the foot (limited to under 16')
- I wanted a stable boat
Those 3 things only could mean one thing: a steam catameran!
After doing some research, I discovered that there had been a few steam cats built (the shaft was gear driven and submerged in the water). I Looked at the designes and decided I wanted to do something completely different.
For my shop project my grandfather helped me build a 2 stroke outboard steam engine using the lower end of of an old Jonhston outboard (its a 75 or 76 I believe), we got a large brass prop (which we now need to change to an aluminum one) and got it up and running.
After we got the engine it was time to build the boat. We got the plans and the wood (lots of wood) and spent a long time shaping, cutting, setting up and building the hulls. After letting it sit for a while we got back to work on the hulls sanding and glassing them many many times. after we got the hulls as smooth as we could and got the trailer setup, we moved them into the paint booth my dad built in the shop and he sprayed them. The first attempt failed as the paint didn't bond to the surface. The second attempt (after switching paints) was much more successful!
We moved the hulls to the trailer and connected them with the cross members. We moved the hulls to a shelter and started working on them late into the night (and in the process captured many bugs thanks to the epoxy). We spent weeks filling in all the cracks to make them as smooth as possible. We got the plywood cut and fitted. We spent several days attaching the plywood and checking for drips. we then sanded and put fiberglass on the deck, once that was smoothed out and ready for paint we put tape down and put a layer of traction additive down with the first layer of paint (this was a smooth deck after all). We then took the tape up and fished painting the top of the deck and the underside a flat gray to help reduce the glare from the sun.
We attached an undercarriage to the deck to help pull it up onto the trailer (as the trailer was all carpet you couldn't just pull it from the front cross member). We took it down to the lake for a float test (it didn't sink) and attached the boiler and started the piping process.
Once everything was piped up we did a test in the driveway to see if it worked (which it did thankfully). Took care of a few leaks and shut it down for the night.
The maiden voyage went w/o a hitch, except another boat's rudder and gear box decided to chew on one of the pontoons, but everything went well.
Enough about the story of the boat thus far, to the left you will find the links that will take you to the pics of the construction of both the engine and hulls, as well as the stats and other information about the boat as it becomes available.