Bills Steamboats – The S.L Mobi

The S.L. Mobi

The S.L Mobi is a Selway Fisher design, with the boat, boiler and engine all made in Bills shed in Tuncurry. When the new boat is finally steaming, S.L Mobi is being donated to the local museum in Tuncurry (Great Lakes Museum).

Built in 1997 from plans of an Irish Lakes steam driven workboat circa 1890.

Hull – Indonesian Kauri, solid planks, clinker design, copper roved to Spotted Gum ribs. OAL 17.’

Engine – 1.5 HP, double acting piston valve with single reversing eccentric. Hull speed 3.5 knots.

Boiler – Copper 3 drum water tube – working pressure of 95 psi.

Propeller – Home cast aluminum 5 blade – 12” diameter 20” pitch.

Local Tuncurry (Wallis Lake) boat.

The New Project

I have been really impressed with the Bote-Cote epoxy in building the strip planked Selway Fisher Felix 13. It  made life so easy  especially creating laminations e.g, Stem gripe, ribs, tiller extension, knees,hog and keel. Easy clean up. Plenty of time to work on the hull glassing - just mix up another batch and add to previous leftover and carry on.

My first steamboat (S.L.Mobi) was a clinker and the planks were secured by copper roves. No epoxy was used on that hull. The strip planking secured with Bote-Cote epoxy on the new hull makes for quite a strong hull. It probably doesn't need the ribs or any bulkheads. Once the glass covers the hull it becomes quite a strong hull.

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