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Mamod marine engine

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Chris Hoverd07/11/2016 15:01:53
41 forum posts

afternoon all. I am an experienced model boater and have recently began to take interest in steam models. I have been looking at steam engine, boilers and all the bits and bobs that go with them, but have found out it's rather an expensive game. I have however looked at mamods range of marine engines and boilers, and found that for a beginner, seem reasonably well made and in my price range. I'm looking at installing into a steam trawler, coaster (such as north light) or Tug (empire for example)

Does anyone have experience with the twin oscillating unit mamod produce.? And would it provide suitable power?

All advice would be gratefully received


Ray Wood 209/11/2016 09:52:56
2838 forum posts
988 photos

Hi Chris

The Mamod twin looks good and has the great advantage that I think it would self start ? I have experience of the old single cylinder single acting oscillator Mamod made which came with a brass boiler and stern tube and propeller mounted on a tray with a meths burner. this unit in my experience wouldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding.

If you can run to a twin double acting oscillator that would be best, I've built some steam plants with centre flue boilers etc but you need to watch out for certification and testing of the boiler to run in public or at a club. The Mamod units went over to fuel pellets for the fire some years ago,not sure what they use now ?, and if the Mamod boiler runs dry it should cause no problem. I could never be bothered with the boiler testing regimes, if you have a gas fired boat which stalls in the middle of the lake you could have a problem if the engine will not self start.

Hope that helps in some way Regards Ray

Ian Gardner09/11/2016 14:01:16
566 forum posts
1 photos

Hi Chris,

My first steam boat used these USE engines which I found excellent.


I had two joined together in an open launch with a home made centre flu boiler- it was great fun. The engine wasn't self starting but it did mean I had an extra channel for a whistle, which was a lot more fun than a throttle control! I had to flick the prop to start but the engines never stalled.

I have never used the Mamod engines so can't comment but USE engines are cheapish and available and might be worth your consideration.

All the best,


Chris Hoverd09/11/2016 20:46:05
41 forum posts

Thanks both for your informative responses,

Ian, I do like the look of the USE engines, but I would fined the machining side daunting, and difficult without access to a lathe.

Ray, the particular Mamod engine I was looking at is their latest incarnation or the marine engine they used to build years ago. It is self starting. Take a look at these links

I would plan to use a gas fired boiler, with a low water warning system. Also as a member of a model boat club, I have access to a member who can pressure test and issue a boiler certificate

Ian Gardner10/11/2016 19:39:43
566 forum posts
1 photos

Chris ,

It sounds as though you are set on the Mamod engine but the USE does come as a machined kit. They are easy to assemble and multiple engines can be joined with silicone tube. As the engine frame is made of mazak it's difficult to join anything to them, although I remember turning up some copper joiners and using epoxy to fix them- it worked well.

Good luck whatever you choose.


Tony Hadley12/11/2016 21:46:27
914 forum posts
559 photos

Always liked the 1970s PS Prunella (MM1233) for small steam plants. The Meccano steam plant was based on a Mamod ME1 but with a steam dome added.

prunella (1).jpg

prunella (3).jpg

My own small steam plant is a gas fired Wilesco D48 which gives ample power to a Graupner Glasgow paddle tug at just over one metre long.

Bob Pearce08/12/2018 10:01:09
1 forum posts

Hi Tony, I picked up your post about PS Prunella a few weeks ago when I was hunting around for information on steam powered model boats. I have both the Meccano steam plant and the Mamod engine with shaft and propeller, both of which were acquired in the early 70s, and which have lain around waiting for a project ever since. I did build an electric powered PS Cleopatra in my youth (long since gone to Davy Jones) and I had the idea that this might be a suitable subject for the Meccano engine. I was just dusting off my old SS Maria plan for the Mamod, but on seeing your post I've purchased the plans for PS Prunella. However, I've had no luck in finding the Model Boats articles on the boat and the engine. If you have these in your collection, I wonder if you would mind scanning them into this forum so I could pick them up from there.

Thank you very much in anticipation.






Edited By Bob Pearce on 08/12/2018 10:01:47

Ray Wood 208/12/2018 17:53:09
2838 forum posts
988 photos

Hi All,

Do clubs insist on a boiler test certificates for these little boilers, which been used by children for years? I

I did have the Mamod marine unit years ago, but it had very little power to move a boat big enough to support it.

big enough


Tony Hadley08/12/2018 20:03:17
914 forum posts
559 photos


I've sent you a message


Last month in Model Boats magazine, Richard Simpson's 'Boiler Room' discussed boiler testing for larger (over 3bar litre) boilers. Next month, January 2019 his regular magazine feature is covering small boilers under 3bar litre and small gas tanks. The item is good, as it is to the latest orange book rules.

Where a club doesn't have a boiler inspector it would be interesting to know if any of the commercial boiler manufacturers could issue the necessary documentation, whether a large or small boiler.

Ray Wood 208/12/2018 21:27:02
2838 forum posts
988 photos

Thanks Tony,

I am into model engineering and have built several live steamers 5" gauge but I wondered if there was a waiver for such small boilers operating at maybe 15 lbs per square inch and a very small quantities of water as they are commercially available, maybe certification is a little OTT ?

Regards Ray

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