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Clyde Paddler

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Andy F14/07/2019 23:05:52
52 forum posts
70 photos

I have a new project.

Zapped into action by remembering my old paddle steamer from years ago, I've decided to make another one. A bit more detailed this time and sadly electric powered not steam and very loosely based on this (below, Greyhound based at Blackpool) but with a more Clydeside Scottish feel to it


This is progress so far:



It's a shade under 1 metre long with a beam of 9" (I love mixing measurements. I'm old, it's allowed) and I'm currently really enjoying cladding the hull with 120x 3mm styrene strips (don't ask). It's taking forever....


I was thinking of using a Tamiya 72003 motor/gearbox unit in it. Has anyone got any thoughts on this? If so I'd love to hear them.

More progress reports as and when

Tony Hadley15/07/2019 09:54:23
897 forum posts
536 photos


A very interesting subject, Greyhound was a truly superb paddler and is featured in the book Andrew Gladwell's book Lancashire Coast Pleasure Steamers. Interesting to read about the rivalry between her from the North Pier and her rival, the Queen of the North from the Central Pier.


You probably have seen the clips, but there are a couple good film clips of her on the DVD, Paddle Steamer Memories.


Greyhound finished her life in Turkey as Buyukada sailing on the Bosphorus and was broken up in 1934.


Regarding the power, there is the question of will you be using gearing between the motor driveshaft and paddleshaft and what voltage batteries you plan to use.

Both Bob Abell and I have both a built a Graupner Glasgow at just over 1 metre long. We both used MFA 919D motors, Bob used a 50:1 reduction at 12v whereas I used an 11:1 at 6v. Bob used a chain drive (I am not sure of the ratio) whereas I used 3:1 gearing. The plastic chain system used by Bob, should be much quieter. The builds and information is in the links below.



Wishing you every success with the build and watching with interest.


Edited By Tony Hadley on 15/07/2019 09:55:00

Bob Abell15/07/2019 10:15:35
8928 forum posts
2814 photos

Thank you, Tony for posting my Glasgow build

It turned out to be a nice pretty model, but the performance was pitiful

It was totally under powered

It also needed more body weight for the paddles to fight against, to create a realistic paddle wash

All the best


Tony Hadley15/07/2019 11:08:49
897 forum posts
536 photos


Sorry to hear of the performance issues with your model. Can't say I had any problems with mine. After the electric conversion, the performance was ok with the throttle open about 3/4. Sadly model is no longer with me but selling seemed the right thing to do at the time.

Found this old postcard of Greyhound.

blackpool - greyhound.jpg


John W E15/07/2019 19:51:15
263 forum posts
257 photos

58384380_2201674793259590_3698850844909764608_n.jpgHi there

I built the Forceful tug a while ago and I used MFA como drill toothbelts and pulleys for the drive at roughly 50-1,

Also 2 x Johnson 550 fan cooled motors (the thirsty ones) to drive it. As has been mentioned on 6 volt, it looked the correct scale speed for the tug, but, it had no pulling power whatsoever - therefore in great wisdom I increased the voltage to 12 volts in the model - this time I turned the tug into a 'kenwood chef' food mixer - the paddles looked spectacular thrashing the water about . But, didn't seem to improve the performance all that much - so- I tried putting NiCads in 7.2 and as it turns out 2 x 7.2 4300 Ni-MH batteries is equivalent (or thereabouts) to 6 volt 7 amp batteries of the Gel Cel type. So I loaded the model with 4 Ni-MH batteries to keep the weight right and it improved the performance greatly.001.jpg

Tony Hadley16/07/2019 18:43:10
897 forum posts
536 photos

John, that is a very impressive paddler. I think your perseverance with the installation has given a superb end result.

Going back to the Blackpool paddlers, this BFI clip shows them in 1903. I think the first is the small paddler Belle, Greyhound is the next. The turbine steamer Deerhound is also featured. The clips of Greyhound are the same as appears on the DVD above and it has been re-worked.


John W E17/07/2019 08:15:40
263 forum posts
257 photos

Hi there Tony

That link to the film you have put on is extremely enjoyable with some brilliant shots of paddle steamers. Did you notice one or two things the health and safety in those days was non-existent obviously when you watch the first paddle steamer coming alongside - the gap in the bulwark with no safety chains or anything - and people could have just have walked off the side of the ship - I presume that it was left open during docking hopefully but, further on, I note there were passengers actually standing on the paddle boxes - I don't think that would happen today

I was led to believe a while ago that the only paddle driven ships allowed to have independent paddle drive were tugs - the very first shot of the Greyhound, when you watch her come into dock - note that the port paddle is working and the starboard paddle has stopped. Whether the paddle was going to go into reverse you cant tell in the film, so, I think I will do a bit more research about paddle drives.


Tony Hadley17/07/2019 08:45:14
897 forum posts
536 photos

Hi John,

I also noticed the Greyhound's paddle drive, i.e. one paddle revolving whilst the other is stationery/slowly reversing. I did read somewhere that her rival, the Laird built Queen of the North had independent paddle drive. Just wish I could remember where, will research and let you know. I also was under the impression that the paddle shaft couldn't be split.

Queen on the North, which isn't shown in the film wasn't a good looking vessel and not quite as fast as Greyhound, but she had her positive points and was very popular with the Central Pier customers. Research shows at the time, the passengers from the North Pier who sailed on Greyhound (and others) were from a higher social standing than the passengers on the Queen of the North (Bickerstaff and others) from the Central Pier (Riff Raff). There was a huge social divide at the time. Queen of the North was used a minesweeper in WW1 and was lost. The crews who manned her during the war were surprised by how powerful she was.


Tony Hadley17/07/2019 10:27:09
897 forum posts
536 photos

Hi again John,

I found the relevant item about the paddle shaft in the book Lancashire Coast Pleasure Steamers (above).

As previous post, the vessel in concern is the Queen of the North built in 1985 by Lairds of Birkenhead and the text under one of the photographs reads -

"The Main Shaft of the Queen of the North was divided, and was connected by a sliding coupling. The paddle wheels could therefore be operated independently when required. Queen of the North also had two boilers places side by side and a noticeable feature was the twin steam pipes that are clearly visible in this photograph. The vessel was considered to be 'over engined' and it was difficult to maintain a speed of 19 knots over a long distance. Presumably, her lightness towards the bow cause some 'lifting' when driven hard'.


Andy F17/07/2019 12:39:52
52 forum posts
70 photos

Lots of really interesting info coming out here, cheers chaps. I was considering using a twin motor/gearbox setup so I could have independent wheels. I will look into this further.

There will be no progress on this build until next week because I'm waiting for delivery of some bits/materials and because of this I've decided to avail myself of a bit of Spanish sunshine - a few days at the house in Torrevieja smile d

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