Boats and ships powered by external combustiuon air engines


River Clyde paddle boat Highland Lad
Built Glasgow, 1817 as the Defiance. 58 feet in length by 14 feet in breadth, displacement 51 tons draft 3 foot 3 inches. Powered by a 14hp Steam engine. Renamed the Highland Lad around 1820 and at some time lengthened to 72 feet.
In 1822 a Rotary steam engine to a design invented by Job Rider, of Belfast, was built and installed by Messrs Girdwood and Co of Glasgow. The rotary engine was not a success and was replaced by 20 hp. steam engine. The rotary engine was subsequently used to power machinery in Girdwood's works.
In 1827 Messrs Girdwood and Co installed a 20 hp. regenerative air engine designed and built by James Stirling. The engine was air cooled which proved to be insufficient cooling.
The Highland Lad was broken up in 1828

Stirling engine
The Caloric ship Ericsson
A 260 foot paddle ship powered by a 250 hp four cylinder caloric engine, built New York, 1853. Each cylinder was 168 inches in diameter with a 6 foot stroke. The ship was not a success, and unfortunately for John Ericsson it sank in storm off New York. On being raised the Ericsson was fitted with steam engines. These steam engines were later removed and the ship continued in service as a sailing vessel until 1898 when it was driven ashore in a storm, off the west coast of Canada.
the Caloric ship
The Caloric yacht Harriette
Built New York, 1858. Fitted with 24-inch caloric engine, driving paddle wheels. 40 feet in length and 12 feet beam on deck. Fuel consumption of 1 bushel of coal per day.
Caloric propellor ship Grace Irving
Built by J A Ronalds Esq of Pelham, New York. 80 feet in length and 19 feet beam on deck fitted with double 32 inch caloric engine.
grace irving
The Caloric yacht Julia Allis
Built Skaneateles, New York, 1858, Commisioned by Dr George S. Case of St. Louis, Missouri, built by Charles F Hall boat builder of Skaneateles. 35 feet inlength fitted with 24 inch engine.
Shipped to St. Louis in Novemeber 1859.
Julia Allis
The Caloric yacht Caloric
Built by J A Ronalds Esq of Pelham, New York. Fitted with two cylinder caloric engine of 18 inches each. Boat 50 feet in length. 8 foot paddle whell which worked at thirty turns per minute giving a speed of 8 or 9 knots. Fuel wood or coal, oak wood sawed into 8 inch lengths. After fires extinguised sufficient heat reatined to propel boat at least 2 miles.
duplex engine
The Primero
A 331 ton screw steam boat built by the Continental Iron Works, New York, for Pesant Brothers and Co. Launched 1861, sunk 1862. Originally designed to be fitted with a horizontal engine, designed by John Ericsson, actuated by a mixture of steam and atmospheric air. The engine was not completed due to the start of the civil war.
The Johan de Witt
Built Holland, 1957. Fitted with a 40 hp Phillips 1-365 engine.
The Johan de Witt can be seen in this Philips film production
phillips boat

Stirling powered submarines

Boats built by members of the Stirling engine Society

Bob Sier's two cylinder double acting Stirling engine fitted on his a 1973 built Mirror sailing dingy boat
Norris Bomford's "Long-tail" boat showing propellor drive.
This video shows boat on the River Thames, 2007. Single cylinder beta engine with model aeroplane propellor.
stirling boat
Norris Bomford at the helm of his in his triple beta engined boat, River Thames, 2007. stirling boat
Malcolm Rowney with his single cylinder rhombic drive engine. River Thames, 2007 stirling boat
Julian Wood with his 3 cylinder transferator engine, River Thames, 2007 stirling boat
Harry Diers, Stirling outboard engine, Tasmania, 2006. Some films of his outboard Stirling engines can be found on YouTube stirling boat

Roy Darlington's model boat Sterling Silver
Jim Tangeman's wood fired paddle boat, California, USA. jim boat

Some videos of Some Stirling power boats built in the UK.

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