Jerry Miles Lake was an RC airplane enthusiast long before he got into model steam engines. Around 2018, he decided to buy a Saito T2DR steam engine and related gear. After bench running the engine, Mr. Lake started searching for a boat that it might fit in. He wound up with a Dumas “Carol Moran” XL tugboat kit, which was big enough (50″-length, 13.5″-beam) to accommodate the twin-cylinder steam engine. After years of work, Mr. Lake completed this functional model steam powered tugboat which is radio controlled. 

The boat hull has a planked construction with fiberglass applied to the exterior. The smokestack is held in place by magnets and has a steel tube liner that drops onto the boiler smokestack. The steam engine components are all Saito brand and in full running condition. The boat is setup with a Spektrum AR6200 6CH/DSM2 receiver and four servos operating the rudder, throttle, forward/reverse shifter, and burner shutdown mechanism. The tugboat has about 90 minutes of runtime on the engine, and has been in the water twice. It requires ballast to sit at the waterline. 

Jerry remarked that the original full-size tug likely had a Diesel engine. The model has magnets on the smokestack so that the stack and hatch can be quickly set in place before launch. The steam engine components include: a Saito B2F boiler, burner, pressure gauge, and condenser tank; a Saito T2DR steam engine; steam oil; smoke oil; and accessories to oil. The tugboat has a three-cell Lipo battery and Castle Creations voltage regulator installed. There is also a small fan installed in the bow for extra cooling. A full set of Saito manuals and paperwork was included, along with Mr. Lake’s written instructions for running the whole system.

Exhibit added: April 6, 2023 - Last modified: April 13, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship