Saturday, 23 May 2015

Horse-Powered Ferryboat

Paddle boats powered by animals  have been around for a long time..the ancient Romans had them, powered by Oxen and they were highly popular in 19th century America. Apparently, at least eight different horseboat ferry routes operated from docks in southern Manhattan in the years between 1814 and 1819. One in New York, was powered by eight horses and could carry more than 200 passengers across the East River in 8 to 18 minutes.. as fast as a steam paddle boat.

The earlier ones had circular walkways in the middle of the deck for the horses which took up a lot of deck space or, to avoid this boxes were built on the sides, catamaran style,  to house the horses.

My Version is based on an innovation by Barnabas Langdon in 1819 -- the treadwheel-propelled horseboat whereby the drive wheel is placed horizontally under the deck and is similar to the design of a  "horse boat" wreck, the "superior horse boat EAGLE",  which was discovered in 1983/4 in Burlington Bay, Vermont.
I haven´t worked out how the nags can be Held in place (what type of harnesses etc I can use) but seeing as horses are treated well in Bodstonia they do their Job happily so no restraints are needed.  
An old Piece of Jewellery chain.
The Basic structure - pre-painting.
Foam core with Card cladding scored to represent planking. The Roof Frame is made from toothpicks and the Roof canvas (on the painted version) some old material

An artists Impression of the Wreck found in Burlington Bay, Vermont. It´s assumed to be the wreck of the "superior horse boat EAGLE" which apparently slipped it´s moorings and sank in the winter of 1841.
drawing from shipwreck world .com
Obviously this will end up crossing the waterways of Bodstonia and can be seen with Crew and passengers in situ HERE ( along with my solution to steering)