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My T58 Turbine Powered Boat Project

Since this is an ongoing project, I'll continue to add content as I make progress

There are no instructions that describe how to assemble a turbine powered project like this. It's definitely 'uncharted waters'. I've spent (what seems like) countless hours investigating, researching, and experimenting to find out 'what works with what'. I've contacted (seemingly) hundreds of professionals in all areas of expertise in an effort to identify solutions to the various technical problems I've encountered.

Many of my days are often spent locating, and gathering parts for this project. Here's some of the highlights.

Other parts I'm gathering for this turbine powered project

The output of the SDG will be coupled directly to an SCS Crashbox. This will allow me to shift Forward-Neutral-Reverse for low speed maneuvering. While the turbine idles, I can apply the disk brake to stop the rotation of the Power Turbine and SDG shafts. I can then shift, let off the brake and maneuver as required. An additional benefit of the SCS Crashbox is that reverse is geared down 2:1 so prop wash against the transom is reduced when backing down. I can shift to neutral for starts and for the proper 3 minute 'cool down' period required after high-speed runs. I just don't have the 'balls' to live with a direct-drive propulsion system. I must have neutral. Reverse will be nice also.

Designed and produced by Mike Sage the SCS Crashbox (also known as the "Zero Drag Transmission") is rated to handle up to 1500 HP. The output from the Crashbox will be coupled to my Arneson Surface Drive and is specifically designed to have minimal internal gear resistance when running in the forward direction.

We have T-58 & Rolls Royce Gnome gas turbines available to power your project.
We also have starters, manuals, instruments, and gearboxes for T-58 and Gnome gas turbine engines.

I picked up an old oil cooler out of a Harvard AT-6 Aircraft that was powered by a Pratt and Whitney R-1340 radial engine. This monster will be used to cool the lube oil in my SDG. I'll put a fan on one end and fabricate a 'flapper valve' on the discharge side so I can select to 1) direct the warm air up to the cockpit (for creature comfort during cool weather cruising) or 2) vent it overboard (during the summer months). These are the 'before' photos as I received the unit. After I 'hot tank', glass-bead blast, prime, paint and pressure test, it will be good as new. I'll also fabricate brackets and thermostatically control the fan. This will keep my SDG gearbox humming along at the required 180 F.

This 3 gallon Peterson Dry Sump Oil Tank will supply MIL-L-23699 synthetic lube oil to the gearbox. I'll get one more for the turbine lube oil system.

I was able to acquire an armload of AN-16 stainless braided hose to plumb my lube oil system (for both the T58 gas turbine engine and the Speed Decreaser Gear).

offshore race boat seats

The seats in my Cobra were too large for the turbine conversion, so I scored two pairs of Corbeau Leather TRS racing seats to replace them. After I install the turbine (and rework the aft cockpit bulkhead) I'll install my second pair (on each side of the turbine) in place of the bench seat.

I expect to end up with comfortable seating for four, and I may even have enough room for a fifth seat (up front in the center).

turbine offshore race boat seats
stainless steel popup cleats

The deck hardware was in pretty sad shape, so I'm replacing it all. I've located the correct stainless steel pop-up cleats and eye bolts.

I scored a couple sets of aircraft style, alloy fuel fill and vent fittings.

Fuel Fill Vent deck fitting
stainless steel braided aircraft hose fuel fill

I've got plenty of Stainless Steel Braided hose for plumbing.

I use my sand blasting cabinet to perform 'corrosion control' without damaging delicate parts. In this view, you can see I've removed all the corrosion on my Kiekhaefer K-Planes and they are now ready to sand, prime, and paint. I'll add some more pics of the assembled K-planes.

Dry Sump Oil Tank

I scored a matching pair of brand new dry sump oil tanks (one to supply lube oil to my T-58 Gas Turbine and the other for the Speed Decreaser Gearbox).

I'll modify these by adding sight gauges and two AN16 fittings.

Dry sump oil tanks

Currently, a mechanical lever on the fuel control commands the engine to 'run' or 'shutdown'. I prefer to control the engine through a dashboard toggle switch so I'll mount this actuator (and the associated linkage) to electrically control these functions.

I've also begun to fabricate a wiring harness (from scratch) with a single Cannon Plug for the engine. All engine controls and indications will go through this connector (except for the starter leads and EGT wire). Yeah, I know; General Electric calls it "Power Turbine Inlet Temperature". "EGT" is a much more common term used on Naval Aircraft, so I usually call it that.

Thanks to all those folks who have provided tips, technical advice, and information to help me with this project.
Soon I hope to be skimming across the waves at 120 miles an hour with a permanent grim etched on my face!

Please take a look at my "items wanted" list.

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