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Turbine Engines


My story begins with inspiration from a magazine article

Turboshaft

Gas Turbine

It all started quite a few years ago when I happened to come across an interesting article in a boating magazine about Howard Arneson's turbine powered Sanger Alley Cat. The same boat shown here.

Turboshaft engine
Aircraft Turbine

The reporter took a ride around San Francisco Bay with Howard, then published an article describing the experience.

turbine powered boat
Aircraft Powered

According to the article, this phenomenal machine "rode like a rocket on rails through a 3 foot chop at speeds in excess of 100 mph". I never forgot that phrase.

Howard Arneson

This boat performed like no other I'd ever seen or even read about. I was hooked. I had to have my own Turbine Powered Boat.

sanger alley cat
Pratt and Whitney turboshaft

That's when my 'dream' began and I started my research. There were so many questions to be answered; What turbine engine works with what gearbox, and performs well in what hull? What turbines are even available to the public? Are they affordable? Lots of research to be done. My research still goes on today.

gas turbine engine
PT-6 turbine engine

The Arneson Surface Drive is one of the few drives that will handle the power of a gas turbine engine.

PT6 turbo-shaft

Controls and thoughtfully arranged aircraft instruments are all within easy reach of the driver.

fiberglass racing boat
PT6 turboshaft

The Pratt and Whitney PT-6 turbine is well designed in a neat, compact package and is easily adapted to power a boat.

Here's a movie of a high-speed run in this boat.

PT6 turbine engine

As soon as I read that article, I knew I had to have my own turbine powered boat. This 'dream' helped keep me going all through those years of hard work and long hours of Duty while I served my country. Here's an excellent introduction to turbine engines presented by General Electric

Here's a video of an offshore race boat screaming along at 202 mph! (turn up your speakers)

In the meantime, I worked my way 'up through the ranks' in the United States Navy, earning many promotions and personal awards along the way. Through my work I became familiar with all aircraft systems (fuel, electrical, instrument, pneumatic, powerplant, hydraulic, etc.) and many specific varieties of Gas Turbines. After completing 20 years of service, I went back to school and graduated with an Associates Degree in Multimedia Interactive Technologies (Web Design). Then (after a few years in the trade), I earned the 'ultimate promotion' and was able to 'quit the rat race'. I retired. Yes, I quit working. For good. Now I have my days to myself. Plenty of time to devote to my family and my personal projects. Just in time while I'm still young enough to do the things l enjoy (and my health is still pretty good).

My formal training as a 'Web Guy' has made it possible for me design and maintain this web site. Since I regularly register my site with the major search engines and use many of my 'tricks of the trade' to get high rankings on Google, MSN, Yahoo, Mama, Dogpile, etc., my site gets lots of traffic.

Gas Turbine powered projects from all corners of the globe

Besides allowing me to 'tell my story', I get contacted by many visitors from all corners of 'cyberspace' who share with me the details of their own turbine powered projects. That's how I was contacted by the current owner of Howard's 29 Sanger Alley Cat (show above).

So now that I've entered my 'retired years', I consider myself blessed to be able to put my Aviation Maintenance experience and boat building skills to good use. When I was on Active Duty, I used my 'helium hand' to volunteer for various additional duties; that's what helped me promote. Now I'm able to use those same skills for my own benefit. This web site presents the story of my adventure. After 'wrenching' on more Navy jets than I care to remember, I still enjoy wrenching on the big turbines. That's why I still work on the General Electric T58 and Rolls Royce Gnome gas turbine engines. I guess I have JP-5 in my blood.

Turboshaft

I've always enjoyed being around the water

20 mod hydro

Raised on the water (Grandpa owned a marina and my Dad was a Commercial Fisherman) I've always loved fast boats. I still have a few trophies from years ago when I raced the "20 Mod" hydro class (on the left).

'F class' cabover hydroplane

I had a lot of fun chasing ducks in my "3/4 cabover F class Hydro" (center photo). It seems like yesterday when I raced "two-man runabout" and won second place in a borrowed boat (on the right).

2 man runabout class

I realize it's not the usual 'career move' to jump from little Hydros to the big Offshore Racers, but I've had lots of boats since then and I learn pretty fast. Since I enjoy working with my hands, this project will allow me to put my boat building skills and aviation maintenance experience to practical use. And, as an added bonus (this is very important), this project will help me "stay out of my wife's hair" (as she puts it).

The details of my latest project are described on www.TurbineFun.com I'm converting my boat to turbine power. No, I'm not crazy (although I've been called that on several occasions), nor is my idea original. I'm just copying a design that has already been proven to be both fast and stable by the legendary Howard Arneson among several others. Just one of Howard's many turbine powered boats, his T58 powered 32' Skater is very stable and easily reaches speeds in excess of 120 MPH.

With several thousand operating hours between overhauls, powering a boat with a turbine makes complete sense. Since there are several commercially available turbines that weigh about one third that of a blown big-block V-8 motor, producing similar horsepower (and are so much more reliable) a gas turbine is the obvious choice.

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.


Sanger race boat

More about the boat that started it all

I was recently contacted by a boat customizer who reworked one of Howard Arneson's original turbine creations (shown below). Amazingly, this is the exact boat I read that magazine article about (so many years ago) that got me going on my current turbine powered boat project.

kevlar racing boat

Howard Arneson successfully ran a Pratt and Whitney PT-6 turbine engine in a 29 foot Sanger 'Alley Cat' with an Arneson ASD6 surface drive. These are some 'before' photos I was recently given of Howard's original boat.

Sanger tunnel hull
kevlar race boat

Look closely and you'll realize this is the same boat after a complete 'cosmetic makeover' done by John Triplett of Nothing But Customs.

The Sanger 29ft Alley Cat was only produced for a short time in 1984 and again in 1987, featured a beam of 8' 6" and weighed 2500 lbs.

fiberglass power boat
fiberglass power boat

With a new interior and slick graphics, you'd never know you're looking at a hull that was designed well over 20 years ago.

Produced by Pratt and Whitney of Canada, the PT6 outputs 850 HP and is the most popular turboshaft engine of all time. It features an unusual design that takes air into the rear of the engine, with the power section located on the front.

kevlar racing boat
Tunnel race boat

This boat will still outperform almost any boat on the water today.

Very stable at speed, this is a winning combination of great looks and phenomenal performance.

kevlar race boat

Howard Arneson built four of these 29 foot Sanger Alley Cats with turbine power.
Three are shown here, the location of the fourth is currently unknown.

If you've seen one of Howard's turbine powered Sanger Alley Cats recently, please contact me and let me know the details.


Sanger race boat

Howard Arneson's original 29 Sanger Alley Cat

Aircraft Powered

I was recently contacted by the owner of another of Howard's original Sanger Alley Cats.

Howard Arneson

This boat was located in Georgia and recently changed ownership.

sanger alley cat
Pratt and Whitney turboshaft

With a slightly different look than the others, this boat also boasts phenomenal turbine powered performance.

gas turbine engine
PT-6 turbine engine

The PT-6 gas turbine makes this boat fast, stable, as well as reliable.

PT6 turbo-shaft

Another example of Howard's outstanding work.

fiberglass racing boat
PT6 turboshaft

The 'flame thrower' adds a touch of showmanship.

PT6 turbine engine

Now I think you can see why I want to assemble my own Turbine Powered Boat.

My turbine powered boat is now complete.

I hope you enjoy my web site and the story of my Turbine Powered Boat Project.
Feel free to contact me with your questions or concerns.


Sanger race boat

Here's a T58 powered 29 Sanger Alley Cat

Pratt and Whitney turboshaft

Powered by a T58-GE-16 turbine this beauty was originally built with a Chevy V-8.

gas turbine engine
Pratt and Whitney turboshaft

Fitting the gas turbine into the engine bay took a little engineering, but was well worth the effort.

gas turbine engine
Pratt and Whitney turboshaft

Fred designed his own Speed Decreaser Gearbox on the transom. Gobs of power and great looks make this a winning combination.

gas turbine engine

turbine powered boat

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

My Dream   T58-GE-3   4 Sale   T58-GE-8F   Projects   Gathering   Composite   SDG   Boathouse   History   Gnome   Cobra 30   ASD8   Wanted   Trailer


gas turbine engine


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