Post Reply 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
LISTER diesel engine for generator
08-03-2014, 08:40 AM
Post: #1
LISTER diesel engine for generator
Lister is (or was) an English company building small diesel engines that were very reliable and long lived. The company has been out of business for a while but many clones are being made today.

One of my sons has much interest in living "off grid" with the home he is going to build. He does machine work and welding which require quite a lot of power and we have talked about this for some time now.

Back in my Younger days I worked at the boatyard in Stonington as the machinist, welder and fabricator. St Pierre dories (derived from the small fishing boats of St Pierre and Miquelon) were the principle small watercraft of that area for a long time. If you have ever read Farley Mowat's "The boat who wouldn't float" you would have encountered tales of this part of the world. St Pierre dories were heavily promoted as the small boat you could build in your backyard, and many were.

......."Saint Pierre and Miquelon, is a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France, situated in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean near Canada. It is the only remnant of the former colonial empire of New France that remains under French control, with a population of 6,080 at the January 2011 census........The islands are situated at the entrance of Fortune Bay, which extends into the southern coast of Newfoundland, near the Grand Banks. They are 3,819 kilometres (2,373 mi) from Brest, the nearest point in Metropolitan France, but just 25 kilometres off the Burin Peninsula of Newfoundland, Canada".....

St Pierre and Miquelon were VERY popular during the rum running days due to their strategic location. Strong drink, and small boats, have been popular there for many years

A local man built one of these, in plywood on oak frames, but did not have the skills to add the power, shaft, steering and so on. That is how I got into the project. It was back in the early 70's but I still remember it well due to the pecularities of the boat/engine combo.

These boats were derived from the small boat that trawl fishermen used to work from on the Grand Banks. These little boats with long pointed bow, very small stern, flat bottoms and high sides, were among the most seaworthy small craft ever built. In the hands of a skilled seaman these little boats were near impossible to swamp and sink, in any kind of sea conditions that the North Atlantic could produce. The people of St Pierre, and others enlarged them a bit, added small engines to them.......and created a very popular fad.

[Image: pic650a18_zpsb20905fc.jpg]

A St Pierre dory very similar in size and design to the one I worked on at the yard. Many of these were powered by one cylinder hand started diesel engines, of low power but great durability!

For power he had purchased a small one cylinder diesel engine built by Sabb. It was hand started with a crank, simple, reliable and durable, and more than enough power for such a small craft. These engines had no electrical system of any kind and once started would run until they ran out of fuel or were shut down by the operator. The ultimate in reliability.

In research the other night my son discovered the similar Lister diesel engines, built for marine use mainly, but now very common on generators.

[Image: Lister1_zps158a0736.jpg]

This is the two cylinder Lister, set up with electric start and alternator. It can be hand started also. About 12.2 HP.

[Image: listergenerator_zpsef3620f2.jpg]


This is the 6.1 HP hand started Lister diesel engine with 3000 watt generator, as sold by Central Maine Diesel of Hampden, ME. As you can see it is simplicity itself, hand started and very reliable and durable. They are advertised as capable of running 24 hours a day for extended periods. They are simple and cheap to work on. This one uses very low quantities of fuel compared to gas generators.

Central Maine Generator sales

Another video of startup of single cylinder diesel engine/generator

As I said the Lister Co is no longer with us but clones of these engines are being built in several places and are very cheap for the amount of power and durability.

Another plus for the backyard tinkerer/prepper is the fact that diesel fuel can be stored for years, much better than gasoline can. And these engines can run on fryer grease and most any other similar stuff that will burn. A great thing to have in a pinch.

WC
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
08-03-2014, 11:21 AM
Post: #2
RE: LISTER diesel engine for generator
WC, Funny you brought this up. My son bought a skiff so he could get into places he does not want to haul from in the big boat. It is a good size skiff, so I suggested that instead of putting an outboard off the back and then having a Honda hauler setup we install a small diesel such as a Yanmar, Westerbeke etc. It will be a good winter project, after we find a good used one.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
08-03-2014, 05:07 PM
Post: #3
RE: LISTER diesel engine for generator
Thanks for this thread. It's very timely for me. The boss has given the go ahead for a generator in MA. I know little aouot them and have not started my usual exhaustive research yet. From the little I know i think I do Not want a gasoline one. My first thought is to get one that runs on natural gas as that has been very reliable for my heating, hot water and dual fuel stove although I would like it convertible to propane just in case. My next thought is I do not want to buy one made in China. Their electronic stuff is great, but I am leery anything metal from pliers up thru engines. oi had not5 considered diesel, but one that would also run on bio-fuel intrigues me.

In the demo video it seems to be running inside and without a vent.

Also the easyystart part of the video would be more dramtic if it were taken in the middle of a minus 10 degree blizzard with the wind whipping at 60 mph.

ₒₒₒₒ ©(¯õ¿õ¯)® ₒₒₒₒ
Breitbart was here
Veritas vos liberabit
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
08-03-2014, 10:29 PM
Post: #4
RE: LISTER diesel engine for generator
I think that, being diesel, it might be a bit harder to start in winter, but not that bad. I have a 6kw generator with gasoline engine that we use in power outages, common around here on the back roads, and that thing is a bear to start in the winter. I keep it out in my garage and it is not much warmer than outdoors. The single cylinder Lister diesel can handle a 4kw generator which is probably all I need.

I think starting that little diesel would be way easier than starting my present genset.

Keep in mind that the storage of diesel is way easier and better than gasoline. Gasoline will sour in the tank, when not used, and can not be readily stored much more than a year. The Lister diesel will run on about anything that burns. Fryer grease is sometimes used in them. There is plenty of that in my area available for free for the picking up.

The Lister diesel, or it's numerous clones, is deliberately made to be a "simple machine" (read RELIABLE and DEPENDABLE) and with a generator this is important. I have been a builder for a long time and, over the years, have seen quite a few generators installed in new homes. These are often set up so that they can automatically switch to the generator when needed. These on-demand systems, and in fact any generator, need constant regular maintenance and test running to ensure that they will be there when you need them. I have seen that few people think about them........until they are needed......then they won't start as the batteries are flat, or the wire is corroded in a connection someplace.

Thus my number one rule of thumb: Keep it simple!

These little hand started one cylinder diesels are as simple as it gets, that's why I love them and want one!

WC
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
08-04-2014, 09:18 AM
Post: #5
RE: LISTER diesel engine for generator
Back to boats for a moment.

Quote:These little boats with long pointed bow, very small stern, flat bottoms and high sides, were among the most seaworthy small craft ever built. In the hands of a skilled seaman these little boats were near impossible to swamp and sink, in any kind of sea conditions that the North Atlantic could produce.

How much flat bottom does a St Pierre dory have? Doesn't look like much width from the pix.

Why are these thought to be so hard to sink? I get he hard to swamp part as the sides are very high but it looks like a high center of gravity to me especially if they are rowed standing up and would seem to be tippy although I suppose the boat would right itself and it would just be the sailor that fell overboard..

Having scraped, caulked, and painted wooden boats summer after summer for years, I am now a big fan of aluminum boats and one with wide bottoms. Much more stable, lighter and much better than fiberglass for rocky shores.

However I don't think I would like to be out in *** all *** the sea conditions the North Atlantic could produce in either a dory or an aluminum one.

ₒₒₒₒ ©(¯õ¿õ¯)® ₒₒₒₒ
Breitbart was here
Veritas vos liberabit
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
08-04-2014, 11:16 PM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2014 11:23 PM by woodcanoe.)
Post: #6
RE: LISTER diesel engine for generator
This is a rough lines plan for a small dory (about 18 1/2 ft).
[Image: Dory_Plan_lg_zpsf0d0d2f1.jpg]

As you can easily see the bottom is not too wide compared to the width admidships at the top of the rails. Also notice the flared bow and stern and how much the sides flare outwards. The net result of all this "flare" is that as the dory is loaded, and sinks lower into the water, the more stable it becomes. I can tell you from experience that a small dory this size, when stepped into by one person, seems a bit "tiddly" to say the least. But put a good load in it and you have an extremely stable platform to work from.

The old fishing schooners from Gloucester, MA and Nova Scotia carried dozens of dories on deck, nested together in a pile. The seats were removable so that the dories could be piled kind of like plates in a kitchen cupboard. Early in the morning these dories would be launched off the schooner, each to fish in a separate location. Men in the dory would have tubs of trawls that they would set, and return to later. A good day would find the dory loaded with fish nearly to the rails when hoisted back aboard the schooner. They were very seaworthy especially when loaded and have been used extensively in commercial fishing ventures for over a century.
[Image: pursingtwine_zps2e9a2919.jpg]

Here is a picture, taken in Lubec, Me around 1930 showing two men in a dory "pursing the twine" in order to remove herring from the seine netting. Notice that the boat is heavily loaded with men, net and fish yet still has plenty of freeboard and more room for fish.

Another great Farley Mowat story is called "Grey Seas Under" and is the story of Foundation Maritime, an ocean salvage company based in Halifax, NS and it's most famous ocean going tug boat "Foundation Franklin". This tug rescued hundreds of ocean going ships, at sea and aground, for several decades and was a fixture in the north Atlantic for many years. Franklin was crewed mostly by Newfoundlanders (Newfies!). When needing to establish a tow line to a disabled ship, or take crew off, the dory was used, always, often with several men rowing. This happened under whatever sea conditions existed at that time. One Rescued captain, watching a dory with several men in it leaving Franklin to head for his disabled ship could not believe that men would put to sea under those conditions in such a small vessel. Franklin's skipper, Capt Crowley, told him that he would "never see a sea that could throw a "Newfie" out of a dory. Needless to say, over a century or more these little boats achieved a tremendous reputation for seaworthiness, and it is well deserved!

There are stories about 12 yr old boys heading 50 miles out into the open Atlantic in these little boats, some powered by outboard motors in a well, to set trawls and to stay out for several days before returning home, loaded with fish hopefully! Navigation gear consisted of a magnetic compass, period!

The St Pierre dory is a somewhat larger, motorized, version of the smaller boat, and a beautiful thing to look at If I do say so. Here is what can be done with one.
[Image: Patience_zps4bfbfbe4.jpg]

This beauty is 27 1/2 ft long, with beautiful cabin quarters, and powered by an outboard motor in a well, perfect for the two person cruising couple.

Here is an article on another one called "Beatrice" that was built in New Zealand several years back. I love small boats and can spend hourse admiring a creation such as this. Lots of good construction pics so you can see the story of it's building and use.

Construction of Beatrice

I keep on writing about them, and looking at these pictures, and I will have to build one for myself, and give up canoes.

WC
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
08-05-2014, 04:39 AM
Post: #7
RE: LISTER diesel engine for generator
Dories are just about impossible to sink. A friend had one growing up, had an outboard in a well. We hauled lots of traps by hand out of it,very stable you could stand on he rail with no danger of sinking or rolling over. My grandfather fished out of one on the Grand Banks with no worries. One of the reasons for the design is for stacking/nesting them on deck.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
08-05-2014, 08:35 AM
Post: #8
RE: LISTER diesel engine for generator
I guess I kind of understand why they don't tip as much as I thought they would.

I do know I wouldn't want to row one, even with an additional rower. I'm told my grandfather used to row a dory about 4 or 5 miles every day to Cundy's Harbor and back. I could do that easily in my 12 foot aluminum, but not a heavy dory.

It makes me think back to my maiden voyage in an 16' heavy fiberglass O'Day Javelin I bought used (hull # 32). I was a novice (or less) with sailboats and launched it in a landing in a small protected cove without checking if the centerboard would drop. It didn't but before I knew it I was in the channel with white caps and being blown up it by the wind and tide. I am an experienced rower but was making little progress and then the mast demasted at the tabernackle because one of the guy turnbuckles spun loose. Even rowing hard I was not even holding my own. Fortunately a neighbor came by in a motor boat and towed me back. So much for rowing a big heavy boat. Please don't laugh.

ₒₒₒₒ ©(¯õ¿õ¯)® ₒₒₒₒ
Breitbart was here
Veritas vos liberabit
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
08-05-2014, 06:58 PM
Post: #9
RE: LISTER diesel engine for generator
Actually they row quite easily, funny I also had an Oday javelin hull number 50 something, great sailboat.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
08-06-2014, 06:06 PM
Post: #10
RE: LISTER diesel engine for generator
I find it just as funny how the two previous posts teach me how much we disparate, anonymous posters have in common.

My family had a summer house at Higgin's Beach. We were rowers and power squadron. My cousins had a house at Pine Point and they were sailors. I dragged their Javelin into the surf one afternoon and taught myself to right, sail, beach, right, right, sail, right, right, sail, right and beach. They had a Hobie Cat, too but, based largely on reports from Javelin observers, I was encouraged to not take it out alone.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Contact Us | My Site | Return to Top | Return to Content | Lite (Archive) Mode | RSS Syndication