Many books about Stirling
engines are written from one of two viewpoints.
authors are from the scientific, engineering or mathematical
have equally specialist backgrounds, but in the engineering world.
They are artisans, they have been involved in making
machinery and making things work.
suspect that the musical world is divided into two groups.
that read, write and play using written music.
Others, e.g. Manitas de Plata,
just pick up the instrument and play.
Perhaps the Stirling world has a similar divide.
My attempt in writing this book is to
take a middle
Not start from physics theory – or from workshop practice.
Whilst I have some of experience of both,
I am also a long term river Thames boat user.
So, my viewpoint is centered around matching the Stirling engine to boating needs.
I want a boat, engine powered,
that is easy to maintain and is a pleasure to use.
many boats are lacking in these respects.
That is why I was
attracted to the Stirling engine.
It has a very low
maintenance need and has huge potential for small boats - in calm
In seeking to own and use a
Stirling powered boat,
I have found matters to be rather like Mrs
Beeton’s Cook Book.
Want to make an omelette? First
build a hen house!
There are no commercial makers of
low horsepower Stirling engines.
(Unless you know better –
please tell me.)
So – it becomes necessary to
build an engine.
Fantastically, there is a small group
of Stirling engine makers here in the UK.
And I have
been very fortunate to spend time alongside them helping them to
fit engines into small boats.
My hope is that others
will see the potential of this simple, reliable engine
and engage in creating more and more Stirling powered boats.
I will continue to “wave the flag” for Stirling
powered boating and hope that the following pages will interest
and inspire you.
Please read on.