A Couple of "Rustons"

I've recently seen a couple of interesting Ruston engine installations.

A couple of weeks ago I visited the blacksmith, Bob Nightingale who works out of the Tug Store at the tunnel mouth at Stoke Bruerne. As I walked back to the village NB Pyrus was mooring up. Pyrus won the "Best in Show" at the 2009 Crick Boat Show and is still used by William Piper Narrowboats, who fitted her out, as their demonstrator. I took the opportunity to have a short chat to Martin Baker, who runs William Piper and was steering Pyrus, The engine of Pyrus  is a 2YWM Greaves version that was renovated by Phil Lizius of Longboat Engineering. As with Albert she has a PRM 260/160 gearbox.


Greaves (formely Ruston & Hornsby India) 2YWM in NB Pyrus

She looked very smart and the engine installation interesting. The Greaves 2YWM in Pyrus very similar to the Ruston & Hornsby (India) 2YWM in Albert but the most obvious difference is the inlet manifold. Our manifold is labelled as being for the air-cooled version (2YA) although our Ruston and Hornsby parts manual, supplied with the engine, shows it as being correct for a 2YW. Other engines of the same ilk (supplied by Keith Jones) have similar manifolds. Albert's engine also has a slightly different position for the oil filler and Albert has two fuel filters. I notice that  Pyrus has dispensed with the engine-mounted control panel and the high-level hand-start mechanism. That, and the simpler control system, makes it a "cleaner" installation than on Albert.

The other Ruston engine we recently spied was much older. Last weekend we visited the open day at the New & Used Boat Company at Blisworth Marina. Some friends of ours are thinking of getting a bigger boat wanted to size up the market so we tagged along. In the marina was Empress, built by the Mill Wharf Boat Company from Blisworth, a 2011 replica of the famous FMC Boat . She is not quite finished but is fitted with a rather fine Ruston 2VSH and a very interesting Caledonia gearbox.


Ruston 2VSH in NB Empress
The gearbox is labelled as being made by the Ferguson Brothers of Johnstone, Scotland. I can't find any details of the company, or the design, on the web.


Caledonia gearbox with control chain drive (right lower) and engine cooling pump (top right)

The control mechanism for the gearbox is via a chain drive. This is connected to a speedwheel. As a result  both the controls of Empress (that is engine speed and gearbox) are speedwheels. It would take some getting used to after a more conventional speedwheel and push-pull D-handle, and is certainly very different from a modern single-lever system. Interestingly the details supplied by the broker do not mention the gearbox or the age of Ruston.