Phantom Boats

This type toy is also called:
pop-pop boat, steam powered water pulse-jet or pop-pop boat, toy speedboat,
pop-pop, steam toy, steam boat, pop pop toy boat

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pop pop boats

These boats were made in 1990 from hand-crafted, low-production form tooling. The finished product represents a considerable upgrade from the style and function of the toy boat "Miss England", made in England  in 1948 for a single year. Fuel is denatured alcohol. About 20 minutes steaming time on one filling is common. Speed is equivalent to a casual walk. The sleek, sturdy aluminum hull is almost 14 inches long.

The engine is a marvel of mystery and simplicity, having no moving parts. It could be described as a solid state steam engine, or a steam powered water pulse-jet. Its operation can best be described as a rapidly pulsating water column inside the copper tube that runs dependably and continuously as long as heat is applied to the coil and the exhaust nozzles remain submerged just below the waters surface. The speed of this pulsation is 5-10 cycles per second.

There are no parts to wear, no solder joints to fail, nothing to get out of order. The engine has an aluminum heat transfer clamp applied mid way that acts as a condenser, tuned for the engine length. The cotton in this clamp is soaked with water prior to launch and  maintains an effective internal engine condensing device by wicking up moisture that forms inside the aluminum hull during operation in a cool pond. One could therefore add that this device serves as a solid state bilge pump, recycling unwanted ballast for a useful and productive purpose...............all without any moving parts.

The very large size and streamlined style of its predecessor became the source of inspiration for this project. The tooling was retired after 36 units were formed. No more will be made. At this time six do remain available. All are
Chinese Red Imron, with a protective overcoat of clear Imron. Three have the "Miss Texas" logo on each side of the hull as in the photo below (thumbnail #4). 

toy boat steam powered putt-putt speedboat Pop-pop boat speedboat
txfront.jpg (thumbnail only 5k +link img=32784 bytes)toy steam boat burgee.jpg (thumbnail only 5k +link img=34081 bytes) phantom5.jpg (thumbnail only 5k +link img=53542 bytes)

Each boat was hand made using special tooling and fixtures to achieve a superior fit and finish. The hand rubbed Honduras Mahogany boxes have finger-joint corners and a slide-open lid with instructions varnished to the underside, shown in photo 2.

A very unique gift for a special person.

Price is $360 plus shipping and insurance (approx $15 ground,   $25 air, in US)

      ~ SOLD OUT ~      

for history and reference click here ==> The Pop-pop pages.

a growing registry for steam cars and boats ==>

toy boats of all description =====> Buzz's Boat Yard

hh01580a.gif (1311 bytes)   <== email Phantom Boats  (John Woodson - jw[at]       

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