Royal Falcon Restoration – 2021 Update

ROYAL FALCON – RESTORATION – 2021 UPDATE

It is almost a year since I popped into the Panmure boat shed to check on the progress of the restoration of Steve and Colette Popie’s 38’ bridge-decker – Royal Falcon.So last week I accepted the invitation to view the 1934 Cox & Filmer built launch and woodys its a thing of beauty – check out the finish on the hull 🙂

Launch day is a few weeks away, then the final touches will be done on her berth. The attention to detail is 10/10 but in Steve’s words “its the best of both worlds – classic and modern systems, in terms of safety and ensuring she lasts another 80+ years.
Links to previous WW stories below

https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/06/06/royal-falcon-restoration-update-june-2020/

https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/04/05/royal-falcon-restoration/

For the petrol (diesel heads) below is a short clip of the Commer TS3 being fired up for the first time post re-build. Owner Steve commented that the puff of smoke is the residual lube oil from the new cylinder sleeve installation 🙂

Details on the Royal Falcon – Rootes TS3 engine below ex Mark Erskine:

Some basic engine info and specs are as follows:

  • The engine is a Rootes TS3 2-stroke diesel, model 3DB-215 as used in Commer Trucks from 1967 to 1972-ish.
  • Designed and manufactured by Rootes Diesel Engineering Division of Rootes Group, UK.
  • Commonly referred to as “Commer TS3” through their connection to Commer trucks. 
  • Three cylinder, opposed piston (2 X opposing pistons per cylinder), scavenge blown 2-stroke, twin rocker beam, diesel engine (see video of operating cycle https://www.commer.co.nz/other-stuff/videos)
  • 215 cu in / 3.562 litre.
  • Known around the world for their legendary reliability and extreme engine life, high power density and fuel efficiency.
  • This engine was extensively reconditioned and restored to new condition / factory specifications by Rootes Engine Services, Auckland (www.commer.co.nz)
  • This engine produces from 65 HP @ 1,000 rpm, to 140HP @ 2,400 rpm.
  • Maximum torque is 340 ft lbs at 1,250 rpm.
  • Most economical running between 1,200 to 1,800 rpm. 
  • Rootes heat exchanger for engine oil cooling.
  • Water cooled exhaust manifold for marine use.
  • Lees type heat exchanger for engine coolant.
  • Savage heat exchanger for gearbox oil cooling. 
  • Diesel fuel consumption (liters per hour) in “Royal Falcon” to be advised, but will be extremely low.
  • Maximum speed with current prop to be advised.
  • Designed as an “under-floor” engine for Commer trucks, these engines have a very low engine height above the crankshaft center line, allowing for a flat cabin floor with no engine box intrusion in the cabin. 
  • Gearbox is a Borg-Warner Velvet Drive 26 spline 72C model (1.91:1 ratio).

Fiesta – A Peek Down Below

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FIESTA – A PEEK DOWN BELOW
At the weekends Woody Clevedon cruise I got the chance to have a look aboard Gordon Love’s launch – Fiesta. I first spotted the woody back in late December 2015, anchored in Rocky Bay, Waiheke.
Gordon has owned the launch for 15+ years and Fiesta is a Panmure river rat 🙂
Fiesta was built by Phillip Lange at Hoppers Landing, Wade River in 1964. Build is strip planked 1”x2” kauri, with mahogany coamings. Specs are 32’ x 10’6” x 3’4″.
When launched she had a 6 cyl. Ford Trader diesel engine, this was updated with a 120hp Ford D series in 1986. She is still very much in ‘as launched’ configuration and is a very room launch.
I cruised alongside her on the way back from Clevedon on Sunday and she looked to be a good sea boat with a nice turn of speed.