Friday, July 9, 2010


July 9, 2010---What a houseboat! This modified 1969 Nautalin 12'x 34' fiberglass boat is truly one of a kind. Raloph Nave said he bought it for practically nothing because it had been hit by a loose barge and was partially sunken. Being creative he attached hoses to the valve stems on some large tractor tire tubes and tied those under water to the boat. Used an air compressor to inflate the tubes and raise the boat. Had to do some repair work from the barge damage. Being a local farmer and working as a repairman on coolers and air conditioners he had access to lots of different parts. He used a 3 cylinder cummins engine from an old tractor for power. Used some parts from a combine for the steering. Aluminum frame material that supports the paddle wheel came from an old walk-in cooler that was being torn down. Lots of time and imagination went into his creation. The diesel engine burns used vegetable oil that he gets from 3 different restaurants. One end of the engine drives the paddle wheel with a belt assembly. The other end drives a generator with another belt assembly. He says he controls speed by the output of the generator. When the output of the generator gets to 120 volts that is his cruising speed. Runs about 13 mph. He says it will go 3 mph faster, but he has to disengage the output switch on the generator because it will exceed the desired120 volt output. Various pumps and hydraulic equipment came from different farm machinery. He built the paddle wheel by bending and welding the necessary metal straps to support the boards and create the round shape. When he was asked about a name for the boat he said "I just call it my Junk Yard Dog".

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