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Mamod marine engines
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A page dedicated to the ME1, ME2 and ME3

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The ultra rare ME2, complete with box an inner packaging

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A Mamod marine engine full house

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Hobbies Arrows powered by ME1, 2 and 3 engines

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Hobbies Arrow boats - built 2009

Most toy steam engine makers seem to have had or have a steam marine engine in their ranges, after all steam ships existed before steam rollers and traction engines!

Mamod was no exception and had a marine engine in their range as early as 1937, it was the ME1 and was basically identicle to the Hobbies ME1 which Geoffrey Malins began making in 1936 after he agreed to create some engines for the Dereham firm for whom Geoffrey Bowman-Jenkins reliquished his association with in 1935.

The early ME1 was a flat base affair complete with wick spirit lamp and no engine cowling. When production finished in late 1939 after 500 examples, no more dedicated marine engines were made by Mamod until 1958 with the introduction of the new ME1 and ME2. It was a surprising move considering that Malins had their fingers burnt with the failure of the Meteor boat of 1949-52. These two new marine engines bore a striking similarity with the pre-war Hobbies/Mamod ME1, but now the boiler and firebox were covered by a chrome cowling with suitable vent holes in the top. Both engines were equipped to take the new vapourising spirit lamp which had been rolled out across the whole range (except MM1) in 1958.

The ME1 and ME2 differed by virtue of the fact the ME1 had a sloping engine unit attached to a built-in stern tube and cast mazak prop and longer baseplate, whilst the ME2 had an upright engine with a dogged pulley on the end of the crankshaft - built to be attached to a driveshaft by means of a universal joint such as those made by Meccano.

Each engine was sold in a plain cardboard box with a plain coloured label, none were ever given the rather trendy (for the time) grey, yellow and red colour printed box which was now employed for all engines bar the SE3. The ME1 and ME2 were sold along side each other, until the ME2 was dropped in 1965 after a production run of about 1,500 units. Its apparently was a slow seller and consequently is a very  rare engine today, with boxed examples commanding high prices.

The ME2 was replaced by the ME3, which utilised an SEL 1560 steam engine. The SEL brand owners J & L Randall had decided to give up on steam engine production by 1965 and asked Malins if they wanted to buy the remaining stock of their engines at a reportedly knock down price, and so the ME2 was no more and the ME3 with its upright SEL engine its successor. After around 2,700 examples were made of the ME3, the SEL stock of engines was used up, and, so the ME3 bowed out in 1972, leaving only the ME1 to soldier on until 1980 when it finally was phased out. Because the ME1 lasted so long it is much easier to find than the other two marine engines. It can be found with overflow plug or sight glass as well as in solid and meths fuelled versions. The final production run for the ME1 totalled approximately 11,000. Any Mamod marine engine today is a desirable model to have in any collectors stable of engines.

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Mamod ME1

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Mamod ME2 with burner and original instructions

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The ME2 and ME3 units

Mamod marine engines production runs:

ME1 1958-1980 approximately 11,000

ME2 1958-1965 approximately 1,500

ME3 1965-1972 approximately 2,700

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Mamon ME3 with SEL 1560 engine unit

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The ME3 SEL engine unit

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An end-on view of all three engine units together

Prior to the introduction of the ME1 and ME2 in 1958, the only other marine engines made by Malins apart form the 1937-39 ME1 were the units fitted into the Meteor boats of 1949-52. They used an SE1 boiler coupled to an engine unit similar to the ME1. A square spirit wick lamp with a V-shaped bottom was employed, not unlike (apart from the bottom) that fitted to the post war SE4 prototype.