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Penguin and Tasman history

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Username: eric_schulz

Post Number: 8
Registered: 01-2007

Posted on Friday, January 12, 2007 - 09:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looking through earlier posts, I note some confusion about Tasman and Penguin engines. There seems to be a theory that these engines were from a common manufacturer because they were similar in design.
Unless someone can show me proof otherwise, I would say that there was no connection between the two at all. I am prepared to be proved wrong. I don’t want to sound like a know-all!! Actually, nobody is on this subject. There are lots of gaps in Australian engine history that can never be filled.
This is what I have found.

Penguin: Made by Chapman (PW) Engineering P/L, factory 54 Walker St.,Redfern, office Martin Place, Sydney. First ad I have found for them was in 1946 (Seacraft July 1946, Aquatic Monthly Nov 1946,), for the 34 Fairy Penguin. The name “Fairy” never reappeared. They must have started production earlier than this, because the oval-badged, taller engines would have preceded the ones shown in 1946.
The Penguin was like no other Australian engine, as it had a detachable water jacket patented by Rupert Marks, Croydon, NSW, in Oct 1938. First models were parallel sided. Tapered jackets would have probably been introduced late 1947, as the first ad found is Feb 1948 (Aquatic Monthly). A detachable magneto shows up first in 1948 ads. By 1948, 34, 4 and 8hp engines were advertised. An August 1959 Australian Power Boat & Yachting Monthly ad shows sizes of 32, 4, 7 and 8hp. This is the last ad I have found so far.

Tasman number 1: Tasman Marine Products, Cnr. Regent & James St., Redfern. This address is not shown in any of the ads, so may have been very short lived.
191 Elizabeth St., Waterloo from 1937.
The first engine was the Cub, 3hp. A 7hp. twin appears in May 1938 International Power Boat.
Between mid 1940 and first quarter 1941, they moved to 67 Botany Rd., Waterloo.
By June 1940 the range was 3 hp Cub, 44hp, 5hp, 7hp Tiger twin, and 9hp Super Tiger twin.
Electric starter available from 1942.
By 1945 the company name was changed to Tasman Engineering Co. A June 1946 ad shows the improved Cub with the raised, right angle drive magneto, new water pump and silencer, which had the inlet and exhaust manifold and silencer cast in one unit. The design was registered in July 1946, by Rodney Robey, 67 Botany Rd, Waterloo.
Dec 1946 announced “for 1947”, a detachable cylinder head. 1947 ad for 5 hp.
Before Sept 1947, moved to Henderson St, Turella.
About 1949 production ceased.

Tasman number 2: Davis Engineering Co, 37 Planthurst Rd., Carlton. An article in the Oct 1957 Power Boat & Yachting, states: “The Tasman marine engine has been out of production for about eight years, when it was built by the company of that name in Arncliffe, NSW”. Of interst here is the Arncliffe address, not shown in ads I have seen, but obviously their last address. The range was now down to 3, 4, and 5 hp. singles. By 1958 the 5hp. became a 6hp. In the same year Davis production ended.

Tasman Number 3: Cameron & Sutherland, 574 Botany Rd., Alexandria.
The August 1958 Seacraft magazine shows the range as 3, 4 and 6hp. I can’t say how long they lasted, as no further ads found.

My marine research was mostly done while living in Adelaide, South Australia. There were one or two other Australian marine magazines that they did not have in the State Library, so there may be lots of information that others may have found in other libraries.
All Tasman & Penguin address above are in New South Wales, Australia.

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Senior Member
Username: marks

Post Number: 86
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Sunday, January 14, 2007 - 08:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Eric,

Your info on Penguin matches the info I have.

I have heard the story about Tasman and Penguin being related. I don't really believe it either as nobody seems to be able to show an example. However like you I'm happy to be proved wrong.

As an aside I have seen another engine that is mirror reverse of an early Tasman (Company 1). I'll find the details and let you know.

From the info I have I have always believed that there were 2 different companies making marine engines called Tasman. The first was Tasman Marine Products later renamed to Tasman Engineering Co. the second was Davis Engineering.

I have Tasman Number 1 at the same address's as you excepting the first address of Regent & James Street Redfern. The last address I have is Tasman Engineering Co, Henderson Street, Arncliffe. I am unsure of the date.

The only address I have for Tasman number 2 is Davis Engineering Co, 37 Planthurst Road, Carlton from an add. This states 3Hp, 4Hp and 6Hp models. These look similar to to the engines made by Tasman Engineering Co at Arncliffe although the casting's do have many detail differences.

Tasman number 3 is new to me.

From what I know I tend to classify the engines into 2 distinct categories. The first set which were the early 7-9Hp Super Tiger, 5-7Hp Tiger, 4 1/4 Hp Medium Duty Single and 3Hp Cub.

The second category of engines was the 3, 4, 5/6 Hp singles. Adds for these show engines that are similar looking but somewhat different, they are rated the same HP. The address's for these adds are Henderson Street Arncliffe and Planthurst Road, Carlton.

A company called Tasman Marine was registered on 29/08/1956.


Mark S.

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