Jensen Model #80 "V-Twin" Marine Engine
USA - Manufacture date: 1984
Bore = 1/2", Stroke 5/8", PTO diameter = 3/4"
Style: Double Acting, dual cylinder, "V" configured marine

Dimensions: 3 1/2" length x 4" width x 4" height

 

The Model #80 Marine Engine


T
here are long standing rumors that unicorns do exist. There are also rumors that Jensen Steam Engines once made a marine steam engine. No one ever seems to have really seen either one, up close and personal. I'd seen one photo of a Model #80 which was installed in a model boat, but never expected to see one myself. There simply weren't that many of them made. Then up pops an email from a gentleman who was liquidating an estate, which included quite a number of toy steam engines and a few odd hand made pieces. There, attached to the very end of the email, was a photo of an unknown 2 cylinder marine steam engine. I thought it could be a Jensen, but the photo was a bit fuzzy and after all... who emails you photos of a unicorn?

I wrote to the fellow and inquired about this engine and several other pieces he was offering but didn't get any response. After several attempts to email him, I did a bit of research and found a way to contact him by phone. We spoke for a while and I was able to purchase the engine from him. I still had some doubts that the engine was what I hoped it would be.

This little engine arrived a few days later, in perfect like new condition, having never been powered. After consulting a couple of Jensen collectors and comparing it to the example on the Jensen Web site, the engine was confirmed to be an authentic Jensen Model #80. Who knows...maybe unicorns really do exist.

 

Rear of the Model #80 Marine Engine

 

Detail of the Model #80 Valve System

This oscillating engine's design incorporates two of Jensen's model 70 double acting cylinder sections into a 90° V twin configuration. Note the dual steam lines running from the rotary style directional valve, which allows for reversing the engine. The engine was designed to be easily adapted for radio control use. The intakes were not fitted with steam lines, allowing for custom fitting to the builder's own design requirements.

The Model #80 was only built for a short time in the mid 1980's and few of the engines were ever made. The consumer steam hobby was at a low ebb and boat builders were a very small part of the market, so the engines didn't sell very well. The engines were never offered with a boiler, nor were they offered as display models, like the rest of the well known Jensen line.

Although I'm not a big collector of toy engines, the Model #80 is a neat little piece of work and will probably be adapted to a Jensen boiler, with a shaft and brass prop for display.

 
 

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