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Problems with old engine/gearbox

We are very fortunate in that friends lend us their dutch barge, built 1925, which is based in France. The problem is that occasionally when putting the long gear lever into the neutral position there is a short delay before the change takes place in the gearbox. This can be awkward when manoevering into locks. The engine is a Kromhout 52 hp 3TS117 diesel fitted in 1960.
David Bowker

Asked by: David Bowker  | 2.23pm, Monday 15 February

WW says:

Although an expert in Kromhout diesels may contradict me, but experience shows that many older engines, Kromhout included, often have ponderous gear changes... and the only way around this is careful planning of when manoevering...
Be thankful that you don't have to reverse the direction of engine, such as in a Bollinder! Pain as it might be, apart from checking the lubricant levels, and assuming that the clutch plates are not slipping, there might be very little that can be done.
Asking someone in the Dutch Barge Association might elicit a more detailed answer, but you might have to just be patient with the handling, alas.

Mark Langley  | 10.50AM, Friday 19 February

It might be useful to see if you can enter locks before plastic craft... though I can imagine not all boaters will understand why (until it becomes all too apparent!).
Best of luck with the boating- quite envious of you!

Mark Langley  | 2.41PM, Friday 19 February

Readers say:

Many thanks Mark. It's not what I wanted to hear but it's what I half expected the answer would be. I'll have to continue stopping before the lock and then nudging in slowly. It's a heavy boat, 22 mtrs long, and could do a lot of damage to locks and plastic boats.
David Bowker

David Bowker  | 1.51PM, Friday 19 February

Well i think that you could do with changing the oil as if it gets too thick the plates stick, you need a very thin oil.

Trevor Weeks  | 8.06PM, Sunday 17 October

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