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Optimum sized engine

Please see prev. question. I intend to buy 57ft x 6'10 - Possibly 60ft. No bigger. Thanks

Asked by: Carolyn Ross  | 5.52pm, Monday 25 July

WW says:

To move a narrowboat of this length, its torque that is more important than horsepower. Torque is very closely linked to engine capacity- and an engine of 1800cc to 2200 would be probably ideal.
For example, my (60ft) boat has a (rather old) BL1.8 engine, developing 30hp at 3000RPM which is fine for tidal waters under most conditions.
If you are intending much tidal waterway cruising (or, indeed, lots of river use), then you might consider that skin tank (keel) cooling might not be the best provision. heat exchanger cooling (freshwater), with wet exhaust can give better engine temperature control, although the raw water inlets can be blocked by weed/rubbish, if not designed carefully.
so, most modern engines in the 38 to 50hp would be fine- but look more carefully at the engine size. Too big, and the engine might run too slowly on canals; too small and it will have to work very hard on a river (which in itself is not a bad thing!).
Hope that helps.

Mark Langley  | 1.09PM, Wednesday 27 July

Readers say:

Thank you so much. What an excellent site. I've read all your Q&As now and gleaned a lot of info very relevent to me. It's a big learning curve!!! Thank you again.

Carolyn Ross  | 1.26PM, Wednesday 27 July

i have a 59ft narrowboat with a beta 35 hp ihave done the tidel trent no problem but agree 38hp would be a better size 59ft can manage all canals

christopher smith  | 5.13PM, Wednesday 27 July

Hi - Thanks!

Carolyn Ross  | 8.34PM, Saturday 30 July

Hi - Thanks! That is v. helpful.

Carolyn Ross  | 8.35PM, Saturday 30 July

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