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how good are shire engines

looking at buying 57ft traditional narrowboat
will be using it to travel all canals around uk in a years time.(when all things go to plan) been shown selection of canal boats with a selection of engines? the boat that serves age,length,condition has a shire 2000 fitted. as im no expert on cruisers it this any good. thank you rob.

Asked by: robert   | 6.01pm, Monday 11 June

WW says:

To ensure reliability of any engine, it needs to be looked after. Regular servicing and oil changes are essential, so I would check on the service history.
Look at the engine installation. Many boats have engine problems because the installation is poor. Check there is not undue vibration when the engine is running, look for damaged mountings and stern gland.
The best installations have a separate thrust block between the stern gland and the engine. This takes the thrust from the propeller off the gearbox. A flexible coupling allows the engine to move and reduces vibration in the boat.
The Shire 2000 engine is 35HP which will give sufficient power for a 57ft narrowboat, not over powered for canals yet enough for rivers.

Rupert Smedley  | 10.15PM, Monday 11 June

Just to add to Rupert- the best possible option is a very fliexible coupling (essentially two constant velocity joints) with an integral thrust bearing- the most common are the Aquadrive and the Python drive, fitted to narrowboats.
These allow the engine to bounce around (within reason!) whilst the thrust bearing takes the load off the engine and gearbox.
To check that the alignment is generally OK, a very quick quick is, with the engine turned off, try to rotate the prop shaft by hand (or fott) (or put your hand down the weedhatch, and carefully rotate the prop).
If the prop moves smoothly, it generally means there is little resistance, and the engine is quite well aligned. If it is stiff or hard to move, it may suggest issues (though not always alignment, this is a common issue).

Mark Langley  | 3.44PM, Tuesday 12 June

Readers say:

thank you
rupert will get a narrowboat mechanic to
check over mounting etc .
thanks again

robert   | 12.53PM, Tuesday 12 June

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