Canal Boat - - This Month -

Which en­gine power for rivers, en­gine leaks are so frus­trat­ing, fridge for a cruiser, elec­tri­cal headaches

Q We are hop­ing to buy a 58ft nar­row­boat, and have the choice of an Isuzu 1500cc (35hp) or 1750cc (no hp spec­i­fied) en­gine. Is there a sim­ple rule of thumb to help us choose? JANE WOOD, via email A TONY REPLIES: With many years ex­pe­ri­ence of boat han­dling on a river in flood con­di­tions I am happy with 1500cc on a 54ft hull. How­ever, if you in­tend to do much river work then you shoul go for the larger unit. For canals I think either will be fine (in fact half the size would be plenty – other than for their abil­ity to stop quickly). The old work­ing boats typ­i­cally had en­gines of 15 to 20hp but they did swing a much larger pro­pel­ler than mod­ern boats, which is more ef­fi­cient.

There is no rule of thumb: one needs to look at hull char­ac­ter­is­tics to­gether with the speed, power and torque curves for the en­gine. Per­haps the best thing to do is to con­tact the hull man­u­fac­turer, if you can, to fully dis­cuss your ex­pe­ri­ence and the type of wa­ters you will be boat­ing on.

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