ASK THE EXPERTS
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.