In this guide to narrowboat engine types we will help you to understand the other options you could have in order you can make an informed choice.  

The most common engine type fitted to a narrow boat is the diesel fuelled engine.  In our previous articles we helped you figure out choosing the best narrowboat lengthwe also talked about choosing a narrowboat style, and in the last article we outlined our tips on hull construction.  So the next logical step is understanding the engine options available to you.

#4 Diesel engine types on narrowboats

An obvious consideration when looking at narrowboats for sale is the choice of engine in the boat, where there are three main categories:

a) Air cooled engines (eg. Lister ST2) where heat is released into the air around the narrowboat engine. 
b) Water cooled engines (eg. BMC 1.5) – most engines on narrowboats are water cooled so you will find more of these around than others. These will either be Keel Cooling or Raw Water Cooling systems. 
c) Vintage engine (eg Russell Newbury) – sought after by traditional narrowboat owners, though they can be very pricey and take up a lot of space.

The best type of engine to choose depends on a number of factors, including mechanical knowledge you possess, spare time to be spent tinkering with it and tuning it, and the size of your boat.

If you are looking for simplicity, then consider one of the modern water-cooled diesel engines or the older and slightly louder air cooled diesel engine. Both of these offer ease of use and reliability. The Vintage engine will suit the enthusiast, who likes to tinker with the engine; it is also only suitable for larger boats (40ft +) due to the size of the engine.

Trinity Marinas is a premier inland narrowboat sales & brokerage and canal boat marina located in the Heart of England on the beautiful Ashby Canal in Hinckley, Leicestershire within easy reach from the the main M1 motorway, and just off the A5 (Watling Street).

If you are thinking about owning a narrowboat or are interested in canal boat life, then visit us at the marina and find out more about choosing the right narrowboat to suit your needs, or give us a call on 01455 896 820.