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What Engine & Stern Should I Go With On My Narrowboat


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Hello there,

I'm getting a 57ft narrowboat built, and the builder has given me 3 engine options... I'm not sure which one to go with, but here they are:

 

 

 

 

Also, I'm just curious as to what stern people think would be best, my boat will be a reverse layout. Here are the options:

 

  • Semi-Cruiser Stern - Image Bellow

 

 

Images are linked in

 

I hope that there is someone who will assist me, if so... Thank you for your help and time.

Thanks, Declan Foley

2.png

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quote:

I hope that there is someone who will assist me, if so... Thank you for your help and time.

Thanks, Declan Foley

 

HeHe - you'll not get someone - you'll get loads.

Here's mine

 

Engine - Beta - no contest (Petter is really a compromise, not really a proper trad engine and lacking in torque.  Vetus are overpriced IMHO)

 

Stern - now the semi cruiser stern is a variation introduced by Napton NBs years ago aqnd is great if you have lots of guests, but a waste of space of there are only 2 of you. It's better tah the 'original' semi trad. Best of all is full trad - but that's not on your list.

 

Now let's see what others have said....

 

I missed the Alpha engine - are they still making it !! An awful engine, lacking in torque and clouds of smoke. Defo Beta (with  fresh water cooling, large mud box, PRM 260 gearbox box and whatever-its-called flexible coupling)

Edited by OldGoat
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This is all down to personal taste. If it were me, it would be a trad stern, portholes not windows, and either the Lister or the Beta, with a  PRM (160/260?) gearbox. Vetus marinise engines perfectly well,  but their spare parts are stupidly expensive.

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1 minute ago, WotEver said:

Beta engine 

 

Exactly that.  

 

2 minutes ago, WotEver said:

and whichever stern best suits you. 

 

... but not that! :D

 

The hemi-demi-semi-cruiser has outside storage and seating which unlike a semi-trad can actually be sat on without kissing your own knees.  I quite like them if you want the external space, but mine has more cabin there (trad), as I like being warm when cruising in cold wet weather.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

Exactly that.  

 

 

... but not that! :D

 

The hemi-demi-semi-cruiser has outside storage and seating which unlike a semi-trad can actually be sat on without kissing your own knees.  I quite like them if you want the external space, but mine has more cabin there (trad), as I like being warm when cruising in cold wet weather.

 

 

Second that (full traditional) - how often would you have loadsa' folk on board? even on a 60 footer (mine) you're still cramped for space - so why waste 6+ ft for the occasional crowd of guests AND it'll look like a hire boat (snob? me?).

Edited by OldGoat
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Beta.  Vetus good engines but spares will bankrupt you.

 

Stern depends what you want it for. If you are going to live aboard and maybe have to cruise in wet weather, a trad stern is the best. Bigger cabin space after all that is what you pay for, not fresh air space.

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A trad stern and something like a Lister JP2 in its own engine room would be my choice, but otherwise the Beta would be the sensible option.

 

..................Dave

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I would go for a Beta 43 with PRM150 gearbox and keel cooling.

 

As others have said, the stern depends on your use of the boat, the number of people normally on it  and aesthetics.

 

If there are only 2 or 3 of you, then a trad with an oversize hatch works well,  with a couple of high backed bar stools for those who wish to sit.

 

A trad stern means a dry engine hole, virtually imposdible with cruiser, semi-cruiser and semi-trad sterns.

 

Edited by cuthound
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From your choices I would also go Beta. Be aware some Vetus engines are fitted with a questionable gearbox. Agree PRM hydraulic box.

 

I think the Alpha may have hydraulic tappets and seem to be very touchy about oil change intervals.

 

Actually I would rather fit an Ex lifeboat Bukh DV36 than even a Beta.

 

Stern to your choice but I like cruiser sterns. Don't feel safe on trads and soemtimes access to the cabin can be interesting for taller people on a trad.

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Just now, FutureNarrowboater2026 said:

@dmr Yeah, thats exactly what I would do if I went trad stern... Lister JP2 would be my first choice, Gardner 2L2 would be my second.

And having decided on that, it would be a lot cheaper if you looked around and found a good second hand boat with the features you want. It will probably be quicker than waiting for a new build boat, hugely cheaper and a really good one will have had any defects and niggles fixed by the previous owners. Buy new by all means, but you will have to accept that it’s second hand value will depress you.

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A trad engine is tops - if you want to fiddle with it and polish the brass bits. OTOH if you want to motor around then hide a modern under the deck makes more efficiet use of space. I have the engine where the back cabin should be and use the space to dry things as well as a glory hole.

When deciding on what you've asked also consder the other bits - heating, cooking storage and so on 'cos folks often get that wrong as well...

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2 hours ago, FutureNarrowboater2026 said:

imageproxy.php?img=&key=fba7ffdd30274950Hello there,

I'm getting a 57ft narrowboat built, and the builder has given me 3 engine options... I'm not sure which one to go with, but here they are:

 

 

 

 

Also, I'm just curious as to what stern people think would be best, my boat will be a reverse layout. Here are the options:

 

  • Semi-Cruiser Stern - Image Bellow

 

 

Images are linked in

 

I hope that there is someone who will assist me, if so... Thank you for your help and time.

Thanks, Declan Foley

2.png

 

2 hours ago, FutureNarrowboater2026 said:

imageproxy.php?img=&key=fba7ffdd30274950Hello there,

I'm getting a 57ft narrowboat built, and the builder has given me 3 engine options... I'm not sure which one to go with, but here they are:

 

 

 

 

Also, I'm just curious as to what stern people think would be best, my boat will be a reverse layout. Here are the options:

 

  • Semi-Cruiser Stern - Image Bellow

 

 

Images are linked in

 

I hope that there is someone who will assist me, if so... Thank you for your help and time.

Thanks, Declan Foley

2.png

If you are so unsure about such basic issues I think it is too premature to be contemplating ordering a new build. Rather, I would suggest that you get some experience of the different designs available. Have you considered hiring a few types of boats?

 

Howard

Edited by howardang
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4 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

From your choices I would also go Beta. Be aware some Vetus engines are fitted with a questionable gearbox. Agree PRM hydraulic box.

 

I think the Alpha may have hydraulic tappets and seem to be very touchy about oil change intervals.

 

Actually I would rather fit an Ex lifeboat Bukh DV36 than even a Beta.

 

Stern to your choice but I like cruiser sterns. Don't feel safe on trads and soemtimes access to the cabin can be interesting for taller people on a trad.

I agree about the Bukh and why not put it in its own engine room?

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2 minutes ago, FutureNarrowboater2026 said:

@dmr Yeah, thats exactly what I would do if I went trad stern... Lister JP2 would be my first choice, Gardner 2L2 would be my second.

If its a hobby boat I would even be tempted by a Kelvin K2 but they are a bit specialist for use in a liveaboard.

The 2L2 would also be a good choice. I would also consider a 2LW, they are really an early design of modern engine so don't have the character of a vintage engine, but are one of the more powerful 2 cylinder engines which would be good for river cruising.

 

We have a Beta JD3 which is actually a good compromise on a liveaboard boat but I still keep dreaming about proper old engines.

 

..................Dave

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37 minutes ago, FutureNarrowboater2026 said:

imageproxy.php?img=&key=fba7ffdd30274950Hello there,

I'm getting a 57ft narrowboat built, and the builder has given me 3 engine options... I'm not sure which one to go with, but here they are:

 

 

 

 

Also, I'm just curious as to what stern people think would be best, my boat will be a reverse layout. Here are the options:

 

  • Semi-Cruiser Stern - Image Bellow

 

 

Images are linked in

 

I hope that there is someone who will assist me, if so... Thank you for your help and time.

Thanks, Declan Foley

2.png

Beta

Cruiser

Who the hell is Foxes afloat?

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The gearbox is important, the little mechanical boxes do not have a good name, PRM hydraulic boxes are probably the best but you would have to specify that. An Aquadrive or Python coupling is a very good thing as well and saves alignment problems in the future or expensive stern gland wear. As for the engine then personally Beta but if I was buying secondhand then the gearbox and Aquadrive would sway me more than the engine. Stern? anything elliptical, a big slab of flat plate across the back with square corners is not boatbuilding in my opinion. Actually my favourite stern is one that Waltons(?) used on their wooden boats years ago, haven't got a picture but its a bit like a dinghy, tapered sides and narrowish transom.

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