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When reading through adverts for used narrowboats, they often list the number of hours for an engine.


Certainly a well maintained, older engine would have many more hours than a newer engine. Conversely, an older engine which has not had much use could have similar or fewer engine hours than a newer engine which has been used extensively.


Am I interpreting engine hours correctly or is there some general rule of thumb one can use to evaluate an engine's use?Without knowing how old the engine is, how does one know how many hours would be "too much"? Or am I placing too much emphasis on the engine hours?


Thanks for the help.


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Your emphasis should be more focussed on how the engine has been maintained.


My (Lister) engine has 9500+ hours on it, it has beeen maintained in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations, des not leak, or 'use; oil and runs as 'sweet as a nut'


You could have a 2 or 3 year old engine that has done 100 hours, and has never had the oil changed, it could have sat thru', 2 or 3 winters with a nasty acidic soup in the bottom of the engine.


Think about the London Taxi's that do well over 500,000 miles, and 1 million miles is not unknown. ( 1 million miles at an average of 20 miles per hour is 50,000 hours, if you take the average of 10 miles an hour - that 100,000 hours)


The secret is in the maintenance.


Ask a seller to look at the maintenance log - or look thru' the heap of receipts and see how regularly oil, filters and belts are purchased.

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Your interpretation is about right . . . just like buying any engine, it's not simply about the hours, but also about how it's been used, and most importantly, whether it has been properly maintained, with regular oil and filter changes at correct intervals.


Have a good look at the boat's log/receipts/maintenance schedule






Edited to add: Alan de E types quickerer then me!

Edited by Grace & Favour
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