Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble

Canal World is funded by our loyal members. Please feel free do donate to us by clicking here. Thank you 

Furness

How big an outboard

Featured Posts

In the event of engine/gearbox failure,I am thinking of buying a secondhand outboard to get me home/to a boatyard.

My question is;  what do people think is the minimum horsepower outboard to shove a 30ft narrowboat along?

Has anyone had to do this?  I would be grateful for any input.  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1hp will push 10 tonnes. - you could easily push it with a 2hp Seagull*

Its a very slow start and absolutely no stopping at all.

Imagine the 'worlds strongest man' in the truck pull - eventually gets it moving and once it moving its not that difficult to keep it going.

 

* that's a seagull engine - not a flappy crap machine found at the sea-side

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

* that's a seagull engine - not a flappy crap machine found at the sea-side

First time...... Second time...... Everytime. 

May need a long shaft one. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

1hp will push 10 tonnes. - you could easily push it with a 2hp Seagull*

Its a very slow start and absolutely no stopping at all.

Imagine the 'worlds strongest man' in the truck pull - eventually gets it moving and once it moving its not that difficult to keep it going.

 

* that's a seagull engine - not a flappy crap machine found at the sea-side

Yes, thank you Alan,I know what a Seagull outboard is.  There are some models of Seagull that have FNR.They seem to sell for not a lot of money,and being a long time member of the MZ rider's club, I love two strokes. [MZ's are an iconic motorcycle produced in communist East Germany until re-unification] 

There are several Seagulls for sale on fleabay at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had an outboard on our butty for 2 years in 1983 started with 2 hp to prove it worked before buying a 10 hour four stroke. We did many happy trips and were sometimes asked to slow down ( zero wash boat). However you will not stop...much especially on a motor stern because the cavitation plates are small

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Presumably you would not leave the outboard attached so lifting it into place is a consideration.

I have a 3hp Evinrude two stroke outboard  for use on an inflatable dinghy and it is as heavy as I would want to lift. It has a folding leg -  handy for storage.

Perhaps the leg would not be long enough

20160513.jpg

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

So where are you going to store this and the petrol while you wait for your engine it conk out?

In the conservatory. [The cratch covered bit at the bow,with the rest of my junk] 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

So where are you going to store this and the petrol while you wait for your engine it conk out?

A very serious consideration. On cabin cruisers, open boats etc designed for use with an outboard there's usually a dedicated locker for the fuel tank. This will be lacking on a narrowboat and I certainly wouldn't want to be storing a petrol tank in the cratch, engine bay, back deck or in the cabin. Some of the smaller outboards have an integral tank (a 2003 Yamaha 5hp I had had an integral tank aswell as a fuel line to a tank) but I doubt the integral tank would contain enough to get very far. I'm sure it would move you but stopping the boat would be a different matter. If home or boatyard is some distance away, I really doubt it is a good idea to be carrying enough petrol on the boat in less than ideal places. If home or boatyard will be within a few miles then a stern rope and centre rope are sufficient to tow the boat by hand and control it from the bank without the need for someone on the helm. Still takes some stopping but I'm under ten stone and have towed a 60ft NB in the past this way for a couple of miles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Bilge Pump,I have taken your observations on board.   I too have had to tow my boat by hand some three miles when the engine overheated [I am twelve stone and my boat is half the size of yours] and I was seriously knackered when I arrived back at my mooring. I'm not in a hurry to repeat this,that is why I am thinking about a backup engine. 

My thanks to the people who have taken the trouble to reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep a long shaft seagull silver century on board which I hook on a bracket on the rear of my 23ft steel boat as emergency steerage for stretches of the tidal Ouse in case I get a mattress or similar wrapped around the prop of main engine. As soon as I've passed through a lock it gets stowed again. It's heavy enough in a confined space to man handle. I tested on a canal and will push the boat along quite well. It has a clutch but no reverse gear.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a couple of small outboard powered narrowboats on the Fossdyke and they both have 10hp four stroke outboards on them which seem to scoot them along and more importantly stop them reasonably well. 

Our 6hp Mariner four stroke is a big heavy lump to lug around. A 10hp will be more so and they are not so easy to store. Our 6hp is a long shaft which makes it a pain in the arse to store anywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the 2 stroke twin cylinder 4hp Evinrude/Johnson is (was) one of the best motors ever made - if using an outboard regularly you will appreciate the difference between a single and a twin.  2 strokes are relatively noisy, but very light to handle.  you can often pick up a good one for £300 on ebay.  it'll move your boat, but as has been said, you'll need to find some other way to stop.  it only has F-N gears, but in reality F-N-R won't help you much when stopping.  if fitting to a narrowboat any outboard will have to be extra long shaft.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Bilge Pump noted, storage of petrol on a narrowboat is a very serious consideration.  You need what is effectively a gas locker to store both the petrol and the outboard in, unless you are going to flush the latter through.    I've seen the result of a petrol vapour explosion and it is not pretty (either for the boat or the person who happened tyo be in it at the time).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Air cooled tend to be lighter  and smaller but noisier so may be a good option as an emergency, a little honda 2.3 pushes a 14ft dinghy at 4 - 5mph, not sure what it would do with 30ft though! Its certainly small enough to loft on and off with ease.

5a8468bc28cc6_stampendcrop.jpg.658a57859d27d607cee3e60e0ce6963d.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, NickF said:

Air cooled tend to be lighter  and smaller but noisier so may be a good option as an emergency, a little honda 2.3 pushes a 14ft dinghy at 4 - 5mph, not sure what it would do with 30ft though! Its certainly small enough to loft on and off with ease.

5a8468bc28cc6_stampendcrop.jpg.658a57859d27d607cee3e60e0ce6963d.jpg

 

We bought one of those little Hondas to take to Scotland with us. Very light but Jesus is it noisy. 

We also bought brand new expecting no problems but it went back twice under warranty with problems.  Once it leaking oil everywhere and then again with a fuel leak!

It will be resigned to the garage this year as we won't be using it. The 6hp can come back as we are not taking the dinghy away with us this year.

ETA: we know that lock very well :)

Edited by Naughty Cal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Murflynn said:

the 2 stroke twin cylinder 4hp Evinrude/Johnson is (was) one of the best motors ever made - if using an outboard regularly you will appreciate the difference between a single and a twin.  2 strokes are relatively noisy, but very light to handle.  you can often pick up a good one for £300 on ebay.  it'll move your boat, but as has been said, you'll need to find some other way to stop.  it only has F-N gears, but in reality F-N-R won't help you much when stopping.  if fitting to a narrowboat any outboard will have to be extra long shaft.

Agree 100% I had one years ago and i was a fine motor. Crescent did a nice 4hp outboard too but I haven't seen one in years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Naughty Cal said:

We bought one of those little Hondas to take to Scotland with us. Very light but Jesus is it noisy. 

We also bought brand new expecting no problems but it went back twice under warranty with problems.  Once it leaking oil everywhere and then again with a fuel leak!

It will be resigned to the garage this year as we won't be using it. The 6hp can come back as we are not taking the dinghy away with us this year.

ETA: we know that lock very well :)

 Not surprised you know the lock! The little Honda is indeed noisy but has always worked well for us... we must have been lucky! But then it is only really used as a last resort on the sailing dinghy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Furness said:

Thank you Bilge Pump,I have taken your observations on board.   I too have had to tow my boat by hand some three miles when the engine overheated [I am twelve stone and my boat is half the size of yours] and I was seriously knackered when I arrived back at my mooring. I'm not in a hurry to repeat this,that is why I am thinking about a backup engine. 

My thanks to the people who have taken the trouble to reply.

A well-maintained diesel inboard ought to beat a petrol outboard for reliability every time. A decent outboard costs a fair bit and realistically you shouldn't even need it (or the associated dangers of petrol storage). Unless you're going somewhere high risk where a back up engine makes sense (but a Narrowboat certainly doesn't!), are you sure you wouldn't you be better off spending the money on getting your engine and gearbox into good shape?

  • Greenie 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and if it is really for emergency use only, it may not get used for years, in which case the petrol may have deteriorated and the engine wont run.  So you would to run it from time to time and to replace the petrol every year or so.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×