Canal & narrow boat vintage engines, repairs & parts
We list suppliers and reconditioners of vintage marine type engines & gearboxes. Working canal boats were traditionally pulled by horses, mules or donkeys but during the 20th century steam and then diesel engines came into use.
- A slow revving reliable vintage engine is very popular with some boat owners today. But you need space in your boat for an engine room, room beneath the boat for a large propeller and a fairly spacious wallet! A fully restored vintage engine will cost well over £10,000. Russell Newbury still build slow revving engines to a 1930’s design. There is a thriving market in replacement parts and repair services for vintage canal boat engines.
- Not all working narrowboats had an engine. They were usually worked in pairs, the motor boat which had the engine towing a ‘butty boat’. Steam engines found only limited use but diesel engines became standard, evolving from water cooled single cylinder ‘semi diesels’ like the Bolinder to multi cylinder true diesels like the Lister JP, and air cooled engines like the Armstrong Siddeley Meganser.
- You can compare the very distinctive sounds of an early single cylinder Bolinder diesel engine, a twin cylinder Lister JP2 and a post war air cooled Armstrong Siddeley. Many of these engines are still running in traditional canal boats after 70 years or more.