Electric Narrowboat Conversion

by sb
(Dublin)



Which electric motor would be most suited for a canal narrowboat of approx 50ft long? And what sort of size would I need? Would an old forklift motor suffice?

Hi, sb -
Okay, confession time: I didn't know what a narrowboat was! I had to Google it.

A narrowboat, according to Wikipedia, is "A narrowboat or narrow boat is a boat of a distinctive design, made to fit the narrow canals of the United Kingdom."

What a neat idea to convert one of these to electric! Back in the day, these used to be powered by a horse, walking along the tow path next to the canal, led by a crew member (often a child).

I suppose it depends on how fast you want to go, but I found that a 15 hp engine is a pretty common narrowboat motor. I would think a salvaged forklift motor would work just fine.

The electric motor in the video above is a 10kw unit. It's a hybrid, but the electric motor can power the boat on its own, so the size seems like it might be about right for your boat, too.

Hope this helps, and best of luck on your project!

- Lynne





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