Engine is a Nanni 85hp diesel. This is a marinized version of the well-known and reliable 5 cylinder Kubota.
It is transversely located absolutely forward, in what would be the chain locker in a conventional craft. It is coupled to a hydraulic drive and is virtually inaudible from the helm, saloon and cockpit. In addition to its silence, this system results in a prop-shaft only 18" long. It also means that the engine can be removed in less than an hour, using a car-engine hoist, with no alignment issues. It allows the engine to be installed on rubber mountings, resulting in further silencing by reducing transmission of vibration through the hull.
The hydraulic pump also operates the bow-thruster which is finger-tip controlled at the helm.
A hydraulic system eliminates the gearbox and clutches. Changing from forward to neutral to reverse is, again, a fingertip action. One can flick it back and forth, without inducing clutch wear, (one is merely opening and closing a valve), to hold the barge in a lock, easily and accurately without using mooring lines, a significant advantage when single-handing.
Engine has always been maintained to manufacturer's specifications and has run about 2400 hours from new.
The fact that there is no engine-room per se means that there is no loss of interior space and that the barge is virtually one-level. One doesn't have to climb up and down over the engine to move from the saloon to the aft deck. There are just two steps from the saloon down to the galley area. This may not sound significant, but it is! It allows a layout where the barge feels more like a conventional small city apartment than a boat, with lovely, level open-plan in the main living/cooking areas.
My last barge was a Branson Luxmotor replica and the steps, necessitated by a conventional engine location and drive, wore me out after a day back and forth!
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