Watching the wake

There is something mesmerising about watching the wake of a speedboat streaming out astern.
Until you remember the fuel bill!
This picture was taken from the twin engined motor cruiser we hired in Croatia a few years back. We had two weeks cruising in the
Adriatic, and we covered quite a distance.
But we did use a lot of diesel.
Which brings me to one of the dilemmas of our boat buying journey – one engine or two?
It all depends on what you want to do and where you want to go.
We plan to mainly cruise canals and rivers, but do want the ability to do a little bit of coastal navigation, such as crossing the English Channel.
Being a ship master by profession, I find it hard to accept taking a small boat on the open sea with only one engine.
But plenty of people do it, and with proper care and planning I imagine it can be done safely.

Broken propeller blade

The main advantages of two engines are the safety or back up, as mentioned above, plus additional maneuverability and handling.
The disadvantages are primarily in the cost – maintenance and fuel, as well as the greater possibility of propeller damage.
There are some rather narrow or shallow waterways, and it is amazing how much rubbish is thrown into them. Not unheard of to find
supemarket trollies lurking in the murky waters. All of which can do quite a bit of damage to a propeller, particularly in a twin engined boat where the props are set out to the sides, and thus more exposed.
The second picture shows a propeller with one broken blade. Admittedly this is on an outboard motor, and occurred in the Knysna Lagoon which is very tidal with a lot of sandbanks.
None-the-less, a broken prop can be expensive, not to mention inconvenient if one is at a remote spot on a canal somewhere.
Taking all this into account, at the moment we are inclined to go for only the one engine.

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