The Bolinder Engine

Preserving our heritage

The Bolinder engine is a significant artifact because engines of this general type were the cause of the biggest change that our canals have ever seen - the change from horse-drawn boating to boats with engines. Boliner was one of the early makers of engines for canal boats and the most famous name in boat engines.

Green-painted engine on brown plnth with brickwork behind

Our Bolinder engine is a so-called "pup", a smaller engine, of 9 horsepower. The first internal-combustion engine in the UK was used in 1911 but the new technology took time to spread and it was in the 1920s that boats began to be diesel-powered in significant numbers. Bolinder is a Swedish company and was one of the leading manufacturers of the day. Today Bolinder engines are much sought-after if in working condition but they are not easy to start or manage by today's standards.