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Report On Forth Clyde Canal

By doina — last modified Feb 06, 2006 10:37 PM

Published: 2006-02-06 22:37:45
Countries: United Kingdom

During a cruise from the Thames Estuary to the west of Scotland I was forced by adverse weather to transit the Forth Clyde canal. My boat is a Vertue, 25ft LOA and 4ft9ins draft. More draft than that is very risky. Max air draft in the canal is a bare 3 meters so masts must be craned out. In the Forth at Port Edgar by the marina staff and at Bowling Basin on the Clyde by very slow hand-operated crane and do it yourself. Allow minimum two days at each end for un/re rigging and two days minimum for transit. Locks and lines operated by helpful canal staff.

Beware of rock throwing thugs, vandalism and theft especialy from Kirkantiloch and westward. Do not leave your boat untended ever.

I would NOT use this canal again from choice.

By contrast the Crinnan and Caledonian canals are a joy, as is the rest of the Scottish coast.

Ian Wright

I read with interest the above comments. However I wish to point out some errors. The draft is 6 feet. De/re masting takes 2 hours not two days. Rock throwing, vandalism and theft are rare events. Many boaters leave their boats unattended and safe for long periods.

Ronnie Simpson, Leisure Development Manager

British Waterways

I transited the Forth-Clyde Canal in my Rival 34, draft 1.4m, and had no significant problems - indeed, I was immensely impressed by the commitment of the waterways staff, and the cost is very reasonable. The entry to the east end of the canal is tricky, but the canal people sent a dory to guide me under the bridges - there isn't a lot of air draught... I decided to take this route through stress of bad weather in the North Sea, but it was a very interesting and worthwhile experience, and I'm glad I went that way. The central part of the canal is very attractive indeed.

Martin Corrick