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DaraHerlihy

How much tolerance do you need below the listed max dims of a canal?

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Hello Canalworld!

I'm looking at buying a Dutch Barge to use as a residence and cruise the London waterways. I've identified a ship that meets a lot of my desired criteria however some of its dimensions are very close to the listed max of the canals.

How much tolerance do you think I'd require (given water levels fall in summer etc) below the listed max of the canal on the Canal & River trust website? The length and width I figure I'll be okay with. Its the airdraft and draft I'm most concerned about.

Will I just be constantly running aground/getting stuck between bridges with the below dims or is there a certain amount of tolerance already accounted for here?

Boat:
length 21.03 x 3.49m
Airdraft: 2.15m
Draft : 1.17m

Canal
21.3 x 3.88m
Airdraft: 2.2m
Draft: 1m

Thanks for sharing your experience

D

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I would suggest that with that draft you will have major problems if you try to use it on the canals. The air draft is very dependant on shape so bridges and tunnels are very arched 

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Welcome, Dara.

You'll meet a few dims on the waterways, some of whom may be called Max. But, assuming that you meant "maximum dimensions", I am not sure that that will be your principal concern: it will be the stopping bits which may present more problems, as moorings, especially for such an enormous craft, can be hard to come by. If by "London Waterways" you mean the Thames, that would be a more suitable home patch for a craft of those dims - whoops, dimensions.

 

However, that's second-hand information, and I'm sure that members with close experience of London's canals will be along shortly.

Edited by Athy

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I wouldn't trust in any way, shape or form the dimensions as quoted by C&RT.

 

My local river is dredged to 2 metres (6' 6" ) minimum.

My draft is 4' 6" (with full tanks) and I regularly hit the bottom.

 

C&RTs figures are an 'aspiration' rather than fact.

 

Is your air-draft with full tanks ? how much higher do you float with part filled or nearly empty tanks (water, fuel and toilet) I'd suggest that the 0.05m is far to close and you will damage the boat, or get stuck.

 

Is you draft with full tanks or with empty tanks ?

What is the difference in draft ?

 

Your draft appears to be 170mm (6 1/2") more than the 'best' depth of the canal NO-WAY will you float, let alone 'cruise'.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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Thanks for the responses guys......... I'm looking forward to taking my rightful place amongst a community of dims :)

 

The size of the boat (its a luxe motor) I lifted from a hull report so would vary with full tanks for sure (it has 2000 litre water, 1500 diesel yikes!)

 

I think I'm getting the picture here. I'll need at least a few 100mm to play with. 

 

There's also a submarine I've seen on Apollo Duck........... I think it could work on the canals ............ 

Edited by DaraHerlihy

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3 minutes ago, DaraHerlihy said:

1500 diesel yikes!

Just a small tank then !

My fuel tankage is 2,800 litres which is why I always quote my draft 'with full tanks' as 2.3 tonnes does make a difference.

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1 hour ago, DaraHerlihy said:

Thanks for the responses guys......... I'm looking forward to taking my rightful place amongst a community of dims :)

 

The size of the boat (its a luxe motor) I lifted from a hull report so would vary with full tanks for sure (it has 2000 litre water, 1500 diesel yikes!)

 

I think I'm getting the picture here. I'll need at least a few 100mm to play with. 

 

There's also a submarine I've seen on Apollo Duck........... I think it could work on the canals ............ 

Thanks for taking criticism in good part!

The type of boat which you're talking about can be beautiful; but they weren't made for the English canals, nor the English canals for them. You would struggle to navigate along them, and you might well find that the natives became restless as you approached.

 

Perhaps more practical would be

 

either

- a narrowbeam "Dutch barge" style narrowboat. There are quite a few about, and they do fit the canal system, though you might have to take the wheelhouse down to get under the bridges in some areas.

 

or

- the boat of your dreams, but in a suitable place. The Thames would have plenty of room for her, and I believe that the navigable Northern rivers would too. Then thefe's France, Belgium, and of course the Dutch canals.....it depends on whether you're attached to a particular area by work or family, or whether you're a free agent.

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And when you have torn a sodding great hole in the bottom on lost safes ford sierras and the lock furniture, tree is no dock big or deep enough.

the grand union was built for the English narrow boat... many are available.

 

  • Greenie 2

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Agree with most of the above.

 

Anything that genuinely draws more than 1 metre will be very hard work on the canals in and around London.

 

Be aware also that that theoretical 1 metre is only available if levels are at their maximum.  If you study things like the "London Boaters" Facebook page you will regularly see warnings/complaints about pound levels up to a foot or below where they should be.

Even if you ignore draught, if you intend to "continuously cruise" it will be incredibly hard to find moorings for a full length wide beam in the popular locations, (and just about anywhere where it's possible to moor t all are now "popular locations"!)

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7 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:


Even if you ignore draught, if you intend to "continuously cruise" it will be incredibly hard to find moorings for a full length wide beam in the popular locations, (and just about anywhere where it's possible to moor t all are now "popular locations"!)

 

I was thinking of posting this point too, and to point out there is a steady stream of large new boats being launched and few ever being removed from the canal so the situation is steadily getting worse and CRT are powerless to prevent the canals filling up with ever more boats.

 

 

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Well done for checking. It's not feasible. Not only won't you be able to move far underway you will be regarded as a pain in the ass by other users. Have a walk down the London Waterways and see how much room there is.

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13 hours ago, mark99 said:

Well done for checking. It's not feasible. Not only won't you be able to move far underway you will be regarded as a pain in the ass by other users. Have a walk down the London Waterways and see how much room there is.

Nicely put.  We're right at t'other end of the Grand Union and there was a big widebeam up there last week.  It looked totally out of place on a canal which, despite later being upgraded to double width locks, was built for narrowboats. It drew a lot of attention and comment, none of it positive, and even a pair of canoeists expressed astonishment as they passed. As we motored along I tried to work out in many sections what I'd be able to do if I encountered one coming towards me and my conclusion was I had a choice of grounding under the offside trees or going alongside towpath side and let him work out how he got by. The latter is now my default plan on any such an occasion.

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6 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

We're right at t'other end of the Grand Union and there was a big widebeam up there last week.  It looked totally out of place on a canal

I think this one took a wrong turn somewhere :

 

Image result for cruise ship in kiel canal lock

  • Haha 2

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31 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

I think this one took a wrong turn somewhere :

 

Image result for cruise ship in kiel canal lock

That's the very one! :D

 

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