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zenataomm

Historic Scottish Canal Boats

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In order that "Historic Boats for sale online" may amble back to discussing …… errr ….. well, Historic Boats that are for sale online I suppose.

I've started this thread so I can pick up on what I thought was an interesting comment by Athy, as seen below: -

 

Ignoring the Crinan Canal and the Caledonian for the moment as they appear to me to have been built as shortcuts for Puffers and trawlers???

 

However what were the traditional Scottish commercial boats that the Forth & Clyde/Union canals were built for?

I don't imagine they were narrow boat style.

Especially the Monkland Canal as like many English canals it was purposely built to connect coalfields.

ATHY.png

Edited by zenataomm
As per the TV appeal, I have adopted a Panther and it was ripping up the curtains.

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The Caledonian was in the first instance intended to provide a route for Naval shipping giving access from Sea to Sea with the thoughts of better protecting Britain from Napoleon. Up to 32 gun Frigates were to pass through negating the need to navigate around the South coast. But took so long in building that the war had ended, and so became a Sea to Sea route for fishing and trade. It was much the same for the Crinan, but the initial intention was to open up the Isles to trade in the Glasgow markets. It was also intended that the Crinan was an extension of the Forth & Clyde, the latter being opened for trade route.

 

The Forth & Clyde was also intended for passengers as an alternative to the difficult stage coach route. From 44,000 passengers were carried in 1812, and at its height, 200,000 were carried in 1836. These were all Sea to Sea connections.

 

Info from Hadfield's "British Canals, an Illustrated history" ISBN 0 7153 7852 X

Edited by Derek R.

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Was the forth and Clyde built for passengers or was that not what it became. I am not at home with access to my canal books but I thought it was built as a route for puffers and fishing boats. The union was originally built to take coal into Edinburgh but it too became a passenger canal 

Haggis 

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None of them were built for puffers as these hadn't been invented! However my understanding is that the Caledonian, Crinan and F&C were built for short-sea traffic to avoid long and treacherous sea journeys. However the F&C developed local trade** which then encouraged offshoots. That is the Monkland and the Union canals.

 

No idea what these inland boats looked like

 

** this is very much a rough summary and glosses over a fantastic amount of detail!

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Thanks for the replies.

So, the Forth & Clyde/Union /Monkland Canals were built for commercial carrying.  Was there a generic boat shape adopted at the time following the navigational restrictions in place as happened in England?

I've tried searching but not coming up with much

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The puffer was a development of the horse drawn boats used on the Forth and Clyde. Dimensions 66' x 19' 6" to suit the F&C locks. The name "puffer" came from the sound of the non condensing steam engine, which used canal water for the boiler. They later developed into "inside" boats and "outside" boats, the "outside" boats being a bit more seaworthy and capable of sea crossings to the western islands. They also did not "puff", as sea water isn't very good for boilers, so they had condensers. Some boats were built to the same general design, but 88' in length to suit the Crinan Canal. There is an unpowered example on the bank at Port Dundas, at the end of the Glasgow Branch.

 

Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal boats were of a similar design to the early Forth and Clyde boats, but 12' 6" beam. They were also slightly longer, 69'. Most, if not all, were unpowered. There are two survivors, one rusting away in the dry dock beside the Avon Aqueduct, and one at the Scottish Maritime Museum at Irvine. (As far as I know, it's not on display, though.)

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I was under the impression that the Crinan was constructed to take sailing ships from Glasgow [second city of the Empire] to North America, and to by pass  the notorious Mull of Kintyre with its standing waves etc.

The sailing ship era was over by the time the canal was finished.

Puffers supplied the outlying islands for years, they could be beached at almost every island, and their coal unloaded on to  horse drawn carts.

Presumably they supplied Glasgow with malt whisky.

Edited by LadyG

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16 minutes ago, LadyG said:

I was under the impression that the Crinan was constructed to take sailing ships from Glasgow [second city of the Empire] to North America, and to by pass  the notorious Mull of Kintyre with its standing waves etc.

The sailing ship era was over by the time the canal was finished.

Puffers supplied the outlying islands for years, they could be beached at almost every island, and their coal unloaded on to  horse drawn carts.

Presumably they supplied Glasgow with malt whisky.

Assuming that there was any left in the barrels when they arrived in Glasgow! (It's the mudges that drink it ye ken)?

 

Howard

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