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length +width dimensions UK and Europe

Hello, I have seen the maximum length maps. Are there similar maps available for width restrictions ? Do similar European maps exist? Thanks

Asked by: jaltrip  | 2.45pm, Thursday 1 May
Tags: barge widebeam

WW says:

We've prepared a map of where you can go in a boat of 12ft 6in beam (width) - click here to see it.

The thick lines are those which will accommodate a boat of 12ft 6in beam. (Thin lines are narrow canals, usually with a maximum of 7ft.)

Most "broad" locks and bridges are in fact 14ft wide, or even a little more - the Great Ouse is perhaps the main exception, though there are other isolated ones. However, as you approach 14ft, you'll find that subsidence, encroaching lock walls and the like make passage much more difficult.

Remember, of course, that the governing factor which determines exactly which waterways you can use is the overall size of the boat. This includes not only the length and beam (width), but also the draught (depth) and air draught (headroom). The last two dimensions are particularly important on canals where dredging may be overdue and where arched bridges call for accurate steering. You should also bear in mind that tunnels that are two-way for narrowboats are one-way only for wide beam boats.

For the European waterways, we'd recommend the European Waterways Map And Directory from Euromapping. The double-sided map is accompanied by a 32-page gazetteer, summarising the waterways of each country and with enlargements of key areas. An essential purchase for anyone planning to cruise the European canals – as well as those who are simply curious – it is available for £10 (plus postage) from the Inland Waterways Association, 01923 711114 (or www.iwashop.com).

Richard Fairhurst  | 3.38PM, Tuesday 6 May

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