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Is a narrow boat suitable for the European Waterways

Is a narrow boat suitable for the European Waterways?

Asked by: John McCulloch  | 1.18pm, Thursday 21 July

WW says:

In general, the answer would probably be "no".
People have (successfully) cruised on the European system in narrowboats, though they are not the best for the busier navigations- and would be totally unsuitable for the Rhine/Rhone, etc.
Some narrowboats are based on the Canl du Midi, and associated waterways- but otherwise, a cruiser, widebeam or barge would be far more suitable- and why restrict yourself to a narrow boat width, on a canal that can accommodate more?

Mark Langley  | 5.57PM, Friday 22 July

Readers say:

We've just returned from a hire boat holiday on the Canal de Bourgogne and saw one or two English narrow boats which looked like they'd taken up permanent residence. There's no reason why a narrow boat would not be suitable from a purely technical point of view, provided you avoid the major rivers where you might encounter strong currents and major commercial traffic. However, they do look out of place. Even a minor canal such as the Bourgoyne can take boats of 5 metre width, so it seems almost perverse to confine yourself to a six foot tube when every other boat is taller and wider. We also saw some English wide beam barges passing through which looked right at home. I think if you were planning to cruise the continent's canals they would be much more suitable.

Graham Pierce  | 7.17PM, Tuesday 26 July

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