Plan Your Trip

At just nine miles long, the Crinan Canal creates a pathway through the Kintyre Peninsula, amidst truly magnificent scenery.

Book Your Transit

Scottish Canals has introduced a new booking system for boaters transiting the Crinan Canal. Find out more and book your passage below.

Book your transit

Scottish Government Covid-19 International Travel and Entry Restrictions

Update 15.3.22 – From Friday 18th March the UK and Scottish Governments have confirmed that all Covid 19 entry requirements will be removed for anyone entering the country regardless of their vaccination status – this includes passenger locator forms, pre-arrival testing, proof of vaccination and post-arrival testing.

Detailed guidance can be found on the government website : 

For more information relating to Covid-19 and how it may affect your transit please click here.

Skipper’s Guide

Our Skipper’s Guides are your complete reference guide to boating on the Scottish Canals. Your guide includes important safety information as well as details of moorings and facilities and can be downloaded here.

Transit & Short Term Visitor Licences

All powered craft using the Scottish canals require a licence, and we have a variety of short-term and transit licences available to suit your requirements. Price information is available here.

Locks & Bridges

The Crinan Canal is 9 miles (14.5km) in length with 15 locks (3 automated) and 7 bridges. Sea locks, Lock 14 and bridges are operated for your convenience by trained staff. Inland locks are self operated which involves pushing lock gates and winding sluices.

Assisted Passage

We recommend you employ an experienced Private Pilot if you are:

  • shorthanded with crew
  • in a rush to transit
  • have never transited the canal before.


Private pilot contact details:

James Bates 07561050332
Shaun Tooley 07506 001 527
Bruce Robertson 07729 909 428
Giles Bracey 07976528150
Joe Kerr 01546 603 799
Paul Campbell 07592721830
Oliver Sumner 07738003955
Andy Grant 07738 003 955

Please note that Scottish Canals are not liable for private pilots.

Single-Handed Boaters

We are unable to guarantee assistance to single-handed boaters, so please ensure you have sufficient crew on board to handle your ropes. Single-handed boaters are likely to experience delays.


  • LOA 26.82m (88ft). Length overall including fenders, bowsprits, davits, tenders, rudders and any other extension fore and/or aft of the boat. This can be reduced by retracting bowsprits.
  • Draught 2.5m (8ft 2in). Boat depth below the waterline. Remember to adjust your draught for freshwater by adding 0.1m per metre of your draught. We advise owners with vessels deeper than 2.2m draught to contact the Canal Office at least 2 days before arrival.
  • Beam 6.09m (20ft). Width of the boat including fenders.
  • Air Draught 28.95m (95ft). Boat height above waterline.

Operating Hours 2022

The Crinan Canal will re-open on Monday 4th April 2022, operating 7 days a week from 08:30 – 17:30pm until 30th September 2022.

Important Guidance for Overseas Vessels Visiting Scotland’s Canals

Post-Brexit Customs and Immigration Requirements

Overseas vessels wishing to make first UK landfall at the Caledonian, Crinan or Forth and Clyde Canals must now follow carefully these two entry procedures, from UK Border Force, in advance of arrival:

  1. Customs reporting procedure
  • Fly the yellow Q flag on entering UK Territorial waters (the 12-mile limit).
  • Complete Part 2 of the HMRC C1331 form (available on Gov.UK)
  • Call the HMRC National Yachtline +44 (0)300 123 2012 on arrival.
  • Declare any excess goods on the C1331 form and pay the duty/tax using the Online Service for Passengers via Gov.UK
  1. Immigration reporting procedure
  • Before disembarking your vessel, you must contact the local Border Force office to request permission to enter. In all cases for vessels visiting one of Scotland’s canals, this would be +44(0) 300 106 5725 (Border Force North, 24/7)

Canal Works & Updates

Check our Canal Works & Updates pages for details of current works along the Crinan Canal.