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 1.11.21 – In recognition of the further easing of international travel to and from Scotland for leisure purposes, and the simplification of the Red, Amber and Green travel lists, the following criteria will apply to leisure vessels wishing to access the Scottish Canal network until notified otherwise:

  • The canal cannot be the first port of entry. Vessels with crew who are not fully vaccinated can only enter the canal on completion of their 10 days self-isolation and evidence of a negative PCR test after day 2 and day 8. Vessels with fully vaccinated crew can enter the canal after 3 days in the UK when evidencing a negative lateral flow / antigen test after the first 2 days and proof of vaccination
  • Arrivals from Common Travel Area (UK and Ireland including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands):  vessels will be permitted normal entry into the canals

Detailed guidance, including links to passenger locator forms and how to order your day 2 lateral flow test, 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 purchased on arrival (£4.50) or download your free copy of the Skipper’s Guide beforehand.

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:

Alasdair McCrae 07772 634 584 07379678008
Mike Murray 07818 857 805 01546 830 238
Alan Hutchinson 01546 830 011
Charlie Ambrose 07383 627 241
Joe Kerr 01546 603 799
Piers Milligan 07887694538
Dylan Newlands-Steele 07376 653445
Andy Grant 07738 003 955
Bruce Robertson 07729 909 428

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 2.2m (7ft 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.
  • Beam 6.09m (20ft). Width of the boat including fenders.
  • Air Draught 28.95m (95ft). Boat height above waterline.

Operating Hours 2021

The winter closure at Crinan is from 15:30 on Friday 29th of October – March 14th 2022.

The canal is unavailable for transit during this time though access and haven is available at Ardrishaig Sea Lock 08:30 – 15:30, Monday to Friday by prior arrangement with the canal office. 01546 603210

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.