Plan Your Trip

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

Skipper’s Guide

Your complete reference guide to boating on the Crinan Canal. Download your free copy of the Skipper’s Guide.

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. Licences are available to purchase at the Sea Locks or Canal Offices. Download the Transit & Short Term Visitor Licences for Leisure Craft to find out more.

Locks & Bridges

The Crinan Canal is 9 miles (14.5km) in length with 15 locks (3 automated) and 7 bridges. Sea locks and main road bridges are operated for your convenience by trained staff. Inland locks are self operated.


  • 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 2.89m (9ft 6in). 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. *Please also see note below regarding sharing locks and water conservation
  • Beam 6.09m (20ft). Width of the boat including fenders.
  • Air Draught 28.95m (95ft). Boat height above waterline.

Sharing Locks and Water Conservation

Due to the continued dry weather Scottish Canals would ask that those on passage conserve water by sharing locks with others.

In particular we would ask that you maintain groups on the flights between locks 5 and 13 so that we may minimise the water drawn from the summit reach.

We may be required to hold single vessels for a short period to make effective use of the lock. Where a single craft “splits” from a group that vessel may also be held for a period to join another locking.

We also request that no boats stop overnight between locks 5 and 8 or between 11 and 13. This enables us to adjust water levels as necessary in the early morning or late at night with minimum disruption to visitors.

We will endeavour not to cause undue delay and hope that your co-operation will help us maintain levels of service throughout the summer period.

Vessels with Deep Draught

Scottish Canals are unable to guarantee passage to vessels with draught over 2.2m. Every effort will be made to accommodate such vessels prior notice is essential but due to limitations in water supply passage may be subject to delay while the levels in the long reaches are built up to ensure a safe passage.

Operating Hours

The Crinan Canal operates on a seasonal basis:

  • 7 days a week in peak season
  • Monday to Saturday during spring and autumn
  • Monday to Friday during the winter

Inland locks are self-operated and will require crew members ashore. Sea Locks and main road bridges are operated by our staff. Allow 30 minutes for last locking before close down to allow staff to make the flight ready for the evening.

Download the opening times.

From Monday 23rd October 2017 to Friday 2nd March 2018

Please give at least 24 hours’ notice of your arrival to avoid delays, 48 hours if the draft of your vessel is greater than 2.1m – call the Canal Office on 01546 603210

Mon-Fri (all structures*): 08.30 – 15:30 (last locking)

Lunch break 12:00-12.30

* During term time, the bridge at Lock 4 will not swing between 08.30 and 09:00

Please note, the last locking of the day must commence 30 minutes prior to close.

Christmas and New Year arrangements 

We are closed from 15:30 on Friday 22nd of December and re-open at 08.30 on Wednesday 3rd of January 2018.

Canal Works & Updates

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