Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your boating questions

How much will it cost me to use the canal?

Prices vary depending on the canal. Check our Transit & Short Term Visitor Licences for details.

How can I best prepare for passage?

Download and read the skipper’s guide. If you are in any doubt, please contact the local waterway office in advance where one of our staff will be happy to help you.

What is the latest time I can go through the locks and bridges?

Last locking or bridge movement is 30mins before closing. In peak summer, please allow extra time as there may well be other boats waiting to lock when you arrive. You will find the operating times on the boating pages.

Is there a speed limit on the canals?

Yes, the maximum speed limit for all craft is 5 knots. This is to help prevent excess wash from corroding the banks of the canal. There is no restriction on the loch sections of the Caledonian Canal.

Do you supply water points?

Yes but you must bring your own hose as we do not supply these.

Do I need to bring anything for locking?

Basic equipment needed for locking: 3 or 4 good quality ropes (10-15m length recommended), fenders to protect topsides – 3 or 4 per side should be enough, and lifejackets should available, and preferably worn, for all crew

How do I book assisted passage through the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals?

Call 0845 676 6000 for assisted passage

Can I go through The Falkirk Wheel

Yes, use of the Wheel is free to all private pleasure boat licence holders. It is best to book your passage time ahead.

I’m a Scottish Canals Berth Holder, can I visit the other Scottish Canals?

Scottish Canals Berth holders can have up to 30 days to visit our other canals with prior arrangement with the local waterway office.

Can I cruise the Caledonian Canal in a narrowboat?

Yes, narrowboats are welcome to visit the Caledonian Canal however you must notify us in advance of arrival and follow our Safety Guidance for Narrowboats & Small Craft.

How can I hire a boat?

Visit our Boating Holiday pages for details of operators along all the Scottish Canals.