Caledonian Canal Skipper’s Guide
Our Skipper’s Guide tells you everything you need to know about boating on the Caledonian Canal. Along with important safety advice, you’ll find details of moorings, facilities and much more.
Transiting the Caledonian Canal
The Caledonian Canal is approximately 60 miles (50 nautical miles) in length, of which 22 miles are man made, the remainder being formed by natural fresh water lochs.
There are 29 locks and 11 bridges along the waterway, all of which are operated for you by Scottish Canals’ staff.
Caledonian Canal Information
Length of natural lochs: 38 miles (61.16Km)
Length of canal cuttings: 22 miles (35.4 Km)
Total length of canal: 60 miles (96.56Km)
Summit level at Loch Oich: 106 feet (32.31m)
Number of Locks: 29
Number of Bridges: 11
Maximum permitted vessel dimensions are:
- Length 45.72 m (150ft)
- Beam 10.67m (35ft)
- Draft 4.1m freshwater (13.5ft)
- Clearance under the Kessock Bridge, which is outwith the canal area is 27.4m (89.8ft)
- Maximum mast height in the canal is 35m (115ft)
- Vessels with a freshwater draft over 3.8m (12.5ft) must contact the Canal Office on 01463 720 500 before arrival
Locks and bridges
Passage through Locks and bridges on the Caledonian Canal are managed and manned by Scottish Canals and are open in line with the canal opening times.
Lock and Bridge operations take some time to complete, so please arrive at each location in time for the operation to be completed before closing time.
The main road bridges at Muirtown, Tomnahurich, Fort Augustus and Banavie are used daily by people driving to and from work.
Scottish Canals assists traffic flow by allowing road vehicles priority at peak times.
To assist the flow of rail traffic the bridges at Clachnaharry and Banavie are periodically closed to canal traffic.
Learn more about ongoing disruptionsOngoing work
Important contact numbers
Seaport Marina, Muirtown Wharf
Inverness IV3 5LE
T: 01463 725500
Inverness IV3 8RE
T: 01463 725512
T: 07920 237331
Corpach PH33 7JH
T: 01397 772249
T: 07917 348025
Slipway for small, non-motorised craft only. Check slipways for access details. Please check slipways for suitability before use.
T: 01463 725500
T: 01463 236328
T: 01809 501381
T: 01397 772861
If it is an immediate threat to the environment, wildlife or person please call:
0800 072 9900
To report an issue that is not an emergency, please use this guide