Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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Craft and Lock Dimensions

This page, and the related entries on individual Waterways Pages, have been provided to help answer the often asked questions "Can I take my boat across the Leeds & Liverpool Canal? " or "What is the maximum size of boat that can travel all the waterways on the connected system?" and other questions of a similar kind. Locks are often the structures that restrict craft sizes but are by no means the only factor. Many waterways have width restrictions due to bridge or aqueduct sizes or length restrictions due to sharp bends. Where lock sizes are used they represent the maximum craft sizes that can navigate the lock rather than the length or width of the lock structure. This is the normally quoted size as it allows for factors such as the lock cill, gate opening requirements etc. I have tried to use the best information available and to represent it accurately on these pages but I cannot guarantee accuracy and you would be well advised to check particulars with the navigation authority before undertaking voyages into unfamiliar waters.

It is possible for boats that are longer than the quoted lock length to pass through some locks, for example narrowboats may pass through broad locks with the boat diagonally from corner to corner thus gaining a few extra feet of lock space. Sometimes a boat can squeeze through a lock by having its prow jutting over the lock cill, this may mean going through the lock backwards. In many cases where space is tight it will be necessary to remove fenders from the front and back of the boat. It is of course necessary to know the length of your craft when using this data and although craft may be specified to be a certain length sometimes the boat builder exceeds the specification by inches or even a foot or more. Even the question "What is the maximum size of boat that can travel all the waterways on the connected system?" has no simple answer. I have a 57 foot narrowboat and can go nearly everywhere (with some very minor exceptions). I don't ever have to remove my front or rear fenders, even though it can be a bit tight in some Calder & Hebble locks, so 57 foot is a safe size, however longer narrowboats (up to 60 foot) can navigate these waterways using the methods described above. Don't assume that because a certain length boat has navigated a lock that another boat of nominally the same size can also pass through. At the limit not only inches but also the shape of the boat (bows, stern and hull) can make a difference. If you are squeezing through locks minor changes to the lock, e.g. strengthening the gates or changing the gate walkway, could make the lock impassable for you. Also you will need to take great care to ensure that the boat does not get jammed or hung up on any part of the lock as the water rises or falls.

Waterways with Specified Lock Sizes

The following are waterways which have lock size/craft size data available. For tables of distances and other information on the waterway click on the waterway page link.


Ashby de la Zouch Canal

Length 72 feet, beam 7feet.

See Ashby de la Zouch Canal for details.


Aire & Calder Navigation - Selby Section

Length 78 foot 6 inches, beam 16 foot 6 inches.

See Aire & Calder Navigation - Selby Section for details.


Aire & Calder Navigation : Wakefield Section

Length 142 foot, beam 17 foot 6 inches.

See Aire & Calder Navigation - Wakefield Section for details.


Ashton, Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Ashton, Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals for details.


Ashton Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Ashton Canal for details.


Macclesfield Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Macclesfield Canal for details.


Peak Forest Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Peak Forest Canal for details.


Bridgwater and Taunton Canal

Length 50 foot, beam 9 foot 10 inches.

See Bridgwater and Taunton Canal for details.


Calder and Hebble Navigation

Wakefield to Broadcut Top Lock: Length 120 foot, beam 17 foot 6 inches. The rest of the navigation to Sowerby Bridge: Length 57 foot 6 inches, beam 14 foot 2 inches.

See Calder and Hebble Navigation for details.


Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Birmingham and Fazeley Canal for details.


Dudley Canal Line No 1

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Dudley Canal Line No 1 for details.


Digbeth Branch Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Digbeth Branch Canal for details.


BCN Main Line

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See BCN Main Line for details.


Birmingham Canal Navigations

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot, applies to the whole BCN.

See Birmingham Canal Navigations for details.


Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation

Into Heybridge Basin: Length 107 foot, beam 26 foot. The rest of the naviagtion to Chelmsford: Length 60 foot, beam 16 foot.

See Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation for details.


Caledonian Canal

Length 150 foot, beam 35 foot.

See Caledonian Canal for details.


Chesterfield Canal

River Trent to Retford: Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot. Retford to the head of navigation: Length 72 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Chesterfield Canal for details.


Crinan Canal

Length 88 foot, beam 20 foot.

See Crinan Canal for details.


Coventry Canal

Length 72 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Coventry Canal for details.


Driffield Navigation

Length 61 foot, beam 14 foot 6 inches.

See Driffield Navigation for details.


Droitwich Junction Canal

Length 71 foot 6 inches, beam 7 foot 1inch.

See Droitwich Junction Canal for details.


Droitwich Canal

Length 71 foot 6 inches, beam 9 foot 6 inches.

See Droitwich Canal for details.


Dudley Canal Line No 2

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Dudley Canal Line No 2 for details.


Gower Branch Canal (BCN)

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Gower Branch Canal (BCN) for details.


Old Main Line (BCN)

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Old Main Line (BCN) for details.


Rushall Canal (BCN)

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Rushall Canal (BCN) for details.


Titford Canal (BCN)

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Titford Canal (BCN) for details.


Tame Valley Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Tame Valley Canal for details.


Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 12 foot 6 inches.

See Edinburgh and Glasgow Union Canal for details.


Exeter Ship Canal

Length 122 foot, beam 26 foot 3 inches.

See Exeter Ship Canal for details.


Forth & Clyde Canal

Length 68 foot 6 inches, beam 19 foot 8 inches.

See Forth & Clyde Canal for details.


Fossdyke Canal

Length 74 foot 6 inches, beam 15 foot 2 inches.

See Fossdyke Canal for details.


Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal

Length 240 foot, beam 30 foot.

See Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal for details.


Grantham Canal

Length 75 foot, beam 14 foot.

See Grantham Canal for details.


Grand Union Aylesbury Branch

Length 72 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Grand Union Aylesbury Branch for details.


Grand Union Erewash Canal

Trent Lock to Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot 3 inches.

See Grand Union Erewash Canal for details.


Grand Union Market Harborough Branch

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Grand Union Market Harborough Branch for details.


Grand Union Leicester Section

Norton Junction to Foxton Junction (the old Grand Union canal): Length 72 foot, beam 7 foot. Foxton to Leicester: Length 70 foot, beam 13 foot. Leicester to Trent Junction (the River Soar): Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot 4 inches.

See Grand Union Leicester Section for details.


Grand Union Main Line

Brentford to Camp Hill Top Lock: Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot. Camp Hill Top Lock to Salford Junction: Length 72 foot, beam 6 foot 10 inches.

See Grand Union Main Line for details.


Grand Union Northampton Branch

Length 72 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Grand Union Northampton Branch for details.


Grand Union Regents Canal

Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot 6 inches.

See Grand Union Regents Canal for details.


Hertford Union Canal (Grand Union)

Length 78 foot, beam 14 foot 6 inches.

See Hertford Union Canal (Grand Union) for details.


Grand Union Welford Branch

Length 72 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Grand Union Welford Branch for details.


Huddersfield Broad Canal

Length 57 foot 6 inches, beam 14 foot 2 inches.

See Huddersfield Broad Canal for details.


Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 6 foot 10 inches.

See Huddersfield Narrow Canal for details.


Kyme Eau - Sleaford Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 14 foot.

See Kyme Eau - Sleaford Canal for details.


Leeds & Liverpool - Leigh Branch

Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot.

See Leeds & Liverpool - Leigh Branch for details.


Kennet and Avon Canal

Reading to Newbury: Length 75 foot, beam 14 foot. Newbury to Bath: Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot. Bath to Hanham Lock: Length 75 foot, beam 16 foot.

See Kennet and Avon Canal for details.


Lancaster Canal

Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot 6 inches.

See Lancaster Canal for details.


Lancaster Canal - Glasson Dock Branch

Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot 6 inches.

See Lancaster Canal - Glasson Dock Branch for details.


Leeds & Liverpool - Rufford Branch

Length 62 foot, beam 14 foot.

See Leeds & Liverpool - Rufford Branch for details.


Louth Navigation

Length 72 foot, beam 15 foot.

See Louth Navigation for details.


Leeds and Liverpool Canal

Leeds to Wigan: Length 62 foot, beam 14 foot. Wigan to Liverpool: Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot.

See Leeds and Liverpool Canal for details.


Lydney Canal

Length 100 foot, beam 24 foot.

See Lydney Canal for details.


Market Weighton Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 14 foot 10 inches.

See Market Weighton Canal for details.


Manchester Ship Canal

Large locks: Length 600 foot, beam 65 foot. Parallel smaller locks: Length 350 foot, beam 65 foot.

See Manchester Ship Canal for details.


Middle Level - Forty Foot River

Horseway Lock: Length 60 foot, beam 11 foot. Welches Dam Lock: Length 47 foot, beam 11 foot.

See Middle Level - Forty Foot River for details.


Middle Level - King's Dyke

Stanground Lock: Length 80 foot, beam 11 foot 6 inches.

See Middle Level - King's Dyke for details.


Middle Level - Old River Nene

Marmont Priory Lock: Length 92 foot, beam 12 foot.

See Middle Level - Old River Nene for details.


Middle Level - Well Creek

Salters Lode Lock: Length 62 foot, beam 12 foot 6 inches. Note it is possible for longer boats to pass through this lock in favourable states of the tide.

See Middle Level - Well Creek for details.


Middle Level - Whittlesey Dyke

Ashline Lock: Length 80 foot, beam 11 foot 6 inches.

See Middle Level - Whittlesey Dyke for details.


Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

Length 64 foot 9 inches, beam 9 foot 2 inches. Navigation is restricted to boats of length 50 foot, beam 8 foot 6 inchs because of a bridge on a sharp bend.

See Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal for details.


Neath Canal

Length 60 foot, beam 9 foot.

See Neath Canal for details.


Old West River (Great Ouse)

Hermitage Sluice: Length 90 foot, beam 12 foot 6 inches. Denver Lock: Length 96 foot 9 inches, beam 17 foot 8 inches.

See Old West River (Great Ouse) for details.


River Lark (Great Ouse)

Length 88 foot, beam 14 foot 6 inches.

See River Lark (Great Ouse) for details.


Oxford Canal (Northern Section)

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Oxford Canal (Northern Section) for details.


Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

Length 72 foot, beam 6 foot 10 inches.

See Oxford Canal (Southern Section) for details.


Pocklington Canal

Length 57 foot, beam 14 foot 3 inches.

See Pocklington Canal for details.


Ripon Canal

Length 58 foot, beam 14 foot.

See Ripon Canal for details.


River Ancholme

South Ferriby Lock: length 68 foot, beam 19 foot. Harlam Hill Lock: length 40 foot, beam 12 foot.

See River Ancholme for details.


River Avon (Bristol)

Through the Cumberland Basin Entrance Lock: length 324 foot 9 inches, beam 48 foot 10 inches. Through Netham Lock: length 80 foot, beam 17 foot 8 inches.

See River Avon (Bristol) for details.


Lower Avon Navigation

Lock sizes vary but the maximum craft size for navigating the whole waterway is: length 70 foot, beam 13 foot 6 inchs.

See Lower Avon Navigation for details.


Upper Avon

Lock sizes vary but the maximum size of craft navigating the river is length 70 foot, beam 12 foot 6 inches.

See Upper Avon for details.


River Cam

Length 100 foot, beam 14 foot.

See River Cam for details.


River Derwent

Through Barmby Barrage Lock: Length 62 foot, beam 16 foot 6 inches. Sutton Lock: Length 54 foot 6 inches, beam 13 foot 9 inches.

See River Derwent for details.


River Foss

Length 97 foot, beam 18 foot 6 inches.

See River Foss for details.


River Great Ouse

Individual lock sizes vary but the maximum size for navigationfrom Bedford to the Wash is Length 85 foot 4 inches, beam 10 foot 4 inches.

See River Great Ouse for details.


Little Ouse or Brandon River

Brandon Lock (opened 1995): Length 40 foot 4 inches, beam 12 foot.

See Little Ouse or Brandon River for details.


River Medway

Allington Lock to Maidstone: Length 175 foot, beam 21 foot 6 inches. Maidstone to Tonbridge: Length 80 foot, beam 18 foot 6 inches.

See River Medway for details.


River Lee - Bow Creek

Length 90 foot, beam 19 foot 6 inches.

See River Lee - Bow Creek for details.


River Lee

Length 84 foot, beam 16 foot.

See River Lee for details.


River Stort

Length 85 foot, beam 13 foot 3 inches.

See River Stort for details.


River Ouse (Yorkshire)

Naburn Lock maximum craft size: Length 150 foot, beam 25 foot 6 inches. Linton Lock: Length 60 foot, beam 15 foot 4 inches.

See River Ouse (Yorkshire) for details.


River Nene

Length 78 foot, beam 14 foot. Note - Irthlingborough Bridge restricts the maximum beam of craft navigating the Nene to 13 foot.

See River Nene for details.


River Parrett

Length 54 foot, beam 14 foot.

See River Parrett for details.


River Rother (Eastern)

Length 56 foot, beam 13 foot 9 inches.

See River Rother (Eastern) for details.


River Severn

Lock sizes vary but the maximum craft sizes are from Gloucester to Worcester: Length 135 foot, beam 21 foot. From Worcester to Stourport: Length 90 foot, beam 19 foot.

See River Severn for details.


River Trent

Lock sizes vary but the maximum dimensions for craft navigating the waterway are as follows. Derwent Mouth to Meadow Lane Lock (Nottingham Canal): Length 81 foot, beam 14 foot 6 inches. From Meadow Lane Lock to the tidal river: Length 165 foot, beam 18 foot 6 inches.

See River Trent for details.


River Thames

Lock sizes vary but the maximum dimensions for craft navigating the river are as follows. Lechlade to Oxford: Length 109 foot, beam 14 foot. Oxford to Reading: Length 120 foot, beam 17 foot 3 inches. Reading to Windsor: Length 130 foot, beam 17 foot 6 inches. Windsor to Teddington: Length 174 foot, beam 19 foot 10 inches.

See River Thames for details.


River Ure

Westwick Lock is the smaller of the two locks and is length 57 foot, beam 14 foot 6 inches.

See River Ure for details.


River Wey

Length 72 foot, beam 13 foot 10 inches.

See River Wey for details.


River Welland

Fulney Lock: Length 62 foot 4 inches, beam 27 foot 10 inches.

See River Welland for details.


River Weaver

Winsford Bridge to Northwich: Length 130 foot, beam 35 foot. Northwich to Weston Point: Length 150 foot, beam 35 foot.

See River Weaver for details.


River Witham Navigation

Length 78 foot, beam 15 foot 2 inches.

See River Witham Navigation for details.


Rochdale Canal

Length 74 foot, beam 14 foot 2 inches.

See Rochdale Canal for details.


Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation

Keadby to Bramwith is restricted by Thorne Lock to length 61 foot 8 inches, beam 17 foot. From Bramwith to Rotherham maximum craft size is length 229 foot 8 inches, beam 20 foot. From Rotherham to Sheffield: Length 61 foot 6 inches, beam 15 foot 3 inches.

See Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation for details.


Sheffield and South Yorkshire New Junction Canal

Sykehouse Lock: Length 215 foot, beam 22 foot 6 inches.

See Sheffield and South Yorkshire New Junction Canal for details.


Stourbridge Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Stourbridge Canal for details.


Shropshire Union Dee Branch

Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot 9 inches.

See Shropshire Union Dee Branch for details.


Shropshire Union - Middlewich Branch

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Shropshire Union - Middlewich Branch for details.


Shropshire Union - Llangollen Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 6 foot 10 inches.

See Shropshire Union - Llangollen Canal for details.


Shropshire Union Main Line

From Autherley Junction to Nantwich (the old Birmingham & Liverpool Junction Canal): Length 72 foot, beam 7 foot. From Nantwich to Ellesmere Port: Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot 9 inches but note that other structures on the waterway limit craft to a beam of 9 foot.

See Shropshire Union Main Line for details.


Shropshire Union Montgomery Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 6 foot 10 inches.

See Shropshire Union Montgomery Canal for details.


Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal for details.


Stratford upon Avon Canal - Kingswood Branch

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Stratford upon Avon Canal - Kingswood Branch for details.


Stratford upon Avon Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Stratford upon Avon Canal for details.


Stroudwater Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 15 foot 6 inches.

See Stroudwater Canal for details.


Swansea Canal

Length 64 foot, beam 7 foot 6 inches.

See Swansea Canal for details.


Caldon Branch - Trent and Mersey Canal

Length 72 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Caldon Branch - Trent and Mersey Canal for details.


Trent and Mersey Canal

Derwent Mouth to Burton-on-Trent: Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot. Burton to Middlewich Lock 74: Length 72 foot, beam 7 foot. Middlewich Big Lock: Length 72 foot, beam 14 foot. From Middlewich to Preston Brook the maximum beam for craft is 9 foot.

See Trent and Mersey Canal for details.


Daw End Branch Canal (BCN)

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Daw End Branch Canal (BCN) for details.


Walsall Branch Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Walsall Branch Canal for details.


Walsall Canal

Length 70 foot, beam 7 foot.

See Walsall Canal for details.


Witham Navigable Drains

Maximum dimensions for craft are Length 60 foot, beam 10 foot.

See Witham Navigable Drains for details.


Worcester and Birmingham Canal

Length 71 foot 6 inches, beam 7 foot.

See Worcester and Birmingham Canal for details.

 


 

Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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