Operational Information For the Caledonian Canal
The Caledonian Canal offers acoast-to-coast link through spectacular scenery in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Stretching from Inverness in the east to Fort William in the west, the canal is approximately 96.5km (60 miles) in length, of which 34.5km (22 miles) is man made and the remainder being formed by natural fresh water lochs. There are 29 locks and 10 swing bridges along the waterway, all of which are operated for your convenience by trained staff.
Users should allow aminimum of two and ahalf days to transit the canal, and more if you wish to explore further the many attractions the Great Glen has to offer, particularly during our busy summer season.
Maximum Craft Dimensions
Length 45.72m (150ft)
Beam 10.67m (35ft)
Draught 4.11m (13ft 6in)
Maximum mast height in the canal is 35m (115ft) above the waterline, but clearance under the Kessock Bridge on the Inverness Firth is lower at 29m (95ft).
A range of visitor licences are available which are valid for all Scottish Canals www.scottishcanals.co.uk Contact the Canal Office for details of great value transit and short term stay packages.
Obtain your licence and Skipper’s Guide on arrival at the Sea Lock. This guide contains navigational information to help make your transit through the canal safe and enjoyable, (guide also available at www.scottishcanals. co.uk ).
The Caledonian Canal operates on a seasonal basis: 7days per week in Spring, Summer and Autumn, and Monday to Friday during Winter. Please check with the local Canal Office or www.scottishcanals.co.uk for exact operating dates and times.
Swing Bridge Restrictions
Please note that swing bridges are restricted for opening at peak times. Further details will be issued at the Sea Lock upon your arrival.
VHF Radio Communication
The canal operates on VHF Channel 74. Please contact the Sea Lock Keeper before arriving at the canal.
Special note should be taken of the tidal restrictions at the sea locks. Within normal operating hours Clachnaharry Sea lock is available ≥ 1.4m. At spring tides the sea locks are closed ≤ 2 hours either side of low tide. The restriction is caused by the need for sufficient depth to ﬂoat the sea lock gates. Contact the Sea Lock Keeper on VHF Ch 74 for local advice. Facilities Transit berths available throughout the canal. Toilets, showers and laundry facilities, shore power and water,diesel and pump-out, Wifi, and local services are all available at various locations along the canal –please check Skipper’s Guide for specific information.
Notes to Skippers
Basic equipment needed for locking: 3 or 4 good quality ropes of adequate length (15 metres recommended). Adequate fenders to protect your topsides –3 or4 per side should be enough Life jackets should be available for, and worn by all crew. Children and non-swimmers should wear them at all times. Please contact the Sea Lock Keeper on VHF Channel 74 before arriving at the canal: