Crinan Canal Cruising Guide

Canal Information    Facilities

The Crinan Canal is also known as Britain's most beautiful shortcut.  At just 9 miles long, this picturesque waterway links Loch Fyne with the Sound of Jura and provides a gateway to cruising the Western Isles.  Minimum transit time is around 5 to 6 hours but with forest walks, cycle trails, prehistoric rock carvings and ancient monuments set in spectacular, unspoilt countryside there is no good reason to rush it.  If all that doesn't tempt you to linger, then some good canal side pubs and restaurants surely will. 

Crinan Canal Information

Canal Licence
A licence is required for all vessels using the canal.  Various terms are available from a single passage to an annual licence.  Charges are on a per metre basis.  Pay on entry to the canal.

Maximum LOA: 26.82m (88 feet)
Maximum beam: 6.09m (20 feet)
Maximum draft: 2.89m (9 feet 6 ins).  NB: Add 10cm (4 ins) to normal draft as vessels sit lower in fresh water.  Water levels can vary, especially in the Summer months, so check with the Canal Office if your vessel's draft is greater than 2.2m.
Maximum mast height: 29.85m (95 feet)

Several long lines, greater than 12m, are essential as well as plenty of fenders as locks can be turbulent.

All canal users must hold at least £1million third party liability insurance.
A Boat Safety Certificate is also a requirement for vessels berthing within the canal system for in excess of 30 days.  Shorter term users are subject to safety spot checks.

Locks and Bridges
There are 15 locks and 7 bridges along the 9 miles of the canal, giving a minimum passage time of around 5 to 6 hours.  The Sea Locks and Lock 14 are mechanised and will be operated for you.  Inland locks are all self service.
NB:  Do not use locks after closedown.

Operating Times
7 days a week in Summer
Monday to Saturday in Spring and Autumn
Monday to Friday in Winter
Hours may vary and the canal has periods of closure, so check with for up to date information.

Speed Limit
Maximum speed of 4 knots on the canal with minimum wash to avoid erosion of the banks.
Slow down further when passing moored craft.
The canal is very narrow between Crinan Bridge and Lock 14 so exercise caution when transiting this stretch.

The Sea Locks listen on VHF Channel 16 and work on VHF Channel 74.


Crinan Canal Facilities

NB:  There are no pump out facilities along the canal.

Ardrishaig Basin, VHF Ch 74
Pier Square, Ardrishaig PA30 8DZ - +44(0)1546 603210
Long and short term moorings available.  Waiting pontoon in outer harbour.
Water, electricity (limited), toilets, showers, Wi-Fi

Oakfield (Miller's) Bridge
Lochgilphead PA31 8NH - +44(0)1546 603210
Small number of transit and long term moorings available
Water, electricity (limited)

Supermarkets, delicatessen, banks, ATM, newsagents, pharmacy, shopping
Range of bars, restaurants and takeaway food
Petrol stations for small quantities of petrol and diesel
Transit moorings nearby

Cairnbaan PA31 8SJ - +44(0)1546 603210
Small number of transit and long term moorings available about halfway along the Crinan Canal
Water, electricity (limited), toilets, showers, bar, restaurant

Dunardry Locks, Cairnbaan PA31 8SJ - +44(0)1546 603210
Small number of transit moorings available
Water, toilets, showers

Bellanoch Bridge
Bellanoch PA31 8SN - +44(0)1546 603210
A few transit moorings available
Toilets, showers

Bellanoch Marina
Bellanoch PA31 8SN - +44(0)1546 603210
Fully serviced long term moorings only.  No visitor berths available.
Water, electricity, toilets, showers, Wi-Fi

Crinan Basin, VHF Ch 74 (Crinan Sea Lock)
Crinan PA30 8DZ - +44(0)1546 603210
Water, electricity (limited), toilets, Wi-Fi, fuel


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