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grandbanks...
grandbanks...

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:02am

Post Subject: Bridge clearance

Hi, I'm recycling my shoal draft sailboat into a canal cruiser. She is 20'x 7'x 2' draught. I want to build a sun/rain cover over the large open cockpit. I know that the bridge clearance is typically 8', with the odd lower one, but what is the cross sectional profile that will fit through the typical canal bridge? My frame will be 6' wide; how high can it be before it hits the sides of the bridge? Any other issues I should consider with this project? Power is a 5HP 4 stroke o/b, boat weighs around 2000lbs.

Tony-B...
Tony-B...

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:06pm

Post Subject: Bridge clearance

Dear John, I know British Waterways have a recommended profile diagram, you may find it on Waterscape.com or use that site to get the contact details for BW. You would be very unwise to build outside that profile. The problem is that many canal & some river bridges are arches and the air draft for the sides of the boat is rather less than the centre. I know BW state the beam should be 6'10" but there are many 7ft or even 7'2" ex working boats still using the system. I suspect you gel coat will suffer badly unless you have perhaps two more rubbing strakes between the existing one and just above the waterline, but you are still limited by the maximum beam. The reason I say this is that the hard waterway edging inland is at a great variety of heights, from all but submerged to several feet above that water and often the whaling board on piling has the odd bolt sticking out. Tony Brooks

grandbanks...
grandbanks...

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:55pm

Post Subject: Bridge clearance

Thank you, Tony, I'll search for a profile drawing. Your point about scraping the gel coat is noted. I'm on the Lancaster canal, so no locks to worry about for now and so correctly placed fenders should provide protection.

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