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Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:37pm

Post Subject: Wide beam Passage

How far from the River Thames will I be able to travel up the Grand Union? Is there any Waterway maps that show the wide canals?


Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:29am

Post Subject: Wide beam Passage

Dear Rowland, Yes there are lots of maps. I suggest that you go to the IWA's web shop and brows, but I doubt any will give you air draft and profile information. You simply say "wide-beam". That could be anything from a so called wide beam narrowboat, via small and large grp cruisers to small seagoing craft. I doubt anyone can easily tell you how far you can get if you have significant air draft or a very boxy superstructure. I will assume a beam or up to about 14 ft and a low or collapsible superstructure to make the profile similar to a wide beam narrowboat. The canal will be wide enough to get well into Birmingham when the narrow Camp Hill locks will stop you. The last wide locks are at Knowel and there is a tunnel between Knowel and Camp Hill. If you are intent on going to the top of the Camp Hill flight please reconnoitre the route first because it is a "narrow" canal and I know it is shallow above Catherine De Barnes. You should note the condition and size of the winding holes (turning places)to ensure you can turn round. Alternatively go with smaller boat who can tow you backwards to a suitable turning point. Now more important things. I think you have a right of navigation to Bekhampstead because this was always a barge canal but above that you are on suffrage from BW which is not normally a problem providing you "play by the rules". The rules are that you get permission from BW before passing through Blisworth and Braunston tunnels and you will probably be told to go through in the small hours of the night to ensure you do not meet anything coming the other way - if you did you would have to back out. It would be a very good idea to discuss this with BW before you make too many plans to go above Berkhampsted although I am sure many wide beam boat owners just "do it". There is a wide-beam narrowboat moored a mile or so from Camp Hill locks and I think it got there under its own power. Tony Brooks

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