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Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:00am

Post Subject: Is it possible for a Dutch barge on canals?

We are wanting to retire and live on board. We have fallen for the Dutch Barge and wide beam rather than narrow. We want to take it north accross the Wash and may be up the Severn. Can someone advise on the maximum width (they vary from 10' to 14')? Depth and air draft? Does it have to be CAT D? Sorry if it is a long question, but we would be grateful for some advise.


Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:14pm

Post Subject: Is it possible for a Dutch barge on canals?

Dear Isobel Straight away we can see such a boat will not fit the narrow canals so that rules out the midlands but it will fit waterways in the south and north. However a 14ft beam will not allow access to the River Stort (off the River Lea) because I think that only accept a 13ft beam. I am sure that will give you the approved draft, bean and air draft for most navigations but take care because it may not be 100% correct. I think a nominally OK boat got stuck on the K&A last year. You can get a wide beam boat almost to Birmingham up the GU but you have to book tunnel passages with BW and will probably find that your time is about 3 am. In strictly legal terms you do not need any particular category to go boating and if the boat was built prior to the RCD it may not even have a category. However if you took a category D (Sheltered waters & inland) boat across the Wash or up the Severn Estuary and lost it an insurance company might take the fact that it was being operated outside its category as an easy way to avoid payment. In a similar vein the MCA or HSA may have something to say if someone got drowned in similar circumstances. If you intend to do much estuary or inshore boating it might be better to try for a category B or C because there is not actual category requirement for boats on BW or EA waters. Tony Brooks

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