Speed limit 5kts in the canals. Boats may be spot checked for Boat Safety. (requirements; no fuel or gas leaks; no damage to electrical cables; no imminent danger of foundering or capsizing. If over 28 days in the canal will need a full BW Boat Safety Certificate. Life jackets to be worn by children at all times and they would like adults to as well. No swimming in the waterways. Usual harbour rules on waste disposal. Refuelling is not permitted within the locks
The main hazard is other boat users, some of who may be novices
Tidal Data Times & Range
Non tidal but watch out for the usual surges when lock gates are operated.
If you are entering the canal from Inverness you are coming into the beginnings of what the Western Scots believe is God’s own Country so prepare to be slowly amazed for the next week or so (until you become used to it!) If you are entering from Fort William you will already have become accustomed to the beauty of this part of the world but you will be leaving it at Inverness so make the most of your temporary licence and travel slowly.
If you have come from England you may have found difficulty in pronouncing the “ch” in the word “Loch” which is an Anglicised version of the Gaelic (and written “Lough” in Anglo-Irish). Add to that its combination in such bodies of water as Loch Lochy and Loch Oich and you will have been having fun. Then you arrive here at the sea locks at either end Clachnaharry Sea Lock and Corpach Sea Lock; here the “ch” is the soft-back-of- the- throat Scottish sound and the “ck” is the hard English sound; all we can say is best of luck, we manage it, but then again we were born to it!! ... read more
As has been said, your licence fee allows you to moor on all the pontoons in the Canal and at most of those in the lochs; where there is an extra charge, that is mentioned on the charts in the Skippers Guide.
These notes were reviewed by Don in April 2016. No major dramas over this winter so all remains pretty much the same. I've given links to the new prices for this year
Update 2015 Further
Written by dononshytalk | 28th Apr 2015
Just seen a report that they are well ahead of schedule and intend reopening Thursday 30th April 2015
Update April 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 16th Apr 2015
Those of you who have heard rumours re the closure of the Caledonian Canal can find information by going to the Canal website (there's a link to it in the General Description above) and follow the links Home/Customer Hub/Canal Works and Updates/Caledonian Canal Works and Boaters Updates/Stoppage at Cullochy Weir. It looks as though it's all going to plan and they are hoping to open the Canal for sea to sea transits from the beginning of May
Up the Cally.
Written by Barbados Billy | 25th Jun 2014
What a brilliant trip. We spent our ten day pass and then added another three. The staff were excellent, the facilities were top notch too. There was wind aplenty in Loch Ness but thirteen days without rain must surely have been a record. Fort William and the Harry Potter Train and plenty of shops and hostelries. Inverness is a fine town with plenty to make one's stay a happy one. Have a look round if you have time, the ten day pass is no more expensive than ten nights in a marina I thought.