Canal and Narrow BoatsThese are suitable only for travelling at the slow speeds imposed by the canal system i.e. 4 mph. It is necessary to limit speeds so as to prevent the sides of the canal being eroded by the wash from the stern of these boats.
As the name suggest these boats are narrow; and are also often quite long – up to 62 feet is not uncommon. They can be quite spacious and some are used as live-aboards. Certainly, they are very suitable for a relaxed holiday cruise along the canal system. Often the scenery is beautiful, punctuated by canal-side pubs.
Many canal boats are quite old, often having been lovingly and sympathetically restored to their original, very colourful, livery.
If you get a canal boat, you need a suitable mooring and be willing to navigate the lock system.
Their engines are of low horse-power, as that is all that is needed. When going at very slow speeds, you should note that steerage (the ability to turn the boat) can be limited owing to the limited amount of water flowing at slow speed over the rudder. This is overcome by making the rudder (or tiller) quite large in comparison to other types of boats.