CanalCuttings.co.uk are now supporters of the The Lapal Canal Project through the Lapal Canal Trust - Striving towards the incremental restoration of the decommissioned half of the Dudley No. 2 Canal, between Selly Oak in Birmingham and Halesowen in Dudley, eventually to full navigation via the Woodgate Valley.
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Planning Your Canal Boat Cruise
If you are new to boating, consider the time you will have available. If you are hiring a boat for a week from a company like Hoseasons then when planning your canal boat cruise, please bear in mind the canal speed limit is 4 mph and if you combine this with the number of locks at an average between 15 and 20 minutes per lock.
16 miles and six locks could take between 6 and 7 hours. If you are taking it easy – allowing for some sight seeing and relaxing - good days cruising! For free entry museums galleries etc. go to www.dofreestuff.com
If you are the get ahead type then you might do half as much again (but why rush!)
We recommend that you find your own (steady) pace – cruise out for half the time allowed i.e. 3½ days of a 7 day holiday. If you are halfway round the route you have planned then continue to complete the ring. If you haven’t yet got to the halfway point – turn around at the next winding hole and head back the way you came! We can guarantee that everything will look different on the way back and if there was a particularly good pub or restaurant – revisit it!
All too often we have seen hire boats rushing to get back in to the boatyard and creating an awful bow wave and wash, rocking other (moored) boaters about and sending waterfowl up the canal bank as if they were surf bums! You are out for a restful and enjoyable canal boat cruise after all! Take it easy – there is always next year. If you want to go fast - stay in a car and get on a motorway.
If you are travelling on open water faster than a man can walk, about 4 mph, you are going too fast.
When passing moored boats you should be travelling about 2 mph or as fast as a man can walk backwards!
Your hire boat will probably only be licensed to cruise in British Waterways Cruising areas. If you stray away from the authorised area you will be liable for any licence fees charged to the boat. Such areas include Upper and Lower Avon, River Nene and the Sharpness Canal.
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