Manchester Ship Canal


The Manchester Ship Canal is not considered a leisure waterway and the incompatibility of large ships and small boats means that hired vessels are not usually permitted. Boat owners must seek permission to use the canal from the Manchester Ship Canal Company, proving that their boat is seaworthy, insured and has the required safety equipment on board. As commercial traffic has decreased, the regulations have become less onerous. There are links to the River Mersey at Eastham, the Shropshire Union Canal at Ellesmere Port, the River Weaver and Weaver Navigation at Western Point and the Bridgewater Canal via the lock in Pomona No 3 Dock.  The Canal is 37.4 miles (60.1 km) long and has 5 locks.

The maximum size of craft that can navigate throughout the Canal, to Woden Street Footbridge, Manchester, is
length: 600' (182.8 metres)
beam: 65' (19.8 metres)
height: 70' (21.3 metres)
draught: 28' (8.5 metres)

Above Woden Street footbridge and into the upper reaches of the river Irwell (the inland most 1.4 miles - 2.2 km of navigation), craft are restricted to
beam: 25' (7.6 metres)
height: 15' (4.5 metres)
draught: 4' 6" (1.3 metres)

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IWA Branches

Chester and Merseyside - Eastham Lock to M6 viaduct.
Manchester - M6 viaduct to Manchester and Salford Quays, and associated short canals.

Navigation Authority

Manchester Ship Canal Company
Queen Elizabeth II Dock, Eastham, WIRRAL, CH62 0BB
T: 0151 327 1461
Manchester Ship Canal Company website

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