THE Manchester Ship Canal is a waterway which links Manchester with the coast and provides access to the city for large ocean-going vessels. The canal is more than 37 miles long and has five locks in total, but it 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. A guide for small craft planning to use the canal was originally prepared for IWA by John Fletcher and published by IWA North West Region.
The 38-page route section of the guide has recently been completely reworked by John Fletcher (former national chairman) and the preceding notes revised with input from IWA Chester and Merseyside Branch. A link to the guide will be included in new editions of Nicholson’s No 4 and No 5 – however, it is also available to download from the IWA website: waterways.org.uk/manchester-ship-canal
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