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Why are canals slower than natural rivers?

Started by Vladki, January 26, 2021, 08:57:19 PM

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Vladki

E.g Large river allows 50 km/h, while large canal only 11 km/h. Similar for other river/canal pairs.  It just feels not right. If the river is canalised it should be safer to sail faster - straight banks, constant depth, etc...

jonbridg

The 11km/h (about 6 knots) limit for the large ship canal would be based on data from the Manchester Ship Canal - the UK's largest - and probably applies to the largest permitted vessels:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester_Ship_Canal#Present_day

Smaller vessels, which create less wash, could conceivably be allowed to sail faster. This blog claims 10-12knots (about 18-22km/h) for MV Royal Iris Of The Mersey:
http://ianhelencanals.blogspot.com/2014/11/cruising-length-of-manchester-ship-canal.html - 18th paragraph