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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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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...


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:

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: - 18th paragraph