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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: Locks and Choke points Belgium and NL

Locks and Choke points Belgium and NL 21 Apr 2020 09:12 #115401

  • Lynn Woods
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Many thanks to all who replied to this thread and Balliol and I continue our separate discussion offline. Likewise I'm seeking Jim Latimer's advice re setting-up on the Neckar. Despite the current hiatus the intention is to build more boats and introduce more cruise ranges, hence the interest in the over-the-top route between Blaton and Dendermonde, which would be part of a planned route between Gent and Strepy with hotels in Aalst and Mons. Ours is a commercial mission, but I hope still supportive of the private cruising lobby as we can help make the economic case for maintaining and developing the network.

In Holland part of our appeal relative to the big river hotel boats would be to get in close to the bulbfields. One of the challenges of operating a Freycinet scale boat isn't just being able to manage locks, it's finding somewhere to turn! We're pretty settled on our scale , but there are ranges, like the Neckar and the Meuse below Verdun, where we may think about stretching to 45m.

Another planned route that just reaches into Belgium is Lille-Tournai via the Canal de Roubaix. Crookham Travel are doing that with us as a beer cruise next April and the Canal Trust could not have been more welcoming of our enquiries. In case of use to anyone the current contact is Camille Longueval This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and her Belgian colleague responsible for the stretch further east is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Best wishes all

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Locks and Choke points Belgium and NL 20 Apr 2020 15:26 #115369

Dear Lyn,

sorry us Belgians like to spread out our information as much as we enjoy having 7 levels of government...

I can confirm John Wilson's dimensions apart from one lock which seems to be a tiny bit narrower so because of that the dimensions of the 21 locks on the Canal Ath-Blaton are 41,05 m x 5,08 m, with a "guaranteed" water depth of 1,90 m and air draft of 3,44 m.

When starting on either side you need to contact the "equipe mobile" which will then propose a plan to get through all the locks depending on traffic. We had to do the 21 lock flight in one day in 2017 because of commercials coming the other way.

For the Dendre/Dender there is a separate "equipe mobile" for the Walloon part, there is none for the Flemish part.
Attached the pages from the Belgian De Rouck waterways books with phone numbers for the equipes etc which were still OK in 2017.

The Bruxelles-Charleroi is used by big commercials so much more room: 11 locks of 85,10 m x 11,50 m, with a guaranteed water depth of 2,50 m and air draft of 4,45 m.

Best of luck & #stayhealthy,
Liza

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Locks and Choke points Belgium and NL 20 Apr 2020 10:40 #115368

  • Balliol Fowden
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Hi Lynn,

Canal Blaton Ath and Dender should not be a problem for "Natalia" (info for others, Natalia is ca. 38 x 5 x 0.7 x 3). The river can be a bit shallow just south of the Flemish Walloon border but we went through on 1.1 draft (30 x 4.3 x 1.1 x 3.4) during the heat wave last summer on depleted levels with no problem other than that is quite tortuous in places (we called it the "Bender.") We arrived at the southern end of the Canal (Blaton) on a Monday morning in July, rang up at 07.50 to ask for passage and there was a team there to see us through at 08.00.

In Nl you will have no problem going most places with Natalia. To examine each and every route using conventional charts, paper or electronic, can be tedious since a particular waterway can appear fine until you spot just the one low bridge, presumed designed to limit vessel sizes. I have nil experience of PC Navigo but suspect it would be a useful investment for you. One of the other electronic apps can plan routes based on vessel size but as I recall it only seems to work if you are already located in NL, so no use from your desk.

Will respond to your PM later.

Balliol.

Balliol.

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Locks and Choke points Belgium and NL 20 Apr 2020 10:17 #115367

Lynn, what size is you vessel?
We visited Keukenhof last Easter and stayed at the Lisse marina, which I think is reasonably close. The ring canal is set up for the next size up from Freycinet dimensions.
There is a ferry going to the gardens with an air draft of about 2 meters if I recall.

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Locks and Choke points Belgium and NL 19 Apr 2020 21:48 #115366

If I remember correctly, you need to give 24 hours notice to travel the southern part of the Blaton-Ath. Well worth a visit is the splendid (though rather poorly maintained through lack of visitor numbers I suspect) Beloeil Chateau - 1 km from the mooring immediately south of Ecluse 11.

Peter
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Locks and Choke points Belgium and NL 19 Apr 2020 21:12 #115365

You may have draught issues on the Blaton-Ath. Best would be call the waterways people, both Flemish and Walloon on that canal. Locks are stated to be 41x 5.14
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Locks and Choke points Belgium and NL 19 Apr 2020 20:22 #115363

In Belgium, the only reduced size locks I know of are the 3 locks at the Kortrijk end of the Kortrijk-Bossuit canal. They are 38.7 m long. A couple of years ago, the last passage from the Kortijk end was at 2pm, unless you could sweet talk the lockeeper. There is a nice peaceful mooring above the Bossuit lock at the other end.
The Bruxelles-Charleroi canal used to be very limited (Canal du Berry size) many years ago. You can still see the entrance to a tunnel and an old lock above Auvelais.
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Locks and Choke points Belgium and NL 19 Apr 2020 19:29 #115362

  • Steve Van de Pas
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Pc-navigo is your best frind on the water
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res non verba,
Tx for the beer :-)

Locks and Choke points Belgium and NL 19 Apr 2020 18:52 #115361

> The PC-N fans will say 'Enter your dimensions and ask to see the waterways you can travel on. Not half as much fun!

Navigo also tells you how much spare space you'll have - front and back and side to side (locks), under and above (waterways) by looking at the top right corner of the screen. Yes, not much fun but probably the simplest method.

Peter
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Locks and Choke points Belgium and NL 19 Apr 2020 18:00 #115360

The simple answer is no! They vary considerably, off the main commercial routes.

Apart from the answer some here will give of 'Ask PC-Navigo', my immediate goto is Jaqueline Jones 'Inland Waterways of Belgium, which gives 41m for the Blato-Ath-Dender. In Hetherlands, Louise Busby and Almanaak 2 are my first choice and good reading, too.

The PC-N fans will say 'Enter your dimensions and ask to see the waterways you can travel on. Not half as much fun!

The DBA Library also has a spreadsheet of canal dimensions in its National Info section.

Pete
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Pete Milne, Quo Vadis , Gent.

Locks and Choke points Belgium and NL 19 Apr 2020 17:07 #115359

  • Lynn Woods
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Is there a simple statement of minimum lock dimensions in Belgium and Holland? In France we know that Freycinet is generally the minimum but with exceptions as with the the Nivernais at the Loire end and the Canal du Midi. The question arises because I'm planning the Canal Ath-Blaton and Dendre between Strepy and Gent via Mons, and can find no mention anywhere of lock dimensions; same will apply to the canals around Keukenhof.

TIA, Lynn

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