Royal & Grand 2020 – Dublin travel – WI Notice


Waterways Ireland wish to remind masters and owners of boat passage arrangements in or out of Dublin on the Royal & Grand Canals in 2020.  Movements in or out of the city will be organised by prior arrangement to take place as a single movement in one day.  Boaters will be facilitated to travel the system if their passage is considered to be safe by Waterways Ireland and they have the valid permit(s) for mooring and passage.

In order to plan the necessary lock assistance for movements east of Lock 12 on either canal, Masters are required to contact the Waterways Ireland Eastern Regional Office (M-F 9.30am-4.30pm) on Tel: ++353-(0)1-868-0148 or email prior to making passage.  At time of making contact please advise the following details:

  • Length, beam, water & air drafts of your craft (provide approximates if don’t have exact dimensions)
  • Phone / email contact details
  • Permit number and expiry date of current canal permit

On the Grand Canal a minimum of two day’s notice prior to planned passage must be given and, with the exception of pre-arranged events, a maximum of 2 boats per day will be taken through the locks, travelling either East or West.  In certain circumstances, e.g. for slower or larger barges, the limit will be 1 boat per day.  Due to periodic anti-social activity along some of canal route into Dublin, boat passage will also not be possible in certain weather conditions and at weekends over the late spring & summer period.  This can be planned for at time of making contact, and suitable arrangements for passage made.

On the Royal Canal two weeks’ notice of bridge passage (Newcomen Lifting Bridge) is required for the pre-set lift date, and lock assistance will then also be arranged.  A minimum of 2 boats is required for a bridge lift to go ahead. The pre-set lift dates are set out in Marine Notice 09 of 2020.

Masters and owners are also reminded to ensure that they have the following before making the passage through the city locks on both canals.  Waterways Ireland reserve the right to postpone passage to another day if all of these are not in place.

  • adequate fuel on board
  • competent and adequate crew to operate the boat and locks (minimum crew of 3)
  • a lock key on board their boat
  • mooring lines of adequate length to handle vessel through a lock (approx.15m length)
  • no known mechanical problems with their boat

Passages can only be arranged in the boating season from mid-March to end of October.  Also note that aquatic weed is generally more prevalent as the season progresses beyond Spring and may hamper passage.  Boaters will be facilitated as far as practicable although Waterways Ireland cannot guarantee that passage will be possible on every planned date.  Early contact will greatly assist planning and facilitate the making of the necessary arrangements.

Patrick Harkin

Inspector of Navigation

12 Feb 2020

“Waterways Ireland, managing and promoting the inland waterways for the benefit of all…”