Our canals and rivers have evolved over the past 200 years and not all locks and bridges are the same size. You'll need to ensure your boat is the right size for the places you want to go.
A steel narrowboat can cruise almost any waterway, though they are not so well suited for tidal rivers. They are 6ft 10in (2.1m) wide and up to 70ft long. The canals and rivers of Yorkshire have shorter locks, so if you want to explore this area, your boat should be no longer than 56ft.
A fibreglass cruiser or a Dutch barge can cruise rivers and wider canals such as the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. The canals of the Midlands are generally off-limits, unless your cruiser is under 7ft wide. River locks and bridges often get smaller the further you cruise inland.
A trailable boat, built of fibreglass or aluminium, can be towed behind your car and launched in any navigation around Britain.
Last date edited: 7 July 2015