Tag Archives: L T C Rolt

Willie Leech and the Royal trade

I have uploaded an old article of mine based on an interview with Willie Leech of Killucan, whose father ran the last trading boats on the Royal Canal.

Royal Canal shrinks

According to the 1994 Guide to the Royal Canal of Ireland, the smallest lock on the Royal, Lock 18, is 75 feet (22.9m) long, with a breadth of 13.3 feet (4.0m) and a depth of 4.7 feet (1.4m) on the cill.

According to Waterways Ireland, the navigational criteria for the Royal Canal are:

Length: 21m
Beam: 3.9m
Draft: 1m

L T C Rolt, in Green and Silver, said that the maximum size of vessel that could navigate the whole of the Royal was 70 feet by 13 feet 1 inch by 4 feet six inches “(theoretical)”. He said that lock sizes varied considerably, the shortest being 75 feet and the narrowest 13 feet 3.75 inches.

The navigational criteria for the Grand are:

Length: 18.5m
Beam: 3.9m
Draft: 1.2m (1m in Dublin)

So the Royal is throughout shallower than the Grand (except in Dublin) and the locks have got narrower and shorter.