There are a variety of boat types that cruise the English canals.
One of those most popular and iconic are the “narrow boat” style which are upwards of 40, 50, 60 , 70 (72 feet is the longest that can fit in the locks) feet long and are most often perceived as live aboard vessels.
The Various Types Of Canal Boat You Will Encounter On The English canals:
The traditional narrowboat. ...
Semi-traditional narrowboats. ...
Wide-beam boats. ...
Dutch barges. ...
and “The realms of the bizarre” one-off fabrications
There are roughly 80,000 boats registered in England and roughly 35,000 canal registrations of roughly 9,000 are live-aboard of which the majority are in the category of traditional/semi-traditional/wide-beam/Dutch barge type. There are an additional roughly 9,000 part-time “vacationer” traditional/semi-traditional/wide-beam/Dutch barge type vessels.
That indicates that there are roughly 17,000 “other vessel types” on the English Canal system such as within the category of “cruisers” which encompasses vessels that can be generally be considered to transport and accommodate single or multiple individuals. Just as elsewhere not everyone has a permanent mooring or can afford a long term slip rental or storage yard so their vessels tend to be capable of being hauled out and trailered. It is within that roughly 48% that vessels like the MacGregor 26 series are popular as they can obtain short term canal permits and also take their vessels to lakes, rivers, estuaries, bays and coastal locations due to their versatility.
Anyway, the main point was that due to the versatility of the MacGregor design that they have found happy lives in England in a variety of situations, one of which are on the English canals.
The secondary point is that not all boats on English Canal System are the iconic narrow boats.
One of our ambitions has been to spend a summer on a narrow boat cruising the canals of England, Wales, Scotland & Ireland…. Those plans are on hold while the world deals with the very real COVID-19 Pandemic
… Right now for us it is best to place that ambition on the back burner until things get under better control.
Meanwhile we are throughly enjoying our Mac26X as much as we can!!!
It is a great vessel that is a lot of fun and versatile. We love the basic layout that the Mac26X affords us. (Just as much as Mac26M owners enjoy their layouts as well.
We are enjoying all the characteristics that a Mac26X affords us. It handles reasonably well, it houses us reasonably well and it easily lends itself to modification to fulfill specific owner needs/desires both on and off the water.
Easy to trailer. Easy to store. Easy to launch. Easy to use as a land camper. Easy to cruise in. Easy to maintain. Easy to reconfigure. Easy to modify. Easy to handle. Not too heavy. Not too light. Nice on the eyes too!
While nothing is going to fulfill every particular aspect someone may have perfectly we really enjoy and utilize the versatility that our Mac26X provides us with!!!
So to those looking for a MacGregor in Europe we hope you keep looking and find one.
We looked at quite a variety of other alternative vessels, including designing and building, before we found our Mac26X.
It is well worth the effort in our opinion.
As most Europeans know there are numerous fantastic canals throughout Europe!
We’ve been told that it is possible to travel via canal and river and inland/protected waterway from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, not to miss mentioning the extensive waterways & canals of Sweden, Norway, Finland!