HI we have used the canal several times with our last boat (hardy pilot) as mentioned two strokes dont like the slow speed you have to travel within the canal and up the carron.
I have to say that its a great trip but points to consider
- Both ends are tide dependant on tide and do dry out
- BW staff are usually a great assistance, however we have had our plans stuffed on 2 occasions when making arrangements with the supervisor at Auchenstary.
- On one occasion it took us 2 days to get from Auchenstary to Bowling, not so bad if you have accomodation on your boat but leaving your boat over night unatended in Maryhill is perhaps not the best idea
- On the second occasion staff that were due to assist with our transit failed to appear adding another day onto our journey
BW produce pilotage notes and are worth investing in if unfamiliar with the area or appropriate tide times and the use of canals.
We never put our boat onto the Falkirk wheel as it would have added an extra day onto our journey however there is a passenger carrying boat that does trips on the wheel and it saves you climbing your boat up into the basin.
All in all a great trip and as the lock keepers do all the work for you (setting the locks etc.)it leaves you free to fend your boat off the slimy walls, enjoy the views and insults from some locals
Oh and check your teltale frequently not when there is tons of steam coming out the engine