The BCN is not well off for slipways suitable to launch trailboats.
The only one at all suitable seems to be at Brownhills, and it is far from ideal. What follows is info from those who have used it, in response to a question on whether it would be possible to launch a Norman 32.
Here is a link to the description of Brownhills slip.
The posts ringed in red have had a proposal for their removal made to C&RT.
“Sadly I don’t think the Brownhills slipway will be suitable for launching a 32 foot boat. With those posts in the photo in place (which they are still, as far as I know) it isn’t possible to get a straight line run from the entrance gate down to the slipway. The only way for my Wilderness Beaver 23′, which when on a trailer is a towed rig about 28′ long, to get onto the slipway was to enter the car park forwards, turn to the right up into the carpark and then reverse and manoeuvre the trailer down onto the slipway. That was at about the limit of turn for the 28′ of trailer. I don’t think a trailer for a 32′ boat would make that turn.
The biggest challenge I had was leaving the carpark with trailer, as the car park isn’t wide enough to be able to turn it around when attached to the car.
While the boat was off it, I had help to unhitch it and turn it by hand, then rehitch it again.
When the boat was on it, it was a multi-point turn involving three people, unhitching the trailer with boat two or three times and using a very long and hefty piece of wood to lever the trailer across sideways until it was in a position to be hitched up for the final exit. It was all for the sake of three posts!
I don’t believe you would have room to exit the car park forwards with a trailer any larger than mine.
Reversing up out of the car park, up a steep slope and onto a busy road opposite a supermarket and petrol station would not be ideal, either.
May I suggest you could look at slipping in at Tamworth on the Coventry Canal and making your way by canal from there, to wherever you wish to go?
It joins the Birmingham & Fazeley, so you wouldn’t be too far away.
Tamworth Cruising Club have a slipway, suitable for trailboats, available to members (and perhaps non members on request)
Norton Canes Boatbuilders‘ operation has a slipway at Glascote basin
Ashby Canal Association have a slipway at the northern end of the Ashby Canal.
From there it is lock-free all the way to its junction with the Coventry Canal.
The Coventry Cruising Club has a slipway in their basin at Wyken, on the Oxford Canal, just a mile or so from its junction with the Coventry Canal.
Access to the basin by a single track access road over an old canal bridge, so I’m not sure whether that would be a suitable route for your towing rig, but you could make enquiries and find out.
I hope these suggestions will be useful to you. The BCN will be an excellent place to operate your new boat, wherever you manage to get it into the water. I hope you do manage to get the slipping arranged and wish you all the best with your new boat.
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