Canal Requirements

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The Panama Canal

Canal Requirements

Before transitting a canal, there are certain canal requirements for which the ship must be able to meet before it can transit. In a tangible sense, the vessel must be able to fit through the canal. As canals transit land, the vessel may be subject to port state inspections. Canals can impose their own ruleset upon a vessel, which may require special consideration while producing a general arrangement (i.e., moorage will have to be suited to the canals transit methodology).


Canal Limitations

If a vessels operational profile includes passage through a canal or set of locks, there will be absolute maximum values of draught, length, and breadth to which a vessel will have to adhere to in order to fit. Vessels built close to the maximum size are named for the size of the canal to which they have been designed; i.e., panamax (Panama canal) or suezmax (Suez canal).


Common names for ships built to the size restrictions of world canals;

Canal Sizes

Canal Regulations

  • Panama Canal Company Rules
  • Suez Canal Rules

See also

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