Air Draft – (Tirant d’Air)

Answer

Air Draft – (Tirant d’Air)

The air draft is an important consideration when buying a barge. In Holland where many barges were built, there are many lifting bridges and height is not a problem. In France canals pass through tunnels and arched bridges. If you plan to cruise in France, the air draft becomes an important consideration when selecting a barge. A barge with an air draft less than 2.7 meters or with a wheelhouse that can collapse to that height, can go anywhere in France. With an air draft of 3.1 meters or a wheelhouse that will collapse to 3.1, you will be able to travel on almost all of the French canals. Most of the bridges along the French canals are 3.50 meters or higher. On a rare occasion a bridge will be marked at 3.45 meters. To make sure that we can pass under a bridge we have a wire twanger (made from twisting the wire from a clothes hanger around a broom handle) above our bow flag that is 5 centimeters higher than our air draft. If we hit our twanger, we know to stop and go to Plan B.