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Rutherglen, River Clyde

Accessible for local, portable and trailable craft

Silver Propeller Challenge



Take an adventurous trip up the River Clyde and see Glasgow from a new angle, by boat or canoe and enjoy spectacular views ‘doon the watter’.

This is a new Silver Propellor location for 2023 and, although visiting leisure craft are scarce, the tidal river through the city is regularly used by members of the Rutherglen Cruising Club, many of whom moor up at the Club moorings for the winter and head off down the Clyde for each summer spent along the west coast of Scotland.  The Club was formed in the 1930s when the Old Pals Club and the Strathclyde Boat Club amalgamated. The Club’s home moorings were next to a slaughterhouse on the river bank near to where the Thomas Seath shipbuilding yard was located.

A photo of your boat in the upper reaches of the navigable Clyde, near the Cruising Club’s moorings, would be good proof of your visit.  If they are on their moorings, you can be sure of a warm welcome from Club members.

About the River Clyde

Flowing through Glasgow, the River Clyde in Scotland is the eighth longest river in the UK at about 106 miles (170 km) in length.  Whilst the Firth of Clyde is popular with yachtsmen, the port of Glasgow was once industrialised shipbuilding and commercial shipping territory into which few leisure craft ventured.

The navigable River Clyde is tidal and there are no navigation structures, but in the 18th and 19th century no less than six Acts of Parliament were passed to improve navigation.  An Act of 1759 provided for the construction of a lock at Merlin Ford, to deepen the water over shallows there.  The last of the six Act was passed in 1825, which amended three previous Acts and gave powers to make the navigable Clyde thirteen foot deep throughout its length.  By this time, Glasgow was a busy port, with a census of 1824 recording that on the Clyde there were no less than 310 British and 37 foreign ships on the Clyde.  Today, it is a different story, with the river near deserted and is a largely missed opportunity for freight operations and visited by few leisure craft

[The photo shows bridges and weirs on the Clyde in Glasgow  –  by Jonathan Mosse]

Notes for visitors


Postcode: G73 1RW

What3words /// offers.cure.spark

Boat Dimensions and Access

There are no locks, so length and width are effectively unlimited, with any limitations being to depth and headroom for large vessels.

Access to the River Clyde from the connected Lowland Canal System, is via Bowling, and then head upstream. Glasgow weir (separating tidal water from non-tidal) prevents direct access to Rutherglen and this can be negotiated at high tide by making a booking via 0141 276 1585.  Check out the River Clyde page for navigation hints and tips on the river.


Canoeing, Boat Trips and Hire Boats

Canoeists are welcome on the River Clyde, but need to be aware of any large ships, especially further downstream.  No licence is required.

Glasgow City Boats and Seaforce Power Boats provide trips on the Clyde, but probably not upstream as far as Rutherglen.  There are no boat hire firms in the vicinity.

Challenge Location

Rutherglen Cruising Club

Near the Head of Navigation on the River Clyde.

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