top of page
Two narrow boats are moored in tandem at the landing stage on the South Forty Foot drain.

Ancholme   |   Black Sluice   |   Great Ouse   |   Nene   |   Stour   |   Welland & Glen

Black Sluice Navigation

The Black Sluice Navigation, situated on the South Forty Foot Drain had not been used for nearly 40 years until it reopened in 2009.  It is a typical Fen drain providing 31 km / 19 miles of navigation to the west of Boston.

To enter the navigation you need to make a booking to pass through Black Sluice Lock*.

Bookings need to be made a minimum of 48 hours in advance.

To make a booking call our River Inspector, Sam Brockett on 07775 228323 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm)

If you are planning to use Grand Sluice Lock as part of your journey, Sam will also be able to help you with this.

Black Sluice Lock

Lock length

21 metres / 70 feet

Lock Width

6 metres / 20 feet


Normal water depth in the lock is 2.8 metres / 9 feet - this may vary on certain tides


Headroom at lock not restricted - London Road Bridge between 1.7 to 3.4 metres


Cafe, information centre, showers and toilets

Useful Information

Location maps

Interactive Google map

Specific location map

A map showing location and local roads.

*Please be aware that your booking does not guarantee passage through the lock at the time arranged.

Occasionally bookings will have to be postponed or cancelled - this could be due to:

  • The Port of Boston requiring the area of water in front of the lock to turn large seagoing vessels

  • Flooding incidents: the Black Sluice Lock can be used to discharge flood water from the South Forty Foot Drain. At this time the lock will not be available for use and red warning flags will be flying at the lock.

We will endeavour to give you as much warning as possible if such a situation occurs, 

so that alternative arrangements can be made.

bottom of page