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Gota Kanal & Trollhattan Canal (NV 8)

Wherever you go in Denmark, you will find people with this book open in the cockpit. Of all the books on sale, this is the one of choice. You might think that this is because it is written in German, and there are more German visitors than any other, but actually, it is because it is simply superior.

The Hafenhandbuch series is made up of six handbooks covering the North Sea and most of the Baltic. Each book is a hard backed, loose-leaf folder measuring about 200mm x 225mm, and about 70mm in width. This format sits nicely on a shelf, unlike some of the other A4 books.

The books cover the following areas:

There are a number of guides the the Gota Canal, but I feel that this one is the best. It combines all the features of the others in one volume, and covers the whole journey from Mem on the East coast to Gothenburg on the West. Despite the usual disclaimers, you need little else.

It is written in both German and Swedish, with a key additionally in English.

In a ring bound format (ideal for laying flat) it starts with some narrative about the canals and their history and the rules for the locks (Schlussen). There then follows a series of charts, each page covering about 5 -7 miles.

The charts are clearly marked and are in largely Int 1 format. Depths, bouys and locks are all clearly shown.

Each chart is annotated with notes (agian in both Swedish and German). The notes are colour coded - Black for Marina info, Blue for Tourist Info and Red for navigation information.

Where the canal broadens out into the lakes, most of their area is covered, certainly enough to navigate across them. Vadstena, despite being ‘off track’ is covered, as are large chunks of Lake Vanern, including the Ekens Skärgård, Mariestad and Lidk√∂ping.

Exploded charts are available for key areas, notably the towns and other ‘tricky’ areas. The books ends at Lilla Bommen in Gothenburg.

The charts are at least as good, if not better, than the standard Swedish Yacht charts. (Batsportkort)

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