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AuthorMessage
masymay
masymay

Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:11pm

Post Subject: single hand boating locks

I have just purchased a narrowboat and getting it from northwich to York and just wondering if anyone got any ideas how to do the locks by myself?

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:32pm

Post Subject: single hand boating locks

The best bit of advice is to take your time and not to hurry or try it when tired. Get yourself without the to a lock and spend some time observing other boaters so you have an idea of what you need to do. Then bring the boat to the lock landing and tie up. On most canal locks the centre line may do but Northwich in on the Weaver so on a river and downstream on large locks its probably best to tie up both ends. Set the lock and open the gates. Drive the boat into the lock and go up the ladder with the centre line and windlass. In a wide lock pull the boat to one side and when any boat you are sharing with is in loop/twist the centre line around a bollard, On NO account tie it, whichever way you are going it may need to slip as the boat rises or falls. When the lock makes a level open the gate, pull the boat to the side if necessary, get on and drive out of lock to the downstream lock mooring. Tie up, return to the lock to close the gates and drop the paddles. I think you will be going via the Leeds and Liverpool as long as the boat is not much longer than 57ft. If so use the centre line to hold the boat clear of the upstream gates. They tend to leak badly and the water can easily get into the well deck or flood the stern of the boat. There are now restrictions on navigating the Rochdale because of lack of water and it has wide locks like the L&L. The Huddersfield narrow is a narrow trans Pennine canal but the Standedge tunnel needs booking and has a profile restriction on it. It is also heavily locked. I must strongly advise AGAINST you considering the route via the Trent & Mersey and Trent to Keadby. This involves the tidal Trent and as you need to ask this question you probably do not have the experience required. You will have enough "fun" on the tidal Yorkshire Ouse but you will have a fair bit experience when you get to it.

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:48am

Post Subject: single hand boating locks

I have just realised that you may well find lift & swing bridges much more of a problem than locks. Many have the waiting area on the opposite bank to where you operate the bridge from. This makes single handing very difficult and may well involve taking your boat up to the bridge, climbing across the bow and over the bridge rail with a rope and tie it to the bridge rail, then opening the bridge, pulling the boat through and tying it at the back or front to the bridge and then closing the bridge. Otherwise you may have to wait for another boat or a passer by to help you. Some of the L&L swing bridges can be very hard to move and there is one where I had to get some cyclists to help me get it moving. I am beginning to feel that you may do better to pay a boat mover to move it if you can not enlist a crew of friends to help.

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