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brightside
brightside

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:32pm

Post Subject: Can you operate locks singlehandedly?

Hello! I'm thinking of taking up narrowboating. However, if I do, I'll probably be on my own most of the time. So, my question is, is it possible to operate locks singlehandedly? I imagine it will certainly be easier to operate locks with more than one person. But, the bit that looks a little difficult for one person is when the boat is in the lock and you need to hold it in place while the lock's filling up or emptying out. Is it feasible for one person to do that and operate the lock? I apologise if anything I've said doesn't make sense, but I've never so much as been in a narrowboat, so I'm trying to figure it all out from scratch. Thanks, James

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:11pm

Post Subject: Can you operate locks singlehandedly?

Dear James, it is perfectly possible and probably hundreds of boaters travel single handed. When I do it I take the centre line ashore to control the boat. Narrow locks are easier than wide ones because you can let the boat rest against the forward gate in most cases. My advice would be to try to hire a boat for a week on a narrow canal to see how you get on. What works for one person does not for another so the trick is to take your time, try to work out what you will do and not to take any risks. On wide locks you will often find another narrow-boater with crew will help you through the lock together. One last thing. NEVER tie any ropes when in locks, especially when going up. By all means give them several turns around a bollard but make sure they can still slip and you do not have to open the paddles fully and both at once. Take your time, practise and accept help/advice when offered. Tony Brooks

brightside
brightside

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:16am

Post Subject: Can you operate locks singlehandedly?

OK, thanks a lot, Tony!

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:00pm

Post Subject: Can you operate locks singlehandedly?

PS - re-reading my reply. About the rope. It should read do not tie the rope, especially when going DOWN. Sorry about that TB

brightside
brightside

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:31am

Post Subject: Can you operate locks singlehandedly?

Yes, that actually makes a lot more sense! I plan on doing a day's training before I go any further - probably when this freezing weather's cleared up - so even though I didn't understand the reason for the warning, I figured all would become clear. Thanks again!

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:31pm

Post Subject: Can you operate locks singlehandedly?

Going down or up it is possible to end up with a tied rope either holding a boat up(until the boat either tips or the rope breaks) or holding it down, so the advice is never to tie the boat up. TB

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