I’ll often push the gate open as a standard.
In single locks the boat is usually left in gear as it rises to push the gate open, while I close the paddles and shut the gate as it passes through.
But if the boat’s unable to push the gate open, with me pushing as well, then I use a Spanish Windlass.
I found using a Spanish Windlass is very gradual and will ease the gate gently.
I’d have thought that’d be directing exactly the desired forces the gate and beam are designed to take. It’s just like having ten(?) people pushing.
Physics weren't me best subject.
Not had to do it on a double gate.
How would you open a difficult gate if your boat is not in a lock?
Say you’re coming down hill?