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Cheshire cat

Horse drawn boats

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A question in response to someone having a rant on another forum. In the days of horse drawn boats did horses meeting each other pass each other on the left or the right?

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Logic says that its not necessarily a left/right issue;

 

BUT that it would need to be boat nearest towpath = horse nearest edge, so that the ropes don't tangle. With the boats passing on the right, and the towpath could be either side, you can't say horse left/right.

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Check out the DVD "Towpath Encounter" from Sight Seen Partnerships to see exactly how it was/is done.

  • Greenie 1

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I suspect it also depends upon whether both boats are loaded or only one. The light boat should pass on the inside as it is easier for it to sail over the submerged line.

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2 hours ago, Pluto said:

I suspect it also depends upon whether both boats are loaded or only one. The light boat should pass on the inside as it is easier for it to sail over the submerged line.

That reminds me of what our Pisces Captain told us, there is no left and right on the canal (or port and starboard!), but inside and outside, inside being the towpath side.

 

 

Edited by David Schweizer

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4 hours ago, Cheshire cat said:

A question in response to someone having a rant on another forum. In the days of horse drawn boats did horses meeting each other pass each other on the left or the right?

Its always worth reading the bye-laws

 

Vessels passing 17.

Except as provided in Bye-law 19 where two vessels meet in any
part of the canal where they cannot pass in safety the master of
the vessel which is nearest to that part of the canal where the
vessels can pass in safety shall navigate his vessel back to such
passing place and allow the other vessel to pass:
Provided always that
(a) a vessel which is not towing another vessel shall give way to a
vessel which is towing another vessel or vessels;
(b) vessels which are unladen shall give way to vessels which are
laden;
(c) on the Aire and Calder Navigation, the Sheffield and South
Yorkshire Navigation, the Trent Navigation and the Weaver
Navigation, a vessel which is proceeding against the tide or
stream shall give way to a vessel which is proceeding with the
tide or stream.


Course of Vessel when passing or overtaking
18. Without prejudice to the generality of Bye-law No. 16 the
following Bye-law shall apply to vessels passing or overtaking
other vessels on any canal:-
(1) Except as hereinafter mentioned where two vessels
proceeding in opposite directions meet the master of each vessel
shall steer his vessel to its starboard side in such a manner that
such vessels pass freely with the port side of each vessel nearest
to the port side of the other vessel;
Provided always that
(a) where one but not both of such vessels is a hauled vessel the
masters of such vessels shall steer the vessels in such a manner
that the vessels pass freely with the hauled vessel between the
towing path and the other vessel;
 

………………………………………..

 

 

……2.(b ) where a hauled vessel is overtaking another hauled vessel
the master of the vessel overtaken shall slacken his hauling line
and steer his vessel away from the towing path in such a manner
as to permit the overtaking vessel to pass freely between the
towing path and the vessel overtaken and the master of the
overtaking vessel shall keep his vessel as close as possible to
the towing path whilst passing the other vessel.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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From Tom Foxon's book The Trent & Mersey Canal:

 

tow line.jpg

"Cheadleton Wharf in 1899. The photograph illustrates the difficulties often caused when wharfs were located on the tow path side of the canal. Two boats are manouvering to pass each other while their passage is obstructed by a boat being unloaded. The empty boat Perservance , would first have to pass his towline over the moored boat then drop it for the approaching loaded boat to pass over, and horse-boats didn't have brakes!"

Edited by Ray T

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