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Jon57

Boat down in lock

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15 hours ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

If that is what has happened, it emphasises the importance of cutting into at least one chain link on the button to introduce a weakness so that if it gets caught the chain breaks, I'm surprised if a hire company hasn't done that.

The first photo shows a chain and bottle screw holding the fender down. The chains appear to be tight, so if there is a weak link, it wasn't weak enough!

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16 hours ago, Kudzucraft said:

No experience with diesel engines, but a marine gas engine should have no serious damage if it is underwater for a day or two. Diesel should be no different I expect.  Any electronics will need replacing (if it has any) but the mechanical parts of the engine will be fine. Most of the internal parts are coated with oil anyway.  Cylinder walls are where the damage could happen but It takes time for rust to form and a short dunk like that wouldn't do any real damage. Just want to get them dried out, fresh oil in and fire it up pretty quickly. 

 

A diesel engine going under while running (it would be unusual to stop a narrowboat engine while in a normal lock) can vary from needing nothing more than a change of oil as the best case to needing a complete rebuild as the worst case.

it's unusual for an engine that was running when it went down to come up and not be in need of major work though, I suspect the higher compression on diesel engines combined with more mass on the flywheel increases the stresses massively when it suddenly finds a cylinder full of water instead of air and little bit of diesel. 

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Many years ago we hired a Black Prince boat called Drummer Boy or Girl  from Silsden on the L&L. I remember that shortly before we arrived there had been a dreadful accident with another Black Prince boat which turned over in a Lock with terrible loss of life I believe and I think it was near Gargrave ? Anyone any memory of this ?

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Could this type of accident, be reduced, by the use of shorter front fenders?

Some of the "Dwarfs trouser" types are now getting quite long in the front, where as a pad type, would have less to enter any gap.

 

Bod

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WE had a close shave on the L&L last week. I thought it was Dowley Gap bottom but it could have been Eshton Rd... I didn't see exactly which lock as I was inside cooking. We snagged on some brickwork and listed alarmingly. Well deck scuppers were underwater and the welldeck was filling, and only 1" short of coming in through the cabin door when the boat freed. Maybe C&RT need to investigate all these locks for sticky-out bits..

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6 minutes ago, Pete of Ebor said:

WE had a close shave on the L&L last week. I thought it was Dowley Gap bottom but it could have been Eshton Rd... I didn't see exactly which lock as I was inside cooking. We snagged on some brickwork and listed alarmingly. Well deck scuppers were underwater and the welldeck was filling, and only 1" short of coming in through the cabin door when the boat freed. Maybe C&RT need to investigate all these locks for sticky-out bits..

 We had exactly the same problem as you some years ago at the bottom lock at Dowley Gap, we were going down with some friends who were in their boat when we snagged on something, the boat listed, my wife screamed and jumped onto our friends boat, luckily we reacted quickly and sorted the problem out, we never really found what we'd got stuck on and C&RT said there was nothing wrong with the lock. Always wary now ! 

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3 hours ago, Chris Williams said:

Are hirers told to 'Drop the paddles' when something starts to go wrong ?  Too many sinkings were avoidable.

 

Good question, but would most people know how to DROP them, rather than wind them down? I was taught how to do it at the age of 12 by a boatman on the Grand Union.

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15 minutes ago, Pete of Ebor said:

WE had a close shave on the L&L last week. I thought it was Dowley Gap bottom but it could have been Eshton Rd... I didn't see exactly which lock as I was inside cooking. We snagged on some brickwork and listed alarmingly. Well deck scuppers were underwater and the welldeck was filling, and only 1" short of coming in through the cabin door when the boat freed. Maybe C&RT need to investigate all these locks for sticky-out bits..

 

Or maybe boaters need to keep a proper eye on their boat when locking, and in particular, GET OFF THE BOAT.

 

Had the boat gone down, you may well not have been here to post that.

 

  • Greenie 1

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4 hours ago, Chris Williams said:

Are hirers told to 'Drop the paddles' when something starts to go wrong ?  Too many sinkings were avoidable.

Simple answer is 'no, they are not', and it's a really good point. I think most would just freeze and watch the disaster unfold.

 

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Er... Yes they are by some hire companies. 

The paddle gear can be stiff and even if you know how to drop it, it isn't going to happen as quickly as it might. 

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5 minutes ago, 8 Hairy Feet said:

Er... Yes they are by some hire companies. 

The paddle gear can be stiff and even if you know how to drop it, it isn't going to happen as quickly as it might. 

 

The lock at Crofton by the level crossing has bottom paddles with TWO sets of reduction gear in series fitted. This means it takes approx 100 turns to raise a paddle, and the same to lower it. 

 

Not a prayer of closing a paddle on that lock in a hurry.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, zimzim said:

Simple answer is 'no, they are not', and it's a really good point. I think most would just freeze and watch the disaster unfold.

 

Unless you have used every hire boat company you cannot state that.
I know that we were told how to do it by Anglo Welsh and Black Prince when we hired.

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@ Colmac

I think a quick mention that I think there was a 15 yr old who dived repeatedly back into the boat. I seem to remember that he got two out alive: that's a hero if ever I saw one. 

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1 hour ago, zimzim said:

Simple answer is 'no, they are not', and it's a really good point. I think most would just freeze and watch the disaster unfold.

 

I doubt many of them would realise something is going wrong early enough to take action. Lets face it they are relaxed on holiday on a big steel boat in something not much bigger than a ditch. They are not expecting their world to fall apart.

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2 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

in particular, GET OFF THE BOAT.

I have to admit that I was often in quite deep locks on the boat.  It just never occurred to me that there was nothing I could do, apart from pulling her into astern if the bows hung up.

None of us are as clever as we think we are.

I did occasionally think that the missus could just walk away and leave me at the bottom of the lock.?

No ladders in them far-off days.

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58 minutes ago, Graham Davis said:

Unless you have used every hire boat company you cannot state that.
I know that we were told how to do it by Anglo Welsh and Black Prince when we hired.

So when I said 'no, they are not [told about procedure when hung-up in a lock], and it's a really good point. I think most would just freeze and watch the disaster unfold. '

I should have added a caveat like 'In my experience' or 'I'm sure there are occasions when...'.     (I knew there was a reason why I don't post on here).?

This is based on hiring boats from all sorts of places since the 1970's (anyone remember Clubline Cruisers at Swan Lane in Coventry?)

BUT

I think the real problem may be that this advice forms part of that basic 'how to do a lock' briefing that might only be part of handover for a first-timer-boater (not repeat offenders)?

I suspect that anyone who has been on a boat holiday before might not get this safety advice repeated?

Certainly, first timers I have spoken with in locks know all about avoiding the cill, but that's about as far as it goes.

There's an awful lot to take in for a complete novice confronted with a bloody great boat that they are expected to drive away in a few minutes! I sometimes wonder how long it can be allowed in these times of health and safety obsession.

  • Greenie 1

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2 hours ago, zimzim said:

There's an awful lot to take in for a complete novice confronted with a bloody great boat that they are expected to drive away in a few minutes!

The Wartime Trainees had several weeks of training before going it alone.  Hirers should at the least be taken through a lock and be shown what to avoid.  And not by the tea boy.. 

Someone is going to get drowned or killed and then the s*** will hit the fan.

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10 minutes ago, Chris Williams said:

The Wartime Trainees had several weeks of training before going it alone.  Hirers should at the least be taken through a lock and be shown what to avoid.  And not by the tea boy.. 

Someone is going to get drowned or killed and then the s*** will hit the fan.

I think you will find that this has already happened on a number of occasions, this being one of them (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/5949531/Woman-dies-in-canal-boat-holiday-accident.html  ) s**t still rarely hits the fan over it. There is of course the other side of the equation where, if a person doesn't know what they are doing, ask someone. There is a level of personal responsibility here as well and I've often been more than happy to assist a boat hirer who wasn't sure, for instance, how locks works (particularly some of the odd systems there are around).

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4 hours ago, 8 Hairy Feet said:

Er... Yes they are by some hire companies. 

The paddle gear can be stiff and even if you know how to drop it, it isn't going to happen as quickly as it might. 

I can assure you that the bottom paddles on the double locks going down to Chester have to be wound down and it takes a long time as you watch the water going out. I would suggest that a single handed boater would not have time to wind both sides down before a cilled boat sank.

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7 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

I think you will find that this has already happened on a number of occasions, this being one of them (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/5949531/Woman-dies-in-canal-boat-holiday-accident.html  ) s**t still rarely hits the fan over it. There is of course the other side of the equation where, if a person doesn't know what they are doing, ask someone. There is a level of personal responsibility here as well and I've often been more than happy to assist a boat hirer who wasn't sure, for instance, how locks works (particularly some of the odd systems there are around).

This happened at Varney's Lock, on the Oxford.  I seem to remember my boat getting hung up on the side there, fifty-odd years ago.  Thankfully Oxford paddles are easy to drop.

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5 hours ago, 8 Hairy Feet said:

The paddle gear can be stiff and even if you know how to drop it, it isn't going to happen as quickly as it might. 

Paddle gear that will drop rapidly by lifting the pawl when the lock is level will NOT do the same thing when there's a significant level difference. The water pressure difference across the paddle massively increases the force required to move it, and gravity isn't enough: the paddle needs to be wound down. For less strong people, it needs two arms to generate enough force, which is one reason why I hate the type of pawls that need to be held up and can't be flipped out of the way. Too few hands in an emergency.

 

Next time you open a paddle, try and close it again straight away. It's an instructive experiment.

 

MP.

 

 

 

  • Greenie 3

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16 minutes ago, MoominPapa said:

Paddle gear that will drop rapidly by lifting the pawl when the lock is level will NOT do the same thing when there's a significant level difference. The water pressure difference across the paddle massively increases the force required to move it, and gravity isn't enough: the paddle needs to be wound down. For less strong people, it needs two arms to generate enough force, which is one reason why I hate the type of pawls that need to be held up and can't be flipped out of the way. Too few hands in an emergency.

 

Next time you open a paddle, try and close it again straight away. It's an instructive experiment.

 

MP.

 

 

 

I was struggling with that last Sunday when trying to stop the butty hitting the top gate on entry but not flush it back out of the lock on Farmer’s Bridge flight. The top paddles have to be held off. I believe you’re quite familiar with them ?.

 

I have dropped paddles as a result of the cilling of a hire boat on one of the Staffs & Worcs locks (at a guess it was probably Rocky lock). They were gate paddles and they dropped rapidly under their own weight and sent a large wave down the lock and back again which nearly had even worse consequences when it flushed the boat off the cill and dropped it back into the water.

 

Rob-M and Andrew used such a technique deliberately but in reverse last week to flush the counter of Scorpio off a guard rail in the jaws above one of the Aston locks last week. Just winding a paddle down quickly produced enough of a wave to flush the boat clear despite a falling pound.

 

I would actually be nervous of dropping a paddle again even if I could. Winding it down quickly may be better.

 

JP

 

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14 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

I was struggling with that last Sunday when trying to stop the butty hitting the top gate on entry but not flush it back out of the lock on Farmer’s Bridge flight. The top paddles have to be held off. I believe you’re quite familiar with them ?.

Yes. The one at lock nine needed RWLP pressing on the paddle board with a long shaft whilst I wound with both arms to get it back down. That's not typical though.

14 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

 

I have dropped paddles as a result of the cilling of a hire boat on one of the Staffs & Worcs locks (at a guess it was probably Rocky lock). They were gate paddles and they dropped rapidly under their own weight and sent a large wave down the lock and back again which nearly had even worse consequences when it flushed the boat off the cill and dropped it back into the water.

I guess I should amend my observation, a paddle MAY not drop by lifting the pawl in an emergency.

14 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

 

Rob-M and Andrew used such a technique deliberately but in reverse last week to flush the counter of Scorpio off a guard rail in the jaws above one of the Aston locks last week. Just winding a paddle down quickly produced enough of a wave to flush the boat clear despite a falling pound.

 

I would actually be nervous of dropping a paddle again even if I could. Winding it down quickly may be better.

 

JP

 

There's a lot of potential energy released by dropping the contents of a lock through 10 or 12 feet, and most of it gets transformed into kinetic energy of moving water.  Mooring on pounds that are a quarter of a mile or so long and watching from the side hatch is instructive. The result of one lock emptying reflects back and forward along the pound multiple  times. as the water sloshes backwards and forwards.

 

MP.

 

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21 minutes ago, MoominPapa said:

The result of one lock emptying reflects back and forward along the pound multiple  times. as the water sloshes backwards and forwards

Stuck at Marston Doles - going up.  Big wave lifted loaded coal boat and put her neatly into the lock. 

That was Esme, the Lengthsman did that, not me.  He knew how to do it.  I just watched the big wave coming up the pound, ready to slam into astern before I hit the cill.

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