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Midnight

How to get into Selby Lock from the ebb - almost perfect

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During our recent re-visit to Ripon I met a first time visiting boater who asked for advice on how to get into Selby lock on the return passage from Naburn. Having done the trip both ways many times, on all tides and twice with so much fresh that Cawood bridge had to be opened (VHF channel 9 recommended) I explained how I do it. This method was suggested to me by Nigel the Lockie about 15 years ago and has proved to be 100% trouble free in all conditions.

 

The chap videoed it all and put it on You-tube and sent me the link asking for marks out of ten.
https://youtu.be/HfjXHTEzNmY

 

Maybe turned a bit too early (I usually wait until I reach the high jetty at the end of the flats) but other than that I would say 'expert level'.

 

Something to bear in mind though. It all starts at Naburn Lock. I suggest trying to be first boat down. If you're second boat, when you reach the Hovis factory you need to let the boat in front get ahead by enough time to make their exit. Third boat - when you get to Turn Head you really don't want to see any boats in front as it's about 25 minutes to turn the lock around. Fourth boat - see second boat etc.

 

I'm not suggesting this is the only option some go past the lock and come up against the ebb, but for those interested or perhaps making the journey for the first time this video maybe useful.

 

Edited by Midnight

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Thanks, we plan to do it soon, so it was useful! Do you know how much fresh / size of tide there was on that day? Just wondering if that current is average, or faster or slower than average?

Edited by nicknorman

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Probably not the best place to have his rope round the tiller pin.

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4 minutes ago, billS said:

Probably not the best place to have his rope round the tiller pin.

I was about to make the same comment - nothing "expert" about that, - on a river as well.

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6 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Thanks, we plan to do it soon, so it was useful! Do you know how much fresh / size of tide there was on that day? Just wondering if that current is average, or faster or slower than average?

I guessed so which is what prompted me to post this.
It was a spring 6.70m
https://tides.mobilegeographics.com/calendar/year/3469.html

No fresh

Flood water takes awhile to drop because tides push it back up river after it's dropped above Naburn. Last year when Cawood Bridge had to be opened there was just half a metre in at York  but almost 3 metres on the tidal . This method works for me on all states of the tide and flood.Th idea is to put your bow into the slacker water by the jetty and work the throttle to keep the boat at the right angle. If you get it right there's no need to power into the lock. Obviously when there's fresh it all moves faster than in the video.

4 minutes ago, Neil2 said:

I was about to make the same comment - nothing "expert" about that, - on a river as well.

It's never troubled me in 15 years but I didn't suggest that bit - actually the manoeuvre was indeed 'expert' - have you done it ?

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The flow looks quite small in this, compared to my one time at least.  I had to use a lot of power to get the stern round and despite making the turn well above the lock I did end up slightly downstream.  but the approach was still not to hard easing the bow into the slack water in front of the lock and then turning in.

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Last time I went that way I turned Victoria just above the lock, went ahead to get some speed through the water, and ferry glided the boat towards the lock turning full into it just before reaching it to get the boat pointing in the right direction. It's a little more problematic with an empty motor as the stern is deep in the water so catches the flow where the front isn't. but it does swing easier. Selby is an easy lock compared with Stockwith on a raising tide.

 

Mike

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1 hour ago, Midnight said:

I guessed so which is what prompted me to post this.
It was a spring 6.70m
https://tides.mobilegeographics.com/calendar/year/3469.html

No fresh

Flood water takes awhile to drop because tides push it back up river after it's dropped above Naburn. Last year when Cawood Bridge had to be opened there was just half a metre in at York  but almost 3 metres on the tidal . This method works for me on all states of the tide and flood.Th idea is to put your bow into the slacker water by the jetty and work the throttle to keep the boat at the right angle. If you get it right there's no need to power into the lock. Obviously when there's fresh it all moves faster than in the video.

It's never troubled me in 15 years but I didn't suggest that bit - actually the manoeuvre was indeed 'expert' - have you done it ?

Thanks. It does seem a fairly benign flow but no doubt can get a lot worse under a big spring and lots of fresh.

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16 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Thanks. It does seem a fairly benign flow but no doubt can get a lot worse under a big spring and lots of fresh.

Agreed, it did look very gentle. Every time we have done it, Springs and Neaps, the flow has been stronger. We are pretty slow, so guess we always arrived at Selby a bit later. Half an hour or so more into the ebb could make a big difference.

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1 hour ago, nicknorman said:

Thanks, we plan to do it soon, so it was useful! Do you know how much fresh / size of tide there was on that day? Just wondering if that current is average, or faster or slower than average?

When are you planning to go down, Nick?  A week ago I was stopped at Naburn because the river level was too high, and now because of the high Spring tide - scheduled to go down tomorrow (wednesday) but the river here in York has come up overnight and must be marginal again now.  Apparently a narrowboat got into difficulties a couple of days ago and the lockies are being extra careful.  So am I - I've only got a little engine! 

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1 hour ago, mykaskin said:

Stockwith on a raising tide

That was certainly fun - got swept right past the lock and had to turn back into the tide before swinging into the lock. It's all just common sense really.

 

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2 hours ago, nicknorman said:

Thanks. It does seem a fairly benign flow but no doubt can get a lot worse under a big spring and lots of fresh.

On that video it looks quite steady but about normal for a spring with no fresh. (Look at the beginning where the tides goes past the bridge piers) I came down a couple of days later on the last spring and it was about same. It's quite steady over on the lock side. However as I said even with 3 metres of fresh when I just a foot or so below the lock it wasn't very much different just a bit faster. To add pressure that day I had a fellow boater with me who wanted to come along to see how it's done. Glad to say it all worked as normal.

47 minutes ago, Señor Chris said:

That was certainly fun - got swept right past the lock and had to turn back into the tide before swinging into the lock. It's all just common sense really.

 

Agree - Stockwith on the ebb coming from Torksey got my pulse racing

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Interesting.  I think personally I would have turned the boat the full 180 degrees, having it across the flow like that has the potential to cause problems eg if the current is stronger in one place than another, or there is an unhelpful wind. 

A couple of related videos that might be of interest, both coming downstream on an ebb tide. Stockwith, and then Denver to Salters Lode.

 

I am afraid I haven't got a video of a similar maneuver at Wisbech recently, but it was pitch dark....

 

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, mykaskin said:

Last time I went that way I turned Victoria just above the lock, went ahead to get some speed through the water, and ferry glided the boat towards the lock turning full into it just before reaching it to get the boat pointing in the right direction. It's a little more problematic with an empty motor as the stern is deep in the water so catches the flow where the front isn't. but it does swing easier. Selby is an easy lock compared with Stockwith on a raising tide.

 

Mike

When you did Stockwith on the flood did you tuck Victoria into the eddy just upstream of the lock entrance?

 

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49 minutes ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Interesting.  I think personally I would have turned the boat the full 180 degrees, having it across the flow like that has the potential to cause problems eg if the current is stronger in one place than another, or there is an unhelpful wind. 

A couple of related videos that might be of interest, both coming downstream on an ebb tide. Stockwith, and then Denver to Salters Lode.

 

I am afraid I haven't got a video of a similar maneuver at Wisbech recently, but it was pitch dark....

 

 

 

 

I would tend to agree with you on that,  an earlier post mentioned ferry-gliding and that is pretty much what I did at Selby (from both directions) and also into Barmby Barrage. I feel a lot more in control of the boat when I'm heading straight into the current since you can bring your speed over ground to almost zero (provided that there isn't a whole lot of fresh pushing you along) before lining up your turn. Angled towards the bank there is no real way of slowing your speed over ground that much since if you put the power on you are obviously heading towards the bank and the only way to stop that is to go into reverse, which accelerates the boat up again. I don't like to have to use reverse at all under those circumstances since if you suck anything onto the prop things get a whole lot more 'exciting':unsure:

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1 hour ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Interesting.  I think personally I would have turned the boat the full 180 degrees, having it across the flow like that has the potential to cause problems eg if the current is stronger in one place than another, or there is an unhelpful wind. 

A couple of related videos that might be of interest, both coming downstream on an ebb tide. Stockwith, and then Denver to Salters Lode.

 

I am afraid I haven't got a video of a similar maneuver at Wisbech recently, but it was pitch dark....

 

 

 

 

The Salters Lode approach is interesting. I've always found, for an ebbing tide, that just aiming for the tyres works fine. A boot-full of reverse to stop before the bow hits, then the current swings the stern round and some forward revs takes you straight in. What I've never been able to do is create a fool-proof method with  a flooding tide: the current is too strong to push the stern around against it using power,  so I'm limited to going beyond the lock then drifting back past the entrance with the boat at a suitable angle and trying to accelerate in. This is very difficult: too soon and you hit the bank, too late an you hit the posts on the left. Maybe it's easier now the four posts have been reduced to two, as long as the level is high enough that the sand bank lurking there doesn't intervene.

 

MP.

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7 hours ago, MoominPapa said:

The Salters Lode approach is interesting. I've always found, for an ebbing tide, that just aiming for the tyres works fine. A boot-full of reverse to stop before the bow hits, then the current swings the stern round and some forward revs takes you straight in. What I've never been able to do is create a fool-proof method with  a flooding tide: the current is too strong to push the stern around against it using power,  so I'm limited to going beyond the lock then drifting back past the entrance with the boat at a suitable angle and trying to accelerate in. This is very difficult: too soon and you hit the bank, too late an you hit the posts on the left. Maybe it's easier now the four posts have been reduced to two, as long as the level is high enough that the sand bank lurking there doesn't intervene.

 

MP.

I did Denver to Salters Lode on the flooding tide a month or two ago. It was quite exciting in part because the flood tide is rather stronger.  I just kept going until the stern of the boat was in line with the axis of the lock, and then let the bows come round to the left and apply power and ferry glide across, aiming to keep the middle of the boat on the axis. You can see on the water surface the very clear boundary between moving and still water, in the lee of the land downstream of the lock.

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9 hours ago, Capt Ahab said:

When you did Stockwith on the flood did you tuck Victoria into the eddy just upstream of the lock entrance?

 

There wasn't much still water, and the back of the boat was in the main stream. I have a video from the bank too, which I keep meaning to edit together with this one.

 

You can see my Dad has a much easier job with 50 foot modern boat. I later had to do the same turn mostly loaded on a much bigger tide, but without a winch it wasn't going to happen, so had to wait for the tide to finish running so hard.

Edited by mykaskin

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I did a somewhat less elaborate version of his method - turned broadside well before the lock, let the flow push me down then drove in. Went straight in without touching anything, to praise from bystanders.

I didn't tell them that it was probably beginner's luck - anyone who had watched my antics trying to get into Salter's Lode a couple of months' earlier would have realised that I was actually a complete idiot.

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11 hours ago, mykaskin said:

 

There wasn't much still water, and the back of the boat was in the main stream. I have a video from the bank too, which I keep meaning to edit together with this one.

 

You can see my Dad has a much easier job with 50 foot modern boat. I later had to do the same turn mostly loaded on a much bigger tide, but without a winch it wasn't going to happen, so had to wait for the tide to finish running so hard.

Thanks - I wondered how you fared compared to our shorter boat (which went in much like your Dad's, except with a butty alongside)

 

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