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The Dreamer

Nice day for a Tardebigge!

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We’ve boated in worse spring days than today.  Glorious sunshine, albeit a little chilly, and hardly another boat in sight.  A tad over four hours, uphill, with just the two of us crewing...

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15 hours ago, The Dreamer said:

We’ve boated in worse spring days than today.  Glorious sunshine, albeit a little chilly, and hardly another boat in sight.  A tad over four hours, uphill, with just the two of us crewing...

 

Paradoxically, going up a flight always seems less work and faster than going down.

 

 

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In the 5 or 6 years we had a mooring in that area, Tardebigge was always closed between January and March, some years with a weekend window in the middle where transit was allowed. It was always a bit of a blight on our winter cruising ambitions, so it's nice to see they've finally got the flight into a state of repair where this annual closure is no longer required. :)

 

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3 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Paradoxically, going up a flight always seems less work and faster than going down.

 

 

You say so?

The only flight which we regularly negotiate is Napton, and I haven't noticed the effect which you mention. I wonder if it's because rising to the the top of each lock gives a subconscious feeling of optimism, whereas sinking into its depths gives one of pessimism.

 

Oh, of course we do Claydon in order to reach Napton, same comments apply.

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On 10/01/2020 at 13:53, The Dreamer said:

We’ve boated in worse spring days than today.  Glorious sunshine, albeit a little chilly, and hardly another boat in sight.  A tad over four hours, uphill, with just the two of us crewing...

Is that 35 locks? Impressive pace :)

 

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Have done Tardebigge countless times and am curious to know about the radio set up in the cottage half way up. Impressive array of aeriels there. Presume it's a ham set up ?

 

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On 11/01/2020 at 05:35, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Paradoxically, going up a flight always seems less work and faster than going down.

 

 

Try going down, single handed in continuous sleet next time.  That'll learn ya!

6 minutes ago, colmac said:

Have done Tardebigge countless times and am curious to know about the radio set up in the cottage half way up. Impressive array of aeriels there. Presume it's a ham set up ?

 

Lock keeper says it's a ham radio amateur and a bit of an eccentric.

On 11/01/2020 at 09:27, Athy said:

You say so?

The only flight which we regularly negotiate is Napton, and I haven't noticed the effect which you mention. I wonder if it's because rising to the the top of each lock gives a subconscious feeling of optimism, whereas sinking into its depths gives one of pessimism.

 

Oh, of course we do Claydon in order to reach Napton, same comments apply.

Going uphill is a lot easier, especially single handing, because the lock gates open in the direction of travel, so the boat's engine can help with the work.  Have you never noticed this?

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32 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

 

Going uphill is a lot easier, especially single handing, because the lock gates open in the direction of travel, so the boat's engine can help with the work.  Have you never noticed this?

No, and I can't see how it would be true anyway, because we aren't supposed to push the gates open with our boats, are we?

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25 minutes ago, Athy said:

No, and I can't see how it would be true anyway, because we aren't supposed to push the gates open with our boats, are we?

I was taught to boat by an experienced single hander and he recommended that technique both for entering and leaving locks.

We don’t all do what we are supposed to do, do we :)

 

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55 minutes ago, Athy said:

No, and I can't see how it would be true anyway, because we aren't supposed to push the gates open with our boats, are we?

Imagine approaching a lock single handed and the lock is against you.  When going up hill, you can simply nudge your bow into the lock mouth and leave in forward tickover.  Then scoot down the gunwale and empty the lock and open the gate.  You boat will then happily enter the lock by itself. Now, if you are going downhill, none of this works.  You typically have to moor at the side, tie up, walk to the lock, set the lock, open the gate, walk back to your boat, cast off, steer into the lock.  It takes far longer.

 

It's a fact that going uphill is quicker and easier.  I kinda dread going down tardebigge.  Going up isn't much bother.

Edited by doratheexplorer
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1 hour ago, Stilllearning said:

I was taught to boat by an experienced single hander and he recommended that technique both for entering and leaving locks.

We don’t all do what we are supposed to do, do we :)

 

An interesting comment.

We have many times been tempted to push the bottom gates open with the boat's bows - after all, it is how working crews used to open them, I believe - but as we've seen many references to the damage that can be done to gates in this way, we generally* don't. I suppose that gentle nudging is a different animal from full-tilt bashing, but where is the dividing line?

 

* I say "generally because if it's the last lock of the day and we're getting knackered, we have done so VERY gently, but probably no more than ten or a dozen times in over 20 years' boat ownership.

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1 hour ago, doratheexplorer said:

Imagine approaching a lock single handed and the lock is against you.  When going up hill, you can simply nudge your bow into the lock mouth and leave in forward tickover.  Then scoot down the gunwale and empty the lock and open the gate.  You boat will then happily enter the lock by itself. Now, if you are going downhill, none of this works.  You typically have to moor at the side, tie up, walk to the lock, set the lock, open the gate, walk back to your boat, cast off, steer into the lock.  It takes far longer.

 

It's a fact that going uphill is quicker and easier.  I kinda dread going down tardebigge.  Going up isn't much bother.

When going downhill bring the boat in to the top gate, scoot down the gunnels and open the paddles to fill the lock. The flow will hold the boat against the gate and once the lock is level the flow will stop and the boat drifts back as you open the gate. Then scoot down the gunnels and bring the boat in to the lock.

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45 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

When going downhill bring the boat in to the top gate, scoot down the gunnels and open the paddles to fill the lock. The flow will hold the boat against the gate and once the lock is level the flow will stop and the boat drifts back as you open the gate. Then scoot down the gunnels and bring the boat in to the lock.

Wouldn’t you still say it’s easier single handing uphill than downhill though? I certainly agree with that view. Exiting the lock and closing the gates is easier and quicker going up.

 

JP

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23 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

Wouldn’t you still say it’s easier single handing uphill than downhill though? I certainly agree with that view. Exiting the lock and closing the gates is easier and quicker going up.

 

JP

Closing gates is certainly easier going uphill.  I was just trying to point out to dora that is was possible to come in to the gates going downhill.

 

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2 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

Closing gates is certainly easier going uphill.  I was just trying to point out to dora that is was possible to come in to the gates going downhill.

 

I got that but I just wanted an expert view 😉.

 

I don’t tend to approach up to the top gates. Possibly because unless I approach really really slowly from a bit of a distance Vulpes will just slew sideways when I go into reverse and then it ends up across the canal and it’s a pain. I usually stop for a brew at the top of a flight while I prepare the first lock and the one below and then keep prepped at least one ahead. If I can see down a flight I might prep one or two more. It’s more walking and it’s a bit slower but I don’t mind that. I find it easier to approach and go straight in.

 

JP

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13 hours ago, Rob-M said:

When going downhill bring the boat in to the top gate, scoot down the gunnels and open the paddles to fill the lock. The flow will hold the boat against the gate and once the lock is level the flow will stop and the boat drifts back as you open the gate. Then scoot down the gunnels and bring the boat in to the lock.

I've tried this.  It's pretty hit and miss, especially with a heavy gate.  The boat typically drifts out of reach before the gate is fully open, so tugging on the bow line is needed to get back aboard.  By this time to boat is fully out of the jaws of the lock and has skewed sideways making the whole thing a massive pain to put right.  The benefit over my slow system is often negligable.  The main point though is that going uphill is obviously easier than going downhill.  (Although not obvious to everyone it seems).

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2 hours ago, doratheexplorer said:

I've tried this.  It's pretty hit and miss, especially with a heavy gate.  The boat typically drifts out of reach before the gate is fully open, so tugging on the bow line is needed to get back aboard.  By this time to boat is fully out of the jaws of the lock and has skewed sideways making the whole thing a massive pain to put right.

I agree it is sometimes necessary to pull on the bow rope, but doing so puts the bows back into the lock jaws, and then it is easy to steer the back end of the boat across to line up again. Hardly a massive pain.

 

And going downhill in shallower narrow locks it is possible to shut the bottom gates with the cabin shaft, so I don't need to get off the boat at all. Can't do that going uphill.

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9 minutes ago, David Mack said:

I agree it is sometimes necessary to pull on the bow rope, but doing so puts the bows back into the lock jaws, and then it is easy to steer the back end of the boat across to line up again. Hardly a massive pain.

 

And going downhill in shallower narrow locks it is possible to shut the bottom gates with the cabin shaft, so I don't need to get off the boat at all. Can't do that going uphill.

You're only doing that with the cabin shaft because it's such a pain to walk back up to the gate.  Also, it doesn't work on many locks.  Going uphill, on almost every narrow lock, you just step off after leaving the lock and the gate is right next to you.

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7 hours ago, doratheexplorer said:

You're only doing that with the cabin shaft because it's such a pain to walk back up to the gate.  Also, it doesn't work on many locks.  Going uphill, on almost every narrow lock, you just step off after leaving the lock and the gate is right next to you.

But the boat can drift away from the to gate whilst you are closing it so you need to pull on the stern line which skews the boat across the cut.  Then you put the boat in gear and the gate gets washed open.

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2 hours ago, Rob-M said:

But the boat can drift away from the to gate whilst you are closing it so you need to pull on the stern line which skews the boat across the cut.  Then you put the boat in gear and the gate gets washed open.

Boat will be in reverse gear while the top gate is being closed.

 

I’ve heard that the bywashes which enter immediately below the bottom gates can cause a boat to float away while you stop to close the gates when going down. Never happened to me though.

 

Going down Tardebigge I generally haul the boat out anyway so I have a line available while I close the gates. With a short boat it’s not too difficult and it’s often the differences between boats that mean different techniques may be more or less suitable.

 

JP

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30 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

Boat will be in reverse gear while the top gate is being closed.

 

I’ve heard that the bywashes which enter immediately below the bottom gates can cause a boat to float away while you stop to close the gates when going down. Never happened to me though.

 

Going down Tardebigge I generally haul the boat out anyway so I have a line available while I close the gates. With a short boat it’s not too difficult and it’s often the differences between boats that mean different techniques may be more or less suitable.

 

JP

I don't leave the boat in reverse whilst closing gates anymore having slipped and a!most fallen in behind the boat.

 

When closing gates going downhill on my boat I take the centre line with me so I don't lose the boat.  I know some boats don't like to have a really long centre line though so they could drift away if they don't shut the gates quickly enough.  I've heard it is quite easy to flush the boat down the pound though if such a thing was to happen.

 

 

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11 hours ago, David Mack said:

And going downhill in shallower narrow locks it is possible to shut the bottom gates with the cabin shaft, so I don't need to get off the boat at all. Can't do that going uphill.

Sometimes when there are 2 bottom gates you can pass the stern line around one handrail  then the other, if necessary by standing on the roof, and pull the gates shut behind you as the boat exits the lock; then you let go of the loose end and pull the rope back through.

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17 hours ago, Rob-M said:

But the boat can drift away from the to gate whilst you are closing it so you need to pull on the stern line which skews the boat across the cut.  Then you put the boat in gear and the gate gets washed open.

I've never had that happen.  I don't bother with a stern line.  The boat seems to just stay put and as you shut the gate the boat gets drawn back into the lock-mouth.  Then engaging forward gear keeps the gate tightly shut from the wash.

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