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Rob-M

Fun and games at Somerton Deep lock

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Spent about an hour this morning trying to get Roach out of Somerton Deep lock. Bottom gate wouldn't open right back so he was wedged trying to exit the lock. Tried to pull him out with our boat but didn't work, then had to try and push him back in the lock. All this finished up with me slipping off our bows whilst removing the ropes between the two boats and I ended up wedged between the boat and the bottom gate just saving myself from a head first dunking. Two guys jumped down on to our boat to grab me and pull me back up.

Roach then went back up the lock and moved out the way so the queues could clear and phoned CRT to come and sort the gate out.

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It's a regular thing with Somerton.

Sometimes I flush some water down and it floats the gate up enough to open it.

An alternative = I think I've tried is to get a few folks to sit on the end of the balance beam and then push it.

 

It was regated some years ago (AFAIK) and it was better for a while.

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During July and August, we found most bottom gates on the lower end of the southern oxford were reluctant to open. It didn't help where numpties left fenders down.

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If you CAN get an upwards-travelling boat into the lock, then shut the gate and give a few good blasts of forward and reverse, it often shifts the silt. We did that at several locks on that stretch last week.

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31 minutes ago, Keeping Up said:

If you CAN get an upwards-travelling boat into the lock, then shut the gate and give a few good blasts of forward and reverse, it often shifts the silt. We did that at several locks on that stretch last week.

I'm not so sure it's the silt - I reckon that the gate is so heavy and tall that the balance beam doesn't act as a counter balance - so it sags

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1 hour ago, Ex Brummie said:

During July and August, we found most bottom gates on the lower end of the southern oxford were reluctant to open. It didn't help where numpties left fenders down.

C&RT normally find one when they get called to Somerton, also it collects silt more than most

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Kebtastic.

 

Could have been nasty falling in like that too.

 

I take it you made light of it suggesting you thought you would dive in and clear by hand?  :)

Edited by mark99
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41 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

I'm not so sure it's the silt - I reckon that the gate is so heavy and tall that the balance beam doesn't act as a counter balance - so it sags

It worked at Somerton last week

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48 minutes ago, Keeping Up said:

It worked at Somerton last week

Ah!

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2 hours ago, Keeping Up said:

It worked at Somerton last week

Was a regular thing when we went that way a lot

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Fresh water mussels on the shelf behind the bottom gate was the cause when I got stuck in there.  They were removed with a long keb by C&RT Ops.

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For an ex-working boat I was surprised he didn't have a keb or any other equipment to assist in getting himself through tight spots.

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As already mentioned, the bottom gate at Somerton not fully opening is a regular event, and is nothing to do with a dropped gate, it is always caused by silt or debris sitting on the cill of the gate recess. We have been stuck in it and the solution was C&RT using a long keb to remove the debris. There used to be a long handled keb hanging on the fence next to the lock precisely for that purpose, but it hasn't been there for quite a few years now.

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Our next lock, probably tomorrow. Need to give my lock wheeler extra weetabix.

 

That bottom gate is very heavy To close. It leans back a bit, which doesn’t help. I will, if my memory is working efficiently, give it a bit of ablast when I go in.

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I always worry about leaning on somerton because the gate flexes like mad. We always stick.

Going uphill there is a shoal and anything with a draft slows up and then nips in the gate. We generally have to have two runs to get in, one to squash the mud and push the gate, and then after a back flush, the second run gets us in.

I find it an intimidating lock even with a big boat

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20 hours ago, Ex Brummie said:

It didn't help where numpties left fenders down.

I never could understand why people do this in locks. It's a safety hazard and I've seen a boat jam in a lock because of them (never mind removing the flippin' things from my prop). 

 

PLEASE DON'T DO IT!

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Boat with fenders down jammed in the lower Foxton flight in front of us the week before last, wasn't even an old boat with a wider hull. Lockies managed to free it by cutting the fender ropes and then rocking the boat. Embarrassing for the liveaboard owners...

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What is the average width of a narrow lock?

Edited by Nightwatch

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I haven't bought a fender in 20 years, I have a collection on the roof, sold bag fulls for waterways charities and given loads away. They include rope, slab tuye ones, inflatable plastic, pipe. Where do the come from????

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10 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

What is the width of a narrow lock?

Somewhere between not enough , and on the southern Stratford you can get a 7’4” boat in this one.

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I’ll explain myself.

My boat has beam of just 6’ 8” I have solid rubber fenders. I haven’t measured them but I guess they are no more than 1.5”. Three inches in total. Add that to the width of the boat and that is approximately 6’11”. There are a small number of locks on the network where I am aware I ought to lift the fenders. But to be honest I can’t be arsed the majority of the time.

To call me a numpty or such is a bit disrespectful to me. But you’re entitled to do so if you wish. 

 

 

14 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

I haven't bought a fender in 20 years, I have a collection on the roof, sold bag fulls for waterways charities and given loads away. They include rope, slab tuye ones, inflatable plastic, pipe. Where do the come from????

Is that question to me?

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34 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

My fenders are always down! Some people are opinionated.

and some people cause unnecessary work for others, delays and potential sinking of boats.  

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