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Lapworth flight paddles


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This afternoon we drove out to Lapworth to help friends descend the Lapworth flight. They are relatively new to boating and both with slight mobility issues, to be expected as oldies. Wife Gail went ahead, his wife and I on the lockside, he steering. I’ve been up and down that flight many times over the years, usually easily, but today was an eye opener, paddle wise. The majority, though over greased, were much stiffer than before, a good few that she was unable to budge and I struggled with. Now, in my early 70s I concede that I am probably less strong than I used to be but I can’t recall them requiring such an effort. We were joined part way down by a helpful volunteer keeper who was largely apologetic for the efforts needed. Is it just me, or have others found the flight hard work too?

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10 minutes ago, dave moore said:

This afternoon we drove out to Lapworth to help friends descend the Lapworth flight. They are relatively new to boating and both with slight mobility issues, to be expected as oldies. Wife Gail went ahead, his wife and I on the lockside, he steering. I’ve been up and down that flight many times over the years, usually easily, but today was an eye opener, paddle wise. The majority, though over greased, were much stiffer than before, a good few that she was unable to budge and I struggled with. Now, in my early 70s I concede that I am probably less strong than I used to be but I can’t recall them requiring such an effort. We were joined part way down by a helpful volunteer keeper who was largely apologetic for the efforts needed. Is it just me, or have others found the flight hard work too?

Just what I wanted to read Dave having just moved two boats up Hatton today 😀

 

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I can confirm the flight has got worse. I came down in January this year and again a couple of weeks ago and it was noticeably worse. I did comment to a Crt bod about it at the time and they replied “it’s not that bad”

I’m no weakling but found some of the paddles very difficult to operate. 

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54 minutes ago, dave moore said:

Is it just me, or have others found the flight hard work too?

We came down a couple of weeks ago and a couple were unexpectedly stiff.  That flight is usually one of the better maintained, or at least enthusiastically greased ones.

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Went up a couple weeks ago and don't recall any problems with heavy paddles, just several top paddles that slipped badly when winding up due to worn rack. Was told by volunteer that most of the paddles do that, it's not a problem and not dangerous at all! 

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13 hours ago, Sea Dog said:

We came down a couple of weeks ago and a couple were unexpectedly stiff.  That flight is usually one of the better maintained, or at least enthusiastically greased ones.

I do not really understand how greasing really helps that much. OK, rusty gears/rack with no grease at all will be stiffer but most of the effort comes in getting the paddle itself to start to open. Once the pressure is reduced from partial opening then the rest is usually much easier.

 

We went down 8th August just the two of us plus grand daughter - 'whizzed' was the term. We came back up on 6th September, just two of us, but with a volunteer most of the way. I did feel that the paddles were noticeably stiffer. Also at two locks one of the top paddle racks does slip such that the paddle will not open. The volunteer said that it had been reported two weeks earlier but the pressure on the maintenance teams is such that they are not yet a priority.

 

In most cases, I suspect that the stiffness is largely the result of a lack of use - many are enthusiastically greased with limited effect (eg Tardebigge!). Even the 'crowds' of the last couple of weeks are not really large.

 

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We came down Lapworth last Sunday and the paddles were by some way the worst we have encountered on this trip. So far we’ve come down from Whaley Bridge to Stourport and then back up though Birmingham, Lapworth, down to Napton and back up as far as Ansty so far. So plenty of locks and I wouldn’t have expected Lapworth to have been the worst, but it was.

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