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Salterhebble top lock cill


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This may seem I very daft question but I am thinking of taking my 60ft and a bit boat to Huddersfield and back via the Rochdale. I have been told that 60ft in the maximum and this is the sticking point but my boat has a very pointy bow is less than 6'10" and the stern counter sticks out a couple good of feet beyond the rudder. If I pump out the water tanks I can make the counter above water level by several inches. My theory is that depending on the cill position relative to the empty lock and water level in the pound I might be able to squeeze in backwards with the counter just over the cill. As I am down south so a long way to go to check it out. Does anyone local knowledge of how far above or below water level the cill is on the top lock?

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I haven't been through it for a few years, but my memory of a 59' boat is quite a tight fit with buttons up, and the cill is well above the bottom water level. The middle lock I think tighter, but doable...

 

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  • Athy changed the title to Salterhebble top lock cill
3 hours ago, Mike Adams said:

My theory is that depending on the cill position relative to the empty lock and water level in the pound I might be able to squeeze in backwards with the counter just over the cill.

 

I think you're getting mixed up.  You'll be descending Salterhebble top lock coming from the Rochdale.

 

Reverse into the lock, very carefully slide your stempost down the cill as you let the water out and see if you can open the other gate to reverse out then turn in the wide pound below the lock.  An assistant on each paddle ready to stop would be helpful if you try this, and if you can't make the angle to get out of the lock you'll have to fill it up and go back over the Rochdale.

 

 

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I have taken Granny Buttons up Salterhebble Top Lock, and it was a *very* tight fit. I had to pull up the bow button and one of the stern buttons, but I managed it. Now my boat is coming back the other way and in a couple of weeks will be there. I will have to consider going down backwards. I will take care to empty using just one paddle, so that I can drop it and stop the process if it's going wrong. Bear in mind that CRT don't condone boats over 57ft 6in using the locks, and if disaster strikes you might find problems with your insurance. 

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Are you too big for the Huddersfield Narrow?

As the Biscuits say, give it a go. The worse that can happen is that you have to turn and go back on the Rochdale and half of the Rochdale is a very lovely canal.

 

The only thing I can say for certain is a 70 footer does not go through that lock, but it does make a rather nice winding hole. You need a handspike for that lock, I'd like one but can't justify it for just one lock,  a length of timber works ok.

 

..............Dave

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2 hours ago, dmr said:

Are you too big for the Huddersfield Narrow?

As the Biscuits say, give it a go. The worse that can happen is that you have to turn and go back on the Rochdale and half of the Rochdale is a very lovely canal.

 

The only thing I can say for certain is a 70 footer does not go through that lock, but it does make a rather nice winding hole. You need a handspike for that lock, I'd like one but can't justify it for just one lock,  a length of timber works ok.

 

..............Dave

 

When I last did the Calder & Hebble I used one of my mooring pins. 

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2 hours ago, dmr said:

 

 

You need a handspike for that lock, I'd like one but can't justify it for just one lock,  a length of timber works ok.

 

..............Dave

Make sure it's hardwood,softwood will be in bits before you've got the paddle halfway.

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How much over 60 ft are you?

"With a boat a fraction over 60', the bottom gates will not open/close."

http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/calder/locks.htm

 

You will have no size problems on the Rochadale. If you can't get through Salterhebble, there is at least a direct bus service from Salterhebble Hill at the end of the Halifax Arm to Huddersfield.

Edited by David Mack
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Just now, Andrew Denny said:

 

When I last did the Calder & Hebble I used one of my mooring pins. 

I am surprised that you could get enough leverage!

Had a hireboat in here buying a new tiller extension,because guess what he used on the C+H paddles.?

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27 minutes ago, Mad Harold said:

Make sure it's hardwood,softwood will be in bits before you've got the paddle halfway.

went both ways with a length of B&Q three by two cut in half.

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Thanks for the information. I didn't make it clear that I was going to Hudds via the Huddersfield narrow and go back via the Rochdale if I can otherwise back via the narrow or down and around the L and L. Looks like the cill is well above water level but doesn't stick out much anyway. Suppose I can always give it a try.

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I've been  down Salterhebble forwards in a narrow boat that is 60 feet long to the inch. Don't know how much clearance there was coz I couldn't find my feeler gauges at the time but I was glad I didn't apply that extra coat of paint. My boat has an elliptical stern  which meant that I could draw it further back  in the lock when opening the bottom gates than might have been possible if the boat had a square stern. Coming down (or going up backwards) the shape of the bow is probably irrelevant as even though you can get a pointy bow further into the angle of the lock gates, you still have to move the gates past the bow in order to get in/out of the lock. I think you'd have to raise the counter by more than a few inches to clear the cill but if you are 60 feet dead with a rounded stern then y probably ok.

 

Many boaters I met on the C&H said that you were better off taking a 60 foot boat boat down Salterhebble backwards. Dunno why, maybe just because there is less chance of smashing the rudder, so if you're coming up, go forwards  and then you've probably got the best of it.  Besides the short locks, the downsides to bringing an overlength boat up the Calder and Hebble are that the ground paddles tend to not work, the headgate paddles leak so badly that they might as well not be there, also the walkways over the locks are attached to the upstream side of the lock tailgates. So pull the boat forward as soon as the bow clears the cill or the tiller will catch on the underside of the walkway either bending it or pushing the stern under. Many of the locks bear evidence of this kind of contact. At least coming up  you get  find out if you can actually fit into the lock before you have to operate it.

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Mike Adams said:

 I didn't make it clear that I was going to Hudds via the Huddersfield narrow and go back via the Rochdale if I can 

 

The only problem with that plan is that Salterhebble top is the shortest lock.

 

If you don't quite fit you'll have to go back down to Huddersfield or even the full length of the C&H to return.

 

Doing it from the Sowerby Bridge end means you discover if you fit in the first lock rather than the last one!

 

 

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12 hours ago, 36national said:

Many boaters I met on the C&H said that you were better off taking a 60 foot boat boat down Salterhebble backwards. Dunno why, maybe just because there is less chance of smashing the rudder,

 

No, the logic is that most stemposts are angled, so you carefully slide the angle down the cill as the water level drops.  That reduces the chances of getting stuck, as if it jams you just add water and it gets unstuck again.

 

If you're facing into the lock and your stern gets jammed against the cill with your bow jammed against the gates you might be properly stuck.

 

Depending on the shape of your bow, you can also overlap the cill with the critical few inches of boat, hopefully enough to open the gate.

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We did the Huddersfield Broad and Narrow, it was obviously tight for our 58ft plus buttons. We used the pole to push the boat's bow into the corners, in a sort of diagonal manoeuvre. It helped having a round stern. It was a memorable journey, for all good reasons.

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7 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

No, the logic is that most stemposts are angled, so you carefully slide the angle down the cill as the water level drops.  That reduces the chances of getting stuck, as if it jams you just add water and it gets unstuck again.

 

If you're facing into the lock and your stern gets jammed against the cill with your bow jammed against the gates you might be properly stuck.

 

Depending on the shape of your bow, you can also overlap the cill with the critical few inches of boat, hopefully enough to open the gate.

cheers TheBiscuits,  that solves that one then

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We have been through Salterhebble three or four times in two different boats, both nominally 60ft (But never measured the actual length!). Needed the fenders lifted and we took it very slowly, up and down (both in the 'normal' direction). It is tight but you do get a sense of achievement, not to say relief, when you actually get through! Last time was the first with the second boat and we had accepted that if it was just too tight then we would have to turn about and go another way but relieved that we did not have to resort to Plan B. It is generally necessary to have the fenders lifted though all of the C&H shorter locks - not worth putting them back each time.

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Another comment which might still be relevant or might not -- last time we went through Salterhebble in a 57' boat there was a *lot* of water fountaining into the lock from a leaky top gate; in a 60' boat with bow towards the cill this would have filled up the well deck pretty damn quick, there was far too much for most drain holes to cope with.

 

Not a problem if you have a tug-style bow where it'll be like water off a duck's back, but we didn't. So since we were going down, said water just cascaded across the stern deck, tried to wash the stern rope overboard to commit suicide around the prop (fixed that, obviously), and filled my shoes up with water. Could have been much worse...

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33 minutes ago, IanD said:

Another comment which might still be relevant or might not -- last time we went through Salterhebble in a 57' boat there was a *lot* of water fountaining into the lock from a leaky top gate; in a 60' boat with bow towards the cill this would have filled up the well deck pretty damn quick, there was far too much for most drain holes to cope with.

 

Not a problem if you have a tug-style bow where it'll be like water off a duck's back, but we didn't. So since we were going down, said water just cascaded across the stern deck, tried to wash the stern rope overboard to commit suicide around the prop (fixed that, obviously), and filled my shoes up with water. Could have been much worse...

Exactly my point in post 4 

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