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I have been reading a canal guide and one section of the canal has a bridge which requires a CRT key to operate it. Who or where does one acquire this item.  TIA.

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9 minutes ago, Ray T said:

Midland Chandlers: BWB Sanitary Key | Midland Chandlers

 

Also available on eBay, I cannot vouch for their suitability though.

 

Is there a difference? Watermate Keys - Boat Equipment - Canal World

Thanks Ray, not sure whether a key will be supplied with the hire boat, dib, dib, dib just being prepared, lol.  👍

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Heire boat should be provided with the keys you need, but possibly only one CRT key and one handcuff key. Buying your own will give you a spare if you should drop one in!

Ebay ones are cheaper, but I know from experience that they don't always work. Not much help when you are stuck at a lock or lift/swing bridge in the middle of nowhere.

Edited by David Mack
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3 minutes ago, Pete Flint said:

Thanks Ray, not sure whether a key will be supplied with the hire boat, dib, dib, dib just being prepared, lol.  👍

 

They always were when we hired but check BEFORE you sail off!

 

Many chandlers sell them I have found.

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When we used to hire I always took our own keys as most hire boats only had one and generally it was on the same ring as the engine key.

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16 minutes ago, Pete Flint said:

Thanks Ray, not sure whether a key will be supplied with the hire boat, dib, dib, dib just being prepared, lol.  👍

You should have a CRT (yale) key and a handcuff key on a hire boat.  Check before you set off.  You need the CRT key for most service like water points, as well as some bridges and locks.  The handcuff key is mainly used for locks in urban areas, and for some bridges.

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Thank you all for your response. Yes, having a spare is a wise move and they are cheap enough from e-bay. I am looking forward to our first venture afloat !

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30 minutes ago, Pete Flint said:

Thank you all for your response. Yes, having a spare is a wise move and they are cheap enough from e-bay. I am looking forward to our first venture afloat !

 

I got my spare from eBay and never had an issue with it.

 

However some on here state they had problems in that they didn't operate every time.

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I had an eBay key and it worked fine in ‘new’ locks, but padlocks etc that had heavy use or were old required a lot of jiggling the key to allow it to turn.  I replaced it with a key from the crt on-line shop.  Cost more but it always works.

 

https://shop.canalrivertrust.org.uk

Edited by Chewbacka
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My ebay handcuff key had a round hole with squared corners in the working end. It was fine on some locks, but on others with a worn square shaft it would just spin round. As a result I could only use one paddle on a number of locks on the Factory 3 and Wolverhampton 21 flights. Fortunately I didn't come to a lock where both paddles at the same end were 'spinners'. I bought a couple of proper ones at Midland Chandlers, Penkridge (now permanently closed), which had proper square holes in the end, and I haven't been troubled by worn handcuff locks since.

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4 hours ago, Pete Flint said:

Thanks Ray, not sure whether a key will be supplied with the hire boat, dib, dib, dib just being prepared, lol.  👍

It would be rather odd for the base not to supply you with keys required. 

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35 minutes ago, midnight cowboy said:

They were also called BW keys in the days of British Waterways.....

Mine has BW stamped on it.

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Here's a direct comparison of an eBay key vs. a legit from CRT key. The eBay key was from a "reputable" source with tons of feedback about the keys being perfect. What you can't see is the eBay key is 2.1mm thick, the CRT one is 2.3mm thick. I've tried it on various waterpoints/services etc. and i'd say 8 out of 10 times the eBay key does NOT work, buy 'em from CRT or a Chandlers and save yourself the hassle. (pic is eBay - CRT, then flipped and eBay - CRT to avoid confusion).

 

 

BWB_Keys.jpg

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One of my handcuff keys is a bit of a fatty - possibly from a round hole having corners knocked into it. The result is it occasionally won't go into the hole.  The moral is the same though - all these things are not equal and if you buy  knock offs, make sure you have the real thing amongst your spares.

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1 hour ago, Hudds Lad said:

Here's a direct comparison of an eBay key vs. a legit from CRT key. The eBay key was from a "reputable" source with tons of feedback about the keys being perfect. What you can't see is the eBay key is 2.1mm thick, the CRT one is 2.3mm thick. I've tried it on various waterpoints/services etc. and i'd say 8 out of 10 times the eBay key does NOT work, buy 'em from CRT or a Chandlers and save yourself the hassle. (pic is eBay - CRT, then flipped and eBay - CRT to avoid confusion).

 

 

BWB_Keys.jpg

The eBay key doesn't have the same cutting profile as the BWB one (which has flat bottoms to the cut where each lock pin engages), I'm not surprised it doesn't work reliably.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 08/05/2021 at 15:12, Chewbacka said:

I had an eBay key and it worked fine in ‘new’ locks, but padlocks etc that had heavy use or were old required a lot of jiggling the key to allow it to turn.  I replaced it with a key from the crt on-line shop.  Cost more but it always works.

 

https://shop.canalrivertrust.org.uk

Stopped at one water point where there are two separate taps in a wall behind padlocked metal doors. This was BC (before covid). My long-time BW didn't operate either padlock. Good job I'd bought a shiny new spare recently! Nope - didn't fit. Popped round to a nearby hire base to ask if they knew the secret. Nope - no news but loaned me one of their known operational keys. Nope - no dice. Phoned CRT - nope, no solution. Fortunately, a nearby tap but a four mile round trip to wind. Moral? Even having the right key may count for nothing.

That point doesn't have locks any more!

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17 hours ago, Tracy D'arth said:

I have a 1/4" drive socket extension  bar with a handle on the male end, its a perfect fit on the handcuff locks and the plunger locks.

Yeah. Spent a night on a swing bridge mooring cos handcuff key wouldn't fit. Realised next morning that a 1/4" socket reversed fitted perfectly.

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