Jump to content

Hire Boats have priority!!!


Featured Posts

Following the lock stoppage at Bank Newton where hire boats were allowed and assisted passage so they could return to base, but not private hirers, another similar story has appeared.

The Watford and Foxton flights have been on limited passage recently (10-3), with long queues and some boats arriving before lunchtime not allowed passage until next day. A friend arrived wellbefore 10am with boat and butty, booked them in when lockies arrived ....and then helped boats up and down for several hours to speed the process. The lockies were not doing this efficiently, but refused to listen how it could be operated in a better way.

When it came to my friends turn, the lockies said only one of his boats could pass through, as there were 3 hire boats waiting to come the other way....and then they were shutting the flight. He had already been delayed over 4 1/2 hours and had a job to do in Crick, he argued that he needed the butty through as it was a pair of boats, and he was on the way to work with them, hire boats do Not have priority over other boats. The lockie refused to back down and said he was locking the gate regardless, friend says he would cut the locks off when he'd gone then.

The pair got through same day in the end with no locks harmed.

There is no difference to a family having 2 weeks off on holiday who have to get back to their marina on their own boat and go home back to work than a family having 2 weeks on a hire boat and having to get back. In fact, if push comes to shove, a hire boat can be turned round away from base (and quite often are in times of flood, stoppages, breakdowns etc.), so there is even less reason for priority.

 

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Arrived at Foxton yesterday at 13:40 and went straight through and all done very efficiently by the VLK’s. Your “friend” basically said he was going to commit an act of vandalism then which isn’t very clever. Oh and locks are open 10-4 with last entry 3:15

Edited by Chris John
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to have the greatest respect for the official lockies (used to be lengthsmen and women) but now it seems to be more and more officious jobsworths around - its a shame as they are giving the remaining good ones a bad name.

Fully sympathise with your friend - bolt cutters should be in every boat's toolkit.

2 minutes ago, Chris John said:

Arrived at Foxton yesterday at 13:40 and went straight through and all done very efficiently by the VLK’s. Your “friend” basically said he was going to commit an act of vandalism then which isn’t very clever. Oh and locks are open 10-4 with last entry 3:15

And where on C&RT website does it say 'hire boats get priority'. The locky was making it up as he went along.

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is true. I have heard it said before from people who go around in their unconverted boats. When they find a queue they can be heard saying that commercial boats have priority so they should go first. Hire boats are commercial boats so they must have priority. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Chris John said:

Arrived at Foxton yesterday at 13:40 and went straight through and all done very efficiently by the VLK’s. Your “friend” basically said he was going to commit an act of vandalism then which isn’t very clever. Oh and locks are open 10-4 with last entry 3:15

Might have known you'd ship up with some clever comment, I didnt say it was yesterday, and the lockie was shutting at 3, NOT when they were supposed to be shutting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no problem with true commercial boats having priority, coal boats who have a schedule to keep, trip boats on the Thames, maybe even hotel boats, but hire boats take their place in the queue with the rest of us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When we went up Watford on Wednesday 2nd June ( The day with a closure from 11 til 4pm) The locks opened at 8am - we were 6th in the queue to go up. The lock keepers were very organised in a 3hour slot they planned to work 5 boats down the flight and 11up. They did 2 down to start with the first two boats up moving into the intermediate pounds. Boaters waiting to go up managed these two locks. They then did 11 up to be followed by three down. One of the up boats was single handed so a lockie worked him up the flight. It shows what can be done where there is a will - everybody helped and I'm confident they acheived their target. Foxton the following day was not as organised and speaking to a lock keeper it appeared that only 8 boats up the flight and 12 down would be managed in a 6hour opening slot.

I've suggested to Friends who are hiring from Braunston in August that they do not go to Market Harborough and back as it will involve both flights in both directions with the possibility of delays.

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Mike Tee said:

I used to have the greatest respect for the official lockies (used to be lengthsmen and women) but now it seems to be more and more officious jobsworths around - its a shame as they are giving the remaining good ones a bad name.

Fully sympathise with your friend - bolt cutters should be in every boat's toolkit.

And where on C&RT website does it say 'hire boats get priority'. The locky was making it up as he went along.

Well clearly it doesn’t. Sounds like I know a friends friend type story to me tbh 

48 minutes ago, matty40s said:

Might have known you'd ship up with some clever comment, I didnt say it was yesterday, and the lockie was shutting at 3, NOT when they were supposed to be shutting.

Wow you’re touchy aren’t you. I was just making a comment that I had no problem or is that not allowed in your free for all moan in.  

Edited by Chris John
Link to comment
Share on other sites

54 minutes ago, Chris John said:

Well clearly it doesn’t. Sounds like I know a friends friend type story to me tbh 

Wow you’re touchy aren’t you. I was just making a comment that I had no problem or is that not allowed in your free for all moan in.  

Not as touchy as you seeing the PM you sent which I have reported.

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Richard T said:

I've suggested to Friends who are hiring from Braunston in August that they do not go to Market Harborough and back as it will involve both flights in both directions with the possibility of delays.

In about 1966 we hired The Duchess of Athol from Wyvern Shipping at Leighton Buzzard and turned at the top of Foxton locks. The following year we hired from Market Harborough and headed north through Leicester. On returning we arrived back at Foxton Friday lunchtime, and didn't need to be back at the base until the following morning. So we spent the Friday afternoon ascending the locks, the turned round and descended the flight, just so there wasn't a gap in the waters we had travelled. Don't think we'd get away with it these days!

Edited by David Mack
  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Chris John said:

Arrived at Foxton yesterday at 13:40 and went straight through and all done very efficiently by the VLK’s. Your “friend” basically said he was going to commit an act of vandalism then which isn’t very clever. Oh and locks are open 10-4 with last entry 3:15

However, the threatened “act of vandalism” resulted in the volockie backing down, which goes to show that he knew perfectly well he was on dodgy ground and making it up.

1 hour ago, Richard T said:

When we went up Watford on Wednesday 2nd June ( The day with a closure from 11 til 4pm) The locks opened at 8am - we were 6th in the queue to go up. The lock keepers were very organised in a 3hour slot they planned to work 5 boats down the flight and 11up. They did 2 down to start with the first two boats up moving into the intermediate pounds. Boaters waiting to go up managed these two locks. They then did 11 up to be followed by three down. One of the up boats was single handed so a lockie worked him up the flight. It shows what can be done where there is a will - everybody helped and I'm confident they acheived their target. Foxton the following day was not as organised and speaking to a lock keeper it appeared that only 8 boats up the flight and 12 down would be managed in a 6hour opening slot.

I've suggested to Friends who are hiring from Braunston in August that they do not go to Market Harborough and back as it will involve both flights in both directions with the possibility of delays.

This is the point really. With amateur volockies, some are great and some are on a power trip, and typically incompetent with it. It is just pot luck which sort you get. It shouldn’t be like that!

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Mike Tee said:

 

And where on C&RT website does it say 'hire boats get priority'. The locky was making it up as he went along.

I think the same thing has happened with some of the stoppages

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have heard similar stories about hire-boats being given priority at Watford.

I don't know what's happened there. The lockies at Watford are normally well organised and efficient.

We went through the flight during the last week in May, not long after the restrictions were put in place to facilitate the works on Sulby reservoir. We arrived at the bottom of the flight soon after 9 to ensure we got through once they were unlocked. They let 11 boats down before we moved. It was after 1 before we cleared the locks.

What annoyed me was when we were cruising the summit pound, the levels were very high with water pouring over all the spill-weirs. They must have been in the process of draining down the reservoirs. So water was being dumped in to local streams when it could have been used in the locks had they been allowed to open longer. What is the sense in that? Surely CRT could have applied some flexibility.

I also question the timing of the works. Here we are just coming out of lockdown and a very popular route has to be put in to restricted lock times. I am glad I don't moor in Crick, Yelvertoft or Kilworth. Options are very limited for short breaks if you are based on that pound. I appreciate the logic behind doing the work during the dry season but I would have thought it could have been planned better to lessen impact on boaters.  Surely major work like this had been planned well in advance? If I recall, just a couple of weeks notice was given. 

July and August is going to be interesting!

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, pearley said:

I have no problem with true commercial boats having priority, coal boats who have a schedule to keep, trip boats on the Thames, maybe even hotel boats, but hire boats take their place in the queue with the rest of us.

 

is there a law against watercraft discrimination?

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, roland elsdon said:

What they did say was it helps if people get off and help. It appears there is the start of a tradition of leaving it up to the lockies

I agree.

Frustrates me when you look at the boat at the front of the queue and no-one from it at the lockside.  

I frequently lose my partner as she disappears up the flight with her windless!  

 

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only time I personally have experienced different treatment between hire boats and private boats was a number of years ago on the L & L.   Hire boats weren't being allowed down the 5 rise as "they couldn't guarantee they had enough water to get them back up".   It was they said because hire boats needed to be back to base on time a private boat could choose to risk getting stuck down there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were ascending Atherstone locks the other day. We were in the pound twixt locks 3 and 2. Message from second in command that there was a boat coming down and could we wait. Of course we could. Anyway, lock 3 set and awaiting descending boat. The boat coming down was still on the water point. Anyway volocky at lock three closed the gates and flooded up as there was a boat coming up. I was immediately grounded. Which slightly annoyed me. Hopped off and asked for some water in the pound. “Oh., it always does that” I replied I’m not surprised if all the water is wasted and being fun down. Anyway, after some delay, boat coming down, a hire boat incidentally, and I’m afloat. Do the remaining two locks and get on the water point. Whilst filling up the volockies, of which there were many, ran water down for a minimum of twenty minutes. 
So perhaps they do listen. Just saying.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, roland elsdon said:

Have been up and down Watford 4 times in last 3 weeks ( don’t ask) in our ex working boat. On each trip we have had a short wait , max was 3 hrs. On each trip they appeared efficient, maybe we were lucky.

What they did say was it helps if people get off and help. It appears there is the start of a tradition of leaving it up to the lockies.

Certainly they were surprised that my partner shot up and down the flight locking boats through for 3 hrs, but then she enjoys that.

I spent the time cleaning the boat.

Shocked at the many across the generations who sat in the well deck carrying out internet business. No wonder we are a world force in online management, and morbid obesity.

I work from home and continuously cruise.  Often my day is split between cruising in the morning and working in the afternoon.  If I arrived at a flight first thing and was told I'd have a 3 hour wait, I'd flip my day around.  So I'd be one of the those carrying out internet business.  I'm not morbidly obese though.

  • Greenie 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

I work from home and continuously cruise.  Often my day is split between cruising in the morning and working in the afternoon.  If I arrived at a flight first thing and was told I'd have a 3 hour wait, I'd flip my day around.  So I'd be one of the those carrying out internet business.  I'm not morbidly obese though.

Time, just give it time. 

It catches up with us all.

 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did Foxton and Watford a few weeks ago. There were only a handful of boats at Foxton so apart from one miserable volley ("I volunteered for maintenance not lock duties") all went well. Us doing our own lock-wheeling and the vollies assisting the two single handed boats behind. Watford was reasonably well managed 6 up and 6 down. The lady volley (ex-boater) was very friendly and knowledgeable. Then there was 'Herr Flick' volley shouting orders at the bottom gates to the waiting boats. There was quite a few so I suspect some didn't get up that day. Herr Flick's attitude probably didn't help calm the inevitable storm from those at the back of the queue. We were told the 10-4 restriction was to do with reservoir maintenance and that the Welford Arm would be very low but that was not our experience. The feeder stream was running well and levels were very normal.

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Time, just give it time. 

It catches up with us all.

 

Yes, in time I will retire and have lots more opportunity to help at locks.  I don't intend to become obese though.  None of my family are so why should I?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.