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Middle level windlass


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Our seems to be made of a length of box-section steel, 39mm external size, 33mm internal size, (which is the crucial measurement) 80 mm long, with a handle welded on so there's 60mm clear on the business end. Handle crank length is 360mm. There's no taper on the socket.

 

MP.

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Noted that the "business end" protrudes for several inches from the handle, as it goes down into a recess to turn the paddle. The windlass is horizontal when you turn the paddle.

 

Otherwise, it's pretty similar to the large section normal windlass. Indeed a middle level windlass works fine all the way up the Nene on the standard large square paddles.

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Noted that the "business end" protrudes for several inches from the handle, as it goes down into a recess to turn the paddle. The windlass is horizontal when you turn the paddle.

 

Otherwise, it's pretty similar to the large section normal windlass. Indeed a middle level windlass works fine all the way up the Nene on the standard large square paddles.

 

... and so can anyone tell me why it is known as an Ouse key ??

 

You only really need it for Ashline lock, which is of course unmanned.

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Maybe its because if you want to get to the Ouse in a narrow boat on normal canal type waterways you need an 'Ouse key' ?

 

Or have the locks on the Ouse been changed at some point.

I did the Ouse years ago but I thought it was needed elsewhere possibly St Ives?

 

Why is Ouse not pronounced like Mouse?

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... and so can anyone tell me why it is known as an Ouse key ??

 

You only really need it for Ashline lock, which is of course unmanned.

An Ouse key is different. It's like a BW windlass, with a taper socket, but bigger. The larger size BW windlass will sort-of fit most Ouse-lock spindles, but it may jam and require application of a mooring hammer. Don't ask me how I know this :)

 

MP.

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An Ouse key is different. It's like a BW windlass, with a taper socket, but bigger. The larger size BW windlass will sort-of fit most Ouse-lock spindles, but it may jam and require application of a mooring hammer. Don't ask me how I know this smile.png

 

MP.

 

Ah now I am really confused, as the Middle Level navigation notes (here) say in paras 13/15:

 

"An 'Ouse Key'/Lock Handle/Windlass can usually be purchased at the manned

locks and marinas (price £10.00)"
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Ah now I am really confused, as the Middle Level navigation notes (here) say in paras 13/15:

 

"An 'Ouse Key'/Lock Handle/Windlass can usually be purchased at the manned

locks and marinas (price £10.00)"

 

Maybe I'm confused as well. We have a Middle-Level windlass which is the straight-sided affair like the one MacOfCynet posted a picture. That was bought at Stanground Lock. We also have a Ouse Key, described as such and bought at Gayton Marina, I think. That's tapered, and is definitely used (by us, at least) on the Bedford Ouse locks.

 

MP.

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  • 10 months later...

Cannot answer for Middle Level or Nene but have got my Great Ouse 'key' out of the loft to check its dimensions for Big John. It was obtained for free with a sea-searcher, dabbling at Tempsford Lock many years ago.

 

The shaft has a throw of 290mm. The 'socket is tapered - 35mm at wide end, 30mm at narrow end, socket is 70mm long so a gentle taper, socket side walls made from 5mm 'L' section/angle cut and welded.

 

Quite a heavy brute.

 

p.s. When I was learning locking in the 1970s I was shown how to keep a coin or small shim in my pocket to deal with worn spindles on manky BW locks.

 

Mal

  • Greenie 1
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