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RufusR

Volunteer lockers; help or complete nuisance

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Do you bump the gates to stop your boat instead of using your ropes ropes or engine.

What has this got to do with using allowing hydraulic paddles to drop as they were designed to do, it is always worth checking however they they are fully wound down.

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What has this got to do with using allowing hydraulic paddles to drop as they were designed to do, it is always worth checking however they they are fully wound down.

Hydraulic?

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Yes I was referring to the post re Hatton sorry not clear enough

They aren't hydraulic.....they are mechanical......have a look at the link in my post to see a sectional drawing......they are only used on the section of the northern GU that was improved in the 30's unless someone else can say otherwise.

 

Cheers

 

Gareth

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What has this got to do with using allowing hydraulic paddles to drop as they were designed to do, it is always worth checking however they they are fully wound down.

Got me puzzled. I imagined Calcutt locks had rack and pinion paddles - not hydraulic paddles - which don't seem to drop - all those I have used have to be wound down - otherwise they stay where they are.

Hatton and Knowle and stockton paddles are screw-type and will drop slowly but gather speed and still land with a bump.

I sometimes let paddles drop without using the lock key, but slowly, wearing a heavy glove to hold the shaft by hand to control the speed.

I am not aware of CRT giving approval to paddles being allowed to drop freely.

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Got me puzzled. I imagined Calcutt locks had rack and pinion paddles - not hydraulic paddles - which don't seem to drop - all those I have used have to be wound down - otherwise they stay where they are.

Hatton and Knowle and stockton paddles are screw-type and will drop slowly but gather speed and still land with a bump.

I sometimes let paddles drop without using the lock key, but slowly, wearing a heavy glove to hold the shaft by hand to control the speed.

I am not aware of CRT giving approval to paddles being allowed to drop freely.

The worm drive units on Calcutt Hatton, Knowle and Stockton are designed to be dropped.

Edit

As you say they are mechanical not hydraulic although for some reason lots of people call them hydraulic.

Edited by ditchcrawler

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Got me puzzled. I imagined Calcutt locks had rack and pinion paddles - not hydraulic paddles - which don't seem to drop - all those I have used have to be wound down - otherwise they stay where they are.

Hatton and Knowle and stockton paddles are screw-type and will drop slowly but gather speed and still land with a bump.

I sometimes let paddles drop without using the lock key, but slowly, wearing a heavy glove to hold the shaft by hand to control the speed.

I am not aware of CRT giving approval to paddles being allowed to drop freely.

 

 

Did you mean 'windlass'?

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Do you bump the gates to stop your boat instead of using your ropes ropes or engine.

Never really a working boater practice, unless strapping in went wrong!

 

Some boaters did get a reputation for being tough on the infrastructure, e.g. ramming gates open before the lock made a level.

 

There's a good tale about one young boater being called into the office (Willow Wren? Can't remember who or which company) and being shown the page in the company's book relating to his conduct. Full of complaints about rough handling, of boats and locks.

 

The boatman was shown the page of a much older steerer- completely blank. He was then told, if he kept on the way he was going, he'd have his cards.

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Did you mean 'windlass'?

Ah, I said lock key because that is what I call them.- habit I picked up circa 1948 playing about in boats on the Thames at Hampton - canoes actually - where you were never part of the boating fraternity with their launches and all their buzz-words and jargon. We occasionally made trips to the River Wey - where you needed a lock key. The name windlass was used - but nobody knew what you were talking about until you said it was a lock key. - so out of habit lock key got used - as does left and right, and front and back. -

 

But yes, I could have said windlass. Old habits die hard.- sorry.

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Just catching up, so back on topic...We've not encountered any problems that I can remember with the volockies so far. We came through 3 Locks a couple of weeks back and he was lovely, opened the gates for us, waited till I gave the all clear (bike on the back of stern) before closing the gate and waited till I gave the nod before opening his paddle 1/2 way and then giving him the thumbs up before fully opening it - Dave on the other gate gets the nod and fully opens the paddle.

 

More often than not we go through locks on our own, but we sure are grateful when there is someone to close that second lock gate for us and if they have a windless to close the paddle all the better.

 

I don't remember having an occasion where any of them have done something before I was ready, as I would be annoyed if they took assumption that I was if I wasn't. As someone has already pointed out, this floating piece of metal is my home not a toy.

 

So with that said, I would hazard a guess that some of the message CRT are trying to get through to the lockies is indeed, hitting it's mark. Let's hope it continues to do so, and for those who encounter problems address them through CRT.

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I was talking to someone who's a volunteer lock keeper at Three Locks, who confirmed what I'd long suspected: there are loads of them there on Wednesdays, but on Fridays and Saturdays, when dozens of Wyvern hire boats are heading either out or back, there's no-one willing to go on the rota.

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I was talking to someone who's a volunteer lock keeper at Three Locks, who confirmed what I'd long suspected: there are loads of them there on Wednesdays, but on Fridays and Saturdays, when dozens of Wyvern hire boats are heading either out or back, there's no-one willing to go on the rota.

 

Funny you should say that, the one I was having a bit of a chin wag with when we came through was telling me that their record is 63 in one day, but it was day after a festival/rally had finished and everyone was headed home again. The day we came through was a fairly quiet(ish) day as there had only been about 25 and we were the last he would be assisting before calling it a day, not positive, but I "think" it was a Friday we came through. I know we popped into Wyven for a pump out as it was completely empty (Wyven, not the loo) and when we had come down though the week before it was chaucker blocked 4 deep at some points.

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I'm sure volunteer lock keepers are like anyone else in life. You'll get many who are very enthusiastic and really helpful. Then maybe a few who just like the T shirt and looking the part.

 

We've not really had a problem with them on our travels. Generally they are very helpful especially when we were both struggling with back problems.

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No she wouldn't....but those paddles are a totally different design.....that's my point!.....and says a lot about the knowledge getting lost.

And Mick and Crystal are still afloat.....they have a mooring in a local yard...both still active and well....and much missed on the locks!.....their boat isn't emerald btw.

Edited to add the link to post discussing lowering of Ham Baker paddleshttp://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=73931

Cheers

Gareth

I was jesting, I know that the Ham Baker gear on the northern GU is designed to be dropped, indeed I posted on an open day at Hatton here:

 

http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=73959

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I adopted a strategy at Hatton the other week to save any hassle or confrontation, wind the paddles down when the Volocky was around, drop them when he wasn't.

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I adopted a strategy at Hatton the other week to save any hassle or confrontation, wind the paddles down when the Volocky was around, drop them when he wasn't.

 

 

Point of order...

 

Although they are designed to be dropped, they rely on a thick black rubber pad to act as a shock asbsorber at the bottom of their travel.

 

This is missing on some of them so DO take the trouble to check before dropping them indiscriminately, or damage might yet occur.

  • Greenie 1

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This is missing on some of them so DO take the trouble to check before dropping them indiscriminately, or damage might yet occur.

Problem here is you can't tell if the rubber stop is missing until the paddle hits the bottom with a loud clang!

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I adopted a strategy at Hatton the other week to save any hassle or confrontation, wind the paddles down when the Volocky was around, drop them when he wasn't.

ninja.gif

 

I've done the same!

 

The last time I came down Hatton was a month ago, single handing.

I worked the first 3 locks myself but was then picked up by two vlockies. I couldn't have faulted them! One stayed with me and the boat while the other set ahead.

 

Into top lock: 08:05

Out of bottom lock: 11:25

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Yes mike and VV are correct. The Ham Bakers are designed to be allowed to drop freely BUT they are also designed with a rubber shock absorber at the bottom, which deteriorates and is not often (if ever) replaced. If the rubber is not present and the paddle is one of the more free-running ones then there will be a hard metal on metal collision at the bottom, which can't be good for it.

 

For this reason I either wind down or at least control with my gloved hand, or judge that the friction is causing a sufficiently slow wind-down anyway.

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Before you wind the paddle up, look through the little opening in the side of the casing. The pad sits above the worm gear.

 

Part number 37 38 in the image in this post http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=73959&p=1510572

 

Edited to correct part number.

Edited by IanM
  • Greenie 1

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