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IanR

Re trimming a boat and it's handling afterwards.

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We have re trimmed our boat to sit more level, as opposed to being fore end high. General manouvering is pretty much unaffected, although when going up in locks, the boat now gets pushed forwards when filling. In some locks it can be quite violent and requires a good chunk of astern to stop it bashing. Before, it used to generally sit quite happily stern against the bottom gates whereas now it seems to like nosing against the cill and top gates. I guess this must be quite normal (?) and is something we'll have to learn to control / change our methods to get used to. At the top Etruria lock the other day a 'helper' opened the paddles, fully and quickly, and the boat noticabley sat for end down with the counter out and the prop cavitating slightly as I stopped it from hitting the buffers.

 

Any thoughts or explanations? Perhaps now the baseplate is more horizontal the incoming water is going all the way under the boat and coming out at the stern, pushing us forward. As opposed to when the baseplate was fore end high and the water taking the easiest route, infront of the boat?

 

Ian.

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How long is it - I can't recall exactly?  Sixty or so feet?

 

If it were full length you would generally want it to nose the cill and top gates when going up, or to nose the bottom gates when going down.

 

I can't really immediately see why you shouldn't do the same, even if it is not entirely full length.

 

At least then you know where it is in the lock, and don't need to keep making adjustments to try and stay away from gates.

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Try putting the fore end on the cill with forward gear engaged on tick over, it should ride up the slam board & the move forward & ride up the gate, a bit of " fiddling" with regard to the amount of paddle inially drawn so as not to wash the boat away from the cill to have it drawn back to bang on the slam board should give a smooth ride up  in the  lock with regard to ballast if you load it fore end down a couple of inches (trial & error) it usually follows the deeper water without to much input on the tiller maybe as the channel has been reduced by modern shallow draft boats it will not be as noticeable as in days gone by when loaded boats produced a more pronounced channel which a "down by the head " boat would follow with very little steering input

  • Greenie 1

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Sounds like a good thing to me.  Much better to ride the cill up onto the top gate than to have the risk of part of your stern snagging on something on the bottom gate.  When I was new to boating I used to hang back in locks to stay away from the strong flows.  All that would happen is that the boat would move around more uncontrollably.  Then, one time, when heading uphill on the Rochdale, part of my rudder got stuck under a huge bolt protruding from the inside of the bottom gate.  The bow continued to rise quickly while the stern was at risk of submerging.  Quick action was needed to prevent a possible sinking.  Now I always stay well forwards in locks.

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In answer to the OP, the trim of a boat is affected by how much water and diesel your tanks have in them, as well as the state and location of the holding tank(s).

 

Regarding lock technique, I seldom have any difficulty keeping our 48 footer roughly in the middle of the lock - 10-12 feet from the 'back' gates means you are 10-12 feet from the 'front' gates too, with plenty of room for manoeuvre.  

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Cheers folks, the boat is 62ft. It isn't causing us any problems it was more a post to say just how much of a difference it has made and the speculated reasons for it.

 

Thanks again, Ian.

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1 hour ago, IanR said:

Cheers folks, the boat is 62ft. It isn't causing us any problems it was more a post to say just how much of a difference it has made and the speculated reasons for it.

 

Thanks again, Ian.

I definitely don't think I'd try to hold a 62 foot ex-working boat in the middle of the lock, away from cills and gates.

It's far easier to always have it nudging whatever is in front of it.

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4 hours ago, Machpoint005 said:

In answer to the OP, the trim of a boat is affected by how much water and diesel your tanks have in them, as well as the state and location of the holding tank(s).

 

Regarding lock technique, I seldom have any difficulty keeping our 48 footer roughly in the middle of the lock - 10-12 feet from the 'back' gates means you are 10-12 feet from the 'front' gates too, with plenty of room for manoeuvre.  

I almost never found a lock that would let me leave our 55ft boat in the middle of it. Always was best to nudge the front gate or cill in tick over forward gear, with the added benefit of the boat opening the top gate(s). This is a single handlers trick that saves a lot of back ache on the top gates beams.

With regard to the changed ballast effect on the OP’s boat, having a horizontal base plate possibly makes the water flowing in to the lock go under the hull (it has to go somewhere), hit the back gates and bounce forward, pushing you forward as well.

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With regard to single handing back in the day  passing through Wardle lock going uphill whenthe engine "ole" doors got level with the steps step off & go to top paddles & partly draw one, back & close one bottom gate water would help to close the other, fully open top paddles go to little general store that was by the bridge buy supplies  usually lock had filled & boat had exited 1/2 to 3/4 from lock step aboard & motor off (gate/s were left open back then & paddles up ) I seems a strange thing that present day practices cause as much if not more damage to locks & infrastructure with the winding down of paddles /closing gates  etc than the dropping of paddles & using boats to open close gates etc may be the system was better maintenance wise

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2 hours ago, Stilllearning said:

I almost never found a lock that would let me leave our 55ft boat in the middle of it.

The extra 7ft (well, 6ft 6in if I'm honest) might make a lot of difference.

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Indeed, my two shareboat were both 58 feet, and could be easily held near the bottom gates when ascending if you chose.

 

My current boat is 60 foot and is pulled strongly towards the front if you try to keep her close her close to the bottom gates when ascending.

 

Much easier to rest the boat on the cull and top gates when ascending, irrespective of length.

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3 hours ago, X Alan W said:

With regard to single handing back in the day  passing through Wardle lock going uphill whenthe engine "ole" doors got level with the steps step off & go to top paddles & partly draw one, back & close one bottom gate water would help to close the other, fully open top paddles go to little general store that was by the bridge buy supplies  usually lock had filled & boat had exited 1/2 to 3/4 from lock step aboard & motor off (gate/s were left open back then & paddles up ) I seems a strange thing that present day practices cause as much if not more damage to locks & infrastructure with the winding down of paddles /closing gates  etc than the dropping of paddles & using boats to open close gates etc may be the system was better maintenance wise

Today at Wardle you could go down the pub, have a pint and the lock still wouldn't be full

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8 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Today at Wardle you could go down the pub, have a pint and the lock still wouldn't be full

Oh dear, The march of progress what have they done  taken away the gate paddles ?

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2 hours ago, X Alan W said:

Oh dear, The march of progress what have they done  taken away the gate paddles ?

The paddles have had their draw shortened because they were so "fierce "

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ah I thought this was reference to the pound above being dry because of the breach.

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21 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

I definitely don't think I'd try to hold a 62 foot ex-working boat in the middle of the lock, away from cills and gates.

It's far easier to always have it nudging whatever is in front of it.

It is certainly easier to do that now Alan, though before it was easier for it to sit quite well behaved at the bottom gates.

 

Cheers folks, Ian.

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17 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

The paddles have had their draw shortened because they were so "fierce "

 Strange I always was under the impression if you only wound them a small amount not much water came in I would guess lack of knowledge operator problem than to big paddles

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I would add one proviso with regard to riding up the gates.

 

When entering, I always check the cill/gates to make sure that riding them will be a smooth process with no undercut in the cill or displaced boards to snag the front button.

 

George

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8 minutes ago, furnessvale said:

I would add one proviso with regard to riding up the gates.

 

When entering, I always check the cill/gates to make sure that riding them will be a smooth process with no undercut in the cill or displaced boards to snag the front button.

 

George

 

My choice is never to have the front botton deployed at locks.

 

Also, obviously you can really only inspect gates and rubbing boards  for things you might snag on if going uphill or if you have to fill a downhill lock before use.

 

If arriving at a downhill lock, already in your favour, you can only guess what hazards the gates may have on them below water.

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25 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

 

My choice is never to have the front botton deployed at locks.

 

Also, obviously you can really only inspect gates and rubbing boards  for things you might snag on if going uphill or if you have to fill a downhill lock before use.

 

If arriving at a downhill lock, already in your favour, you can only guess what hazards the gates may have on them below water.

If you are going downhill the cill/gate riding wouldn't come into play With a full length boat the stem post wants to be near/touching the bottom gate/s the action of bottom paddle drawing usually achieves this with it gently floating back as the lock makes a level (empty) referring to narrow locks some wide locks have a mind of their own one thing that does worry me if using this method is the presant day practice of having bow fenders fixed with chains/rigging screws with lower set to stop the fender riding up the stem post i understand some folk have sawn through links but the hangig up/holding down still would worry me The boatmans way was alengh of cord/rope on the end of each chain end to attach to the staples /loops one piece stronger than the other so if a problem occurs the weak side will break to release the hang up the stronger piece prevents losing the fender into the lock in the case of a real bad snag both sides will break releasing the boat  leaving the fender caught up eminently preferable to sinking the boat

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17 minutes ago, X Alan W said:

If you are going downhill the cill/gate riding wouldn't come into play

Depends on terminology, I guess.

Cill, no - obviousl!

Gate - well I would still call letting the stem resing on the gate, "riding the gate"

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20 minutes ago, X Alan W said:

With a full length boat the stem post wants to be near/touching the bottom gate/s the action of bottom paddle drawing usually achieves this with it gently floating back as the lock makes a level (empty) referring to narrow locks some wide locks have a mind of their own

Agree with all of that.

Unfortunately we find in most GU locks that when Flamingo is going downhill sharing with a non full length boat, whilst it does float back some way off the bottom gate as a level is made, it is often frustratingly not quite enough to open the gate past the stem.  This means if I'm off the boat, having worked the paddles, and am waiting to open the gate, frustratingly I regularly have to get back on the boat just to pull the boat back enough that the gates can open, (and then back off again to do the opening!)

Thinking about this situation, possibly I would be better taking a line ashore before I empty the lock so I can tug on that without a lot of clambering on and off the boat - I might experiment with that in future, now I've thought about it.

 

As an aside, using this method we had a brief scare on the way to Ricky a few weeks back.  The paddle in front of Flamingo was faulty, and restricted from fully opening.  As a result as the lock emptied the draw was insufficient to keep the boats on the gates, and it started to drift back towards the cill in an emptying lock - yet another possible condition to look out for, now so any lock don't work as well as they should.

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21 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

Depends on terminology, I guess.

Cill, no - obviousl!

Gate - well I would still call letting the stem resing on the gate, "riding the gate"

Why would you let the stern slide down the top gate/s going down hill unless you are setting the skeg on the cill to clear the prop i was under the impression BW/C&RT painted lines on the lock sides to warn of the cill & problems that might arise if the stern of your boat is between gate & marked line Sorry misread your post I put it down to age & brainfade  Thait s my excuse & I'm sticking to it

 

11 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

Agree with all of that.

Unfortunately we find in most GU locks that when Flamingo is going downhill sharing with a non full length boat, whilst it does float back some way off the bottom gate as a level is made, it is often frustratingly not quite enough to open the gate past the stem.  This means if I'm off the boat, having worked the paddles, and am waiting to open the gate, frustratingly I regularly have to get back on the boat just to pull the boat back enough that the gates can open, (and then back off again to do the opening!)

Thinking about this situation, possibly I would be better taking a line ashore before I empty the lock so I can tug on that without a lot of clambering on and off the boat - I might experiment with that in future, now I've thought about it.

 

As an aside, using this method we had a brief scare on the way to Ricky a few weeks back.  The paddle in front of Flamingo was faulty, and restricted from fully opening.  As a result as the lock emptied the draw was insufficient to keep the boats on the gates, and it started to drift back towards the cill in an emptying lock - yet another possible condition to look out for, now so any lock don't work as well as they should.

Are there still /any strapping posts/lumps on the gates?I doubt it, but if there was you could stop the boat & have your line ashore to pull the boat back or failing that step off with your stern line you will then as you say have a line ashore

Edited by X Alan W

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1 minute ago, X Alan W said:

Why would you let the stern slide down the top gate/s going down hill

 

Please note:  The bit of my post you have quoted says STEM (so touching bottom gates!), not STERN!

 

(Though before you point it out, I can see a letter has gone missing from my intended word "resting"!)

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