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Old 02-19-2018, 08:29 AM   #1
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Champlain Canal singlehanded

Is the Champlain Canal "do-able" singlehanded?
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:33 AM   #2
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It depends on what type of boat, size ?
Holding on to the ropes on a small 16' foot boat is easy, a 40' ???
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:48 AM   #3
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It depends on what type of boat, size ?
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:50 AM   #4
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That could be tough. Have you gone through any locks single handed?
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:13 AM   #5
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If all the locks had either vertical pipes or cables it could be do able with a 38 ft boat, but with just hanging ropes in most of the locks I would not want to try it.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:48 AM   #6
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That could be tough. Have you gone through any locks single handed?
I took my 46' sailboat through the Ballard locks single handed, but I went through the small locks which have the floating bollards. I've never gone through a lock with the types of pipes and weighted lines I see in the Champlain Locks YouTube videos.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:54 AM   #7
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We went up and down the Champlain Canal in June. Most of the locks, and i think indeed all of the locks have pipes or cables, so you could probably manage it single handed.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:01 AM   #8
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By Champlain Canal are you referring to the Federal Locks from the Hudson into Lake Champlain, or the Canadian locks from the lake down to the St Lawrence?

I have done both single handed in a Marine Trader 36. On the American locks, have a plan, be prepared have long lines fore and aft. You can't do these locks with strength alone if the wind gets ahold of you. But...with lines rigged, you can.

On the Canadian side the answer is no. Although the locks are small and relatively easy to transit, the province of Quebec does not allow single handlers to transit locks. I was fortunate to find a teenager who would spend a day with me for a nominal fee.

Fortunately all other Canadian Provinces do allow single handlers.

Best of luck

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Old 02-19-2018, 12:07 PM   #9
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We went through this summer using a mid-ship/cleat line next to the helm door and two very large inflatable fenders set forward and aft. All the locks had a pipe or wire inset in the wall and I would just loop the mid-ship line around the pole/wire. With gloves and a short boat pole, make sure the line did not catch it worked great.

This was on a Mainship 34T.

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Old 02-19-2018, 12:40 PM   #10
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By Champlain Canal are you referring to the Federal Locks from the Hudson into Lake Champlain, or the Canadian locks from the lake down to the St Lawrence?

I have done both single handed in a Marine Trader 36. On the American locks, have a plan, be prepared have long lines fore and aft. You can't do these locks with strength alone if the wind gets ahold of you. But...with lines rigged, you can.

On the Canadian side the answer is no. Although the locks are small and relatively easy to transit, the province of Quebec does not allow single handlers to transit locks. I was fortunate to find a teenager who would spend a day with me for a nominal fee.

Fortunately all other Canadian Provinces do allow single handlers.

Best of luck

Arch
For this trip, I'll be strictly south of the border.

How do the "long lines fore and aft" work? If you are locking up, do you hand them up with a bowline to the lock operator on top? What length line would you recommend?

Thanks for the feedback on which Canadian Provinces do/don't allow singlehanded lock transits. I was getting conflicting information on that topic.
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:47 PM   #11
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We went through this summer using a mid-ship/cleat line next to the helm door and two very large inflatable fenders set forward and aft. All the locks had a pipe or wire inset in the wall and I would just loop the mid-ship line around the pole/wire. With gloves and a short boat pole, make sure the line did not catch it worked great.

This was on a Mainship 34T.

Cheers

Bryan
What size fender would you recommend? I assume a couple of those round fenders with a 15" to 18" diameter would be big enough for trawlers in the 35 to 40 foot range, with maybe some additional smaller fenders distributed around both sides of the boat?
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Old 02-19-2018, 01:14 PM   #12
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For the single mid-ship tie to work we used 18" x 29" taylor made inflatable fenders...much bigger than the normal docking fenders...when through with the locks we just deflated and stored.

Cheers

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Old 02-19-2018, 02:33 PM   #13
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I think you'll do fine. It's a great trip. Here is my pitiful website of my lock transit. Unfortunately by the time we got to the Champlain canal we were running out of pictures (pre-digital). welcome2

During the week you'll probably have the lock to yourself. This is good because you should tie up on the side with your door. Pick your lock line, come in slowly at a shallow angle, when even with it reverse to stop and prop walk sideways parallel to the wall. Put in neutral, grab the lock line mid boat and wrap it to your mid cleat. Keep a short boat hook at hand as well as gloves and big knife just in case.

3 large fenders should do it. If you have the same flair as I have your first fender will be only a little ahead of mid. In fact you might want to put your first fender on the bow caprail. The other two just space out along the side. You leave your fenders hanging all the while you transit the canals. It's not the lubberly sin it is outside of canals.

The Champlain lock lines are not tied at the bottom like the Canadian locks. They also sit in water all time so they are slimy.

You might want to have 3 normal fenders on the other side just in case you are asked to have someone raft up to you. I never saw another boat in the NY Canal system but in Canada you never lock alone.
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