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Old 01-04-2015, 06:04 AM   #21
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Greetings,
Mr. 11. BIG no-no there! Aside from bad tying technique, a line should NEVER be tied off as has been mentioned several times. In the situation pictured the line should pass over the floating bollard (under the horns) and a half cleat put on the boat to allow for easy adjustment and release.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:39 AM   #22
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Being the contrarian I am, you NEVER put the locking hitch on when you (to borrow a phrase) absolutely, positively, have to let go in a hurry.


Although, the posit to not tie off to ANY thing in the lock is paramount. You always tie off to yourself with a bight of line (a loop) so you can let go of your own accord.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:13 AM   #23
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The Rideau and running the Right loop is a whole different experience.

The locks are historic and very small. The locks will be filled with boats on the wall, and tied off to the wall boats will be tiny boats in the center of the lock.

Since the locks only go about 8 ft many are in steps , you go directly into the next as you exit .

This is fairly quick as the boats move from lock to lock and tie up as they did in the last one.

What makes it a challenge is you will ride a wire (pass a loop at the bow and stern ) which is easy as the locks are awash with Parks Canada paid kollege kids as line handlers.

Floating at the TOP of each lock the boat will have only 4 to 6 inches of lock wall showing, so fenders must be rigged to not grind the boat on the concrete while up top.

One fun lock on the way south is a guillotine lock.

Here a hunk of steel about 75 ft high , the width of the lock is hoisted up to enter.

Always fun thinking of Murphy as you pass under to enter.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:22 AM   #24
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One fun lock on the way south is a guillotine lock.

Here a hunk of steel about 75 ft high , the width of the lock is hoisted up to enter.

Always fun thinking of Murphy as you pass under to enter.
There was one lock gate like that in the Erie (besides the guard gates of which there were about 10). You are correct in the assumption about 'Murphy' I was thinking the exact same thing! Thinking: This thing was built in 1920's The original rivets are still in place.......
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:25 AM   #25
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A further thing to keep in mind. (At least as far as the Erie Canal) In times of high water runoff (Freshettes) they may actually close portions of the canal. The water level is so high it occasionally washes out banks, or walls. So they may have to close portions to re-secure the banks. The Weekly 'Notice to Mariners' usually has the up to date info. However, in the case of the Erie, call the Erie Canal Numbers for direct info. Usually the runoff is in the late spring. But, after a really heavy storm it can affect the runoff also.
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:26 AM   #26
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Another thing to be aware of when entering a lock, especially on a river system, entering from the upstream side is the draw or sideways current you will encounter usually just prior to the lock guide wall. The effect varies based upon what weirs are being used and the flow in the river. It will send you sideways away from the guidewall, so stay open on the wall as much as possible.
Inside the guide wall but outside of the lock wall will be a sometimes large floating debris (flotsom) field with numerous tennis and basketballs (depending on the season).
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:36 AM   #27
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Being the contrarian I am, you NEVER put the locking hitch on when you (to borrow a phrase) absolutely, positively, have to let go in a hurry.


Although, the posit to not tie off to ANY thing in the lock is paramount. You always tie off to yourself with a bight of line (a loop) so you can let go of your own accord.
Having gone through a lock or two I'm well aware of all that. My point was if you are going to tie off on a cleat, either on the boat or off, at least do it right.
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:43 AM   #28
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Yes, it easy to see why lockmasters get short tempered.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:36 AM   #29
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We have done hundreds of locks and have used the following techniques:

1. Floating bollards, using a mid-ship cleat we tie off to it and cast the line out over the bollard, we put three turns around the bollard and then return the line to the cleat and tie it off, BUT tend the line at all times.
We always have a sharp knife handy for emergency use .
2. Vertical pipes on the lock wall, we use the same method as #1 but only go around the pipe (no turns to jam).
3. Locks with ropes we us a turn around the cleat and pull or release slack as needed. You will need some gloves as the lines will be dirty, slimy, etc.
4. Lock tenders will want you wearing PFD's.
5. 95% of the time you will be making a starboard side tie up.
6. Enter the lock wall before the doors at idle speed and SLOWLY pick out the tie off area with regards to other boats locking thru.
7. Commercial traffic gets the lock before pleasure crafts so identify yourself on the radio as a pleasure craft. We have had wait time from zero to 4 hours so be prepared.
8. Large round fenders seem to work well and are much easier to clean but our trawler came with eight large tubular style fenders so we ran long line thru the center holes so we can position there height and horizontally so they can rotate if needed.
9. Bow and stern boat poles are handy to kept your boat positioned.

Every boat has a different method of securing to the lock wall, the Manatee has no side decks but the upper deck works perfectly and the helm controls are within three foot of the mid-ship cleat so no head phones for communicating are required and if required I can single handle the tie up.
Good luck and enjoy the locking.
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:12 PM   #30
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Locking through locks

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Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
Having gone through a lock or two I'm well aware of all that. My point was if you are going to tie off on a cleat, either on the boat or off, at least do it right.

There is another concept entirely on commercial vessels. An entire round turn then figure 8s until you can fit no more on the bits and NO locking hitch (ever). The saying goes: a full bitt(cleat) is a happy bitt. Unfortunately most yachts have woefully undersized cleats.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:49 PM   #31
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There is another concept entirely on commercial vessels. An entire round turn then figure 8s until you can fit no more on the bits and NO locking hitch (ever). The saying goes: a full bitt(cleat) is a happy bitt. Unfortunately most yachts have woefully undersized cleats.
Yes, well, then the next time I'm on a vessel with massive bollards and 2"- 3" lines I'll remember that.

For cleats I'll stick with half a wrap, a cross over and a twist to finish.
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:14 PM   #32
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I like to loop the bollard and tie to the midship cleat. This gives more control for adjusting and quickly freeing the line. I also keep a sharp knife handy. Bollards have been known to hang up with flotsom jammed around them.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:18 AM   #33
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>For cleats I'll stick with half a wrap, a cross over and a twist to finish.<

Since this will not release under high load all your crew ALL has sharp serrated knives ?

Or there is one lashed near every cleat?

The tug/barge pros know what works, and never tie a line that may need to be released under load.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:28 AM   #34
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Knot to get too hung up on this topic but I think what is missing is actually a statement of what is actually happening in a lock. Perhaps the term "tying up" should not be used in that it signifies more of a permanent securing of the vessel to the wall. While locking the lines should be used more like a spring line while docking one that is capable of being "worked" let out or in as necessary and held on the boat in a manner that allows another turn to put on or taken off always standing in a safe position - away from the stress points. The line should be capable of being checked down or given out as may be necessary. The boat is moving, not forward or backward but up or down and the line should be handled accordingly.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:50 AM   #35
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Fender question

Whats the right size fender for the locks??
We are starting the loop in May. We have been told to get the large Taylor buoys for the locks. My first purchase was the 27" buoys. They looked to big so I sent back and got the 21" version. They still look too big.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:36 AM   #36
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Capt Bill, I'm sitting here chuckling over your link. GW is a good deck hand, but seems to have trouble grasping the concept of tying a good cleat hitch. All I'm really concerned with is her getting us as close to the bollard as possible. Whether the tie to the bollard meets the "beautiful knot" criteria is secondary.

I've shown her how to do it, but in the heat of the moment all those demonstrations go out the window. And yes, she does have a very sharp serrated knife attached to her PFD in case the bollard jams.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:55 PM   #37
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Yes, well, then the next time I'm on a vessel with massive bollards and 2"- 3" lines I'll remember that.

For cleats I'll stick with half a wrap, a cross over and a twist to finish.
My point was to inform others that there is another thought process which is completely different, borne of different circumstances, and the video (while well meaning) is NOT the only way to make a line fast on a cleat. Size of cleat or bitts is irrelevant. Locking hitches are NEVER used when a load will be applied that you absolutely, positively must be able to release. And there is NO other place I can think of besides locks, where the water is going to change at a great rate, and it frequently rips cleats and norman pins off boats when improperly made fast as your video indicates is the 'only' way to make a line fast.

2" ? 5"?? Try 9" or 10"! I can't even use 5" as tie up lines on my little boat.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:04 PM   #38
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Whats the right size fender for the locks??
We are starting the loop in May. We have been told to get the large Taylor buoys for the locks. My first purchase was the 27" buoys. They looked to big so I sent back and got the 21" version. They still look too big.
Measure straight down from the rubrail the distance about a foot off the waterline. How far is the vertical line from the hull? I bet a 27" fender would tuck just fine in there.
You will find that under the flare of the bow the bigger one will be great. Further aft the smaller fenders will suffice. The issue is when the lock is filled with water, your topsides will overhang the rail on the bow. I assume your avatar pic is of your vessel. The fwd fender needs to be able to fend off down low (within maybe 1' of the surface, all the way up to the aluminum rub rail. That means a large ball. I got away with it by using one fender, and tying it in such a way that to adjust height, all the better half had to do was to lift the fender up and toss it over the adjacent stanchion to make it higher. However, had I to do it again (to make it easier on the boss) I would rather have used a polyball on the fwd position. Do you need two? Doubt it. On the good side, you can deflate them when you are finished and flatten them out for stowage.

On another boat that I use I have two polyballs 21" and I come alongside ships and tugs with it. No issues. They are actually stronger than the white 'taylor' fenders. Less blowouts.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:12 PM   #39
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GW is a good deck hand,
I've shown her how to do it, but in the heat of the moment all those demonstrations go out the window.
Thus my comment earlier, a full bitt (cleat) is a happy bitt (cleat) meaning, even without the locking hitch more wraps will hold, regardless of how 'pretty' it is.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:06 PM   #40
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