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Old 01-05-2015, 04:52 PM   #41
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A pox upon ye all... from a novice that opened this thread seeking simple, concise, helpful information on those "scary" locks. But this is certainly not the thread for that! Lol. Sheesh.

(ducking and running)
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:29 PM   #42
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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.
Yes, in fact I do require my crew to carry knifes. Three per person. One on the calf, one on the waist and one on the upper arm. Plus they must wear steel toed Topsiders. Because, as you so correctly noted, we do have knifes fastened to each cleat. And as you can imagine I don't want any of the crew to stab their toes on those knifes. All our knifes are Ginsu by the way. Only top quality tools for us.

We have been cutting our lines pretty much every time we have left the dock due to there constant jamming on the cleat. But now that you've informed me of how the commercial fellows tie a cleat, around and around and over and over apparently till they run out of line, we can start saving a lot of money by not having to buy new dock lines all the time, thanks.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:36 PM   #43
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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.
Glad you saw the humor in it. Because the link was posted a bit tongue in cheek.

But it might be safer if you can get her to loop it around the bollard once and lead it back to the boat.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:40 PM   #44
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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.
My opinion is you almost can't have fenders that are to big. Plus in most cases bigger fenders are cheaper in the long run than paying for any damage that my occur if your fenders end up being to small.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:58 PM   #45
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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.
Geez. I got two "Polyform 17" x 23", Boat Size: 40' - 50'" buoy fenders (17" being the diameter?). Now, I'm wondering whether my balls are big enough.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:00 PM   #46
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Fender size for a lock can be a whole lot smaller than what I would normally recommend as standard working fenders.

Hull shape and rub rail a also play a factor.

For my 40....17 inch all fenders would work for a lock and most mooring situations...too small for storm or offshore work.but that is so rare it is hard to justify carrying fenders that large except deflated and stored...a good idea.....
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:30 PM   #47
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Good stuff. Keep it coming please, as we are doing the Erie, Oswego, Rideau, St. Lawrence, Chambly and Champlain locks next season.
This is an old website but it has pictures of what you will be encountering.
welcome2

I am envious of your trip. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:33 PM   #48
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One of the presenters at an old TrawlerFest said that she and her husband were very worried about the locks they would encounter on the loop. Their first lock was just terrifying but the lockmaster helped them through. The second lock was much less scary and the next 148 were just boring.

Hope all your locks are boring.
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:40 AM   #49
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>My opinion is you almost can't have fenders that are to big.<

The crew must be able to reach the float to pass a line around a part of it.

Lassoing is fine for some, but too fat ball fenders could easily require longer arms than most folks have.

Seldom a problem as most folks refuse to PAY for really big ball fenders even though the can be deflated to store.
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:49 AM   #50
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So it may be better to have smaller balls??😝


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Old 01-06-2015, 07:38 AM   #51
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You also may want to fender each side. There are a few places where you have to change sides per the lockmaster's instructions. Plus you never know where you may end tying up so we just kept them on both sides when we did the Erie, Champlain, Trent, Rideau, etc.
Also IF you have a dinghy on davits as we carry ours, I found a couple of spare seat floatation cushions and used one to protect the bow of the dinghy for those occasions where the bow floated out, and one for over the side f the dinghy that was aft to protect from the boats behind me. Yes they put you in that tight often in the Canadian locks.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:44 AM   #52
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So it may be better to have smaller balls??😝


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I think the key is just to have them one way or another.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:44 AM   #53
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So it may be better to have smaller balls??��

The diameter of the balls you need will depend on your FLAIR.
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:25 AM   #54
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"The greatest asset a captain can have other than instant flexibility...is a razor sharp crew with instant flexibility."


Well put. I don't give GW any flack about how she ties us to the bollard...unless there is too much slack in the line and the boat is pushed around by the the movement of water in the lock.

She is quick to get the line on the bollard when I put the boat alongside, pulls the line taut and secures us quickly.

I believe in function over form. If it works, it's the right knot.

"But it might be safer if you can get her to loop it around the bollard once and lead it back to the boat."
IMHO, the bollard cleat is easier for her to reach and be able to keep both feet firmly planted and maintain good balance. If she had to bring the line back down to the dock cleat she'd have to bend over to do that. Given the walkways on our boat, she finds it's easier to compete the tie at the bollard. I don't see a problem with that, so that's how she does it.

"I found a couple of spare seat floatation cushions and used one to protect the bow of the dinghy for those occasions where the bow floated out"
Good justification for making that single line just as short as possible. With the line short, the boat is snugged up against the lock wall and neither the bow or stern is free to swing out.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:09 AM   #55
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Geez. I got two "Polyform 17" x 23", Boat Size: 40' - 50'" buoy fenders (17" being the diameter?). Now, I'm wondering whether my balls are big enough.

Be careful. If balls are too large it can lead to some bad decisions.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:50 PM   #56
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""I found a couple of spare seat floatation cushions and used one to protect the bow of the dinghy for those occasions where the bow floated out"
Good justification for making that single line just as short as possible. With the line short, the boat is snugged up against the lock wall and neither the bow or stern is free to swing out.
When you are in the bottom of the "Little Falls" lock for example, one is holding on the bottom of a (roughly) 42 foot long line attached to the top of the lock. You don't have enough leverage to keep the bow close once the water dumps in.
(plus those particular lock walls are in very rough shape...you don't want to be too snugged)
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:25 PM   #57
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My strategy would be to move the round fenders closer admidship when "locking." Got two midship cleats per side.


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Old 01-06-2015, 02:28 PM   #58
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I've only been thru locks #3 thru #25 on the upper Mississippi and all the locks on the Illinois River and cal sag to Lake Michigan. On many of the locks on the miss that I've been thru the lockmaster has let us float thru without handling lines, usually we were the only boat in the lock, a few times with 1 or 2 other boats. This occurs most often when locking down because it's not as turbulent in the chamber when they're draining water out compared to when water is filling the chamber. I also try to avoid pushing a wake into the chamber because it will keep bouncing back and forth and rocking the boat wether your floating or holding lines.
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