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Old 01-30-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
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locking through with a single screw

Hey- my subject line rhymes! *

So, Moonstruck wrote this in my pic thread from today after I mentioned I;ll be going through the locks on the TN River next week:
When you go in ask him for the side that your boat backs toward.* The wind can swirl in the locks and play heck with a single screw.* Just angle into a floating bollard, put it in reverse, lassoo the bollard and reverse should swing your stern over.* Not really hard unless you get out of shape with the wind blowing.


~~
Background for others: the locks on the TN River are VERY deep. *Like 50' or so deep. *You travel through by tying your boat off amidships to a floating bollard that is recessed into the concrete wall. *Looks like this:



And you tie off like this:



I've done about 450 miles of the TN River 2 previous boats ago when we had our 33' express. *I found it easy to do but that boat had twin screws. *Our trawler obviously does not.


So let's talk this through. *My plan, to be honest, was a little different than what Don proposed but I know Don has a bunch more experience than me so I don't take his insight lightly.
My boat, when placed into reverse, walks the transom hard to starboard. *This simultaneously (obviously) swings the bow to port. *In the ideal world, one would just slide right into the lock and slide along the lock wall to the first floating bollard (each lock usually has 3-4 of them on each side of the lock) and as you pull up to the first bollard, throw a line around it and tie it off at the midships cleat. *Poof. *Easy as pie and in a twin screw it pretty much is. *But in the real world there are winds tossing you about and churning waters in the lock.
So my plan was to come in and attempt to tie up on my port side. *I would slowly enter in along the port wall and have my crew (my dad) up towards the foredeck. *My thought is that in the event that he misses getting the bollard (either due to my poor captains skills or his plain ol' missing the bollard), since I would be on my port side, I can put her in reverse. *This will walk my transom to starboard and swing my bow to port, drawing him close to the lock wall and giving an additional chance to tie onto it.
If I try to tie off on my starboard side and he misses the bollard, then my putting her in reserve will tend to make the swim platform want to bang into the lock wall and also pull him further away from the bollard if he is at or forward of amidships.


So for those with a single screw without a thruster- how are you all handling locking through?


In theory I am just going down the river to get my topsides painted. *In reality I may be going down there to do that AND get a bow thruster installed. *


Worse case, if I am the only vessel in the lock, I figure I can put her in reverse and do circles the entire time we are locking through. * Reckon the lockmaster will be ok with that?!*


-- Edited by Woodsong on Sunday 30th of January 2011 11:29:34 PM
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:17 PM   #2
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Tonyman,
No problem. Especially if there is room on the stbd side of the lock. Don't take the first bollard but pull fwd to the last one on the stbd side and at an appropriate time turn to stbd a little more than necessary and then just before you get to the bollard turn to port to stop your swing to stbd and to start your swing to port. as your stern is slightly swinging to stbd go to neutral and then reverse. Apply a little throttle while you watch the lock and at the instant the boat stops you should be back in neutral and parallel to the lock side. When you enter the lockmaster will probably tell you to pull fwd (to make room for others) and if you are required to go to port do the same thing except exaggerate the turn to stbd to kick the stern in toward the lock side. Your stern swing to the lock side will be stopped by your stbd prop walk. Bow placement first then set up for stern swing (smartly on the port side* ..gently on the stbd side). I'm not very familiar w locks but I'd guess the inflow water will boil up in the center holding your boat against the lock side.
That's what I'd do.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:52 AM   #3
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locking through with a single screw

Tony,* That bollard deal is real nice! On the NY State locks, at best you get a pole up the whole wall of the lock, you put your line around so it slides up the whole lenght.

Worse case you get a slimey steel cable.* Don't overthink it single screw handling takes a little practice.

If you don't like it -I think Old Stone will trade you for the twin screw Egg.* JohnP

-- Edited by JohnP on Monday 31st of January 2011 07:53:03 AM
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:19 AM   #4
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Carl,* Maximum boat size on the Erie Canal is 300'long--43.5'wide and 21.5 high.

Love Egg Harbors but not into twin engines- too easy to handle. lol.

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Old 01-31-2011, 07:28 AM   #5
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locking through with a single screw

The TN River has some very large locks. We are only going through 2 of them on this trip. Chickamauga lock is just down stream from our marina:

http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/locks/...auga/facts.htm

It currently is 60x110' and it lifts approximately 50'. They are in the process of building a new one as I understand it that will be 110'x600'!

Next one I go through on this trip is Nickajack lock:
http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/locks/nickajack/facts.htm

It is 110x600' in size and drops only 39-40'.

If I am not mistaken the biggest drop on any of the TN River locks is 79-80'??

Here is a pic of our 33' express we had 2 boats ago that a friend took in one of the TN River locks one trip- ours is the one tied to the wall in the foreground.





Carl,yes regular fenders are fine. *I prefer using old ones that are in not good shape as the locks get the dirty, etc. *We don't get barnacles on them but there sure is a lot of slime and scum. *Some prefer the style of fenders with the rope hole all the way through and then hang the fenders horizontally so that they will just roll down the side of the lock wall. *I found in the past that I didn't need to do that if you just occasionally push the boat off the wall to release the pressure on the fender and then they will just go down that way. *I also learned from previous trips in that 33' express that it is a VERY good idea to a pair of heavy leather work gloves. *If you have to push off the wall it will cut your hands open without them. *I also always went in with fenders out on all sides just in case my original plan didn't work out and I ended up having to tie off somewhere else. * *

-- Edited by Woodsong on Monday 31st of January 2011 08:33:32 AM


-- Edited by Woodsong on Monday 31st of January 2011 08:39:00 AM
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:37 AM   #6
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Quote:
Woodsong wrote:




Worse case, if I am the only vessel in the lock, I figure I can put her in reverse and do circles the entire time we are locking through. * Reckon the lockmaster will be ok with that?!*


-- Edited by Woodsong on Sunday 30th of January 2011 11:29:34 PM
Tony, that will work if you call ahead and give the lock master time to draw a crowd to watch the antics when he pulls the plug on that 48 deep bathtub.

One thing I didn't mention is if tying up on the starboard side, after angling in put your wheel hard to port.**That reverse will both stop you and start the stern swinging in.* Use forward and reverse to hold alignment.* It should nestle right up to the wall.* Set your fenders before going in.* Keep a sharp knife handy incase the floating bollard hands up.* Sometimes debris gets caught under them.

You can't go wrong making the*lock master*aware of whatever situation you have.* He can regulate the flow if there is a problem.

*
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:41 AM   #7
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Quote:
Woodsong wrote:


If I am not mistaken the biggest drop on any of the TN River locks is 79-80'??

Both Wilson and Pickwick are in the 90' range.* Wheeler is close behind them.

*
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:41 AM   #8
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RE: locking through with a single screw

We took the tug to Knoxville in 2006. I would try to get as close to the wall as possible while still moving then at the last minute snag the floating bollard with a line inside a 6' piece of clear plastic hose. One end of the line would be attached to the spring line cleat just forward of my pilothouse door and the other end in my mate's hand. He/she would hold both ends of the hose with the loop sticking out toward the bollard. Once the hose is over the bollard the loose end of the line would be secured to the spring cleat aft of my pilothouse door. The mate would then go to the stern with a boat hook to hold us out for the trip up or down. I would stay close the bollard with a sharp serated knife at the ready.

We used three fenders, not balls, because they put you too far from the wall. One fender would be just forward of the point where the beam starts decreasing while heading to the bow. The next one would be about mid ships. The aft one would be about foot forward of the transom.

We found the Tenn Tom and Tennessee River locks much easier than the ICW locks around New Orleans.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:52 AM   #9
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Tony;

I think you are overthinking the reaction of your boat to a thrust of reverse. In my experience with single screws; sailboats a plenty and 48' fishboat, plus keen observation of friends trying to raft to my boat, this is what I have learned. The first reaction to a thrust of reverse is to stop the boat. then you get some prop walk at the stern as the boat starts to move in reverse, then, and not until then, your bow starts to fall off to the other side. The rate of bow swing seems to be related to the side profile of the front portion of the boat. On sailboats with little or nothing in the water at the bow, the bow swings quickly. On massive former workboats, hardly at all.

Once you get out there, you will pick up the characteristics of your own boat quickly, then you can correct us all with actual performance data.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:09 AM   #10
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Doc- I've read of others using the hose idea for the line- I am going to pick some up this week as I think it will help my dad (who is 70) more easily get the line on the bollard so that I can then come over and tie it off. I am curious though- how long of a piece of tube did you find necessary to work best? Was it long enough for your crew to hold both ends of the tube while reaching for the bollard? If so, I assume a piece then approximately 15' or so would be necessary.

Keith, IMO, our Monk has a pretty strong prop walk. The bow swings fairly quickly, certainly within one boat length or less. Just backing out of my slip she is already wanting to do a circle!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:02 AM   #11
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Just a comment about fenders for locking. *

We had to lock through over 30 locks on the Erie and Oswego canals on our trip home, and only used our fenders for the first few locks. *The fenders were getting pretty beat up on the rough walls of the locks, so we added the boards and had a much better time of it after that. *(we actually had it pretty easy with twin screws and thrusters!!)*

We only had two fender boards which we tied on to our fenders and placed at the stern and just forward of midship. *Sometimes the lockmaster would make us switch to lock through on the opposite side, so next time, I would make sure to have two on each side!



I know that they don't look too elegant but they did really work!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:12 AM   #12
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Delia Rosa,
I have also thought about making fender boards. Are your fenders attached to the boards at all or how do you keep the boards in place?
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:40 AM   #13
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RE: locking through with a single screw

It's difficult to tell from the pictures, but yes, the fender lines are actually looped through the line of the fenderboards to keep the boards in place appox 1/2 way up the fender. *The boards are hung from their own line though, cause the wood is quite heavy. The fender boards were actually from our sailboat and meant to be used without the fenders. *They were too small for our trawler, but never having been on a trip like this before, we had just brought them along "in case"*

Anyway, we added the boards to our existing fenders but the setup was pretty much just jury rigged en route. *They actually worked quite well, and didn't catch too much in the rough walls.


Someone suggested that you could use a PVC pipe instead of the board making the setup lighter and with the rounded surface, they shouldn't catch on the wall at all.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:16 AM   #14
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locking through with a single screw

My length of hose was only 6'. If you are higher off the water you might need more.

IMHO, fender boards are unnecessary*on the*Tennessee. The tossing around is not that violent*and it is rare that you will go through with commercial traffic, unlike the ICW in New Orleans. Just make sure that you have a nice fat fender up forward because the boat will have a tendency to kick her stern out and putting the fore quarter into the wall. If you have a significant amount of bow flare a ball might be best here but nowhere else.

-- Edited by Doc on Monday 31st of January 2011 11:17:17 AM
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:41 AM   #15
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Boat handeling is easy to learn.,INSTALLING a proper midship cleat is far more of a challenge.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:58 AM   #16
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Tony, to save confusion when you go into the locks,* Ask for the land side or river side to tie up.* In your case going down stream at both Chickamauga and Nick-a-Jack, your boat backing to starboard you would ask for land side.* River side going up stream.

Can't believe you're having a bow thruster installed.* Where is your sense of adventure?
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:19 AM   #17
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:

*

Tony, to save confusion when you go into the locks,* Ask for the land side or river side to tie up.* In your case going down stream at both Chickamauga and Nick-a-Jack, your boat backing to starboard you would ask for land side.* River side going up stream.

Can't believe you're having a bow thruster installed.* Where is your sense of adventure?

*
Oh I am not planning on having a thruster installed....I was just joking earlier that if going through the locks ends up being a disaster that perhaps I'll end up deciding to have one put on before returning! *I doubt it will come to that though....should hopefully be smooth sailing.


Biggest issue now is the weather forecast- Friday/Saturday are looking to be low to mid 40's and rain/snow/sleet. *Wish we had been able to go down this past weekend!! *Plus, I didn't think about it but Sunday evening is the super bowl and I SURE don't want to miss that! * I am debating whether to push it back another week but really, it's still winter, following weekend may be worse, may be better. *We have the lower helm and good generator and strong HVAC for heat. *Mechanics did a double check today to make sure no issues and all systems appear go, minus cold weather. *Right now we are still planning on going for it this weekend. *

*
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:41 PM   #18
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locking through with a single screw

Charles, I agree with your comment about not setting the line tight when you tie off on the bollard. In our past locking experiences, we kept it relatively loose for 2 reasons: A) In the event the bollard got hung up, B) We prefer to keep the boat/fenders off the lock wall as much as possible with boat hooks.

I'll check out your fenderboard article out.


-- Edited by Woodsong on Tuesday 1st of February 2011 08:42:20 PM
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:08 PM   #19
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Tony
Our first power boat (after many years of sailing) was an MMC 36 (The first hulls of the Monk 36 were produced in Taiwan, and sold as MMC's, before the molds were later acquired and moved to Canada). With practice, I think your boat can be very manueverable, and you have some great advice here already, particularly about not overthinking it. One thing I found helpful was using short spans of in gear (even at idle), you can accomplish quite a bit before prop walk takes over.
One nice practice I did was to throw a life ring over the side in the middle of the river, and then bring the boat up to it just like it was a bollard, at the right spot on the boat; its a fast way to learn the characteristics, and no docks or walls to bang into.
We still have many fond memories of the cruises we took on the MMC, and were able to get into some pretty tight moorings with it.
Have fun - you have a great boat!
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:16 AM   #20
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RE: locking through with a single screw

Getting a line on the bollard can be harder than it looks.* The best is to practice the under hand loop toss or use a pole to drop the line over.* We have two 20 ft poles that we can hook or push with which many times work as well as a bow thruster. So practice at the dock which works best.* Make sure you have a ball fender that is big enough to fit the curve of the hull.* We have a 3 ft ball for the bow and a 2 ft ball for the rounded stern, with 4 straight up and down fenders.* The bow and/or stern are usually hit first.*


*
Also you should have fenders and lines for both sides as larger boats are usually put against the wall and smaller boats are rafted off.* Many boats do not have enough fenders so make sure you come prepared.* Being 58 ft we are usually the first boat in, up against the wall and the last boat out.* Do not under lock the lines just figure eight a couple of time so the line can be untied even under pressure, best to have some body hold it and make sure everybody has a sharp knife with them.* *****


*
The position of the rudder has little effect on the reverse prop walk so ask to tie up on the starboard side because of the prop walk in reverse and the rudder position to turn starboard in forward.** The lock tenders have lines that they can/will toss you if you start to drift too far.* At least in Seattle they do.*****
*
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