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Old 01-19-2015, 12:03 PM   #1
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Oswego canal

I am thinking about heading south on the Oswego canal this spring. Can I get help locking thru since my wife probably won't be able to help.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:35 PM   #2
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Locking Oswego Canal

We are power boaters and have traveled the Oswego may times.
In general NY Canal lock masters / tenders are not particularly helpful and you will be going up lock through 7 locks to 3 Rivers intersection - not sure where you are headed from there?. You will have to secure yourself with the lock empty and lockmasters won't be much if any help.

What size are you ? and extent of experience locking elsewhere?

I have seen a few sail boaters secure fairly successfully @ mid ship only - best way is w/ lines from Fwd & aft to mid - if you get around either a pipe or ladder they are solid and you can control fairly well. A cable (fixed at the bottom) is the next best bet and stay away from lines tossed over from the top as they are not secured at the bottom and hard to keep control with. Unfortunately NY Canal locks are not consistent re: facilities / method for attachment - some pipes, some cables, some loose lines - all have ladders at both ends but whether they are available or taken depends on how many other boats are locking through together - and how well you coordinate via VHF ahead of the lock.
Most sail boaters I have seen use some sort of fender board which make it easier to protect your hull given the usual curvature and difficulty keeping a fender from moving / popping out.
Also beware as a few of the lower locks (#7 especially) can have very low exposed walls when full ( and water levels are high (especially spring time) so you may need to tend (lower) fenders / boards as you reach the top.

Let me know if you need more info or have specific questions.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:11 PM   #3
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Knowledge of your boat is really critical to us being able to advise you.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:43 PM   #4
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He just needs to get ahold of Rodger on Yacht Forums. :-)
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:14 AM   #5
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Cruising the NY State Canals
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:37 PM   #6
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He just needs to get ahold of Rodger on Yacht Forums. :-)
I thought he only worked the Welland?
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:06 PM   #7
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You're right! Brain fart on my part.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:34 PM   #8
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As others have stated depends on vessel, nice 19' center console is easy to do yourself, express style need two, flybridge type best to have three, although two works. And there is no help at the locks, most have weighted lines to hang unto fore and aft.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:58 PM   #9
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As others have stated depends on vessel, nice 19' center console is easy to do yourself, express style need two, flybridge type best to have three, although two works. And there is no help at the locks, most have weighted lines to hang unto fore and aft.

Sorry but I must disagree on the 3person requirement. It's not needed .
The Welland Canal System is the only one that requires 3 and that is for upbound only. there'd be a lot of cruisers in a world of hurt if you needed 3 people to clear a lock.
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:16 PM   #10
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Actually I never said it was a requirement, please re-read my comment, if you need to scale a full ladder of a flybridge boat like I have many times you need to move pretty fast, not the safest approach, now your aft cabin is a just a few step very doable.
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Sorry but I must disagree on the 3person requirement. It's not needed .
The Welland Canal System is the only one that requires 3 and that is for upbound only. there'd be a lot of cruisers in a world of hurt if you needed 3 people to clear a lock.
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:28 PM   #11
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I have single handed my 37' trawler (first photo) from the Hudson to Lake Ontario The same for my 43' motoryacht (second photo) and followed the Mainship (singlehandling with dog in second photo) from Oneida to Tonawanda.
Maybe not for a newbie but it ain't that hard.
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