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Old 05-11-2016, 07:20 PM   #1
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What length lines for Erie, Rideau, Richlieu, Champlain Canal locks

Apropos of the thread on the Chittenden locks, which talks about 35' and 60' lines, what length lines will suffice for these locks?
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:35 PM   #2
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Apropos of the thread on the Chittenden locks, which talks about 35' and 60' lines, what length lines will suffice for these locks?
We usually ran with the splice over a cleat, the line run to a bollard and back to the boat where you then control the bitter end. I don't recall any need for exceptionally long lines. All the Erie locks have vertical poles or cables recessed in the lock walls. You loop the line around the pole or cable and back to the boat. In this case you actually want a relatively short line or it just gets in the way. If I remember correctly, we just used a single mid-ships line. We used a big one, 3/4" or maybe even 1". It will get beat up pretty badly, so assume you'll just need to throw it away when you are done.

Also don't skimp on fenders. The more and the bigger the better. Some people recommend fender covers or even large heavy trash bags to keep crud off the fenders. We went the other direction and used no fender covers, then just cleaned the fenders when we were done.

It's a awesome trip. Enjoy it!
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:20 PM   #3
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We did the Federal lock, NY locks and Champlain canal locks last year for the first time. The only addition I would make to the previous post is to zip tie on some burlap bags to the fenders with zip tied garbage bags. That saved our fenders from getting destroyed. Always keep a sharp knife at your side just in case a line gets stuck as they don't stop the locks for very much.

We will be going through again to Burlington this summer.

Have safe trip.

Jim & Linda
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:31 PM   #4
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Length is not a concern, you are wrapping around poles, fixed cables or grabbing lines that are already hanging. In the Seaway locks (including the Welland) they will give you the lines. Bottom line .... your normal dock lines are sufficient.
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:16 PM   #5
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We used two different sets of fenders; one big ugly set for the locks and one clean cute set for yacht clubs. There is no storage problem because when you are in the canals you let your fenders dangle.

Lines for the locks were a non issue in the Erie, Champlain, Ottawa River, Rideau and Chambly. They all have some type of cables or lines or floating bollards or an actual floating dock with cleats to tie up.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:14 AM   #6
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More important than line length is to have a large cleat midships that is easy to attend.

A light (1/2in) line is used to the floating bollard that slides on its own pipe.

You pull alongside , pass the line around the floating cleat and bring it back aboard , DONE!


In the older Parks Canada step locks there are wired from the canal bottom to a point on land.

You enter and pyll up to the wire that was used in the last lock and toss a light line to a shore person that will pass it back to you after passing it under the wire.

Bow and stern.

The only fun is fendering as the boat will float with in inches of the top of the lock when fully UP.

Most locks are identical and stepping up or down is simply going forward into the next lock for another 7-8 ft drop or rise.

Ontario is the most fun as it looks from the top like you will be doing a high dive!
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:23 AM   #7
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Thanks all. Looks like we are all set then. Six 10" dia cylindrical fenders and two (18") ball fenders, all with covers, and six dock lines about 30' length. And, FF, a large midships cleat.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:37 AM   #8
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I met a fellow last October in Delaware City, DE who was heading south having transited the canals from Montreal. He was telling me how filthy his fenders and the boat in general had gotten.

I mentioned this to a dockmate in Chesapeake City, MD they next day.

"No Problem!" says he. "Just use hay bales as fenders, jettison them when you hit the Hudson River". He tells me that they sell them along the canal specifically for this purpose.

Learn something new everyday.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:40 AM   #9
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Thanks all. Looks like we are all set then. Six 10" dia cylindrical fenders and two (18") ball fenders, all with covers, and six dock lines about 30' length. And, FF, a large midships cleat.
dw...
Sounds like a reasonable plan.
A couple of related comments - watchouts...

I've posted some pics & cruising notes for some of these sections on the "Bacchus" website - see the link in my signature.
Active Captain has good coverage for some of these areas.

We have any use fender adjusters (vs tieing fenders off) lock wall heights vary significantly on some of the locks and will require adjusting fenders - sometimes while in the lock. Some locks wall hts are very low and fenders will need to be floating or at the water level - relatively easy if you are aware / prepared but can be an unpleasant surprise if not watching.

There are a few of the Eire locks that will require tie up on only one side or may be full on one side - helpful to have both sides rigged (at least a minimum # fenders & lines available)


On the locks w/ lines - fixed at top only (but no cables / pipes) it can be tricky to control the windward end of the boat - "walking" the line across the beam of the boat will help as will taking a half wrap on a cleat to tension the line - especially helpful when it's windy.
Some locks have alternating fixed cables / pipes with lines - fix at top only - in between...Watch the wind direction entering the lock and it's helpful to get a fixed tie on the windward end - no problem w/ loose line on the leward.
I second the carry a knife or have it handy at the helm - we had a friend that had to use it on the Waterford flight last season - lines provided were 6-9 ft too short and the weight at the bottom bound in the cleat (had to take a half wrap to control the bow w a strong wind) at/near the borrom it jammed and had to be cut to free the boat

Canadian canals will require you tie both ends vs one mid (and shut down engines when in the lock). Also you may encounter boats not only both sides but another row "up the middle" helpful to have some fenders & lines ready.
Canadian lock hands will assist when possible - going down they will take your lines wrap them around the fixed cables and give the bitter end back to you to control - they will also help fend you off when it's time...very welcome attitude & great scenery - you will love the trip.

In the St Lawrence lock w/ floating bollards - you will likely only be able to tie to one bollard - will require long lines fore & aft to reach a mid bollard & return - easy if you are prepared but we had a problem not knowing it ahead of time.

If you get as far as Seneca Lake on the Erie - let me know - I'll provide the refreshments!
Enjoy the cruise
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:40 AM   #10
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"No Problem!" says he. "Just use hay bales as fenders, jettison them when you hit the Hudson River". He tells me that they sell them along the canal specifically for this purpose.

This is no long true. They do not sell them and hay bales are not allowed to be used on any of the NY canals. They stopped this awhile ago.
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Old 05-12-2016, 11:21 AM   #11
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I single handed all of those in my 36 foot Marine Trader. I had 36 foot lines all around and never needed longer. That allowed me to take a line around the lock cable at the bow, walk it back to the stern, wrap the stern line and control the boat easily. Have fun, great trip,
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:16 AM   #12
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One thing to practice is "milling about smartly."

In the start of a small lock sequence you will have to stop and wait as the lock is slowly filled with boats , and you MUST stay in the channel to preserve your props shape.

Makes one wish for a hyd spud to set !
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:15 AM   #13
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dw...
If you get as far as Seneca Lake on the Erie - let me know - I'll provide the refreshments!
Enjoy the cruise
Spent a few days in Seneca Falls last August .... love it.
Our boat is to the left
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Old 05-13-2016, 02:03 PM   #14
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We have a transferable seasons pass to all Canadian canals in Quebec and Ontario.
We don't have time to use it as we will be heading south in August.
Anybody want it ?
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:36 PM   #15
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We have a transferable seasons pass to all Canadian canals in Quebec and Ontario.
We don't have time to use it as we will be heading south in August.
Anybody want it ?
I'm interested. Didn't know they were transferable. PM me and we can work it out.
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Old 05-13-2016, 03:59 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Quote from Rideau Canal (Parks Canada) website..."Permits are valid only during the year of issue and are not transferable or refundable." Rideau Canal - Fees and Schedules
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:27 PM   #17
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Greetings,
Quote from Rideau Canal (Parks Canada) website..."Permits are valid only during the year of issue and are not transferable or refundable." Rideau Canal - Fees and Schedules
Differnt situation ... I have a letter from Parks Canada authorizing this.
I have connections
It's up for grabs guys.
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:28 PM   #18
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I'm interested. Didn't know they were transferable. PM me and we can work it out.
Nothing to work out. PM me a mailing address and I'll mail it to you.
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:49 PM   #19
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To bad, I just bought my canal pass from Parks Canada. Next month we are going to start our trip. The Erie, Rideau, Richlieu, Champlain Canal locks back
to the Hudson.
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:50 PM   #20
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You snooze , you lose .... The Canadian Canal Pass has been taken.
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