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Old 05-21-2018, 12:30 PM   #21
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I hear what you guys are saying about not tying to the bollard in case the bollard jams up in its track and gets locked into position, but my wife has a folding knife attached to her pfd that she can flip open the blade with her thumb to cut the line if needed.
Good. I actually did have to cut a line once, in the Erie Canal on a sailboat (mast stored, of course). Got a bit scary when it jammed at the top of the static line and started to pull the boat over. Damn glad I had that sharp rigging knife on my belt. Learned a thing or two on that little incident, too.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:39 PM   #22
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I hear what you guys are saying about not tying to the bollard in case the bollard jams up in its track and gets locked into position, but my wife has a folding knife attached to her pfd that she can flip open the blade with her thumb to cut the line if needed.


Also, tying to the bollard like she has done in the photo makes it easier for her to untie when we get the green light to leave. If the line were looped around the bollard then secured to the cleat on our boat, she'd have to bend over to reach down to the cleat to untie the line. With it secured to the bollard all she has to do is untie it from the bollard; no bending over on the walkway. She stays upright where she can reach the handrail if needed to keep her balance.


Normally she would have tied that line to the bollard much shorter so the boat would have less "wiggle room". I don't really care if the fenders rub along the wall, that's what they're there for. Yes, the walls of the lock are dirty and will scrape the fenders, but I just don't care. We store the fenders in the lazarette where they can't be seen so I'm not concerned with what they look like.


My biggest concern when we're going through a lock is my wife's safety. Anything I can do to make that job easier on her is what I will do. If she doesn't have to bend over to untie a line, IMHO that makes it easier on her. Our way of tying up in the locks may not work for someone else on their boat. That's OK. It works for us and that's what we want. Easy Peasy.


Just saying.
Wifey B: Not jumping on your way, just saying it's not ours. We keep the line in our hands, looped around the cleat and held (hence always gloves). You mention bending over and that points out that location of cleats is very important to the method used.

We have oversized fenders for locking and, like you, don't worry about their condition, just keeping them clean so they won't scratch the boat.
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Old 05-21-2018, 01:03 PM   #23
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I hear what you guys are saying about not tying to the bollard in case the bollard jams up in its track and gets locked into position, but my wife has a folding knife attached to her pfd that she can flip open the blade with her thumb to cut the line if needed.


Also, tying to the bollard like she has done in the photo makes it easier for her to untie when we get the green light to leave. If the line were looped around the bollard then secured to the cleat on our boat, she'd have to bend over to reach down to the cleat to untie the line. With it secured to the bollard all she has to do is untie it from the bollard; no bending over on the walkway. She stays upright where she can reach the handrail if needed to keep her balance.


Normally she would have tied that line to the bollard much shorter so the boat would have less "wiggle room". I don't really care if the fenders rub along the wall, that's what they're there for. Yes, the walls of the lock are dirty and will scrape the fenders, but I just don't care. We store the fenders in the lazarette where they can't be seen so I'm not concerned with what they look like.


My biggest concern when we're going through a lock is my wife's safety. Anything I can do to make that job easier on her is what I will do. If she doesn't have to bend over to untie a line, IMHO that makes it easier on her. Our way of tying up in the locks may not work for someone else on their boat. That's OK. It works for us and that's what we want. Easy Peasy.


Just saying.
Question: I have a line that has a big big loop on one end. Would it be OK to toss this loop end over the bollard and loosely tie it to the mid-ship cleat in case you do have to let it go in a hurry?
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Old 05-21-2018, 01:10 PM   #24
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Question: I have a line that has a big big loop on one end. Would it be OK to toss this loop end over the bollard and loosely tie it to the mid-ship cleat in case you do have to let it go in a hurry?
Wifey B: Would make getting free more difficult so "no". When time to leave, you might have a struggle removing it from the Bollard.
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:00 PM   #25
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We are getting Pairadice ready! Ye ha!
Gotta go stock up on Klondike bars. And Mike, gonna make a liquor run just for you......
Choppin at the bit and ready to go!
Cheers all!
John and Tom, I'll be watching your progress as you move up the Columbia. We're moving up through BC and should arrive in Sitka mid June. Don't worry about the Alaska Amber...I plan to buy what you guys would have bought for myself! Will 2019 be, "ASD and Pairadice in the Sea of Cortez'?
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:39 PM   #26
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Will 2019 be, "ASD and Pairadice in the Sea of Cortez'?
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You never know..........
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:57 PM   #27
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John and Tom, I'll be watching your progress as you move up the Columbia. We're moving up through BC and should arrive in Sitka mid June. Don't worry about the Alaska Amber...I plan to buy what you guys would have bought for myself! Will 2019 be, "ASD and Pairadice in the Sea of Cortez'?
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Pairadice for sure next year in Mexico, think ASD is missing all the rain and cold too much to head south with us, LOL! But ya never know.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:55 PM   #28
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Debris?

Are you guys expecting much debris in the water?

The only similar experience we can relate to was running up Bute Inlet, which is fed by two big (?) rivers. The head of the inlet, where the rivers came in, was surrounded by visible snow-capped mountains in June. There was a tremendous amount of debris, mostly trees, on their way to the sea. Fortunately we could get around them and had no casualties with the previous and faster IRENE.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:15 PM   #29
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Not the best view, but hereís a Bonneville bollard. Not tough to reach.
Click image for larger version

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I went a ways up the river this weekend, and itís definitely 4-5kts. Not a lot of debris though on the Columbia. Good luck at Beacon Rock. It was humming 7-8kts when I was there at this time last year!
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:16 PM   #30
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Having only experienced small little locks, I'm wondering how much turbulence and current you get in the locks there.

Our small little local locks are very tame, and I don't bother tying off. It's easy enough to give an occasional forward or reverse thrust if required.

I expect these locks with a big vertical differential would be moving a fair amount of water.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:59 PM   #31
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Having only experienced small little locks, I'm wondering how much turbulence and current you get in the locks there.

Our small little local locks are very tame, and I don't bother tying off. It's easy enough to give an occasional forward or reverse thrust if required.

I expect these locks with a big vertical differential would be moving a fair amount of water.
Wifey B: Several different chances at turbulence. The first is when you're inside and water being drained or filled. Every lock slightly different, some do it faster than others so more turbulent. Also, varies based on where you are in the lock.

Then there's the chance of a commercial tow in front of you. Their engines at close range give you a lot of turbulence. If you don't stay tied and let them clear then you may get bounced around inside the lock and hit something.

Then there's the wind and current when the doors are opened. You've been in a protected cocoon. You might have been 80-100' lower and shielded when you entered and when the upper doors open very different conditions.

Then one last thing to be ready for. Ever walked from 8th to Broadway in NYC on W 56th St.? No, probably not. Well, on a windy day, you step out beyond the building on the corner and you might do a Mary Poppins. That can happen when you pull out of a lock. You're protected, then you're in a wide open space with a strong wind you weren't prepared for plus current and other boats.

Now, some locks can be wild and you do have to look out for people who have no idea how to operate a boat inside. Think of people who can't dock and then put them in this big room with you. I was in one on the TN river and the lockmaster told the pontoon boat to tie on their starboard side, to pull forward, and soon they were floating across so he said "port side, forward please." Well soon the boat was facing the wrong way and the guy about to tie and the lockmaster had to explain that wouldn't work when time came to exit. He had him tie to the bollard and then use the engine to swing around, then re-tie. The entire thing was like 15 minutes. One other boat said something ugly over the radio about the pontoon and they got in big trouble with the lockmaster. Lockmaster patient with pontoon but not with misuse of radio.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:12 PM   #32
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There are only a few rules when it comes to locking, but they are very important.

1) commercials go first then recreational boats.
2) Larger boats then smaller boats
3) tie the upstream end of your boat first. Then tie the downstream end.
4) release the downstream end first. Then the upstream end
5) every line should begin and end at your boat unless instructed other wise by the lock master.
6) no line should be fully cleated off until visual recognition that the bollard is free to travel.
7) no line should be left unattended in case bollarad hangs up.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:16 PM   #33
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There are only a few rules when it comes to locking, but they are very important.

1) commercials go first then recreational boats.
2) Larger boats then smaller boats
3) tie the upstream end of your boat first. Then tie the downstream end.
4) release the downstream end first. Then the upstream end
5) every line should begin and end at your boat unless instructed other wise by the lock master.
6) no line should be fully cleated off until visual recognition that the bollard is free to travel.
7) no line should be left unattended in case bollarad hangs up.
Wifey B: I've been in locks where the lockmaster ordered different than your 1 and 2, so I'd say on those "unless instructed otherwise."
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:18 PM   #34
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The Seattle ship canal large locks can easily hold 100 pleasure boats. You do not want to experience 100 boats in a confined box with 20% of the operators inebriated. More than once I have seen a bow sprit punch its way through a side window only to come back out with a souvenir.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:21 PM   #35
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Maybe there was a reason but in all federal locks the priority is
1-government Vessels
2-commercial vessels
3-recreational vessels
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:59 PM   #36
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Sounds a bit crazy in some of those locks. Now I understand why there is some apprehension about locks.

Our local lock is much more sedate. It is self service with a remote control; usually on our own, or perhaps sharing with a few dolphins.
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:30 PM   #37
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The locks on the Columbia and Snake Rivers vary in size from a max lift of about 75' (Bonneville) to 105' (Ice Harbor). When you're in the lock and they're lowering the water level there is not much current--it's like draining a bath tub. When you're being raised in the lock, the water coming in creates currents in the lock. When you're going up (We've seen Ice Harbor with a lift of 118') as much as these do in about 25-30 minutes that's a helluva lot of water coming in. It comes in at the bottom of the lock near the center and flows toward the ends of the lock. As it does it's pushing on your boat. If you have a lot of play in your lines and your boat is not snug against the wall it can bounce you around A LOT!


Also, as WifeyB noted, if the wind is howling and they raise the guillotine gate or open the doors the wind can be funneled into the lock through the venture and it creates a mess.


We were in a lock a few years ago, headed upstream so we were at the low water part of the lock operation. The wind was blowing about 30-35kts coming right into the lock on our stern. It was all I could do to keep the boat in centered in the lock so I asked the lockmaster to PLEASE close the gates to stop the wind. He did, the wind and chop stopped and we had no problem.



"Wifey B: Not jumping on your way, just saying it's not ours. We keep the line in our hands, looped around the cleat and held (hence always gloves). You mention bending over and that points out that location of cleats is very important to the method used. " On these locks it takes a good 25-30 minutes to go up or down and the lockmasters insist you tie up securely to the bollard. No holding the lines in these locks.


ASD "Question: I have a line that has a big big loop on one end. Would it be OK to toss this loop end over the bollard and loosely tie it to the mid-ship cleat in case you do have to let it go in a hurry? " That would work but if you had to undo it in a hurry you'd probably have to leave the lock on the bollard. Easier to just put the loop on your cleat and sling the line around the bollard and secure it. C'mon Tom, if my wife can do it I'm sure yours can also.


Irene "Are you guys expecting much debris in the water? " I haven't seen much debris in the water. We're 235 miles from Portland and if there was a lot of debris we'd see it here first.


AusCan "Having only experienced small little locks, I'm wondering how much turbulence and current you get in the locks there. " I've seen about a 1.5' chop inside the locks until they get the gates closed and things settle down. It's more the wind that makes the problems than the flow of water inside the lock.


Unlike the lock TiltRider is talking about, we seldom have more than one other boat in the lock with us, unless it's a club outing and we might have 6 or 8 others. In 20+ years of using these locks I've only been in the lock with a commercial tow about 3-4 times. When that happens, if the setup of the barges allows, the tug captain will let you leave first. Only once was I in with a tug where I had to go in alongside the tug and, because he had two barges wide in his tow, I couldn't pass him so he had to go out first. He was VERY gentle on the throttles and we got almost zero waves from him. Here's one from a year ago where we were in with a tug and two barges and we got to leave first.


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Old 05-21-2018, 11:33 PM   #38
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This shot will give you an idea of the height of the lock. This was at McNary, 2 years ago. We're at the upper level about to be lowered, and you can see the lower water level over my wife's shoulder.


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Old 05-22-2018, 12:00 AM   #39
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The Seattle ship canal large locks can easily hold 100 pleasure boats. You do not want to experience 100 boats in a confined box with 20% of the operators inebriated. More than once I have seen a bow sprit punch its way through a side window only to come back out with a souvenir.
Wifey B: That is a one of a kind type lock and I advise before doing it, go watch it by land.

Now, Chickamauga during Riverfest is wild and the Ohio River can be a mob scene of boats, but both are just mild insanity compared to Seattle. Best to transit it during the week.
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:16 AM   #40
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"Wifey B: Not jumping on your way, just saying it's not ours. We keep the line in our hands, looped around the cleat and held (hence always gloves). You mention bending over and that points out that location of cleats is very important to the method used. " On these locks it takes a good 25-30 minutes to go up or down and the lockmasters insist you tie up securely to the bollard. No holding the lines in these locks.
Wifey B: Been on locks that took longer and no issue looping line around the Bollard then lightly tying it (figure 8) on the back cleat (firmly attached to front) and with it tied, continued to hold the line in your hand in case of any slippage or need to release or tighten or loosen. Not holding it in lieu of any tying but in addition to light tying. Floating bollards to me are the easiest set up.

Erie Canal is antiquated and you may get lines or pipes or cables and as you go up or down you may have to let line out or take it in.

Mississippi River is tough because of the current as you enter.

There are videos for most lock systems showing you how to navigate them.
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