Re: Navigating locks
Being moored on the Thames near to Marlow there are 13 locks to navigate before the tidal waters of London . I find that putting a single loop round the locks stays and holding the rope in the hand is the safest method when going up or down. As the boat rises you can slowly play the rope in and take up the slack. When lowering you simply hold a small tension whilst playing the rope out. This way you can quite easily untie with a flick of the rope to cast off.
the lock keeper will normally indicate which side he wants you to moor up to.