Over Hill Sailing Club
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Adirondacks NY
Thanked 111 Times in 108 Posts
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Re: Single-Handing thru locks ?
I do it all the time in the NYS locks- Champlain Canal. It just takes good planning, knowing your boat, and SLOW maneuvering. I have long lines from bow and stern that I can grab right where the center of the boat is. The trick is to come to a STOP exactly parallel at a pole or hanging pennant. If it's a lock with pennants, just grab the line and plant yourself where you can move back and forth as required to move bow or stern in or out. Lean and keep heavy pressure on the line pulling the boat in against the wall of the lock. You need boards or big fenders. I prefer boards because some of the old locks have huge holes in the deteriorated concrete that could swallow a single fender.
If coming to a stop at a pole, wrap lines either way in back of the pole and pull on the ends to control bow-stern movement. This works very nicely. I guess the most important thing is a good footing position. I can stand on my cabin top and readily control the movement of the boat by just moving a foot or so forward or aft. If you had to do it from close to the wall, standing near the gunwale, it would be difficult-impossible. You need the pull/friction INTO the wall.
Hope that helps.
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.