Locking through is not remotely difficult or challenging. Begin by getting the attention of the lock keeper. It is important to follow the lock keeper’s instructions. Remember that it is only the lock keeper who is allowed to operate locks and bridges.
Boats generally lock through in the order they call at the waiting jetty. At times, however, they may need to be re-ordered in order to most effectively utilise the capacity in the lock chamber.
How to lock through on the Dalsland Canal:
- Get the attention of the lock keeper. If the lock gate is closed or the lock keeper does not give the signal to enter, moor at the waiting jetty. Boats are then locked through in the order they call at the waiting jetty, provided the lock keeper does not specify otherwise. Boats which have not moored at the waiting jetty then enter in the order in which they arrived at the station. If there is no waiting jetty, the order of arrival determines entrance to the lock.
Skippers must ensure they keep track of the order which applies, and honour it. See the information about dinghy trailers in the canal brochure.
- The lock gate is opened. Where multiple vessels are to be locked through at the same time, we recommend placing fenders on both sides at this stage. This is especially important when lowering wide vessels.
Wait for the lock keeper to give the sign or call out before entering the lock. Canoes always enter last of all.
- Entrance to the lock will follow this procedure unless the lock keeper specifies otherwise. A different order may apply at certain lock stations, where yachts also lock through.
Where only two boats are to lock through, boat two will instead take the place of boat four.
In the case of canoes, Item 4 applies.
Note: When lowering vessels, it is important that boats or dinghies are positioned so they can sail freely from the lock gate situated on the stern side of the vessel.
- The lock keeper will throw fixed mooring lines down to all boats – one for mooring at the bow, and one for the stern. There should be two people in the boat while locking through.
Do not make fast. You must always be able to sheet home or slacken as the boat rises or falls, depending on whether the vessel is being lowered or raised. Ensure the bow line is fully taut when the boat is being raised.
Switch off the motor!
- The boat is protected from the lock edge by so-called bumper guards (horizontally erected telegraph poles attached to the walls of the lock).
Mooring line around lightly
If the toe rail of the boat faces the guard, lockage will proceed smoothly. However, the crew onboard are advised to keep a few centimetres’ distance between the bumper guard and toe rail, with a boat hook, for example.
- Throw up the lines. Exit the lock in the order in which you entered, unless the lock keeper specifies otherwise. Wait for the lock keeper to give the sign or call out before exiting the lock.