• Locking Through!

    Locking through a dam or "Locking Through" can be a bit intimidating the first time you do it especially if you are sitting on the downstream side of Wilson Lock with gates over 100 feet high.
    Attachment 505

    A simple summary of the process goes something like this:
    1. You let the lockmaster know you want to lock through
    2. They prepare the lock and signal you to enter
    3. You enter the lock and tie up to a floating mooring bitt
    4. They fill or drain the lock depending on direction of travel
    5. They signal for you to leave

    Watch this video of an actual lock through of Wilson Lock located on the Tennessee River in Florence, Alabama. Wilson Lock is the highest single lift lock east of the Rockies with average lifts of 93 to 100 feet.


    Here are some excellent links to great information on locking through:
    This link has a virtual lock through, scroll to the bottom of the page.


    Click this link to download an excellent pdf file published by the Army Corps of Engineers on "Locking Through"


    Comments 6 Comments
    1. franyfamilia's Avatar
      franyfamilia -
      I enjoyed the video. I'd love to see someone locking through on their own without crew to help. Sailboats in particular. How to get close to the wall, secure your boat, and keep the boat off the wall by yourself. EEKKK
    1. TimG's Avatar
      TimG -
      That would certainly be a busy time although not impossible. I have a good friend that has a 28 footer and he has locked through solo on several occasions. I will have to ask him his secret.
    1. Cap'n Ray's Avatar
      Cap'n Ray -
      Stopping in the nearest town and offering a 'free' ride on the boat is a great way to get a Guinea pig to abuse as a fender for a lock-thru I'm sure... Just a hunch though.
    1. franyfamilia's Avatar
      franyfamilia -
      Ha I like that roving fender/guinea pig idea.
    1. ladoublet's Avatar
      ladoublet -
      The first trip through the lock was an experience. With so many on the Tennennesse it got to be second nature.
    1. TimG's Avatar
      TimG -
      It does for sure ladoublet, seems like there is one every few miles...lol
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