Monday, 9 November 2015




We are starting to see a lot of these pawl stops being fitted on locks. It stops the pawl from being allowed to fall backwards and means that when closing the paddle you have to stand and hold it as the paddle drops down. That's OK until you see an incident like we did a short time ago. A working boat was going up a lock as we were waiting at the top to go down. When he was halfway up his L/H stern got caught on a brick which was sticking out of the side of the lock . The back of the boat then started to go down with the rising water in the lock . Luckily this lock didn't have these pawl stops fitted ,so the steerer just dropped the paddles on one side and as they were still dropping he was quickly over the lock gates and dropping the paddles on the other side. As he dropped the paddles I managed to push the stern of his boat off the wall and luckily no damage was done. I think that if these new stops had been fitted on this lock we may well have had a sunken boat due to the extra time it would have taken to drop the paddles. After seeing what happened here I'm all for getting them removed .


                                                                                                  Happy Days


  1. If you hold the pawl stop up and let the mechanism run free in an emergency isn't that fast enough? How do you make them go faster without the pawl stop?
    Cheers, M

    1. Hi Marilyn.. Some paddles fall a lot slower than others and if the guy had to just stand there holding up the pawl his boat would have sunk . I think the adrenalin kicked in because while the paddles were dropping one side he was over the lock gates and dropping them on the other side. In an emergency the last thing you want is pawl stops. There has been some discussion on Narrowboatworld about it.