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Old 27 July 2009, 14:35   #1
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Advice on canal navigation!

Is anybody familiar with High Peak canals? The stretch between Whaley Bridge and Marple for instance?
I'm new to boating and set out in my SIB along this stretch. We soon came to a swing bridge which we could not get under. I took off the engine and managed to get underneath, but then came across a second similar bridge and decided to turn round. Apparently I needed a "windlass" to open these bridges.
I purchased said "windlass" from a seller working out of a barge, who said it would "open anything" on the canal in my area. It has two square holes in it, one a bit larger than the other.
I've since been told that there is a THIRD swing bridge near to Whaley Bridge that needs a "different" key to open it.....a "WB" one whatever that is.
The question is, will my "open anything" windlass do the job or do I need to carry another chunky alloy tool in my boat?
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Old 27 July 2009, 14:59   #2
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Have you found www.waterscape.com ? Would have thought the answer was in their somewhere. Failing that British Waterways should be able to help - you paid you license so get you money's worth and get them to tell you (in my experience very helpful).

Of course, this is where big wheels are a help - just drag it out and round the bridge!
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Old 27 July 2009, 15:53   #3
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Bridges

I need to update that first post. The first two bridges were "lift bridges" and according to the Peak Forest Canal Guide I need a "windlass" and a "handcuff key" for these. Then there is the "Higgins Clough Swing Bridge" and the"Carr Swing Bridge" for which it says I need a "BW key".
Blimey.....I may not bother. The boat will be so low in the water with the weight of all those keys and handles aboard that it will probably just sink.
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Old 27 July 2009, 16:21   #4
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The "BW key" is literally a key - BW standing for British Waterways.

Both the BW and handcuff key can be purchased at: https://secure.waterscape.com/shop

http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/li...ing-essentials
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Old 27 July 2009, 17:14   #5
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Keys

Thanks for the information. I've just been onto the site and ordered both items, so should be sorted now!
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Old 28 July 2009, 05:46   #6
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handcuff locks can be opened with a smallish square drive socket set but used in reverse not the metric ones though ,,,,canals ,, good training ground for future master mariners ,,,,me aged 6 in me own little ship way back in the early 60s,
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Old 28 July 2009, 07:00   #7
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You will also find that the "BW" key which just looks like an ordinary Yale brass key will also fit water tap locks, toilet blocks and lockable BW car parks any where in the country.
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Old 29 July 2009, 11:37   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightning View Post
Thanks for the information. I've just been onto the site and ordered both items, so should be sorted now!
Did you order a BW Licence as well? They fine you otherwise!

The Windlass is the only 'big' thing. The BW key is just an ordinary Yale type key.... The Handcuff or Anti-Vandal Key is just a small tube about 3” long.

Canals are great for relaxation, (4 mph maximum speed limit).
I will be going through Marple in September heading for the Huddersfield Canal and though the Standedge Tunnel. I won’t be taking my RIB though….. renting a narrow-boat!

If I see your SIB, I’ll try not to hit it…. but narrow-boats don’t stop as quick as SIBs (or RIBs)

Mike C
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Old 29 July 2009, 14:31   #9
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license

When you say BW license I take it you mean the one that allows you to go on the canal, yes I purchased the "30 Day Explorer" and also the boat is insured for third party risks.
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Old 30 July 2009, 02:31   #10
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Good stuff.... Just thought I'd mention it!

Have fun,

Mike c
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