Locks, Boat Lift or Inclined Plane?
What is the best way of raising boats from the Grand Union Canal to Daventry Town WaterSpace?
There are basically three options: locks, a boat lift or an inclined plane. All three methods have their advantages and disadvantages.
- Manually operated locks are fairly simple to use, and don’t usually require supervision. Boaters are quite capable of operating the locks themselves.
- Locks require a lot of water to work efficiently. Unless there is a good, consistent supply of water, back-pumping of water will be required to provide sufficient flow.
- Operation of manual locks is slow (1 hour or more to negotiate 4 locks).
- Water consumption is minimal as only the water displaced by boats entering the boat lift is lost.
- Due to the counter-balance of the boats only a small amount of power is required to lift and lower boats.
- The amount of time it takes to use the boat lift is much quicker than that of using locks (perhaps 20 minutes).
- The boat lift has to be manned.
- Expensive to build and operate.
- Advantages and disadvantages are similar to that of a boat lift.
- Overall operation time of an inclined plane is probably about 30 minutes.