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Thread: Vilaine lock

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    7,210

    Default Vilaine lock

    Iím going to go up into the Vilaine tomorrow through the lock but having dropped everything and without a proper shakedown cruise before we hopped across Iím lacking in fenders.
    I have four largish ones but concerned about the large lock we have to pass through.
    Better to have more no doubt but Iíve seen fender boards on several experienced boats would this be for the lock transfer there?
    Advice please?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Havant
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Vilaine lock

    Put them 2 and 2 as you go in then have a crew shift 1 across when you see your target. Often there is a slot in the middle, which is actually good for wedging in. Get a line on “upstream” of the flow in the lock. You will be fine. I would get a couple more in Arzan for the way out when the flow is behind you and can be more tricky. Le Roche Bernard is lovely and don’t miss the market there. Enjoy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    A Member State of the European Union
    Posts
    5,462

    Default Re: Vilaine lock

    Quote Originally Posted by robertj View Post
    I’m going to go up into the Vilaine tomorrow through the lock but having dropped everything and without a proper shakedown cruise before we hopped across I’m lacking in fenders.
    I have four largish ones but concerned about the large lock we have to pass through.
    Better to have more no doubt but I’ve seen fender boards on several experienced boats would this be for the lock transfer there?
    Advice please?
    A fender board is no use in that lock and you would be told not to try and use it.

    Ideally you need fenders each side, (plus a roving fender or two) since you never know which side of the lock you will be directed to or you may be directed to raft up, either side, on a boat already in the lock.

    There are waiting pontoons downstream of the lock attached to the shore and from there is a short walk into the Arzal marina complex where there are chandleries that will sell you more fenders.#

    If you don't want to do that I would suggest hanging two fenders each side but have them horizontally.

    The lock sides are concrete faced and smooth(ish) with vertical chains. Each chain is numbered and the lock keeper usually tells you which numbers to use. My 28-foot yacht spans the spaces between two chains, eg sternrope on chain no.11, headrope on no. 9.

    Here is a link to the lock times: https://www.lavilaine.com/index.php/...usages-du-jour

    This video might be helpful: https://www.google.com/search?client...Iq4gQaQ1avgDQ2

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Poignard; 22-07-19 at 08:01.
    "Brexit: like watching a library being burned down by people who can't read"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Mooring, Faro
    Posts
    1,484

    Default Re: Vilaine lock

    On a busy day
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Whitby
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Vilaine lock

    The flow on the Vilaine is very low at the moment. Today's rate is 2.54 cubic metres per second. The website says that when it gets below 2.5 the locks are closed, although navigation is allowed above the locks.
    This is where the readings are updated: https://www.lavilaine.com/index.php/fr/f-avis
    With a flow between 2.5 and 10 the locks may be not operate on some days. I'd keep an eye on the website as you may have to stay in the river longer than planned!

    Last year, after some very heavy rain the flow got above 250 and as well as the locks not operating all navigation above them was banned.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    7,210

    Default Re: Vilaine lock

    Many thanks for your advice chaps, itís very much appreciated

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Eastern Atlantic seaboard
    Posts
    3,109

    Default Re: Vilaine lock

    Quote Originally Posted by robertj View Post
    Many thanks for your advice chaps, it’s very much appreciated
    They have signs now at the lock indicating that each boat must have 4 fenders per side, 4 x 10m lines, life jackets must be worn and channel 11 must be monitored. Needless to say they go unheeded by the French who seem seem to think brandishing a boat hook trumps all other berthing strategies.
    Personally, having used the lock dozens of times, I would be uncomfortable with transiting with less than 6 fenders as a minimum as you may well be requested/ demanded to jam yourself in between two other boats. Failing that, pick a quiet time to transit, uplocking at 11am is normally good as the overnighters squeeze onto the 9am opening. Also gives you an opportunity for breakfast at L'Inflexible, named after the lock-keeper, I believe.
    I'd rather be tethered to a pad eye than tethered to an iPad.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Whitby
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Vilaine lock

    Last year I came into the Vilaine using a morning lock with just 4 boats in it. I was relaxing as the lock filled when the bow of the British boat on the other side of the lock, and forward of me, suddenly came away from the side and headed straight for me. I abandoned the line I was holding at my stern and rushed forward, grabbing a fender as I went and managed to put it between my bow and that of the stray yacht, no damage done. The skipper at the stern of the other boat managed to hang on to his line as his boat did a 180. I assumed that the crew had somehow let go of the bow line but it turned out that the chain had snapped below the waterline. I think this may have been because a big dredger came through the lock the previous evening and was probably hanging off of that chain, which was number .... 13.

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