Canal Winding

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Have you ever wondered how a canal boat that is longer than the canal is wide can turn through 180 degrees if necessary?

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This landlubber member of the webteam watched as the owner of the narrow boat "Battersea" went through this routine and had a subsequent explanation from expert Peter Silvester of Audlem Mill Bookshop.
It starts with a Winding Hole (pronounced wind as in windlass) which is a triangular cut out in one bank of the canal. In Audlem the Winding Hole is below Lock 15 near the Marshall Household.

On Friday the owner of the Battersea nosed the bow into the corner of the Winding Hole and then used a skilful combination of engine and rudder to bring the stern around to head back in the direction he came. Years ago before engines were available and boats were horsedrawn it is believed the wind was used to assist — thus the name Winding

See the Battersea winding in the enclosed photos.
If you wish to have more detail on the technique click here