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Photographer: Jonas Ingman

Locking through

Locking through is not remotely difficult or challenging. Begin by getting the attention of the lock keeper. It is important to follow the lock keeper’s instructions. Remember that it is only the lock keeper who is allowed to operate locks and bridges.

Boats generally lock through in the order they call at the waiting jetty. At times, however, they may need to be re-ordered in order to most effectively utilise the capacity in the lock chamber.

How to lock through on the Dalsland Canal


Get the attention of the lock keeper. If the lock gate is closed or the lock keeper does not give the signal to enter, moor at the waiting jetty. Boats are then locked through in the order they arrive at the waiting jetty, provided the lock keeper does not specify otherwise. Boats which have not moored at the waiting jetty then enter in the order in which they arrived at the station. If there is no waiting jetty, the order of arrival determines entrance to the lock. Skippers must ensure they keep track of the order which applies, and honour it. 


The lock gate is opened. Where multiple vessels are to be locked through at the same time, we recommend placing fenders on both sides at this stage. This is especially important when lowering wide vessels. Wait for the lock keeper to give the sign or call out before entering the lock. Canoes always enters last. 


Go to the place you have been assigned.Normally you enter the lock according to the order you have arrived, but in some cases, for reasons of boat type or for safety reasons, the order might be different. So keep in touch with the lock keeper.

Note! When lowering vessels, it is important that boats or dinghies are positioned so they can sail freely from the lock gate situated on the stern side of the vessel.


The lock keeper will throw fixed mooring lines down to all boats – one for mooring at the bow, and one for the stern. There should be two people in the boat while locking through. Do not make fast. You must always be able to sheet home or slacken as the boat rises or falls, depending on whether the vessel is being lowered or raised. Ensure the bow line is fully taut when the boat is being raised.
Turn off the motor!


The boat is protected from the lock edge by so-called bumper guards (horizontally erected telegraph poles attached to the walls of the lock). If the toe rail of the boat faces the guard, lockage will proceed smoothly. However, the crew onboard are advised to keep a few centimetres’ distance between the bumper guard and toe rail, with a boat hook, for example.


When it is time to exit - throw up the lines. Exit the lock in the order in which you entered, unless the lock keeper specifies otherwise. Wait for the lock keeper to give the sign or call out before exiting the lock.


The lock stations

Map and information about the 17 lock stations at the Dalslands canal.

More info


Through the lock

It is easy to take the boat through the lock. Here we show you how it works and what happens when you are inside the lock. Remember, the lock keeper is always there to help you and answer any...