Kibworth locks are the first that you will encounter if you choose to travel north from Market Harborough. These are unstaffed by lock-keepers, so you will need to operate them on your own.

These are a series of five locks, well-spaced apart.

If the water in the pound is at the same level as your boat, you can open up the gates and drive straight on in. If the water is lower, you will need to fill it first to bring it up to your level.

Each set of locks has a ground paddle positioned on either side of the top gates which should be wound up first, using your windlass.

Once the ground paddles are open, you can slowly open the gate paddles which are positioned on the outer side of each top gate, right on top of the gates themselves.

When the water is at the same level as your part of the canal, you can open the gates and drive the boat in.  Push the gates closed and use your windlass to wind down all the paddles.

To do this, you will need to lift the catch on each spindle with one hand, whilst winding the windlass with the other hand. The catches on the ground paddle mechanisms are really greasy, so you might want to have a bit of cloth or tissue to hand! Hold the windlass firmly, taking care not to let it spin out of control.

To lower the water in the pound, wind up the paddles on the bottom lock gates to allow the water to rush out.  Open the gates once the water is at the same level as the canal water below.

Don’t forget to wind down the paddles again after you’ve opened and shut the gates.

Kibworth locks are usually open all year round, unless the Canal and River Trust is working on maintenance in the area. You can check for live stoppages on their website here.

Narrowboat Beginner Guides

We are delighted that more and more narrowboat novices are enjoying the canals around Market Harborough. We are putting together a series of Beginner Guides to help you prepare for your holiday and find a few solutions to common problems en route.

It is also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Canal and River Trust’s Boaters’ Handbook before you arrive.

We offer all kinds of narrowboats, from Day Boats to Boutique Narrowboats and boats suitable for families. All our hires involve full training and we welcome complete beginners.

Narrowboat Beginner Guides

We are delighted that more and more narrowboat novices are enjoying the canals around Market Harborough. We are putting together a series of Beginner Guides to help you prepare for your holiday and find a few solutions to common problems en route.

It is also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Canal and River Trust’s Boaters’ Handbook before you arrive.