The Canadian skipper of an ultra-wide twin-hulled catamaran is to lodge a formal complaint to the Cardiff Harbour Authority after being instructed to enter a Cardiff bay Barrage Lock which was barely wide enough for his boat.
The massive yacht called “Water Dog” was slightly damaged when she was refused permission to enter the large 10-metre-wide lock, which was full of other boats waiting to leave, and was directed instead to use a smaller lock – “Lock 2” instead .
A PDN source reorts that when the yacht’s skipper asked Barrage Control exactly how wide the smaller lock was, it’s alleged the lock operator did not quote a precise figure but said only “wide enough for you” .
Water Dog has a beam [ i.e. width] of 7.6 metres (almost 25 feet) but it turned out that she was being directed to use a lock which was only 8 metres wide (just over 26 feet) – leaving a bare 6 inches gap on either side of the vessel to squeeze though.
It’s understood that a short time earlier Water Dog had been urged by Barrage Control to “hurry up” as the Pont y Werin pedestrian bridge had been raised and was waiting for her to pass-through to proceed down the River Ely to the main sea lock.
When Water Dog was directed to enter the narrow Number 2 Lock, her skipper said she “barely squeeked through” and the incident “had generated a lot of stress “ for his wife and his 3 small children who had been trying to put out fenders to protect the twin hulls .
The skipper said that if it had been told what the exact width of the No 2 lock actually was he would not have entered it – and would have preferred to wait until the 10-metre-wide No 1 lock was available. He’s lodging an official complaint with the Harbour Authority.
Cardiff Harbour Authority has already apologised for the “inconvenience caused”.