Frequently Asked Questions

We have done our best to make sure we have covered all the bases here, but if you have any further questions please do contact us and we will be happy to help

Who is the LockMaster windlass for?

Anyone who needs to open locks on canals in England and Wales. We have found that the LockMaster Windlass is a favourite tool for anyone with limited upper body strength (approximately half our customers are ladies), boaters who have an old, back or shoulder injury that tends to niggle or who simply want the perfect gift for a canal-boat owner.
On that note, do let us know when it is for a gift, we frequently put any labels or paperwork that could give the present away, inside the box. That way it remains a mystery when the postman arrives…and we do love being part of a surprise!

How is the LockMaster different from other windlasses?

The LockMaster Windlass has a ratchet head to optimise the winding action of the user. It’s three-position handle gives versatility to assist in the different phases of working the lock safely. The ‘straight handle’ position is perfect for the tough job of initially getting the paddle open a small amount, so that the flowing water doesn’t overwhelm the boats in lock. It gives the user total control, without effort. The ‘cocked handle’ position then enables easy winding, clock-wise or anti-clockwise.

What is it made of?

The LockMaster is made of a mixture of metals to give it strength. This means there is no bending or bowing when the handle is in the extended position and body-weight is exerted on the hand-grip. There is some iron in the tool so that, should it go for a swim in the canal, it can be retrieved using a couple of strong magnets!

How much does it weigh?

The LockMaster weighs 1.67kg. This may sound chunky but we have found that a tool for a rugged job such as dealing with stiff lock paddles cannot be lightweight. This could lead to fracturing and bowing of the windlass as it is used in the most useful ‘extended handle’ position and we would not be comfortable with that from a safety perspective.

How can I have my hands free as I move around the locks?

Locks can be dangerous places and having your hands free as you work on and around a lock is advisable. We felt a tool of the quality of the LockMaster called for a cross-body holster designed and made by a leather artisan, so we teamed up with Or order one from us with your Windlass.

Where can I buy one?

You can buy direct online or by email, post or telephone. If you prefer to see and handle the LockMaster before you buy, you can visit us at our Chandlery.

How much do they cost?

The LockMaster Windlass is £154 inclusive of VAT and Royal Mail Special Delivery.

How can I pay?

You can pay online by Paypal or Credit/Debit card over the phone. Details are on our by direct page.

How do you use the LockMaster Windlass?

It is extremely intuitive and easy-to-use but you can find a detailed instructions sheet here.