The Welland Canal


(223) Calling-in point.-- Vessels approaching Port Weller from Lake Ontario shall contact "Seaway Welland" on VHF-FM channel 14 upon arrival at the lighted buoy 2.4 miles N of Port Weller entrance channel and inform the traffic controller of their destination. After initial contact, vessels transiting the Welland Canal shall guard VHF-FM channel 14. (See the Seaway Handbook for details.)

(224) Port Weller Outer Light (43 14.7'N., 79 13.1'W.), 49 feet above the water, is shown from a red skeleton tower on a white building on the outer end of the W breakwater. A fog signal is at the light.

(225) Channels.-- The harbor is entered from Lake Ontario between parallel breakwaters that converge at the outer end to a 400-foot opening. Lights mark the ends of the breakwaters. The channel between the breakwaters has been dredged to 27 feet and is marked by buoys and a 180 lighted range.

(226) Anchorages.-- A prohibited anchorage is in the approach to Port Weller Harbour and the Welland Canal. A triangular anchorage for vessels awaiting permission to transit the Welland Canal is about 1.5 miles W of Port Weller Harbour entrance and NW of Port Dalhousie. The anchorage has a gravel, clay, and mud bottom, and reported poor holding ground.

(227) Wharves.-- Port Weller Wharf 1: E side of harbor at inner end of breakwaters; 638 feet long; 27 feet alongside; receipt and shipment of general cargo.

(228) Port Weller Wharf 2: W side of harbor at inner end of breakwaters; 1,288 feet long; 27 feet alongside; coal, sand, zircon ore, and bulk sugar are handled.

(229) Small-craft facilities.-- A marina protected by breakwaters is on the E side of the E breakwater near the inner end. The marina provides gasoline, diesel fuel, water, ice, sewage pump-out, marine supplies, a hoist to 16'/, tons, and hull and engine repairs. In 1980, depths of 5 feet were reported alongside.

(230) Welland Canal crosses the Niagara peninsula in a general N-S direction between Port Weller on Lake Ontario and Port Colborne on Lake Erie. The canal is under the jurisdiction of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority of Canada. (See St. Lawrence Seaway, chapter 1.)

(231) The canal is 27 miles long, and over this length, eight locks raise vessels a total of 327 feet from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. The controlling depth in the canal is 27 feet with a maximum permissible draft of 26 feet.

(232) Of the eight locks, the first seven are in the first 9 miles of the canal, from Thorold N. Locks 1 through 7 have usable lengths of 730 feet and widths of 80 feet. Each of these locks has 30 feet over the sills. The locks, with lifts of 43 to 48 feet, serve to raise vessels from Lake Ontario to the level of Lake Erie. Locks 4, 5, and 6 are twin locks that overcome the steep rise at Thorold known as Niagara Escarpment. Lock 8 is a guard lock near the S end of the canal at Port Colborne. Due to the large expanse of shoal water in Lake Erie, changes in wind direction and force create water level changes as great as 11 feet at Port Colborne. Lock 8 serves to pass vessels from the canal to the prevailing water level of Lake Erie. Lock 8 has a usable length of 1,148 feet and a width of 80 feet with 30 feet over the sill. Vessels not over 730 feet long and 76 feet in extreme breadth are allowed transit through the canal during the navigation season.

(233) The canal is crossed by 12 bridges, 4 railway and 8 highway, and numerous overhead cables. The vertical lift bridges limit the overhead clearance through the canal to 120 feet. Two highway tunnels and a railway tunnel pass under the canal. The maximum permissible mast height for vessels transiting the canal is 116.5 feet. Vessels with masts higher than 110 feet must furnish the Officer-in-Charge with authentic information before entering the canal.

(234) Mileages in the Welland Canal are in statute miles zeroed at the outer end of the Port Weller Harbour breakwaters.
(235) The city of St. Catharines, Ont., fronts both sides of the canal and extends S from the Port Weller Harbour entrance for about 8 miles. St. Catharines is a Canadian customs port of entry.

(236) On the E side of the canal at Mile 2.1, Port Weller Dry Docks Co. Ltd. operates a graving dock that handles vessels up to 730 feet long and 76 feet wide. It is the largest drydock on Lake Ontario. The channel leading to the drydock, dredged to 25 feet, is marked by dolphins.

(237) The outflow from the pondage areas adjacent to Lock 2, Mile 3.7, and Lock 3, Mile 6.3, causes eddies and crosscurrents in the approach to these locks; caution is advised.

(238) St. Catharines Wharf, on the W side of the canal at Mile 5.2, is 330 feet long with 25 feet reported alongside. Oil and general cargo are handled.

(239) The Welland Canal Marine Post Office is at Lock 5 on the E side of the canal, Mile 7.9.

(240) The town of Thorold, Ont., is on the W side of the canal at Mile 8.5. Thorold South, Ont., is on the E side of the canal, Mile 10.

(241-254 skipped)

(255) Port Colborne, the Lake Erie entrance to the Welland Canal, and its facilities are described in chapter 6, Lake Erie.

(256) Mariners navigating the Welland Canal are required to possess and be familiar with the contents of the following: (a) Seaway Handbook, (b) Canadian Hydrographic Chart *2042, Welland Canal, and (c) Notices to Shipping.

(257) The Seaway Handbook can be obtained from Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, Massena, St. Lawrence Seaway Authority, Ottawa, and/or Canadian Publishing Centre, Supply and Services Canada, Hull, Quebec; the navigation chart from the Canadian Hydrographic Service, Department of Fisheries and the Environment, Ottawa; and the Notice to Shipping from the lockmaster at Lock 1 or Lock 8. (See appendix for addresses.)

(258) Every vessel must be pre-cleared by its representative with the Authority before transiting the Seaway. Preclearance shall be arranged through the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority, Cornwall, Ont. (See appendix for address.) Pleasure craft of less than 350 tons do not require preclearance. No pleasure craft of less than 20 feet in overall length, or 1 ton in weight, is permitted to transit the canal. The publication "A Guide for Pleasure Craft" is recommended for pleasure craft using the locks of the Welland Canal and may be purchased from the Canadian Government Publishing Centre, Hull, Quebec. (See appendix for address.)

(259) Welland Canal Regulations.-A-Vessels provided with radio transmissions: The Traffic Superintendent at Seaway Welland is in control of navigation throughout the Welland Canal, and dispatching of vessels will be subject to his instructions supplemented by instructions transmitted by lockmasters.

(260) Whenever an approaching vessel arrives at CIP (Calling-In-Point) 15 or CIP 16, it must call Seaway Welland on VHF-FM channel 14. It shall inform the traffic controller thereof of its destination. The traffic controller will then obtain the particulars required before transit is permitted and will give the necessary dispatch information to the vessel. The Traffic Controller is kept fully informed, by landline communication and closed circuit television of the position of all vessels as they pass bridges or leave the locks. Any vessel tied up at a wharf within canal boundaries must get clearance from the traffic controller before casting off.

(261) Masters of vessels equipped with radiotelephone are to maintain the radiotelephone system available for receiving calls from Seaway Welland for the whole period from where the vessel comes within a range of 3 miles of the entrance of the canal until the vessel clears the canal.

(262) The following channels have been assigned to this station for controlling movement of vessels in the Welland Canal and its approaches:
(263) Seaway Welland (FM) (50 watts), Welland Canal radiotelephone located at the Vessel Traffic Control Centre at the Western Region Headquarters in St. Catharines near Lock 4, is licensed for controlling movement of vessels in the Welland Canal and its approaches on the following channels:
(264) VHF-FM channel 14 -For communication with ships.

(265) VHF-FM channel 16 -For calling and distress purposes only.

(266) This station is continuously attended during the navigation season.

(267) C-Fog conditions: Information regarding fog conditions between Thorold and Port Colborne may be obtained by calling Seaway Welland on the radiotelephone.

(268) F-Velocity of current in canal: Due to the flow of water for power purposes, there is an average velocity of about 1 mile per hour between Lock 8 and the Hydro-Electric Power Commission intake north of Bridge 11. A crosscurrent towards the west exists 500 feet south of Bridge 11 and also at the entrance to the former Third Welland Canal channel north of Bridge 11. Masters of vessels are accordingly warned to guard against being drawn over to the west at these locations.

(269) G-Handling vessel lines in locking: When locking, vessels shall be moored at the west wall of Locks 1 and 8, at the east walls of Locks 2, 3, and 7, and at the center wall of Locks 4, 5, and 6.

(270) H-Speed of vessels: The maximum speed of vessels in the Welland Canal is as follows:
(271) For all vessels, 6 knots over the bottom, except in the Welland By-Pass Channel from Port Robinson to Rameys Bend, maximum speed 8 knots over the bottom.

(272) I-Passing moored vessels: The attention of masters of all vessels in the Welland Canal is called to Regulation 28 (3) of the Seaway Handbook, respecting the passing at slow speed any vessels moored to a wharf, pier, bank, etc. Regulation 28 (3) also applies to the harbors of Port Colborne, Port Weller, and Port Dalhousie. The observance of this Rule is vitally important when passing an oil tanker discharging or taking on cargo.

(sections 273 - 567 ommitted)


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