Under ports, we understand the places intended for long-time anchoring of vessels. The operator of a boat or houseboat hire-office has mostly his seat at the port. Therefore, a part of the anchoring place can be reserved for those vessels. There is often a hinterland at the ports – refreshment, sanitary facilities or showers. Sometimes, it is possible to camp or find accommodation here. The slipways are usually within the port area or in its vicinity. It is possible to agree upon watching your vessel (or car) and to make trips to the environs.
Landing stages are places serving for short-time anchoring. If a landing place is provided with a complementary plate JEN SE SOUHLASEM SPS – ONLY WITH AN SPS APPROVAL, it is possible to stay only for 24 hours here. Longer anchoring requires a permit of the State Navigation Management (Státní plavební správa-SPS), branch in Přerov. The navigation operators do not mostly have their seats at the landing stages so there is usually no hinterland here. On the other hand, the landing stages are placed at attractive locations and the related tourist infrastructure and services come into being in their environs step by step.
A lock chamber is an ingenious and simple device that enables the watercrafts to move vertically (upwards or downwards). In this way, the watercrafts can overcome the places with steep incline, or the jump-changes of the level (weirs). A traditional lock is a piece of artificial canal-bed closed by a gate on its top and bottom side.
Function of the lock chamber
1. The speed of navigation is limited by the amount of water, which must drain into or out of the chamber, (it is similar to a bathtub full of water). That is why the lock’s walls are vertical and the chamber is often a little bit wider than the widest watercraft taken into account in the project. Because of this, the amount of water in the chamber is minimized.
2. If the lock is working in its usual mode, no water flows through it (the water just drains into or out of the lock). This could have fatal results for the stable water level. Therefore, each lock chamber on the Canal has a bypass that enables the flow rate to be regulated. The bypass goes either parallel on the surface (e.g. the lock chamber in Veselí) or in piping (the lock chamber in Staré Město).
3. In normal condition, (if the difference in the heights of levels prior and behind the chamber is minimum at least), it is impossible to open both gates simultaneously (even intentionally not) and cause an accident (a dry place above the chamber and a flood under the chamber). Why? The difference in levels will hold either gate closed, avoiding opening both gates at the same time. (If the operator allows it, try to move the gate at the difference of just 10 cm).
Lock gates are a part of the lock, which enables to move the water level inside the chamber. They have two wings opened to the sides. If closed, they are not on one level (as normal gates are), but they meet at an obtuse angle pointing upstream (see the picture on the right-hand side). Because of this, the higher water level presses onto the gate, sealing it and avoiding any leakage of water from the lock chamber; to open the gate, it is necessary to equalize the water levels from both sides (to fill or to empty the lock chamber) – for this purpose, there are paddles (valves) in the bottom part of the gate. After the paddles are opened, the water levels equalize; if they are closed, the gates seal and the water does not stream. In places, where the water level from one side can be both higher and lower than the water level inside the chamber, it is necessary to install a double-gate (either part of the double-gate works then)
The scheme of sailing-through
Let’s suppose, a watercraft travelling downstream comes to the lock chamber:
1. If the bottom gate is not closed, it is being closed now; the paddles in the bottom gate are closed, too.
2. The paddles in the top gate opens, the water drains into the lock chamber, the level in the lock chamber rises.
3. After the water levels at the top gate are balanced, the gate can be opened.
4. The ship sails in.
5. The top gate closes and so do the paddles in the top gate.
6. The paddles in the bottom gate open.
7. The water drains out of the lock chamber, the level goes down and the ship reaches the bottom level.
8. After the water levels are balanced, the bottom gate opens and the ship sails out.
9. If another watercraft wishes to sail upstream, it sails into the chamber and the whole cycle is repeated.
Lock chamber operation
The operation of the lock chambers is ensured by the company Povodí Moravy,s.p. At every lock chamber, there is an operator checking the sailing-through watercrafts; he opens and closes the gates and checks the order at the lock chamber. The operation is ensured only at certain time; no operation out of the sailing season (in winter months). The times for sailing-through at these locks are given for each season independently – the State Navigation Management issues its related navigation sheets with binding times. The actual information about the waterway operation are published under ww.batacanal.cz
Slipways are places on the waterway shore, which enable a ship or a motorboat to be moved to the water. It is a place declining directly to the water. If a tourist brings its own ship on the trailer, he can back to the slipway and launch his ship.
Where to use the slipways
In principle, anybody can use a slipway to launch his own ship. No special permit is necessary for that. The waterway is public and no fees are charged for navigation with an own ship or for sailing through a chamber lock, as some tourists mostly assume erroneously. Use of a slipway is not paid either. However, if a slipway is located within an area of a boat hire-office, the hire-office operator can charge a tourist with the fee for that “service”.
An owner of a private ship can visit the Bata-Canal even out of the sailing season; he has to take into account that he will not be able to sail through the lock chambers, because the locks are not operated out of the sailing season.
Where the slipways are located?
There are 10 slipways on the Bata-Canal waterway. They are spread continuously along the entire waterway, yet the opinion occurs that this number is insufficient. In the maps, the slipways are marked with a red arrow. They are located in the following places:
Otrokovice, Spytihněv – within the hire-office area, Staré Město – on the Morava River, Uherský Ostroh – above the bridge, Veselí nad Moravou – within the hire-office area, Strážnice – nearby the lock, Petrov – adjacent to the landing place and the lock, Skalica – within the landing place area, Rohatec – adjacent to the landing place, Rohatec – (after the access road is built).
On the Morava River, in the monitored section from Otrokovice to Rohatec, there are the following weirs in cascade:
Bělov, Spytihněv, Kunovský les, Nedakonice, Uherský Ostroh (a fixed weir; a movable weir on the relieving branch), Veselí nad Moravou, Vnorovy (on the river and on the relieving branch) and the Strážnice weir on the Velička brook. The weirs provide stable water level, which is important for navigation, for underground water level, for industrial consumption and for electricity generation (Spytihněv, Veselí nad Moravou), even with the minimum flow rates. It is strictly forbidden to sail down the weirs, danger to life!!!
How to sail round the weirs
Beside each weir on the waterway is a lock, so the weirs can be sailed-around through these locks. The operation of ships near the weirs is controlled by the navigation signs – No navigation! and Sail in the direction signed by an arrow. We bypass fully some weirs – in Spytihněv and Veselí nad Moravou where the waterway canal sections begin. In Vnorovy and Strážnice, the Bata-Canal crosses the Morava River, or the Velička Brook.
There are 56 bridges over the waterway. Some of them are a unique technical monument – the most interesting one is that in Kostelany nad Moravou. Noteworthy are the turning bridges over the locks Uherský Ostroh and Vnorovy II. – both bridges enable the heavy mechanisms to get to the devices, on the other hand, they do not avoid the navigation. The lock Uherský Ostroh can offer one unique sight more – the lift footbridge. The most locks have the footbridges whose clearance is sufficient. Otherwise, the list of bridges is varied – here are the aforementioned footbridges, the farm bridges or the railway bridges or even motorway bridges at the motorways 50, 54 or 55.
Clearance of the bridges
On the river, the clearance of the bridges varies according to the actual flow rates. The most problematic bridge on the river sections is the stone bridge in Uherský Ostroh. If the flow rate is higher and the navigation is still permitted, its clearance is about 2 metres but mostly it is 2,35 m and more. The lowest bridges, however, are the old farm bridges over the canal sections.
Originally, they were built by Bata, the title to their ownership is often not determined and their technical condition is bad. On some of them, the farmers implemented non-permitted changes to be able to go over the bridge. The lowest one of these farm bridges is near the village of Huštěnovice and its clearance is 2,2 m. Nevertheless, we try to solve this situation. New bridges, which are built over the waterway now, must have the clearance of 3,4 m above the level at least.