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Boat Hooks, Barge Poles and Gang Planks

Boat hooks are designed to be used for retrieving things from the water or pulling the boat into the bank or towards other boats and manoeuvring in a wide lock. Boat hooks should not be used for fending off – that is what the barge poles are for. The strongest type of boat hooks are the traditional wooden handled versions with a galvanised steel head. The shaft is generally Ash wood. The head can be single or double hooked, some are spiked. There are ‘modern’ aluminium versions and telescopic types with plastic hooks. For those who like brass – yes there is a brass version! We have a boat hook, gang plank and a barge pole rack-mounted forward and another set at the stern; both positions are easily accessible from the forward and aft decks.
Barge poles are also usually turned from Ash wood, generally much longer than the boat hook and a little thicker. These can be used for fending off and assisting in the re-flotation of a stranded boat. It is not recommended to paint barge poles as water entering behind the paint can cause the wood to rot and the rot can’t be seen!
Gang planks can be made from any rough, long grained wood about 2.5cm (1 inch) or more thick, long and wide enough to be used for the purpose. It is best not to paint gang planks as this makes them slippery when wet and you can’t see the condition of the wood if it is painted. We have attached some black plastic lorry spray suppressant to one end to use as a ‘door mat’. There is an anchor hole in the ‘bank’ end of the gang plank to fix it down with a flat headed mooring pin.>