Posted March 28th, 2017, 05:39 AM
It might be a gamble on which locks you will use, however it would be a sucker bet
The chance that the Westie will use the new locks is somewhere between slim and none and slim has already left town! Setting aside some very unusual circumstance you will use the old locks. The only doubt there would be is whether you use the east lane or the west lane at the old locks. That can't not be predicted with any accuracy... which lane your ship would use can easily change at the last minute. East lane, west lane makes no difference unless you are tied down to one spot.
Ships that can use the old locks will continue do so, the primary reason for this is for the most part they would pay the same basic toll regardless of which set of locks were used. Plans call for around 12 ships per day to use the new locks. The Canal can wring out more $$ from a ship that is too large for the old locks than they can from a ship that can still use the old locks. Just in round numbers the Westie would pay about $350K for a transit, whereas a ship that could only transit the new locks would probably pay $500K and up. The Canal will reserve the new locks for their deeper pocketed customers.
Just an aside to be more accurate, there are slight differences in the tolls depending on which locks are used. In the Westie's case the toll is $138/passenger berth (old locks) and $148/passenger berth in the new locks. Cargo ships have different rates for the various cargo... containers, grain, oil, LNG etc.
"If the phone doesn't ring, it's me!"
"Is it ignorance or is it apathy? ... I don't know and I don't care!"
S.S. Badger R/T from Manitowoc June 02