Many series of French locks are 'automatic' or more accurately, controlled by the boaters.  You will be provided with a 'zapper' at the first lock in the sequence.  No deposit but the keeper will record that zapper to your particular boat. Sometimes there's an intercom-controlled automatic dispenser.

As you approach each zapper-controlled lock, point it towards the lock and press the appropriate button - normally one if ascending and another if descending. A white light near the lock will start flashing to indicate that it's recorded your request.  Keep a little back from the lock in case there is another boat about to exit in your direction! 

Wait until the gates open and you see the green light - if it takes longer than you think it should, it's probably because there's a boat that's coming the other way.  Enter lock and moor up as close as you can to the lock activation bars embedded in the lock wall. There's usually a deep cavity in the wall, so watch your fenders.

When you're ready (and any other boats you share the lock with) lift the Blue bar. A light and / or bell will tell you it's registered and the back gates will close , water moves in or out and the front gates open - magic.

If there's a problem, activate (lift) the Red bar. This will stop the lock activation, but you'll have to call a keeper using the intercom that'll be hidden somewhere near the control kiosk! I've only experienced this once - when the lock thought there was only one boat in the lock and started to close the front gates after the first boat left the lock, leaving me stuck in the lock. Normally the sensors count the boats as they enter, so no problem.

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