File this under “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  See the two skiffs at the Atlantic level end of the Gatun locks?  And the locomotives along the top of the nearer side of the center wall ?

And here are another set at the Gatun Lake level end of the locks, and again . . . skiffs, arrow, and wind sock.

As to the arrow, here’s the key, from Eric Bauhaus’ fine guide.  Yes, they still function on the 1914 locks.  And see the skiff in the water there?

And right here, earlier this month, the skiff in the water.

As it turns out, the rowboat is the most reliable way to get the messenger line out to the ship so that the wires connecting locomotive and ship can get across reliably.

Here at the Pacific level of the Miraflores lock, a skiff at the ready.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.