How can I navigate a boat to a higher level in Minecraft?

Is there some form of a lock that I could use?

Maybe something using doors and watersource...

Inspired by this question: Is it possible to build a new river across a land barrier?

  • possible duplicate of How do you create a waterfall elevator? – badp Dec 15 '10 at 17:11
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    I don't think this qualifies as a duplicate question. The answer is the same, yes, but that closing it for that reason is like closing "what is 2 + 2?" as a duplicate of "What is 1 + 3?". – Raven Dreamer Dec 15 '10 at 18:02
  • If you don't mind modding, the finite liquid mod might allow you to construct a real water lock with pistons (or doors?) – Zommuter Aug 24 '13 at 7:15

Current as of Retail 1.1

Okay so the key mechanic that broke the traditional waterfall elevator was that boats no longer travel upward in a waterfall. However, boats will move rapidly upward in source blocks.

So what is a source block? A source block (also known as "still water") is water that is created during map creation or placed with a bucket. Water that "flows" from this block is informally known as moving water. So in order to create a modern boat elevator, we need to create a shaft of only source blocks.

Here is my construction.

1: I created a canal with a glass wall and an "entranceway" fitted with signs. These signs prevent water from flowing past them but still allow boats through.

enter image description here

2: I build up a second layer of glass walls around my new shaft. Then I flood this layer with water. Note that I have to fill each of the four blocks in this layer of the shaft with water from the bucket - these are now all source blocks. Notice how none of them are moving. If the water is moving, you need to add more hits from your bucket.

enter image description here

3: I keep adding glass layers and each time I do, I add a layer of source water.

enter image description here

4: Here I've added a spillway at the top where the boat can float after it has risen up the shaft.

enter image description here

You can download this world here:


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    There is much win in this post. – Ken Feb 1 '12 at 1:18

This applies to versions before Beta 1.6.4

All you have to do is set up a waterfall. Boats, contrary to what one would expect, simply flow straight up waterfalls.

Alternatively, water cannot pass through doors. You can rig something with that if you're patient.

  • Water won't pass through doors, open or closed. So your lock system would end up being more of a dam. – GnomeSlice May 4 '11 at 0:27
  • @GnomeSlice - "water cannot pass through doors". How does that disagree with your comment? – Raven Dreamer May 4 '11 at 0:36
  • @Raven > I'm just not sure how you were planning to rig up a lock system using doors. :P – GnomeSlice May 4 '11 at 1:13
  • @Gnomeslice - you can easily get your boat's momentum high enough that you can travel through the air block without stopping. Same idea where you can put a switch (or other non-minecart track block) in the path of your minecart and still have it complete its circuit. – Raven Dreamer May 4 '11 at 2:28
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    @GnomeSlice - honestly, I was only speaking from a "getting out" perspective. I haven't tried re-docking, as it were. – Raven Dreamer May 4 '11 at 4:39

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