There are usually row boats located in season at:
Activities -> Ride Boat -> VillageDock
Only these rowboats will work. Boats owned by residents will not work in the locks.
The dock has a sign that will give you oars for each hand. Add these from your inventory. (You can Wear, but this sometimes removes another piece of your clothing, such as rings or other jewelry).
These are not tour boats and you must row (using your arrow keys) to move to where you want to go.In some places, the boat will drift by itself, but not necessarily in the direction you want to go. The current is fairly strong in some areas, so you may find you are going fairly slow when going into the current. This is "drag", not lag. Conversely, you will find that your boat travels quickly when moving in the opposite direction. If you aren't sure if you are being affected by current, stop rowing and watch what the boat does. The water is tranquil in Normandie and Bourgogne (i.e. there is no current in these regions).
The row boats may be used to travel through all five regions, including the higher elevations. To get to these areas, you need to use one of the two canal locks. The locks have valves to fill or empty the lock, and gates, to hold the water back.
Aquitaine and Azur are on the same level, so rowing between these is easy. To go to Poitou, use the lock on the northeast side of the central village (in Aquitaine). Once in Poitou, the canal leads to a waterway on the right that will lead to Normandie. Alternatively, you may travel around the island to the river on the west side of Poitou, which will take you back down to Azur. The lock between Aquitaine and Poitou only works in one direction. It automatically resets to the lower level to raise boats to the top. We may modify that later this spring.
To get to Bourgogne, you will need to use the lock in Normandie. To do this, you will need to have some skill with the camera and use some logic. The lock has 2 valves and two gates on the lower level side and two valves and two gates on the upper level side. To close a valve, touch it and watch the direction it turns. If it turns clockwise, it is closing and will stop when fully closed. Likewise, if it turns counter clockwise, it is opening and will stop when fully open. You may click to stop and click again to reverse direction.
The lock works in both directions, so you need to determine whether you are going up or down, then use one set of the following directions.
To go down: Be sure that the lower level valves and gates are closed. Open the upper valves to fill the lock. Once the water level reaches the top, open the upper level gates and row the boat into the lock. Then close the upper gate and valves. Once closed, open the lower level valves and ride the boat down to the bottom. Once it is down all the way, you may then open the lower level gates.
To go up: Be sure that the upper level valves and gates are closed. Open the lower level valves until the water level drops. If you try to open the gate before the water level is not equal, the gate will tell you that there is too much pressure to open the gate. After the water level has dropped all the way, you may then open up the lower gates. Row the boat inside the lock, then close the lower valves and gates. When closed, open the upper valves and the boat will begin to rise on the water. When the water reaches the upper level, you may then open the upper gate and continue on your journey.