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Old 28-12-2014, 06:42   #1
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Europe's inland waterways - how to navigate

Hey guys,

So, as the big boat still has another year of refit/prep to go before the big trip, I have been going over vacation plans for the summer. One of the lightbulbs that went off involves the rubber dink and its outboard. It's small enough to haul around, yet big enough to lie down in. That, and it already has some hardware points that I could very easily build a tent over.

So, here's the idea: cruise europe's waterways, using the dink as a mobile tent. Make some miles during the day, visit some sites, and just tie the dink to a tree at night, set up the tent and camp out.

Issue with this would be finding my way around europe... It's easy enough on the road, but on the water... What waterways connect to what? Where are the hurdles? Etc, etc. However, I can't imagine there not being (online) "roadmaps" available. How do powerboaters navigate along the rivers/canals? How does commercial shipping along those rivers/canals find its way?

Any ideas on this?

Cheers!
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Old 28-12-2014, 07:09   #2
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pirate Re: Europe's inland waterways - how to navigate

France waterways map

Tons of on line info if you look at the countries individually
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Old 28-12-2014, 09:25   #3
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Re: Europe's inland waterways - how to navigate

Perfect, thanks!

Has anybody got any experience with trips like these? What's feasable as far as distance goes in say a week or two? Does it help at all being able to get under pretty much all bridges without having to wait for them to open? Locks I'd have to take ofc...
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Old 28-12-2014, 10:11   #4
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Re: Europe's inland waterways - how to navigate

Hello Orchidus,
I'm surprised at you not being able to get info in Belgium as it has it's own wonderful waterway system. However look on www.eurocanals.com for an overview of European waterways.
I would look at trailing the dink down to Aigues Mortes in France and from there you can either coast hop and explore all the bays and inlets or go inland as far as Agde with only 2 locks.
Being a Belgian you will of course be very fond of moules frites et huitres and you will be in your element as you will cross the etang du Thau, la grand lac pour le elevation a la huitres, Bon appetite.
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Old 28-12-2014, 13:22   #5
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Re: Europe's inland waterways - how to navigate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidius View Post
Perfect, thanks!

Has anybody got any experience with trips like these? What's feasable as far as distance goes in say a week or two? Does it help at all being able to get under pretty much all bridges without having to wait for them to open? Locks I'd have to take ofc...
Since you're coming from Belgium and going to be limited to a "cruise speed" of about 4 mph on the French canals, I'd stick to the Canal de Bourgogne if you hope to see anything of interest in that short of a time span. You certainly won't have any trouble getting under the few low bridges that cross it, but getting through the locks in a dinghy might prove to be a little more challenging. There are usually "mule paths" on both sides of the canal, but since I've never seen it done, I don't know if you'll be able to pitch a tent next to them.

Jacques
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Old 28-12-2014, 13:31   #6
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Re: Europe's inland waterways - how to navigate

The dinghy is large enough to put a sleeping mat in, I just fit . The dink itself would be the tent, just tie alongside the bank, inflate the matress and get some shuteye. I'm young and have camped out in far worse conditions in the past
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Old 29-12-2014, 09:00   #7
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Re: Europe's inland waterways - how to navigate

Dear Friend
All you will need is available on www.fluvialnet.com

PS If you are sleeping out by the canals in summer, you will need plenty of insect repellent...
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Old 29-12-2014, 21:28   #8
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Re: Europe's inland waterways - how to navigate

Hi,

Have you read:
The Unlikely Voyage of Jack De Crow: A Mirror Odyssey from North Wales to the Black Sea [A. J. Mackinnon] (in a Mirror Dinghy) true story I wonder? A must read for you.

Sounds like a great adventure to me so I'm sure you will really enjoy the voyage.
I'm trying to talk my wife into a trip down the Murray River here in Australia.
She's not at all willing.

Cheers
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Old 30-12-2014, 02:21   #9
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Re: Europe's inland waterways - how to navigate

What you propose is entirely feasible I know one or two people that did similar things in France

Dave
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