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Old 14-04-2018, 13:34   #1
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Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

All,

I'm looking at option of heading to Northern Europe via the Danube and Rhine river system on our L450, so couple questions.

We are currently in Turkey, and would enter via the Black Sea, and come out Around Amsterdam (I belive !)

- Anyone done it on a Cat ? (or not) recently. Looking for any and all tips, feedback or other comments.

- The Danube can have a nasty current going upstream. We have a pair of Yanmar 54hp's. I believe they should do the job, but would like to know for sure !. I don't want to be running them at 2800+ RPM for days !.

- Any recommendations for yard/company for unstepping the mast in Romania near the entrance ? Lot of work to get it packed away safely. Any idea of cost ?

- Any recommendations for re-stepping it at the other end ?.

- I'd be looking at Lashing it (Mast, boom etc) to the boat and carrying it for the trip. Any issues with that ? I've seen pics someplace of a 450 with its mast down and on deck for similar transit, but can't for the life of me find them.

- Any good reference books or charts that are in ENGLISH ?

We are currently in Turkey, and considering doing the trips this year around July to September. In planning stages right now. Finding good documentation on the requibments is hard, as I don't speak German (or any other non-English language).

Any tips, pointers of cautions would be greatly appreciated. !

Regards

Mark. - L450F - Currently in Marmaris
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Old 14-04-2018, 13:47   #2
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Re: Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

Wasn't it Tristan Jones who did the trip west to east? The Danube has The Gates, IIRC. That's be a difficult trip. In all seriousness, have you Googled it? Sometimes boating forums, even ones as good as this one, don't have all the answers, or maybe the folks who actually did that trip either don't use this forum or are busy this week.
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Old 14-04-2018, 13:54   #3
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Re: Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

Been googling it quite a bit. Resources are a bit scarce, or in another language !.

I'll be getting the official documents and guides, charts etc, yes, (for sure forums are NOT my only source !). That said, there is often no better source than someone who has actually done it and has recommendations !.


Also, can someone check this please.

I calculate the Air-Draft with the Mast DOWN on the L450 at MAX 5.4m (boom height, or me standing up at helm). This is based on AirDraft of 23.05m - 17.65m (P) . from the manual. I can't find any better reference. (though I am going to attempt to measure it tomorrow).

Regards

Mark.
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Old 14-04-2018, 18:01   #4
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Re: Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

I have done part of that trip, near Austria to Holland, although....... I was in a seakayak and pitched a tent each evening. I liked it that much that I vowed to do it again, by kayak or in a 'real' boat. Along the way I saw only 4 travelling/international yachts (all carrying their mast on board), 3 going east to west.
Yes, the Danube is all upstream, but pick your time. I went in late Autumn.
Count on over 50 locks in Germany. Locks start in the river Altmuhl, just North of Kelheim, and the last one just before Frankfurt. Not sure about the height/airdraft you are proposing, 5.4 mt seems high to me, but then again I never had problem with my draft or airdraft .

If one would go West to East there is one spot where a yacht might need additional power/tow: just North of Rudesheim on the Rhein.

I kept a diary and noted the many beautiful places for overnight anchoring, suitable jetties, and the odd marina.

I found the most dangerous things, in order of danger:
commercial ships
commercial ships
commercial ships
locks
rapids/currents/eddies
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Old 14-04-2018, 18:59   #5
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Re: Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catapault View Post
- Any good reference books or charts that are in ENGLISH ?
I cannot help with the Danube.

With the Rhine/Rhein, you're in luck, Catapault:

1. English is just a distorted version of Low German with a few additions, so learning to read the restricted German vocabulary on German navigational charts requires no sweat.

2. You can download, free of charge thanks to German and European authorities, superb vector charts that work well in OpenCPN (or any other respectable charting program).

And the chartbook to get yourself is Rolf Karmineke, Rhein Radar Atlas, published in Duisberg by Atlas Schiffahrt & Verlag GmbH. If you cannot find it in the usual place, a telephone call (with appropriate country code etc) to (0203) 873054 should help you purchase a copy.


Attached, if all goes smoothly, are screen grabs I just made from my digital copy of Karmineke's Rhein Radar Atlas (page 115 of the section around Lorch) and OpenCPN's presentation of the Rhein vector maps.

You'll of course note that Karmineke's Rhein Radar Atlas presents the Rhein in source-up mode. And for the screenshot, I had OpenCPN in North-up mode and at a scale of 1:13700 (so zooming in would give more detail).

A search on CF will find for you other threads about the Rhine. I've contributed information to at least one of those other threads and see no need to re-type that info here.
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Old 14-04-2018, 20:28   #6
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Re: Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

Howdy Mark!

That is a voyage I would like to take.
I am available for long voyages as crew to assist owners.

In 2014 a Diesel Duck made it.

The owners wrote about it on their blog, with photos and notes.
I would search for their blog, which as I recall was very detailed. I would study it.

Here is an excerpt from a passagemaker magazine short article about them. See name of boat and owners for further research.

"Dora Mac is a Diesel Duck, and she has reached an altitude of 1,332 feet on the canal that connects Europe’s Main and Danube rivers, the highest waterway in the world accessible from the sea.

That’s a long way from China, where Randal and Ruth Johnson began their cruise seven years ago. They wintered in England at St. Katherine’s Dock, then entered the river system at Amsterdam in spring. They are bound for Turkey.

“We built cradles for our mast and removed it and the paravane poles before proceeding into the canal system. We entered Germany and the Rhine River on May 18. The Rhine is fast-flowing and at times slowed us to a little over 1 knot. We entered the Main River on May 29 and did 384km and reached the canal on June 10,” Johnson says.

“We are enjoying the trip very much and today went through six locks, three of which changed levels 24.7 meters, 81 feet. The boat is performing wonderfully and attracts a lot of attention when we pull into a marina.”

I hope that helps.
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Old 15-04-2018, 04:41   #7
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Re: Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Mighty View Post
With the Rhine/Rhein, you're in luck, Catapault:

1. English is just a distorted version of Low German with a few additions, so learning to read the restricted German vocabulary on German navigational charts requires no sweat.
You are the first to state that German is easy.
Google translator is my best friend for many languages, but translations DE <=> EN are just ridiculous.

However I agree that a limited vocabulary for readng charts is as easy as in any other language that is based on the same letters.

@catapult:
I have no experience but if you need someone to translate something or give you a summary of some website / article let me know.
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Old 15-04-2018, 08:52   #8
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Re: Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbi View Post
You are the first to state that German is easy.
Google translator is my best friend for many languages, but translations DE <=> EN are just ridiculous.

However I agree that a limited vocabulary for readng charts is as easy as in any other language that is based on the same letters.

@catapult:
I have no experience but if you need someone to translate something or give you a summary of some website / article let me know.
German is a very straightforward and clear language - the easiest by far of the foreign languages I've learned or attempted to learn during my life. Thanks largely to Martin Luther who simplified and rationalized the language in order to create an accessible vernacular bible which would be understood in different parts of Germany. Until then, there wasn't really any one standard German language.

I don't speak Hebrew, but I understand that Hebrew is somewhat similar in this regard.
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Old 15-04-2018, 10:08   #9
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Re: Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

I did the Rhine last May on the AMA Sonata. Great cruise from Basil Switzerland to Amsterdam. Excellent food, great crew, very decadent.

Oh...Is that not the type of cruise you were talking about?

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Old 15-04-2018, 13:25   #10
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Re: Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

Wow, a dream trip. Hope you have a great time through such spectacular countryside.

I located an article regarding an 82 feet long super yacht with twin 1100 hp MAN diesel that transited the rivers. Link below.

The river current and eddys and commercial traffic should make for some challenging navigation but that keeps thing lively. Dodging and following barges sounds like the norm.

https://www.yachtingmagazine.com/watch-rhine-0


Snipets from the article:

Several miles farther on, the pace of the river quickened. Ahead, the hills closed in and we entered the famous Rhine gorges. The entrance is marked by the magnificent Niederwald statue on the hillside opposite the town of Bingen, built to mark the reestablishment of the German Empire in 1883. The channel buoys were nearly awash in the 5-knot current and rapids formed in the river. The Tower of Mauseturm in the center of the river marks the entry to the gorges proper and here the traffic increased, thanks to the large number of tourist boats. The crags above the river support castles, some built to defend this major trade route, others built in quieter times as mansions with probably the best views in Germany. Restaurants and hotels, many of an extravagant baroque style of architecture, line the banks.

Rushing downstream, sometimes at close to 20 knots, we found ourselves contending with a very busy traffic flow in the twisting channel. Traffic going upstream has priority and switched from side to side as it tried to dodge the strong current. Just to add to the confusion were the barges under tow, many with a long distance between tug and barge. It could be a fatal mistake to try to pass between them.

Right in the middle of the river at Kaub is the dramatic old customs house erected to collect tolls from passing river traffic. Then comes the Lorelei rock, where a beautiful maiden is reputed to have posed on the towering cliff edge to lure sailors to their doom. Without engine power, this must have been an extremely dangerous section of the river in the past, and even without the distraction of a beautiful maiden, many lives must have been lost in the swirling currents. Today there is a traffic control system on the very sharp bends in the river, mainly for use when the river is low and the current very strong.

. . . with over 50 locks to transit to reach the mighty Rhine. This was not only a strain of our patience and driving skills, but commercial traffic always had priority because they pay to use the locks and we don't.

. . .

The next day there was a swirling fog on the early morning start. It added an air of magic and mystery to the river, as well as real danger, as the huge barges loomed out of the fog, seemingly filling the whole river. With our arch mast down to give us bridge clearance, the radar was out of action. Later, we felt our way into the first lock, just squeezing in behind three barges. Although the locks on the river were now 1,000 feet long and speeded our progress, the traffic increased as we neared the Rhine. We moved down the river in procession, always behind one or more barges, and into the cityscape of Frankfurt. Our excitement mounted as we entered Kostheim lock, the last lock between us and the sea. Now we were merely 300 feet above sea level-although the sea itself was still 400 miles away.

After days in relatively narrow canals and rivers, nothing prepared us for the scale of the Rhine. At Mainz, where we left the River Main, the Rhine was already a majestic river, busy with traffic and with a powerful current. In this relatively uncontrolled river we had to keep to the buoyed channels, in places quite narrow and often wandering across the river.
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Old 15-04-2018, 19:36   #11
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Re: Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

try looking at Cruising Guides for the Danube - the river, the destinations and the sights along the way. It looks like they document the trip from West to East, all you need to do is read it backwards.
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Old 17-04-2018, 01:17   #12
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Re: Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

Thanks Everyone for you comments and suggestions.

For refernce, I've also discovered IMRAY have a couple of books on the subject. Some quite old now, there is an old Heikel book on the Danube for example.

At this point we are putting this trip back to 2019 season, and staying in the Med for this year, so more time to plan and investigate etc.

Regards

Mark.
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Old 17-04-2018, 10:46   #13
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Re: Danube - Rhine - Anyone done it recently - East to West.?

Sounds like a great trip. We hope to do the trip west to east in a few years in our Leopard 43.

You might check out the blog of Le reve, Le reve report

They made the trip starting around 2007 or 2008. Their blog is what got me interested in making the trip.
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