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Old 18-12-2005, 19:57   #1
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Cruising the French and German Canals???

Can you actually cruise the French/German canals or are they just a short cut to the Med from Northern Europe.

From some accounts I've read, the canals are loaded with charter boats and commercial traffic during the summer. Reports seem to be that you spend most of your time trying to save your boat from destruction, either from being run down or crushed.

Are there out of the way places where you can drop a hook or escape from the 'gotta get there' crowd?? Dead end rivers like the houseboat scene in 'Chocolat' where you could hang out and explore the land on a bicycle??

We are looking to buy a boat in the mid 30's range with a center board. Draft around 4'. Another possibility is a larger boat with 5'6" draft though I'm afraid would be too deep for some of the main canals and probably out of the question for any side excursions. Know we'd have to drop the mast and store on deck or truck to our final destination.

Aloha
Peter O.
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Old 19-12-2005, 05:59   #2
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This topic is also of great interest to my wife and I.As soon as the house and ranch we are on our way
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Old 20-12-2005, 19:27   #3
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Mahalo Rick.

Mahalo for the information, Rick. That should keep me busy for awhile. Any other sites you may have discovered would also be appreciated.

Aloha
Peter O.
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Old 28-12-2005, 07:32   #4
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Hi

I'm currently cruising the canals with my Fisher37 from north to south. The dephts are guaranteed for a draft of 1.80m. Our draft is 1.65m and on the first 1000km we touched the ground 2-3times but only when we tried to moor on the side of the canal. Traffic was no big deal however.
We are looking forward to continue our trip next summer.

There are some pictures etc on the boats website:

http://www.ti-punch.ch

This link here might also be of interest for you:

http://www.waterways.cc/

Wolfgang
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Old 17-01-2006, 10:43   #5
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Possibly little known routes...........

Few people realise it is possible to transit most of europe by water using river / lakes / canals / inland seas. I've never done it either - but it is on my 'must do before I die' list.

The sites / reference books referred to by others will show you can explore UK's rivers and canals, cross the Channel and enter continental EU in Belgium / France / Holland / Germany - and make your way right across the EU and adjacent countries until you pop out into the Black Sea north of Turkey!

Maybe once I've converted over to a motor boat, eh?

JOHN
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Old 20-01-2006, 06:00   #6
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French Canals

FWIW, we're planning a trip from LeHarve to the Med via the French canals in our Pacific Seacraft 37 with a draft of 5'0" (1.5M)
Hope to Enter the system in mid September '06, exit the other end in late November - thereby avoiding the bulk of the traffic so that staying in the middle of the canals (with our draft) will hopefully not pose too many problems.

Chose the route for 2 reasons: Going from the UK to the Med at that time of year around the bay of biscay seemed a bit of a stretch for us (too much like hard work) and because my wife is absolutely DYING to see Paris - this way we'll take our hotel with us and stay a couple weeks - right downtown!
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Old 22-01-2006, 05:56   #7
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Enjoy the Trip

Hi Bill,

We wish you well on the trip. I've never read this - but saw it highly recommended on another site.

'The Channel to the Med' by Derek Bowskill. Published by Swan Books tel +44 1708 222930. ISBN 1-898574-03-0 NS

Enjoy and maybe one day we can share a beer somewhere in the Med?
Cheers
JOHN
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Old 10-12-2007, 10:22   #8
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Location: i am living in haarlem holland and whe are livingin april 2008 to go to the med thru the canals of belgie and holland and france to finch in soud of france in and september and stay in the med for 4 jaers
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Hallo Wolfgang
is it possible that you can sand mi your mail address whey are going true France next year and would like to discus some options
regards Hans
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Old 10-12-2007, 10:29   #9
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Location: i am living in haarlem holland and whe are livingin april 2008 to go to the med thru the canals of belgie and holland and france to finch in soud of france in and september and stay in the med for 4 jaers
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Hello Bill
do you make that trip and can you tell mi about this because whey int-and to do so in the next spring
looking foreword to your apply
regards Hans
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Old 13-12-2007, 08:26   #10
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we have sailed the French Chanels from Lehaver to Port De Bock in the Med. it took us 22 days. depth was no problem ...but...getting under low bridges was a problen twice. look up how high your cabin is INCLUDING THE MAST LYING ON TOP!!!. you need many fenders --10 are not enough ! and 2 long wooden planks of wood 4 neters each, to put outside the fenders when you come near a rough wall!!! you cannot let go to the toilet into the river, we had a simple bucket with a seat over it inc a plastic bag , which made its way to the loclal garbage-container...not easy. you need extra jericans for fuel 0, as you are motoring all the way. Good luck!
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Old 13-12-2007, 11:32   #11
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You may want to sign up for this Yahoo Group for information on the canals. groups.yahoo.com/group/eurocanals
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Old 26-12-2007, 09:44   #12
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Are the sides of the canal all owned by someone? What I'm really wondering is how do you go about getting dock space?
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Old 26-12-2007, 12:39   #13
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Location: i am living in haarlem holland and whe are livingin april 2008 to go to the med thru the canals of belgie and holland and france to finch in soud of france in and september and stay in the med for 4 jaers
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Hallo Zach
the canal side is France property
about dock space
whe are sending our mast by road the are specialist on this transport
the will deliver them on our request in 7 day leed time to any port in the soud of france
regards Hans
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Old 26-12-2007, 17:54   #14
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We have never sailed the canals in France, but we have cycled on the Canal du Midi, Nante a Brest and the Rhone au Rhine. Although we are avid sailors we really like cycling there since it keeps you off the freeways and the routes are generally level. If you plan to navigate the canals, but get off frequently to cycle then order the book, "Cycling the Waterways of France" from Amazon. Our impression is that the canals are not too crowded, but on canals with lots of locks there can be a tieup wainting for everyone to get through--which happens one at a time. These canals are amazing feats of engineering. For example the Canal du Midi (Bordeaux to the Med) was opened in the 1770's to allow the French to get from the Med to the Atlantic without having to pass Gibraltar. They are too narrow and shallow today for any commercial transport and are exclusively used for recreation. If you are taking your own boat be aware that you will probably have to take down the mast. While there are some turning basins and marinas you will frequently find boats tied to the side of the canals for meals and even overnights.
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Old 27-12-2007, 22:34   #15
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I joined the eurocanals board, and have gotten a lot of my questions answered. From what I gather (feel free to correct me):

- It's generally free to moor up, and in fact you have to at night, as transiting in dark is prohibited except under emergency.
- Even a 6' draft is manageable on the main waterways, and as you get closer to the sides you can touch ground.
- The height is a concern, but again the main canals offer much more clearence than the smaller ones (go figure!).
- Fuel docks are few and far between, so you should have a cart of some type for carrying fuel jugs to road petrol stations and back again.

I would like to enter near Marseile, and then exit near Normandy. If possible, I'd like to get the mast pulled in Marseile, and then stored somewhere safe, and as Hans mentioned, shipped to where we're leaving. Hans, do you know if it's possible to find someone that can ship it across the country? The cost might be so high at that point, that it might not be worth it.

I sure hope the US Dollar gets its act together by the time we do this trip!
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