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Old 07-09-2009, 09:58   #1
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Cruising Through the French Waterways

Hello to you all!
Having spent 3 years sailing in the Med, in Spain, Gibraltar and Morocco, we have returned to Inland France and this is our 'specialist area'.

Travelling up the Seine, through Paris, then down and through rural France using the Saone and Rhone to the Mediterranean, is a truly unique experience. Lots of international cruisers, including Americans, Australians and Kiwis, travelling the waterways.
Great trip, great life.


And of course, would be very happy to respond to any particular points or questions.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:35   #2
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Jim

Lots of good information

Might I suggest that you add a section of the qualifications and licences required to drive your own boat in the canals (not required if it is a hire craft - go figure)
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:42   #3
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Thank you. Yes indeed. It's already on The Website List. Problem is, it's quite a long list. As is the Things I've Really Got to Get Done on the Boat list. You know.
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Old 28-11-2009, 18:07   #4
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How big of a boat can make this trip? How tall a masthead, how deep a draft?
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Old 29-11-2009, 02:38   #5
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Answers to these questions, and more, can be found on the Grehan website.
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Old 29-11-2009, 03:38   #6
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Originally Posted by totemthepole View Post
How big of a boat can make this trip? How tall a masthead, how deep a draft?

As Grehan says - look on his website for details.

Basically, height restriction mean that the mast must be down. Canal du midi is the shallowest with I think something like 1.4m at worst. Width is the biggest problem for multi's with a max of something like 5m.
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Old 29-11-2009, 10:38   #7
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European loop

Can you get from the Rhone to the Rhine? And how deep a draft vessel can make it? I would like to make the European loop trip from France up to the Black Sea and back again...is this doable?
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:03   #8
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Yes, the Rhône - Rhine route is the one that sees the most commercial traffic of the north-south alternatives. Max draft is 1.8 meters.
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Old 07-02-2010, 17:50   #9
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Hi Grehan
Do you know how long an Australian yacht is allowed to stay in EEC waters before they are required to pay VAT.

Many thanks
Sandy & Phil
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:16   #10
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Hi Grehan
Do you know how long an Australian yacht is allowed to stay in EEC waters before they are required to pay VAT.

Many thanks
Sandy & Phil
18 Months - The Flag don't matter, if the vessel is owned and also used by a person who is not a Resident within the EU (note: not the same as EU Passport Holder / EU Citizen) ........unless during that time you become a Resident within one of the 27 EU Member States (can do that simply by staying more than 6 months in one Country).....if you unintentionally become a Resident, VAT on the boat may become only one of the Tax matters to deal with .

"Temporary Importation Relief" is the phrase for your Googles. Oh, and "EU"
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:52   #11
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Through the French Waterways video

In a late attempt to enter the 21st century I have made and posted a video on YouTube (aka U-Bend) that documents a journey though the canals, rivers and waterways of France, north to south and then west nearly to Bordeaux. Enjoy!
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:53   #12
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Yes, the Rhône - Rhine route is the one that sees the most commercial traffic of the north-south alternatives. Max draft is 1.8 meters.
1,8m is the absolute maximum !
We have made the tour with our 1,8m boat from North to the South in 2008, we have stuck in stones and mud for several times, we have a steel boat,
with a plastic boat I would not recommend it with more than 1,6m,
even then you have to be prepared to get some damage on the boat.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:47   #13
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Hello to you all!
Having spent 3 years sailing in the Med, in Spain, Gibraltar and Morocco, we have returned to Inland France and this is our 'specialist area'.

Travelling up the Seine, through Paris, then down and through rural France using the Saone and Rhone to the Mediterranean, is a truly unique experience. Lots of international cruisers, including Americans, Australians and Kiwis, travelling the waterways.
Great trip, great life.


And of course, would be very happy to respond to any particular points or questions.
Hi Grehan.I just finished reading every little bit on your website and I must say it is very interesting.
My name is George,I am Greek maried to Eileen who is British.We are just about to buy a 28' Sea Ray from Dorset England and we are thinking to take her thrue the Frensh cannals to the med and then all the way to Greece.I was wandering if you have any sugestions since I have never been in a cannal in my life and if I sould attempt the trip.My bigest problem to start with I dont have a inland waters certificate and I can't get one from RYA (because I am not British).Any idea how to get one?I have a Motor boat certificate wich is all in Greek,and a salling offshore int certificate.Next problem.Could the two of us make it to the med in one piece?Sould try to find a couple of experience people (a couple)to travel with us?and how.This boat uses a lot,and I mean a lot of petrol, Do you think I sould take the lorry option and Miss all that beuty of a lifetime holyday?
I would be very gratefull if you give me some sugestions (ggeopap@msn.com)
Many Thanks
George
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Old 03-03-2010, 13:42   #14
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Hi George and thanks for the message. I'll do my best.
To cruise through France one needs an ICC European Certificate of Competance as validated for the inland waterways through taking a CEVNI test (a test that one knows the Inland Waterways regulations). If you have Greek skipper's qualifications then I assume there is some way the Greek authorities (the equivalent of the RYA) could issue you with an (offshore, sailing) ICC in which case the remaining problem is taking the CEVNI test. My understanding is that the RYA would allow you to take the test if you are resident in the UK (i.e you don't have to be a British citizen). If you are in the UK I can very much recommend you speak to our good friend and former instructor Roy May at Bisham Abbey - Bisham Abbey Sailing & Navigation School for RYA boat handling & shorebased courses - the school is based on the Thames near Marlow. You would also be able to get some inland waterways practice there.
If you have experience with boats/yachts offshore then the skills you will have developed of boat-handling, judgement, COLREGS caution in the face of other vessels, etc. will stand you in excellent stead, inland. You'll just have to get used to going a lot slower. And so will your boat. Is she up to it? Big engines don't much like going slowly for days (weeks) at a time. I know of at least one motor boat like yours that has taken six months to go from UK to the Med (stopping over at lots of places along the way) and has enjoyed every kilometre greatly.
If you've looked at my website you'll know about depths, so you'll know how your boat - and her propeller - is likely to shape up. You will have to be careful to prevent your stern-drive(s) colliding with things (lock gates behind you, banks, etc). So far as using petrol is concerned, if she burns a lot then you've got to carry jerrycans (but I assume you need to do that at sea, anyway). There are fuel stations alongside but not that many - be prepared in extremis to get fuel from a service station using a trolley or just lugging.
As for the skipper and crew, well, you ought to be allright, provided you're used to living elbow to elbow in a relatively small craft . . . !! And you take it easy and calmly for the first few locks, while you both learn the ropes and how to deploy them.
Bonne route!
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Old 20-01-2011, 08:51   #15
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FRENCH WATERWAYS

Hi is it true that the larger yacht with a deep keel might have trouble grounding as the canals are not all getting dredged regular,5ft 6" max???
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