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Old 18-02-2016, 11:56   #1
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European canals in planing boat

Hello,
We have old Sea Ray 268 '87 with 5.7 petrol engine. We like to do canal cruising this autumn. How difficult would it be to do it in this particular boat? What kind of issues should we expect?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 18-02-2016, 12:07   #2
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Re: European canals in planing boat

Other than the usual gear you need for locking through, you can't go fast.

Not sure what specifically you're asking about other than those two.
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Old 18-02-2016, 12:19   #3
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Re: European canals in planing boat

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Other than the usual gear you need for locking through, you can't go fast.

Not sure what specifically you're asking about other than those two.
Thank You for the answer. I'm asking how appropriate this boat is for the task. Like how healthy it is for the engine to run at slow speeds whole day? Etc. What kind of difficulties most probably we'll face?
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Old 19-02-2016, 09:12   #4
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Re: European canals in planing boat

Well, the ideal European canal boat is steel (for durability), is slab-sided and has minimal flare in the bow (better in locks) and has a diesel engine (less fire risk, on which the authorities are very hot). So you're not starting with the ideal boat.

However, we see lots of similar planing motor boats on the canals and rivers in France and, as long as they stick to the speed limits (typically 6-8 km/hr in the canals and 12-15 km/hr on the rivers) they seem to have no special problems.

You'd probably be wise to carry some big spherical fenders as you will bounce around in the locks more than the typical steel inland waterways boat.

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Old 19-02-2016, 09:34   #5
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Re: European canals in planing boat

Europe is a large area and you haven't specified where you want to go, but if I look around in any Dutch marina, there are plenty of "Sea Ray like" boats (speedboats).

They're fine for cruising, tho petrol can be expensive.
You should know your boat well enough to know the speeds (rpm? or whatever the English term is for 'toerental' ) at which your engine runs nicely. That shouldn't be any problem for a well maintained engine.

Just make sure you know all the local laws, rules and regulations and mind your speed -- and wake.

If you "bounce around" in the locks you're doing it wrong
And remember the golden rule of locks: never tie your lines and always have a knife handy

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Old 19-02-2016, 15:39   #6
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Re: European canals in planing boat

With respect to Lizzy Belle, in a lock like this when the lockkeeper is a little bit too enthusiastic with the sluices you will bounce around, believe me. Get the big spherical fenders!

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Old 19-02-2016, 20:19   #7
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Re: European canals in planing boat

If you already have the boat and it's already in Europe...go for it. It will work fine. Yes, you need fenders (we prefer the cylindrical ones but others prefer spherical). When you do get a chance open her up, do it but no, it shouldn't be a problem running at lower speeds.

Probably the biggest downside is most trailerable searays won't give you the open stable working area to work the bow lines. This is somewhat mitigated as there is less boat to hold in place but do give some serious thought into line handling before entering the first lock.

If you are looking to get a boat or ship a boat in from overseas, it makes far less sense. Lots of better options.
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Old 19-02-2016, 20:53   #8
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Re: European canals in planing boat

It's all about airdraft. How high is your boat? Old bridges can get pretty low...

Here's an online resource for France... Navigable waterways - Fluviacarte
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Old 19-02-2016, 22:45   #9
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Re: European canals in planing boat

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It's all about airdraft. How high is your boat? Old bridges can get pretty low...

Here's an online resource for France... Navigable waterways - Fluviacarte
He's asking about a 26 foot cuddy cabin boat. Air draft isn't a big concern.
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Old 19-02-2016, 23:03   #10
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Re: European canals in planing boat

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He's asking about a 26 foot cuddy cabin boat. Air draft isn't a big concern.
Probably not... But, it is pretty damn low in places; his beach umbrella might have to come down.
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