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Old 20-09-2011, 02:34   #1
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Question Marina in South Brittany

Next summer we are looking to take our boat to France for six weeks and live aboard for most of it. We have a young family so we wont be doing much cruising; day sails and maybe the odd day or two away from our base marina.

We need a Marina/town/village/beach that is family friendly, our Children will be 9 down to 3 years old. We are thinking about La Trinite sur mer or that region.

Can anyone suggest a good marina?


Peter
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Old 20-09-2011, 07:32   #2
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Re: Marina in South Brittany

Hi Peter,
I'd suggest Cameret.
They have moorings plus a marina - along with friendly locals and nice beaches facing west and east. Means you can always pick one protected from stronger winds with the kids.
Enjoy
JOHN
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Old 20-09-2011, 08:04   #3
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Re: Marina in South Brittany

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Peter.
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Old 20-09-2011, 13:23   #4
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Re: Marina in South Brittany

Welcome aboard Cruiser's Forum, Peter.
There are many marinas in South Brittany but Camaret is in Western Brittany, close to Brest. The town and marina are pleasant. However, the water is a bit colder than further south, for there is a cold upwelling in the area.

La Trinité sur mer is a good idea: the marina is located close to the town (not too big), the sailing in Quiberon bay is great: sheltered from the Atlantic swell by the Quiberon peninsula, Houat and Hoëdic islands...

In this area, I don't recommend Port Haliguen: big marina, far from town. Bénodet and Sainte-Marine are in a river with powerful tidal streams, often impractical for daysailing. Lorient and Locmiquélic have no beach within walking distance. Kernevel (close to Lorient) has one but the marina is far from all shops.

You could also consider Loctudy (close to the isles of Glénan), Concarneau, Port-Louis. If your boat isn't too big, there might be other possibilities: Lesconil, La Turballe...

Alain
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Old 20-09-2011, 13:35   #5
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Re: Marina in South Brittany

Peter, the good news is the area you have chosen has almost endless options. The islands mentioned should not be missed. Here is a post I made on another website:

Lle d'Houat, very pretty little isle with a small harbour on the East side, however we found difficulty in securing a suitable mooring for even a short stop in the harbour, the inter island ferry quay isn't an option. Other yachts had moored off to the South East of the harbour. The harbour bottom is sand rock and large stones which were difficult to walk across when it dried out. The tender would be a better option. Small Spar type of shop on top of the hill after 100m walk up the main road and very nice little cafe with views over the harbour.

However Houat has the most marvellous pure white sandy beach called Er Yoc'h to the South East. Local boats anchor off and swim ashore and we followed suit. We didn't detect any tides tucked into the bay and only a couple of French boats used this idilic location.


Belle Ile a large isle that really needs several days to explore fully. Sauzon a long thin harbour on the North East like Douglas IOM and a retreating tide to match. Very pretty with cafes and restaurants over looking the harbour. We tied up to a harbour wall half way up the harbour with two metres under the keel on the advice of the young harbour master in a dory. Not charge for a short stop as everywhere else locally but asked to watch the tide which disappeared in the space of two beers. However if you take the bottom of smooth pebbles then a longer stay is a must. Belle Ile is one of the islands you see photographed during a winter storm with huge waves breaking over the island. We have the photo at home to remember her by.

Hoedic smaller and South East of the other islands has little fresh water so quite dry. It does however have a camp site that seems to spread across the island. The small harbour to the North has a steep shelving beach within the harbour which boats seem to anchor off or use the pontoons and dinghy to get ashore keeping clear of the inter island ferry jetty. The island also boasts a hotel and bar. However the public loos are to be avoided at all costs - SWMBO was banned from using them and sent to the hotel instead. The little village had one small sweet shop but little else.

More to follow,


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Old 20-09-2011, 13:44   #6
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Re: Marina in South Brittany

In terms of a marina, La Trinite would be a good choice as Alain mentioned. Rather traditional look with fishing boats around the harbour.

The French equivalent of Cowes. Approach easy but be aware of shell fishing obstructions and nets which stretch well offshore. River entrance wide which is just as well given the lcoals run dinghy races in the river. Old town lots of cafes etc. Above the bridge is the commercial fishing fleet anchorages.

Alternatively

Le Crouesty is Very pretty modern marina with lots of shops and good selection of restaurants overlooking the marina and a market mid week. A nicer version of Port Solent and with the Sunshine. Slipway and hard standing available. Free internet available in marina office. charged us 1.7 Euro per metre per night in Aug 07 - marina was full but they always squeezed us in somewhere. Diesel and petrol available with French credit card. Entrance deep and well marked even at low water.

Alain also mentioned La Turballe. Please don't mention this little jewel to anyone else or Piriac, or Le Croisic, or.......... well you get the picture. 6 weeks won't be long enough to see it all and we haven't mentioned the Gulf of Morbian:

Wow, probably 4 times larger than Poole harbour with some challenging tides and eddies going well into the harbour. Don't even think about fighting the tide to get in or out. Others have found this delightful natural harbour with dozens of islands and quiet anchorages. Vannes possible with the tide and it took us several days to explore this great location.

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Old 20-09-2011, 14:09   #7
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Re: Marina in South Brittany

Belle-Île (Le Palais and Sauzon), Houat and Hoëdic are really lovely. BUT these are not marinas (only moorings, plus a non-tidal dock at Le Palais) AND these ports don't give much shelter against NE wind, fairly common at night in summer.

To stay for 6 weeks, I would rather consider a port on the mainland and some overnight trips to the islands.

I forgot to mention Le Pouliguen, at the western end of La Baule beach. I have not been there for 11 years. In 2000, it was lovely but there is a sill to keep the water in at LW. For a cruiser, Pornichet (at the eastern end of La Baule beach) has no interest except the beach: big marina, ugly and far from town.

I left Vannes out of my list for there is no beach there, only mud at LW. And gulf of Morbihan is really crowded in summer: there are so many boats on the water that one has to keep a really good watch for them, in addition to following carefully one's progression on the chart (5 to 8 kts of tidal stream).

Alain
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Old 21-09-2011, 06:02   #8
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Re: Marina in South Brittany

Thank you for all the comments. They are very helpful and will provide plenty of winter research options.

Is it difficult to get a birth for an extended period in France or is there availibility generally? Obviously, I will contact marinas directly but just wondering what to expect.


Peter
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Old 21-09-2011, 13:43   #9
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Re: Marina in South Brittany

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keoghser View Post
Is it difficult to get a birth for an extended period in France or is there availibility generally? Obviously, I will contact marinas directly but just wondering what to expect.
Peter,
It depends on the area. South Brittany is a bit crowded, because the weather is better than in the Channel and the cruising is easier (too easy for my taste).

It should be possible to book and pay in advance but then, you can't move to another marina.

Alain
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Old 22-09-2011, 02:20   #10
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Re: Marina in South Brittany

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keoghser View Post
Thank you for all the comments. They are very helpful and will provide plenty of winter research options.

Is it difficult to get a birth for an extended period in France or is there availibility generally? Obviously, I will contact marinas directly but just wondering what to expect.


Peter
Hi Peter,
When we cruised through S Brittany in 2009 there was only ever an issue with space when bad weather was forecast. Then the marinas filled pretty fast. I doubt you'd have an issue in a medium term stay anywhere.
And despite Cameret being W as opposed to S - it not only has a choice on beaches and a nice arty town - but the Brest estuary provides a lovely day sailing area to boot.
Enjoy.
Cheers
JOHN
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