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Old 07-03-2013, 09:51   #1
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Through French Canals to Med

hi we are hoping to take our c and c 35 through french canals to med we would love to hear any advice on this trip our main concern is our draught of just under 1.8m look forward to your replies sheralee
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:24   #2
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Re: through french canals to med

canal de midi i was unable to enter with a draft of 1.5m
canal rhone a'sete i touched a few times as well with 1.5m.

i think you should be looking at a biscay transit or kiel,danube black sea transit.
i really don't think you will go far during the summer,might be a bit more water during the winter,but 1.8 is too much for most of central france.
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Old 07-03-2013, 13:13   #3
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Re: through french canals to med

The Canal du Midi published minimum depth is 1.5 meters... but that is highly caveated. So you probably couldn't make it.
Canal du Midi : Cruising in Detail | Aboard in France

You could probably make it from Calais, to the Rhone River and into the Med via canals through eastern France. If you look at this website, and then follow
1a, 2b, 4b, 5a, then to Port St. Louis, you could make it (with posted depths, 1.8 m).

Canal and River Routes Through France | Aboard in France


Also, this is a wonderful book about the French waterways. Lots of practical advice. Hugh was our neighbor when we lived in England... so we were always talking about waterways with him!

Cruising French Waterways, by Hugh McKnight

Good luck,
S/V Octopussy
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Old 07-03-2013, 17:26   #4
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Re: through french canals to med

just bear in mind those depths are for center channel,and your boat will float 2 inches lower in fresh water.

during dry periods as is common during the summer, peniches are able to reduce their draft,by not loading as much,reducing their 1.8m draft to be able to pass the shallower streches,something that with fixed ballast you will not be able to do .

canal du midi,which has a controlling depth of 1.6m is in reality 1.4m during the summer for example.
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Old 08-03-2013, 00:17   #5
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Re: Through French Canals to Med

Thanks for the references to the french-waterways.com website. If I can be of further help, PM me.
The subject of depth through the canals is a regular topic for discussion on YBW, including within the last few weeks . . .
YBW - Fast Passage through French Canals?
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:20   #6
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Re: Through French Canals to Med

A report on my website in German (you can translate with a program).

1,80 is possible but you will definitely stuck sometimes.

We had a draft of 1,8 - 1,9 m, we have made it, however with some problems.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:21   #7
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Re: Through French Canals to Med

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grehan View Post
Thanks for the references to the french-waterways.com website. If I can be of further help, PM me.
The subject of depth through the canals is a regular topic for discussion on YBW, including within the last few weeks . . .
YBW - Fast Passage through French Canals?
thanks for chirping in here on cf grehan
was going to post a link to ybw but got octopussy beat me to it!
great website by the way,keep up the good work.

might even see down there on my little macwester,have great memories of duck hunting,fresh french bread,hikes to carrefour and cheap plonk from the canal side "cave's",love the camargue
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:33   #8
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Re: Through French Canals to Med

Atoll,

Thanks for the props!

Cheers,
S/V Octopussy
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Old 09-03-2013, 00:09   #9
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Re: Through French Canals to Med

We went up the Rhone and half the Saone in June/July. When we touched bottom it was because we were close to the bank. We didn't go any further because we didn't want to risk getting grounded and couldn't face another 150 locks. Others we met went on to do the whole trip. We came back down in April: Plenty of depth and came shooting out after the locks at 10 knots. The current is strong; a guy we met going upstream did 7 km in 5 hours at Arles.You have to stay at the ports de plaisances; you can't just tie up on the banks like the peniches with their shallow drafts. The towns are great and it's an excellent trip, but there are not a lot of places to stay. Lyons, brilliant but not open in winter, Macon, shallow and being redeveloped, moor for free at the town centre, Chalon sur Saone excellent. Check out early entries in Austral Sailing 2012 and our 2011 blog
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Old 14-06-2013, 08:25   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joefloki View Post
A report on my website in German (you can translate with a program).

1,80 is possible but you will definitely stuck sometimes.

We had a draft of 1,8 - 1,9 m, we have made it, however with some problems.
Hello friends,

Draft information is confusing and almost each of people writing here gives different information. I'm planning to take my 37 footer, draft 1,85 m from Marseillean to Bordeaux. Some people whos done that says it goes for sure without problems. It there is mud bottom it wouldn't make any harm. Has there been improvments lately?

What you think?
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Old 14-06-2013, 14:32   #11
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Re: Through French Canals to Med

I have been told (by people who went there) that there is sometimes junk (even old cars) in Canal du Midi. When your keel meets one, you are abruptly halted.

Alain
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Old 14-06-2013, 15:38   #12
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Re: Through French Canals to Med

Canal du Midi is different: Acc. to my information the max. draft there is 1,5 or 1,6m only - therefore with a draft of 1,85 m I would not try this.
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Old 14-06-2013, 23:34   #13
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Re: Through French Canals to Med

Complete information about Depths, Widths and Heights on the French Canals here
Information about the Canal du Midi here

A draft of 1.85m (more in fresh water?) will mean you have problems in many canals, possibly serious, and the Canal du Midi is completely out of the question at 1.5m absolute maximum draft.
Like many public waterways the canals do receive their share of stuff being chucked in, and occasional cars do happen. But it is comparatively rare actually to collide with something.
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