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Old 26-10-2012, 16:45   #1
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Canals of Europe

Anybody ever crossed to Europe,had there Mast unstepped and stored and cruised the Canal's?Seem's interesting.
Thank's all
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Old 26-10-2012, 20:01   #2
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Re: Canals of Europe

years ago i took my then 36 ft boat from sete' up the rhone a sete canal as far as avignon for the winter,then returned to the med via cap'd agde.

most boats carry their masts on deck using a crux frame fore and aft,for lifting the mast,there are sailing clubs that will let you use their crane for a small fee.

the camarge,soane and rhone valleys are very pictuesque and best of all you can pretty much tie up for free every night under the ramparts of medieval castles ,abbeys or direct to the bank of the river/canal!
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Old 26-10-2012, 20:22   #3
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Re: Canals of Europe

A frequent problem is that an ocean-capable boat draws too much to get far into some canals. The deeper ones tend to be the heavily commercialized ones that are not as much fun to be on. We shifted from the Canal de Bourgogne to the Canal du Nivernais because of this, but we had chartered a houseboat that only drew about 45cm. Check the canal websites - they'll tell you the controlling depth (subject to water availability...) I seem to recall seeing 1m30 mentioned frequently.
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Old 26-10-2012, 20:33   #4
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Re: Canals of Europe

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Originally Posted by psk125 View Post
A frequent problem is that an ocean-capable boat draws too much to get far into some canals. The deeper ones tend to be the heavily commercialized ones that are not as much fun to be on. We shifted from the Canal de Bourgogne to the Canal du Nivernais because of this, but we had chartered a houseboat that only drew about 45cm. Check the canal websites - they'll tell you the controlling depth (subject to water availability...) I seem to recall seeing 1m30 mentioned frequently.
1m60 apart from the canal du midi that can get down to 1m40 in dry periods.
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Old 26-10-2012, 20:38   #5
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Re: Canals of Europe

I did the Kiel Canal and Sweden's Gota Canal, both with the mast up (and also NY's Erie Canal, mast down). I chose not to go south through France - simply too much work for a single-hander.

There is a company that will transport masts, for instance from Germany or Holland to the south of France or vice-versa. This would make maneuvering easier and reduce the risk of mast damage.

There are several books on cruising the canals - far more information than you can expect from a forum thread. There are web sites that also have information. It is imperative to check for current information: opening times, scheduled maintenance, depth, water levels, requirements, costs, etc. The situation does change.

It can be a lot of fun; it will be a fair amount of work but nothing extreme with crew and a modest pace.

First thing to do is buy some books and start reading.

Greg
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Old 26-10-2012, 22:12   #6
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Re: Canals of Europe

No, but the scenes can be photogenic.



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Old 26-10-2012, 22:21   #7
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Re: Canals of Europe

There's a great yahoo email group of the euro canals, but I can't find the info. Maybe someone who's a member can post a link.
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Old 26-10-2012, 22:49   #8
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Re: Canals of Europe

We did the Saone 10 years ago and we're gonna do the Canal de la Marne au Rhin in 2013. Woo Hoo!! Chartered a boat though. Not my own.

We did see sailboats that made it all the way from the North Sea on the canals with their masts on crutches. Don't know their draw though.

It's a blast and a half.
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Old 27-10-2012, 02:08   #9
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Re: Canals of Europe

some french info in here..

Cruising French Waterways, Rivers and Canals by Boat or Barge
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Old 27-10-2012, 03:00   #10
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Re: Canals of Europe

Always will be somewhere that the mast can be left ashore - just a matter of tracking down somewhere that will suit budget in the intended locale. As a kid me father often used to leave the mast under the "care" of a lockkeeper (on trestles in a field around back) - I think the cost was met in booze and fags!.....but boat had a tabernacle to self lower mast (and it wasn't 100 foot tall!) - a group effort to get it ashore and carry - kids and all!

Likely that nowadays these things can be done a bit more formally.
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Old 27-10-2012, 03:09   #11
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Re: Canals of Europe

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
1m60 apart from the canal du midi that can get down to 1m40 in dry periods.
Theoretically.

We went through from Le Havre to the med via the canal de Bourgogne a couple of years ago and encountered 1.3m in quite a number of places and only 1.2m in some. We have a draft of 1.5m so the keel was ploughing through about a foot of silt

In any case we, and some friends who did the canal du Midi, reckon it's a really good experience - but not in your own boat!
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Old 27-10-2012, 03:53   #12
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Re: Canals of Europe

For France, the official web site of rivers & canals administration:
http://www.vnf.fr/vnf/home.vnf?action=vnf

here, you could dowload charts:
http://www.vnf.fr/ecdis/ecdis.html

otherwise a magazine site with some pieces of information:
http://www.fluvialnet.com/

downloadable guides
http://www.anpei.org/spip.php?article1568

refueling informations
http://www.anpei.org/spip.php?rubrique220

various
http://www.pnich.com/cartvoinavi.htm
http://www.inforhone.fr/inforhone/FR/Commun/index.aspx

all in french, sorry...
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Old 27-10-2012, 03:55   #13
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Re: Canals of Europe

Quite a while back (1988), my girlfriend & I traversed the French Canal system after sailing from Southhampton to Le Havre, dropped the mast, got a bunch of old car tyres and covered them with heavy duty garbage bags. Normal yacht fenders get chewed up pretty quickly on the canal walls because the turbulence can be fierce in the smaller locks, especially ascending. Then we entered the system all the way to Sete. It was awesome and back then totally free. We stayed in Paris and many other beautiful French towns like Valence, Lyon & Avignon for free and in total went through 180 locks - some only a few metres up or down, some monster locks on the Rhone were 50m but automated with floating bollards where all you needed was a short midships breast line because they were so calm and smooth.
I would love to do it again and take a different route; on the smaller canals you see places you would never see because they don't always follow roads.
Draught is an issue for sure but we bumped across the bottom only a few times, usually in the smaller canals when a Peniche (traditional canal freighter) came the other way.
Canal latéral de la Loire was our favourite canal & Avignon our favourite town.

Highly recommend it....
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