Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-11-2012, 13:56   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oriental, NC
Boat: Mainship Pilot 34
Posts: 1,429
Cruising for 3-4 mo on a French Canal Boat

Ok, indulge me for a moment and tell me if this will or won't work as I sit here and look at the beginnings of a nor'easter developing outside (eastern North Carolina).

I can buy a converted (from a commercial barge) French canal boat for under US$100,000. These boats are 13-15 meters (40-45 feet) long and 3.5-4 meters (11-12') wide. They have all of the cruising equipment one would expect but usually propane refrigeration which limits DC usage. Some have washer/dryer units and a generator. All have decent water and fuel tankage. The only wierd thing from an American cruiser perspective is that most have DAF diesels and are built from steel hulls.

My thought is to buy one, fly over and cruise the canals from May to Sept and then put it into dry storage for 7 months and do it again the next year. I can do virtually all maintenance myself and one would hope that the fresh water will limit steel hull corrosion problems. Dry storage is about $2,000 for the 7 mo period. So other than the initial investment it seems to be a cheap way to cruise in a beautiful area of the world (well as much as putting along at 4 kts in a straight line can be considered cruising).

So for those who have experience with this life style, here are some questions:

I assume that like the Erie Canal in the US, cruising dockage is mostly just pulling over to the side of the canal and tying up for the night. Bistros, wine bars, grocery stores, chandleries etc should be within easy walking distance. In other words I don't have to budget for dockage while cruising nor any shore based transportation costs (other than public transportation).

Waste disposal. Some of the boats listed on www.h2ofrance.com have holding tanks, but most do not list one. What does one do?
(Link fixed, Pete7)

Anything else that I have missed?

David
__________________

__________________
djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 14:09   #2
Registered User
 
Driftwoods's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Texas
Boat: 1987 Morgan 43
Posts: 118
Re: Cruising for 3-4 mo on a French Canal Boat

Hey David,

Just fyi for anyone following along, the link is at h20france.com (no www). Took me a second to figure that out.

I saw this site: EuroCanals-Cruising the Canals & Rivers of Europethat may give you a lot of the information you're looking for. I think I'd rent one for a few weeks and try it out before I buy - although it looks like it would be a ton of fun.
__________________

__________________
Driftwoods is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 14:40   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
atoll's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: gettin naughty on the beach in cornwall
Boat: 63 custom alloy sloop,macwester26,prout snowgoose 37 elite catamaran!
Posts: 9,312
Images: 75
Re: Cruising for 3-4 mo on a French Canal Boat

not a bad idea!lots of people do it,gardianage is available for vessels,that will cost a lot less than $2000 for 7 months.

good site here with the info you need

Cruising French Waterways, Rivers and Canals by Boat or Barge
__________________
my catamaran building project updates http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...36#post2502136
atoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 14:45   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Australia, Central Coast.
Boat: Boden 36 Triple chine long keel steel, named Nekeyah
Posts: 777
Re: Cruising for 3-4 mo on a French Canal Boat

We did it in Brittany for a couple of weeks. Toilet pumped directly overboard. Lots of free places to tie up, some with power, or you can drive stakes into the bank in some spots.
Many people spend long periods aboard. Fun.
Regards,
Richard.
__________________
boden36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 14:46   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Abaco, Bahamas/ Western NC
Boat: Nothing large at the moment
Posts: 820
Re: Cruising for 3-4 mo on a French Canal Boat

Great idea. DO IT! Then sell it, you might even make money.
__________________
Tingum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 14:50   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
If you just want to spend 7 month, maybe you should look into renting possibilities.

Apparently there is some tourism industry there based around this concept so exploring the non-owning part might be worth doing.
__________________
flo617 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2012, 14:51   #7
Registered User
 
Red Charlotte's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Crossing the Pacific
Boat: Hans Christian 36'
Posts: 191
Re: Cruising for 3-4 mo on a French Canal Boat

This is a particular dream of mine (and a goal for once we get to that neck of the woods) though we would be taking the mast off and strapping it to the boat to go through. I've lived in France before and really want to live there again.

Have a great time!
Red Charlotte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2012, 15:04   #8
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Cruising for 3-4 mo on a French Canal Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I assume that like the Erie Canal in the US, cruising dockage is mostly just pulling over to the side of the canal and tying up for the night. Bistros, wine bars, grocery stores, chandleries etc should be within easy walking distance. In other words I don't have to budget for dockage while cruising nor any shore based transportation costs (other than public transportation).
No idea what the Erie canal is like , but mostly free - however not always. Some places do have paid for moorings (and even inland "marinas"), upside is that you usually also get a few conveniances.

A lot of the canals however will be in the middle of nowhere (part of the attraction ) - and that includes Bistros, wine bars, grocery stores, chandleries etc (remember that most of the canals / rivers have long since stopped being the highways!).....but most of that can be planned around, but it can be a PITA, especially when you need specific boat related stuff and for that shore transport is very useful. I would recomend considering a bicycle and then simply accepting that sometimes you will need a bus or a taxi - or to await until you pass through civilsations (a lot of the routes do go through major towns and even cities as well as one horse towns - with no horse ).

I would plan your boat purchase around the route(s) you intend to take - for most you won't need a specialised canal / river boat, anything that has the draft and under bridge clearance that works om the intended area(likely a flybridge won't get you past some places, and even too much wheelhouse may restrict at times).

And in regard to fresh water and steel boats - they are not immune on inland waterways from rust, rainwater likely the main culprit.....traditionally surveying done with a hammer (and not gently!) - more than a few stories around of boats getting lifted post purchase and hammer going through.........plus with the UK style narrowboats the odd one bends like a banana ........personally I would stick with fibreglass, well fended and if not making a habit of hitting stuff or squeezing into locks with commercial traffic then won't be a problem that requires steel, but they do make some nice steel boats for the inland waterways.........
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2012, 16:35   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 3,900
Re: Cruising for 3-4 mo on a French Canal Boat

This idea has intrugued me for a while. Thought of taking our smaller boat over. Mast down she would fit nicely.

But IIRC there are issues with staying too long, having to pay VAT and being subject to national taxation.

There wasa thread about it a while ago, not canals but taxation and time limits.

What's the name of the European immigration treaty?
__________________
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2012, 17:30   #10
Registered User
 
Nicholson58's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Live aboard
Boat: Camper & Nicholson58 Ketch - ROXY Traverse City, Michigan No.668283
Posts: 3,466
Images: 83
Re: Cruising for 3-4 mo on a French Canal Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
This idea has intrugued me for a while. Thought of taking our smaller boat over. Mast down she would fit nicely.

But IIRC there are issues with staying too long, having to pay VAT and being subject to national taxation.

There wasa thread about it a while ago, not canals but taxation and time limits.

What's the name of the European immigration treaty?

Also check into special requirements for EU or French canal Master's credentials or evidence of training for their special rules of the road. I found this on NOONSITE for ICC requirements you might find helpful. Proof of Competency for European Countries — Noonsite

There are a few links from this site. You need an ICC copmetancy AND an additional tag for the canals. You can go through the RYA or, I think, On line. I chased this down one time for entertainment and remember it as being an expensive "EU tax". Your CG Master's credentials may let you escape from some of this.
__________________
Nicholson58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-11-2012, 07:12   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Morlaix Brittany France blog: theguerns.blogspot.com
Boat: Colvic Watson/32ft/Feels Good
Posts: 461
Images: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to feelsgood
Re: Cruising for 3-4 mo on a French Canal Boat

I spent 2 years as the master of a dutch barge conversion with an american couple. I took them to germany, belgium,France and Holland. Tied up most nights on the river bank we all had bikes and sometimes used public transport. When I left them they said it was the life for them and are still roving the canals all over europe. They dont use the net dont have mobile phones or a tv aboard but in the 2 years I was with them I laughed alot and slept realy well. DO it its a great way of life
__________________

__________________
feelsgood is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruising

« Hi | Help Needed »
Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:24.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.