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
tankage. The only wierd thing from an American cruiser perspective is that most have DAF diesels and are built from steel
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?