I am considering using the Canal
du Midi in France
to take my sailboat from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean
. I am planning to start on the Atlantic side mid-September 2022. My boat
is a Vertue II, 26 feet long with a draft
of 1.37 m. I will have someone with me to help with fenders etc in the locks, but that person has limited time. So I have a couple of questions. I am hoping to get some answers from people that have done this, because there’s nothing better than real life experience of course.
1. How easy (and quickly) is it to have the mast
taken off the boat
on the Atlantic side, and what are the best options: have the mast
transported separately (costs?) or having it placed on the boat (I have no wooden cross-supports so they have to be built). Does anyone know of a marina that can do this efficiently and quickly on the Atlantic size, somewhere in the Garonne perhaps? As I said, this is for around mid-September.
2. How long does it take to get the boat all the way from the Atlantic side to the Med
, given we don't want to hurry and stay a day or two in some of the cities in between (any suggestions where it is nice to spend a couple of days)?
3. I do not have a deep keel
but are there any issues with a 1.37m draft
in September? I have heard that Canal
do Midi is one of the shallowest routes in the French canal system. My thinking is that in September the water
level might be a bit deeper than in mid-summer because of autumn rainfall, but I am not sure. It is also the end of summer season so less traffic, which might help getting through the locks.
4. On the Mediterranean
side, I am thinking about storing the boat immediately on a hard stand in the closest available marina, because although I have a bit more time than the person with me, it is more or less the end of my trip as well. If I can store the boat right where I enter the Mediterranean, I do not have to put the mast back on the boat, but can store the boat and the mast separately on a hard stand. Anyone know of a marina close to where Canal du Midi enters the Mediterranean where I can store a boat on a hard stand?
Thanks very much.