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  #1  
Old 04-29-2007
Ria Ria is offline
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French canals

Hello, I'm looking for information about sailing from Med to Northern Sea via French canals. Our boat is 34ft long and drauhgt is 1,8 metres. Can we manage with 2 persons crew? How long it will take? Where can I find more information?
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Old 04-29-2007
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Doing a Google search under French canal system might be helpful. I found
French Canal Routes , which looked like it might be good. Depending upon your route, your draft of 1.8 meters may be an issue. I believe some French canals are only dredged to 1.5 meters, and dry periods could reduce water levels to less than that. Bon vent!
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Old 04-29-2007
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I attended a seminar at a Strictly Sail show a few years ago. The couple that gave the seminar, which was on the North Channel of Lake Huron, also wintered on the canals of Southern France. The had written two cruising guides, one a revision on the N. Channel and the other on cruising French canals. It seems to me that it was about the Canal du Midi (?) which connected the Atlantic to The Med.

Not certain if this is the correct system for you or not. Their company, found in the back of the guide I have, is Welcome to Sea Fever Gear!. If I remember correctly they have some excerpts of the books on their site.

Good Luck,
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Old 04-30-2007
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a few years back I took a honeymoon self drive barge tour of the Nivernais canal in Burgundy. We booked through a specialized agency in New Jersey: Le Boat ( they have an 800 number you can look up) - they made our reservation with Connoissuer Cruises, the boat company. Connoisseur would have the information you need as they operate boats on most of the canals. And, they speak English. If you can't find info on Connoissuer, Le Boat in NJ will give you a number, or to one of the other big operators.

Good luck with the info.....cruising the canals is magnifique!
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Old 05-01-2007
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We spent six years exploring the canals and rivers of France in a Dutch built steel cruiser. She was 14.25m long, 3.9m beam and drew 1,2m. From 1879, the standard dimensions to which the French canals were built or up-graded is to accommodate barges up to 38.5m length, 5.05m beam, 1.8m draft and 3.5m air draft. All of the standard routes from the north to the Med are maintained to these standards.

Every spring we saw a steady migration of northern sailboats heading south from the English Channel, North Sea, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland through the many routes to the Mediterranean. Some carried their rigs on cradles on deck, while others opted to ship them to their port of arrival on the Med.

There is a vast resource of information on the canal system available in the directory at: Open Directory - Recreation: Boating: Canals
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