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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch

Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch 30 Apr 2018 14:31 #98203

I have written again to VNF's M. Crouzel to ask if vessels, perhaps with keel cooling, may navigate the Embranchement de Vouziers if they choose to. I will revert here his response.

If a positive response comes it would be good if members passing that way would use the waterway so as not to lose it. "Use it or Lose it"!!!

Bob

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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette

Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch 30 Apr 2018 11:39 #98200

  • Brendan Whelan
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Hi Bob, thanks for the copy of the feedback from the VNF. I agree that their response does not match what I was told by two lock keepers in the area. Brunel has keel cooling so the only potential issue would have been the prop clogging. If it is only algae then it is unlikely that the this would happen and, as you wrote, a quick burst in reverse would solve any clogging issue. If the build up is of weed then the best way to keep it clear would be for the odd boat to travel along the canal. In my experience, both algae and weed tend to be seasonal. Hence, if the canal were used in the early part of the season then there it is likely that the channel would remain open in July and August. Unfortunately, I am now back in the UK and so can't drive to Vouziers and walk along part of the canal. Perhaps someone else will be able to do so. Another possibility would be for someone on the main canal to walk the few metres to the first lock on the branch, take a look and possibly some photos? Brendan

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Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch 28 Apr 2018 13:11 #98157

Here is the reply, with translation into English, from VNF:

M Marsland,

Vous nous avez sollicité pour naviguer dans l'embranchement de Vouziers.

Bien que théoriquement ouvert à la navigation, l'embranchement est envahi par les algues, que nous ne sommes pas en mesure d'arracher.

Les hélices seraient très rapidement bloquées, et il n'est donc pas conseillé de s'y engager.

Depuis plusieurs années, des démarches ont été étudiées pour trouver des solutions à ce problème, sans succès jusqu'à présent malheureusement.

Cordialement,
--
Marc CROUZEL
Chef de l'Unité Territoriale d'Itinéraire Canaux de Picardie-Champagne-Ardenne
Direction Territoriale Bassin de la Seine
VOIES NAVIGABLES DE FRANCE

M Marsland,

You asked us to navigate the Vouziers branch.

Although theoretically open to navigation, the spur is invaded by algae, which we are not able to pull off.

The propellers would be very quickly blocked, and it is therefore not advisable to engage.

For several years, steps have been studied to find solutions to this problem, without success so far unfortunately.

Regards,
-
Marc CROUZEL
Head of the Territorial Unit of Route Canaux de Picardie-Champagne-Ardenne
Territorial Direction Bassin de la Seine
WATERWAYS OF FRANCE

Clearly, this does not accord with what you were told, Brendan. However, I suppose a build up of algae behind lock gates could produce a problem for their operation. I think it is a shame you were "fobbed-off" as, say, if you had keel cooling you would not have the same problem as a vessel which takes in canal water through a strainer. Personally, I have never had a problem clearing my blades of weed by simply short bursts astern.

Guess it is too late for you now.

Cheers,

Bob

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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette

Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch 20 Apr 2018 18:49 #97980

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Thanks Bob, it will be interesting to see how they respond. Brendan

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Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch 20 Apr 2018 15:13 #97976

Hello Brendan,

I have written to the VNF Direction Territoriale Bassin de la Seine, UTI Canaux de Picardie, Champagne-Ardenne, to ask the status of this embranchment. I will revert here once I receive their reply. Probably too late for your hoped-for visit, but hopefully may indicate what the delay in solving the problem might be.

Bob

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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette

Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch 18 Apr 2018 18:50 #97910

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Thanks to everyone for the additional information. We reached the control lock/ ecluse 27 and asked the lock keeper if we could take the Vouzier branch. He was helpful but explained that there were issues with the electrics. There was no indication as to if and when the branch may be reopened. This is a pity as those like us who don't want to cross to the Meuse ( in our case, partly because we were travelled there last year ) would like to take the short trip to Vouzier. Perhaps everyone who passes through lock 27 should ask whether they can go to Vouzier? The route is along 12km of canal with just four locks, the last one being only 12cm? Brendan
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Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch 18 Apr 2018 12:04 #97903

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> weed is a problem, especially in the summer -

I think I saw this canal when travelling the area by car several years ago and was concerned about the amount of weed, probably largely through lack of use by boats. Probably OK this time of year. Peter

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Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch 18 Apr 2018 11:54 #97902

Hi Brendan,
If you do make it to Vouziers, let us know and please create (because one doesn't exist) an entry in the Waterways Guide. The depth is officially 1.8 m according to www.french-waterways.com/waterways/north-east/canal-ardennes/ who say that weed is a problem, especially in the summer - to the extent that it makes it almost impossible to traverse during the summer. Perhaps that means you'll be lucky.
Good luck!
Ian

Ian & Lisette
Catharina Elisabeth

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Ian & Lisette McCauley
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't."

Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch 18 Apr 2018 10:05 #97895

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Thanks Peter, I have just checked at www.vnf.fr/calculitinerairefluvial/app/Main.html and it too is showing that the route is open. As we are only one lock and and a few kilometres away we will go and take a look. Brendan
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Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch 17 Apr 2018 17:14 #97890

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Interestingly PC Navigo (recently updated for stoppages) says the waterway is open. They are not always right but It would be worth your while to ask locally when you get there. I can't tell you anything about the branch as I've previously gone straight past!

Peter

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Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch 17 Apr 2018 16:52 #97889

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I think that I have found the answer to my question. This morning we happened to pass through a lock where a very helpful off-duty VNF guy lived. He had spent a year in Australia so his English was good and he was keen to talk. Apparently, about a year ago ( say April 2017) there had been problems with the locks along the Embranchement de Vouziers and the branch is currently closed. He had no knowledge as to when it would reopen but suggested that lock keeper at the bottom of the flight near Semuy may have more information. It is a pity that the branch is closed as going along little used waterways can be interesting.

Kind regards,

Brendan on board Brunel

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Canal des Ardennes, Vouziers Branch 16 Apr 2018 18:35 #97874

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We are cruising up the Canal des Ardennes and appear to have the waterway to ourselves! In a couple of days, we are thinking of taking the Embranchement de Vouziers but can find little information. Has anyone used this branch and/or is able to offer advice? Thanks, Brendan

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