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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: Mooring canal side and river side in France advice.

Mooring canal side and river side in France advice. 03 Feb 2020 14:09 #113500

To add to Pete's comments, please note it is also hire boat country with 8 hire bases in the area, so the advice to start and stop early is very relevant.
Even so, you can usually find a spot to moor.
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Mooring canal side and river side in France advice. 03 Feb 2020 13:55 #113498

Hi Roelf.

Wearing my DBA NE Rep. hat, I can bear out John's remarks. The planned closures around Nancy and on the Canal de la Marne au Rhin Est to Strasbourg should all be completed by 10th April latest, according to VNF's current planning. My posts under

Group Meeting DT Nord-Est (CLU NE) 25 November 2019#112911

give you more information.

The CMR-E does not carry much commercial freight traffic to speak of but hotel boats ply back and forth regularly between Nancy - Saverne - Strasbourg in season so there is little risk of lengthy stoppages. As John says, the Inclined Plane at Arzviller can be temperamentall (but well worth a visit!), other than that there can of course be brief stoppages for stuck lock gates or whatever, but normally nothing serious.

It's a pleasant trip and Nancy, Saverne and of course Strasbourg offer much to see and do, with some other nice overnight stops (see Mooring Guide).

Enjoy your trip!

Pete Clark
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Pete Clark
Nooit Gedacht

Mooring canal side and river side in France advice. 03 Feb 2020 02:57 #113480

On the Meuse, they usually give you a few days warning of closures. Beyond Toul there are rarely problems, though the Inclined Plane can be temperamental.

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Mooring canal side and river side in France advice. 02 Feb 2020 21:34 #113474

  • Roelf Aukema
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Thanks for the golden bits of advice. I now have a better mental image of what to expect.

Peter, we intend leaving Maastricht in early May and then find a yearly berth in Toul. A trip to Strasbourg and back if time permits. Next year on to St Jean de Losne.
The possibility of closure of the Maas/Meuse is of concern. I suppose we will have to look at the VNF site as we go to check.

A couple of questions: what happens if we can’t get through to Toul once underway? Would we likely have to stay where we are at the time of closure or can we simply go back?
Also, would it be likely that access to Strasbourg from Toul would be affected by closures? Thanks

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Mooring canal side and river side in France advice. 02 Feb 2020 13:07 #113446

In April/May the Meuse used to be full of boats from Holland heading south into France. These last couple of years there have been very few. You should have no problem finding moorings, as long as the canal remains open! Once past Toul, you have a number of options.
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Mooring canal side and river side in France advice. 02 Feb 2020 12:32 #113444

> This year we are heading south from Maastricht to Toul in May.

Would that be leaving NL in May, or arriving in Toul in May? I ask because the waterways you need to travel to get to Toul have been closed soon after that because of lack of water in the last 2 or 3 years. This year may be better but I wouldn't count on it. Where are you planning to go after Toul? Again you may be stuck if planning to go south -the Vosges is likely to be closed and you are too long to navigate legally on the Rhine unless you have the right qualifications or take a pilot. You can of course take the Sarre or Moselle north. I went from Maasbracht through Toul early last year arriving in Saverne on 29 May, but the boat continued with a co-owner to Strasbourg and then to Basal on the Rhine (Levana at 14.5m is legal) before a long spell on the Rhone au Rhin. Any later and we'd have been in trouble on the upper reaches of the Meuse or Marne au Rhin. Some members spent long enforced stays in Verdun.

Finding moorings is not difficult on your route. We noted last year that many days we saw not a single moving boat - sometimes even on the Meuse on BE! So you shouldn't have difficulty finding mooring spots, even if you arrive quite late in the day. Apart from the Waterways Guide, the Fluvial Le Guide is essential for more official mooring places and boatyards.

Good luck - it's a beautiful route.

Peter

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Mooring canal side and river side in France advice. 02 Feb 2020 11:02 #113442

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Thanks for your inputs and insights so far. It seems that leaving early and looking for a mooring sooner rather than later is a good practice. Using the guide to predict places to stop is what I have done well so far and I will no doubt become familiar with how to do it well in France too.

P.s. Ian, when and where is the March meeting in Melbourne? I have to be there on the last 2 Saturdays in March so maybe I can make it. We leave Oz on the 31st March....

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Mooring canal side and river side in France advice. 02 Feb 2020 10:09 #113437

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If your experience is just of NL and BE then you will find France much easier, certainly on the smaller canals. In general you can tie overnight almost anywhere that you deem suitable on the towpath side unless signage indicates otherwise, and of course making sure that you do not obstruct the towpath. Overnight lock closures and minimal commercial traffic mean that you have to worry less about wash from passing craft. There tend to be fairly frequent official stopping places and town wharfs, both free and otherwise. The sad lack of commercial traffic is a help here. As always the “best” mooring is always the one around the corner, or the one just beyond the lock that has just closed for the night, but in general it is much easier and you will find many idyllic world spots.m

Balliol.

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Mooring canal side and river side in France advice. 02 Feb 2020 01:20 #113435

Hi Roelf,
While we haven't travelled that particular route, many have and will likely comment on any specific issues. However, our generic rules to deal with finding moorings at the end of each day are:
1) Plan our cruising using the DBA waterways guide
2) Leave early and try to arrive not too long after lunch.

I'm sure that's not a revelation to you given your experience - but we've found it works as well in France as anywhere else, even on big rivers with limited mooring places such as the River Seine. In our three seasons so far in France, we have never had to moor Catharina Elisabeth (20m x 1.2m) using either stakes or our spud poles and always been able to use the mooring, that the waterways guide pointed us to, at the end of each day.
Ian

(Lisette & Ian)
Catharina Elisabeth

PS (and off-topic) Hope to see you at the Melbourne meeting in March.

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Ian & Lisette McCauley
Register: Catharina Elisabeth
Blog: Eurmacs
Website: WaterwaysTourist
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't."

Mooring canal side and river side in France advice. 01 Feb 2020 23:26 #113434

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Hi all,
Last year we cruised from Leeuwarden and travelled through Medemblik, Harlem, Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Antwerp and then east across Belgium to Maastricht. in our 20m tjalk.

This year we are heading south from Maastricht to Toul in May.

I am just trying to get a handle on the etiquette or rules for mooring when travelling in France. Canals and rivers. Also what is the reality of finding a mooring at days end? What have others experienced? When can you bang in your mooring pins when all else fails? I dread the thought of not being able to find a spot after a day of motoring and wish to do the right thing.
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