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Old 11-23-2015, 01:03 PM   #1
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Smile European canals and rivers

We have owned a Nordic Tug 42 and cruised Seattle to Alaska in the last 10 summers...Now we are looking for a boat in the Holland area about 13-14 meters in size with two staterooms...does anyone have any cruising experience with style,equipment,etc. of the boat we should choose that they would like to share for a European newbie..Thanks for any help........
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:44 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by a1bacus View Post
We have owned a Nordic Tug 42 and cruised Seattle to Alaska in the last 10 summers...Now we are looking for a boat in the Holland area about 13-14 meters in size with two staterooms...does anyone have any cruising experience with style,equipment,etc. of the boat we should choose that they would like to share for a European newbie..Thanks for any help........
You don't say whether you are looking to buy or charter.
If you are looking to buy, you don't say what your budget is or how you plan to use it.

That being said, here is an "American" style trawler 13-14 meters with two staterooms:
1996 Ocean Alexander 48 Classicco Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Ok, so it's 48 feet; but it is really a custom order 456 Classico with a 3 foot extension. Only 3 of them ever done like that.

Most of the equipment on it will be stuff you should have some familiarity with and she is sitting in Belgium, a nice river cruise to Holland.
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Old 11-23-2015, 02:06 PM   #3
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A couple of years ago I started a thread on French canal live aboard cruising. Search on French and canal and you will find it. The response was surprisingly extensive and it gave several references to other sites and books on the subject.


But I would absolutely want a boat that met the Frecynet criteria which is roughly 39M x 5.2M x 3.7M air draft x 1.8M water draft. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freycinet_gauge. If your boat meets these criteria then it can go almost anywhere in Europe. I doubt if the OA meets the air draft criteria and maybe not the water draft.


The other criterion I would think about is the ability to cross the channel to England. Most pure canal boats aren't built for that kind of crossing. But I am not sure that English canals would be my cup of tea anyway.


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Old 11-23-2015, 11:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for your comments, always appreciated...Hawgwash ask me to be more clear about my wants so here goes...My interest is to spend the next many summer months in Europe travelling by boat to the Med and maybe north to England so I will need a boat that is large enough to be sea worthy and small enough to be comfy....my budget is between 200-300 euros..I want a single engine, hydronic heat, bow and stern thrusters, two staterooms and generator. If there is someone in California that has a cruising boat in Europe now, I'd love to chat privately...my web site is Abacus Inside View or my email is a1bacus@gmail.com....
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:04 AM   #5
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Mind You - Canal Midi has a maximum 3 meter airdraft! LOTS of restaurants and pubs throughout European waterways - should be fun!

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Old 11-24-2015, 05:19 AM   #6
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If you want to use the canals in England then you will need to be much smaller than the Freycinet dimensions Dave quoted. England has canals for Narrowboats (7' from memory) but also has some broadbeam canals. For these, one again from memory, the limitation is lock size: max boat 60' x 12'6".

So staying under the broadbeam dimension, plus getting shallow water draft and being able to get low airdraft ( by lowering pilothouse structure if necessary) will give you maximum flexibility as to where you can go. There are quite a few builders in UK (Piper, Branson, Stoke, Wolstonholme) who design these kind of boats, and some can do both canals and open water (Cat B). Google UK canal barges or something like that and you will likely find many options for design, build as well as some sites where such craft are for sale.
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:10 PM   #7
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if you wish to cruise to England the boat for the sea crossing would be a completely different animal to one for use in the English canals. There are many steel boats for sale in Holland and not my cup of tea as most are not insulated and too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. Many Dutch built boats don't have hot water calorifier's, showers or ovens so you need to be very careful in what you buy.
If you wish to buy a reasonably cheap single engine Birchwood 33 down in the South of France (then work your way Northwards) with a proven track record of sea, canal or river cruising and then sell it on when you've completed your cruising, please get in touch as we have one for sale.
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Old 11-27-2015, 11:08 AM   #8
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I would welcome looking at your boat, please send the info to a1bacus@gmail.com
Thank you
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Old 11-27-2015, 11:40 AM   #9
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But I am not sure that English canals would be my cup of tea anyway.
The Britsh canals and continental canals are two very different experiences. I have found that the continental canal system goes to and through some fascinating places but the canals themselves and the boating experience is very boring. The British canals, on the other hand, are fascinating in themselves for their history and very unique "personalities." You run everything yourself: locks, swing and lift bridges, etc. They are for the most part shallow and narrow and so require more of the steerer. The boats themselves are quite unique and require different techniques than one is used to.

Both systems are unique and have their attactions but we much prefer the British network.
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:15 PM   #10
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I would look at Yachtworld also.

The air draft is critical, but there are a boats that can both cross the EC and do the canals.

English Canals are another cup of tea however.
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:49 PM   #11
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The route that very well might make the most sense for you is to get a boat capable of cruising the Med, Crossing to the UK, cruising north some. To really fit those needs best, this will not be a canal boat. Our intent when we do get around to Europe is much the same and we'd charter to see the canals.
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Old 11-29-2015, 08:25 AM   #12
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Look for an ALTENA Blue Water Trawler. This is seagoing (CE-A) and does also fit into the canals (14,96m x 4,80m x 1,50m)! I just aquired one in the US and am traveling down the eastcoast to FL. There are some on the market near to your budget.
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