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Old 01-23-2022, 11:48 AM   #21
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I've always thought a canal cruise in Europe would be a fun vacation someday. Youtube is convincing me otherwise.

It's only like that in July & August, when many Europeans have 5-6 week holidays. Rest of the year, it's not congested at all. For France, a really popular canal-cruising destination, I would recommend Late May-June. September-Oct would also be nice, but riskier, as we found out. Drought conditions can cause some French canals to run low on water necessary for normal operation...and they can close for the season with as little as a one-week notice (if you're lucky enough to see that notice pinned on the lock keeper's house...)
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Old 01-23-2022, 01:43 PM   #22
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I think it makes a lot of sense. Canals, slow speed, rafting, fenders in and out, why not just leave them in place. In some of the canals, I really see no reason for every bringing them on board and cluttering your deck and storage space and lining the boat with fenders makes sense. I'd suggest even having tubes created like on a RIB.
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Old 01-23-2022, 02:05 PM   #23
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I think it makes a lot of sense. Canals, slow speed, rafting, fenders in and out, why not just leave them in place. In some of the canals, I really see no reason for every bringing them on board and cluttering your deck and storage space and lining the boat with fenders makes sense. I'd suggest even having tubes created like on a RIB.

"Slow"? I did not know that word even existed in your vocabulary


When I was a boy, boating with my Dad, I was the one who had to take the fenders in. They had to be in by the time we exited the harbor! In the Erie canal, they had to be pulled in between each and every lock. That was not as bad as it sounds, as the many locks are spread over the hundreds of miles of New York State. To this day, I always want to cruise with fenders IN. But, as you say, there comes a point where taking fenders (and boards) in is entirely impractical. Many of the old European canals have so many locks that one can come to the next one only after a kilometer or two. And then, maybe a flight of seven, just for fun. (Actually "flights" are a very efficient way to get the pain over with as fast as possible).
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Old 01-23-2022, 02:18 PM   #24
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"Slow"? I did not know that word even existed in your vocabulary

We went slow on the Thames and the Seine and have on the Erie, but while those were slow by our definition, nothing like the other canals of France, although Paris was quite congested and we had to dock at a rental company's dock. But then we did rent a tour boat for a couple of days, just without the boat, just the captain and guide to show us around while on our boat. And then don't forget that we live in an area of canals that we generally only travel through on kayaks and paddleboards but people with all types of boats come in and out from their homes regularly. We do occasionally canal cruise here in our RIB's. That's wall to wall fender.

Sure was nice after a few days on a canal (Yes, rivers but fit description of canal better), to be able to open up and run 40-50 knots.
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Old 01-23-2022, 02:36 PM   #25
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Very clever idea to charter a tour boat without the boat! Makes complete sense in your situation. I have thought about hiring an off-duty fisherman as a sort of guide for some areas where I might want to cruise that require local knowledge. Haven't done it yet, however...

Have been considering a future trip down the Rhine to Basel. There are parts of the Rhine in Germany where a commercial captain's license is required -- even for pleasure boaters. Most don't bother with it, but if you get stopped by the authorities, a captain will be appointed to travel with you...at about 100€/hour, so I've read.
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Old 01-23-2022, 05:40 PM   #26
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A lot can be said for being the last in line.

Notice the light is still red when everyone was pushing into the canal?
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Old 01-23-2022, 05:44 PM   #27
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I ran across this pic recently, and am still trying to figure out what the operator of the boat was trying to protect him/herself from . . .
Perhaps the guy is selling or renting fenders?
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Old 01-23-2022, 09:23 PM   #28
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Wayfarer got a new boat?
Sorry swamp commander...I suppose you don't keep quite that many fenders over the side.
Lookit allllllllllllllllll them rubber baby buggy bumpers.....

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Old 01-24-2022, 08:49 AM   #29
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I've always thought a canal cruise in Europe would be a fun vacation someday. Youtube is convincing me otherwise.
We thought the same. And, YouTube is making us rethink the whole thing.
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Old 01-24-2022, 01:40 PM   #30
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We thought the same. And, YouTube is making us rethink the whole thing.
Wifey B: What is it about YouTube that is discouraging you from the canals? Perhaps it's timing? Don't let a few videos discourage you.

See the locks on the Ohio or Ballard Lock on July 4 and you'd never travel to either area, yet both are well worth it. We lived on a lake that was horrific on July 4 but so peaceful and beautiful other times. When France has their vacation shut down isn't the time for visitors to think they'll have all the tourist world to themselves.

Beware The Juilletistes and The Aoûtiens.

Now we were there in early August but then we're use to large numbers of people and didn't even realize it was anything more than summer tourism. Of course, we live in a tourist area.
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Old 01-24-2022, 05:47 PM   #31
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Wifey B: What is it about YouTube that is discouraging you from the canals? Perhaps it's timing? Don't let a few videos discourage you.

See the locks on the Ohio or Ballard Lock on July 4 and you'd never travel to either area, yet both are well worth it. We lived on a lake that was horrific on July 4 but so peaceful and beautiful other times. When France has their vacation shut down isn't the time for visitors to think they'll have all the tourist world to themselves.

Beware The Juilletistes and The Aoûtiens.

Now we were there in early August but then we're use to large numbers of people and didn't even realize it was anything more than summer tourism. Of course, we live in a tourist area.
I don't mind large numbers of people at times, but having lots of clueless boaters trying to manuver in a canal, does not look like a fun vacation IMO. Might be fun if you are standing on the bridge with a drink in hand enjoying the entertainment!
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Old 01-24-2022, 06:04 PM   #32
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I don't mind large numbers of people at times, but having lots of clueless boaters trying to manuver in a canal, does not look like a fun vacation IMO. Might be fun if you are standing on the bridge with a drink in hand enjoying the entertainment!
Wifey B: Fortunately we never saw any large clusterf... It was all rather civilized where we were, on the Seine and in Paris. Thames was busier with faster boats but also larger. Didn't venture on any of the narrower canals although did explore briefly some canals in the Netherlands.
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Old 01-24-2022, 07:20 PM   #33
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We had a great time on the Canal du Midi in the South of France about 10 years back - Spent two weeks exploring by water and saw all sorts, both onshore and on the water. Quite a few good-sized charter boats with a lot of clueless operators too.

We followed this boat one day and watched their meanderings and near misses until they finally created an opportunity for us to pass by missing (or rather by hitting) one of the many bridges...



(no injuries but I think they used their damage waiver that day)
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Old 01-25-2022, 09:34 AM   #34
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We make our canal boats from steel in the UK. Only need fenders for a quiet night alongside a wall.

Our Narrow Canals - mostly the 18th century ones - have locks that are only seven feet wide. The boats are six foot ten. And can be 70 feet long.
A bit like threading a needle sometimes.
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Old 01-28-2022, 01:50 PM   #35
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This looks like many a holiday rental boat on French canals. There is no requirement in France to have any boating knowledge, license or training whatsoever in order to rent a 50' boat like this for a week. Trust me, the ridiculous number of fenders you see in the picture is necessary. On the positive side, I can say these rental boats provide a fairly constant source of entertainment for other boaters while cruising the canals...if one can maintain a safe distance ;-)
I've barged in France a few times on my GFs Dutch barge - as soon as I saw the picture I recognized it. Yes, anyone can rent a canal barge/vessel and on any given day you need to navigate a few to a few dozen locks, many with significant drops/rises. The fenders are to protect within the locks...and the owner's investment in the charter
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Old 01-28-2022, 02:20 PM   #36
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We have a boat in a local marina named "BING-BADA-BOOM." These would be a
nice appointment.
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Old 01-28-2022, 02:35 PM   #37
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Fender overkill

It's obvious he's a lobbyist for the big fender companies!
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Old 01-28-2022, 02:42 PM   #38
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I ran across this pic recently, and am still trying to figure out what the operator of the boat was trying to protect him/herself from . . .

Themselves!!!
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Old 01-29-2022, 03:13 AM   #39
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In the French canals this configuration can be needed
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Old 01-30-2022, 12:22 AM   #40
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Bns

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