Moody 36 (90s) Moody through the French canals?

Bill Levett

Bill Levett
Temporary Member
I am contemplating bringing a Moody 36 back from the Med vi a the French canals during the summer/early autumn this year. She draws 1.8m so the draft is at the official limit. I wondered if anyone has any tips or thoughts on the feasibility of doing this?
 

Peter Wright

Peter Wright
Member
Boat name
WILD THYME
Berth
Suffolk Yacht Harbour
Boat type
Moody 425
Cruising area
North Sea, English Channel, Biscay
Hi Bill,

If you really want to do this, go for early spring, when the rivers are still full and the snow still melting on the mountains. Later on the levels start to .drop and, as you've already discovered, your draft is on the limit.

The toughest part of canal design is the water supply system and environmentally driven legislation is making dredging both more difficult and more expensive, so expect to cut a few grooves through the mud.

Note that I have never made the trip from Med to UK by canal.

Peter.
 

Bill Levett

Bill Levett
Temporary Member
Peter

Thanks for the response. In principal I agree. However the boat is in Greece at the moment and I don't expect to get moving till May at the earliest. I am also not intending to rush. I have heard the Mistral blows hard in the early spring so the Gulf of Lyons and the River Rhone might be tough at that time of year.

I wonder how much the draft would reduce if I road-shipped the mast and as much gear as I could live without?

My other thought is whether we could use a low loader road trip just for the shallow canal section between the Rhone and the Seine?

Bill
 

David Pattisson

David Pattisson
Member
Boat name
DON PARTAGAS
Berth
Lymington
Boat type
Moody 376
Cruising area
Solent / Channel
Hi Bill

I took my Moody 376 through the canals (north to south) in 2015. With a draft of 1.68 we touched the bottom regularly and had to power through mud on a few occasions. With a draft of 1.8m I would say don't try it. I'm happy to give you more details of our trip if you want more info, but I would never do it again. It was very stressful and no fun at all.

On the other hand, I am now a professional delivery skipper so if you want somebody to bring it home the long way round, then let me know!!

David
 

Pete Rowland

Peter Rowland
Member
Boat name
APRIL LASS
Berth
Gosport
Boat type
Moody 31 MkII
Cruising area
Solent
Bill, any savings by shipping the mast are likely to be offset because the canal will be fresh water. Is the difference noticeable? well it was when ever we dived in fresh water. Interestingly diving depth gauges are calibrated for fresh water.

Pete
 

Bill Levett

Bill Levett
Temporary Member
A friend has suggested getting as far as I can and going back and collecting the boat in the spring when the water levels are higher. Apparently someone he knew actually did that.
 

Arthur Arnold

Temporary Member
I did this trip a few years ago both ways and thoroughly enjoyed it. We drew 1.5mtrs. We did meet other boats that drew more and out
 

Arthur Arnold

Temporary Member
Sorry sent to early. We did this trip as I said but I think you would be pushing your luck with your draught. One of the problems you will find even if you get through is that mooring up at night you will often be way off of the bank having to use poles and planks.
 

Bill Levett

Bill Levett
Temporary Member
Arthur Arnold. Given what you've said I'm putting more emphass on a low loader to bypass the canals. I'd still really like to cruise the Rhone, Saone and Seine if it makes sense. Has anyone any experience of making the transit in this way? I guess the key thing is to know there are suitable riverside hardstandings and road access, at say Chalon and Paris.
 

Arthur Arnold

Temporary Member
I obviously did all of these rivers but cannot help on road access. Once on the rivers it is pretty straight forward but I would probably miss out the Seine as we did not find it that interesting. What every you do I am sure you will have a great time.
 

Bill Levett

Bill Levett
Temporary Member
Arthur Arnold. Ok so I've bought Ishima now so this is a lot more real. Which way would you go if not via the Seine?
 

John Page

John Page
Member
Boat name
MATILDA J
Berth
Wareham, Poole
Boat type
Moody 40
Cruising area
Channel, South and SW UK
Hi Bill, I brought my Moody 40 in Spain 2 years ago and brought her home through the canals to Paris starting on the Rhone, we draw 1.5m and we ploughed our way occasionally I would not attempt to bring a 1.8 m draught yacht through the canals.

I would also say that the yards we saw on the trip were not well set up to lift and transport yachts. I would seriously advise enjoy the med and either sail to UK or low loader across France or possibly getting a return trip on a low loader from the UK (we did that with our first Moody).

The Rhone and Seine are not set up that well for pleasure boats and what facilities there are would be difficult to access drawing 1.8m.

Enjoy whatever route you chose.
 

Bill Levett

Bill Levett
Temporary Member
Thanks John. I've had quite a few discussions on this topic. I am now more focused on sailing Ishima back to the UK.
 

Patrick Fleming

Patrick Fleming
Member
Boat name
EUREKA
Berth
East Ferry, Cork Harbour, Ireland
Boat type
Moody 36(90s)
Cruising area
Ireland / Uk / France
Best of luck with your voyage home Bill.
I know you're trying the canals but if you decide on the long way round give me a call if you want any advice.
I took the long way round when I purchased Eureka in Rome and sailed her to Ireland.
The main thing is not to rush. It only puts you under pressure and ruins the enjoyment.

Pat
 
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