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Old 10-02-2012, 03:29 PM   #1
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Thumbs up French canals

Does anyone need assistance in moving a boat through the French canals?

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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Does anyone know where to get information (charts / guides / permits / fees) for using the canals & rivers of Europe?

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Old 10-05-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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Default John Pennefather

I can only speak for the French waterways.

The cruising permit - known a "vignette" - can be purchased on line using a debit/credit card by visiting www.vnf.fr. The site provides a lot of other information, and is the official site for the French waterways. The cost depends on how long you want the permit for, but I recall that there is a discount for early purchase - 10% I think.

The best maps/charts of the system are published in a set of about 12 by Navicarte, and can be obtained in UK from Stanfords - web site - www.stanfords.co.uk. Apart from excellent charts, they each contain a written guide, brief perhaps but useful, to the area covered.

These days the are a good number of other guides, though without charts generally, and probably Stanfords on Imray would be the best place to get advice. I used to like those written by Hugh McKnight best, and I think some are still published and in second or third editions.

Good luck, and I hope this helps.

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Old 10-16-2012, 12:23 PM   #4
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Default French canals

I should also have said that someone on board your vessel will need a certificate of competence to navigate the French waterways. This is known as CEVNI, or CVNI - I forget which - and can be obtained through the RYA after passing a fairly simple written test, which I believe can now be taken online, as well as in person at various locations around the UK. If you are not in UK, then I think the French will offer the same test, though probably in their own language. There is of course a fee payable for the test, as well as for the CEVNI certificate, which has to be renewed with a new photo every 5 years, but otherwise lasts a lifetime.

I hold this test, as well as speaking French, and will be on the lookout for opportunities to crew as an amateur next Spring/Summer.
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