Jackie Parry – author


Dutch Barge Association has a website full of great tips/advice/knowledge: http://www.barges.org

We are new to owning a barge and doing the canals for any length of time. However, we did traverse the French canals twelve years ago on our sailboat for three months.

If you are considering purchasing a barge from Europe and live in a place other than Europe, then we have a bit of an insight to this:

– Spend a LOT of time researching boats prior to flying to Europe to view (I mean at least six months).

– Remember the pictures in the advertisements make the boat look better than it is.

– We thought we’d find something in a few weeks as there are SO MANY boats for sale. Three months later we are almost there (deposit paid, survey to do!)

– You will pay more than you intended for a boat – this is our third boat (2 x sailing, 1 x barge) on all occasions we have gone over our budget.

– In The Netherlands it is easy to find a surveyor and haul out yard when/where you want them.

– In France it is hard (and more expensive than The Netherlands) to find a surveyor and haul out yard where/when you want them.

We will add more tips as we learn more – please feel free to share our advice and share your advice with us all here.




2 thoughts on “Advice/tips

  1. Cheers, Jackie would you be so kind as too enlighten me on the finer points of taking a sailboat up the canals to Paris?


    • Hi Danville, I am not sure what you want. You need good boat handling skills… some people think the canals are boring(!), they can be leisurely, but there are many locks. There are many varieties of locks. You’ll need a good guidebook so you know when you are going up or down in the locks. I’ve talked about depth and air-draft before. Some locks have cross-currents at the entrance, and wind causes some interesting manoeuvres, the water is always moving – so as I say you need to be able to control and handle your boat in low speeds, hold stationary at times etc. There are a few different routes, except of course the Rhone, depending on your size there are different regs – under 20 metres is good, under 15 is even better! (ie less regulations). You’ll need a licence (VHF vignette) – we did lots of google research, suggest you do the same, there is a lot of info out there. A lot of opinions too, but you learn to do what you want when. Lots of places to tie up, some charge a lot don’t – usually you pay for electricity though – self sufficient is a good idea (solar panels and rain catcher – although neither are much of a problem) – hope that helps, if you have any specific questions, let me know 🙂


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