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Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:25am

Post Subject: Boating in France

Hi Has anyone got any advice they good give me on narrowboating in France. My partner & I are planning to take our boat over to the french canals in a couple of years and are trying to get as much information as possible before doing so.


Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:11am

Post Subject: Boating in France

I think there may well be some blogs on the internet about boating on the continent and I think I have seen books about it. You will need CENVI certification but the courses can be done at many UK helmsman schools. The French in particular have the reputation of being capable of extreme bureaucracy when it takes them so make sure you carry proof of VAT having been paid on your boat and your equipment. The more commercial European waterways are not the most suitable for narrowboats and you will need extremely long lines. I know you only say France but this could change. I have a feeling there may be regulations that effectively debar narrowboats from the Rhine so make sure the same does not apply to the large French rivers (I may well be wrong here). I believe both the Belgians and Dutch have prosecuted UK boaters for having red diesel in their tanks and I could see a French official doing it on a bad day as well so make sure there are no traces of dye in your tanks before you go. I understand French pump-out facilities are all but non-existent so you will need a Portapotti type toilet or a DIY pump out kit - I understand the French tend to follow UK disposal practises of years ago! Lets hope some readers who boat on the continent will join in. Tony Brooks

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