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Pénichette Barges - Questions Answered

   

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Start and finish days

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Parking

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Navigation

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Open Water

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Learning to handle the boat

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One Way cruises

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Opening times of locks

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Insurance

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Maintenance Work

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Navigation dues

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Floods

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Hiring Without permit

 

Start and finish days

Starting days available are Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, with take-over between 4pm and 6pm. Paperwork and instruction are done during this period. Return is also on Fridays, Saturdays or Mondays, between 8am and 9am (eg. one week hire covers 7 nights from 4pm Monday, finishing 9am Monday).

Hire duration is generally for one week or two weeks, but you can also go for periods of 10/11 days, for long weekends or for 4-day mini-weeks.

 

Navigation

The cruises suggested have been calculated on the basis of a speed of 8kph on canals, 10 kph on rivers. Above this speed you may damage the banks. Times allow for going through locks (15-20 minutes) and bridges, but not any waiting time, whether foreseeable or not.

You may stop where you like when you like. The mooring spikes on board give you total freedom. You can also stop at developed marinas or public wharves.

   

Learning to handle the boat

Now you are ready to go aboard! Once you're settled in, a technician will come on board to show you how everything works and to teach you about handling the boat. In just a few minutes you will have grasped the basics.

If you're not confident about anything, ask the technician to go over it again. Often he'll speak two or three different languages. Cruising at speeds of from 6 kph to 12 kph allows unhurried manoeuvres and gives plenty of time for looking around.

 

Opening times of locks

In France, locks are generally open from 8am to 7pm with a one hour break for lunch. In France there is no charge for locks.

Locks are closed on some public holidays such as Easter Day, 1st May, Whit Sunday, 14th July and 1st November. There are some exceptions:
No lock closures in Anjou, Brittany, Camargue, Charente, Lot, Baise and Somme. Some regions are open on some public holidays.

Locks are generally worked by a lockkeeper. On the Lot and the Charente, locks must be operated by the boat's crew. As a result you can cruise all the daylight hours with no worry over opening hours or public holidays. For these locks you will need a crew of at least two active members. On other waterways, there are occasional locks to be operated by the boat's crew, whilst others are automatic, with easy-to-follow instructions. You will receive full details at the base on departure.

In Ireland and in Germany the locks are free and open every day.

In Holland the locks and bridges are in full service between 15/4 and 15/10. They are splendidly well maintained; at many, you will
be asked to pay a small toll, usually between NLG 3 to 5.

   

Maintenance Work

Many waterways have "stoppages" when they are closed for maintenance. Mostly these are scheduled for the winter months but occasionally they occur during the hire season. Dates are announced in early March. Please check with our reservation staff.

   

Floods

In this case we may have to restrict your cruise to canals only, or possibly to switch departure base, but it should not be necessary to cancel your cruise.

The Rivers Lot and Baïse are the most prone to flooding.

You should check on river levels before starting out for your holiday.

   

Parking

All our bases have enclosed parking and some offer undercover parking. A charge will be made of between 4 Euro and 5.5 Euro per day.

   

Open Water

The Bassin de Thau in Southern France as well as the Muritzsee and the Plauertzee in Germany and the lakes in Ireland should not be attempted in winds stronger than Force 3. Our staff at the base will tell you the position and give instructions.

 

One Way Cruises

You will find in our base access notes full details about methods for getting back to your car. You will be told at the base about arrangements for having your own car driven to the end-point of your cruise .

We must draw your attention to the fact that one-way cruising is an optional feature which can never be totally guaranteed owing to the possibility of cancellations or other difficulties. You must therefore recheck one week before departure whether the one way cruise is available and in which direction it will be.

   

Insurance

The hire price includes insurance of the boat and of the hirer's liability to a third party arising out of use of the boat. Insurance of the hirer, his personal effects and any other liability to a third party is not included.

   

Navigation dues

All government dues and taxes are included in the hire charge.

   

Hiring without permit

In France we have been authorised to offer boat hire without need for a captain's permit. After you have been given instruction in handling your craft and navigation rules you will be given a permit for the duration of your cruise. In Holland, and in Ireland no permit is required. In Germany whether or not you need one is governed by whether one is needed in your country of residence.

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