UK to Med via the inland route - draft question...

Oen

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Greetings again,

The plans are coming together, and I face (yet another) quandry...

I can either do the 'round the outside' route and have a couple of weeks Med cruising, or do the inland route and have about a month to go to the eastern end of the Med and back.

So, what are the panel's recommendations, and crucially:

Can I do an inland route with 2m draft, without trouble???

All help warmly appreciated,

Oen
 

robavery

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Have a look at this months Yachting Monthly article. The Rodriguez family did the trip with 1.5m draft and found water lttle short in places.
 

alandee

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Hi. We did the trip last year. We have a draft of 1.53 and scraped the bottom a couple of times for a half mile or so but that was because we have a wing keel. Friends of ours in a moody 42 came through with a draft of 1.80 in fresh water with a fin keel later in the year (Autumn) and got through....just. It all depends what time of year you go through and how much melt/rain water there is. The deepest route is through the four central canals where the max is 1.8 to the bottom of the clay. However, there is also a layer of silt on top of that which you will have to slice through at times at the highest points. When we were going through in July they were turning back boats with a draft of more than 1.6 in the four central canals and 1.4 on the other two routes. We took our own measurements at times on parts where the canal bank had not been repaired ( ongoing situation ) and the max depth that it could ever have been in the winter was 1.9 before the water poured over the side. I wouldn't try with a draft of 2.0m! DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT YOU READ IN CERTAIN BOOKS! Many boats were turned back or got stuck and had to be "forced to go back" when we were there. I hope this helps your decision.
 

vyv_cox

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If I understand your question correctly, you are assuming that you will save two weeks by going through the canals? I suggest that this is nothing like true. We took two weeks to go through Canal du Midi and that is far shorter than the Rhone route. You could do Irish Sea to Gibraltar quite comfortably in less than 14 days (your profile is not filled in so I don't know where you are leaving from). Additionally you will not need to de-rig, lower and raise your mast, which you can reckon will take something like 5 days in all.
 

jonic

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Aha unmasked by MagnaCarta. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

2m would be a struggle at best and probably impossible if there were any problems at all with locks and levels. Anyhow parts of the oustside trip are wonderful, the Spanish Rias for example. If I were doing it again, I would go there around the outside and back via the canals. As others have said Michael's site is full of good information and I'm sure he will post something soon.
 

chamac

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Did Rhone, Loing, Centre, Lateral Loire, Briare, Seine last year with 1.7m winged keel. We dragged in places. I would not have liked to be doing it any deeper. I would not try with 2 meters. The outside route is down hill going south if you watch your weather. I would go back that way.
 

Sea Devil

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Provided you use the correct canals you will probably scrape through - I have done it with 1.8 but did spend some time stuck --- It can be done in two weeks non stop - dusk to dawn and masting - dismasting need only take a day at each end but quite a tough trip.. You would need to travel with almost empty water tanks and fuel tanks keep it really light. some long warps to get a line ashore and pull yourself off on the winches....

Sounds a bit like an SAS course rather than a fun cruise. As the others said you can go down the outside pretty quick and it is all down wind once you have crossed Biscay.... Probably as quick in the end - almost - and kinder on the boat but coming back is really hard work... canals are better... probably.
 
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