Wilhemstad to Dover

azzo

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Hi,
I am planning to bring my boat over to Dover from Wilhemstad which is on the river Maas estuary in Holland.To avoid a long sea crossing I was hoping to take the boat via canals/rivers to Calais .This would leave me a short hop across the channel.
Has anyone out there made this trip ? Any advice would be welcome.
The boat has a lifting keel.

John
 
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Quite an easy trip. You have two choices of route. You can go from Willemstad through Volkerak, then take the Oosterschelde and Canal door Zuid Beveland down to Hansweert, then down the Westerschelde to Terneuzen, then Gent, Brugge and onwards.

Alternatively if the weather is bad go through Kreekraksluis and through Antwerp docks, then Bovenschelde up to Gent.

Points to note:

1. You are required to keep a VHF listening watch on the Westerschelde down to Terneuzen, using differing frequencies in differing parts. Details will be available at Hansweert lock.

2. If going Antwerp route you may need an FD number (Financial Dienst) to pass through the docks. There is a radio frequency to call up on (Ch. 2 from memory but don't trust that!) or again details should be available from Kreekraksluis. I have on occasions just sailed through to the lock onto the Schelde and sorted the details there, with apologies.

3. The Bovenschelde can have very strong tidal flows and has some very sharp bends: go carefully and watch out for boils. Follow a commercial if possible.

4. You will need to buy a Waterwegenvignette (Belgian canal licence) when you get to Gent: depends on size of boat but probably only about 30 euros, but you will need cash. This will cover you for all Flemish waterways.

5. I always leave through Nieuwpoort (between Ostende and Dunkerque). It's much easier than doing battle with the frogs and paying for a VNF licence as well. The canal locks at Nieupoort operate HW +/- 3 24 hours and are much more user friendly than Dunkerque or Calais. Good marina and fuel facilities are also available at Nieuwpoort. From Nieuwpoort just follow the coast down to Calais and over you go.

Have a good trip!
 

david_bagshaw

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I would agree with all above see http://www.euroboating.net/gaz/belgium/Antwerp.html for a copy of the main VHF chans in Antwerp & location of the Radio reporting point which is compulsory for all traffic at the Noordland Bridge. If you combine a visit to the new marina in Antwerp, there is no charge for passing through the port system;(otherwise about £6.00, use to be 500ish BF don’t know in €) of course the other advantage of going this way is an easy bunkering of red diesel, never mind the nice city.


The Schelde Estuary can be very rough in wind against tide, and be careful going round the bend at Bath as it is tight for ships & they will not go round you

The route via Antwerp, Ghent is prettier than via Terneuzen, & although is also busy but not as busy as the canal, & there is more room to navigate on. The bridge at Dendermonde only opens if I rightly remember about 2 hours either side of HW


David
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DanTribe

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That sounds like a more interesting trip than my usual route along the coast from Vlissingen. Are there problems with bridges if fixed mast?
 

miket

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Not gospel, but would think you are fine to the Westerschelte, but not on the canal routes south from there.

Certainly not from Nieupoort to Calais. I had to bottle out at Dunkirk with my Fairline Turbo 36 motor cruiser!
 

david_bagshaw

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S beveland canal has opening bridges and about 9~ 10 mtr clearance at high water. (I know we get through without mast dropping (10 mtr)about one hour before )

You might get past dendermonde to ghent , but no further, last weent this way in the early 70s so bit hazy, seem to remember gillotine lock gates

David
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G

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Have had difficulty posting a reply: do we need a new ISP (?) provider. Seem to have had a lot of trouble recently. Anyway, the answer to the questions on headroom is that, despite having done the Bovenschelde route only last autumn, I don't have my maps here and I cannot remember for sure what the headroom conditions are to Gent on the Bovenschelde. Suffice to say that once you reach Gent the headroom is down to 4 to 4.5 metres. There must surely be good mast knocking off facilities at Willemstad, and Nieuwpoort Marina will be able to re-step. Bear in mind however the more serious consideration that in using the inland passage you will have to fund numerous inexpensive but wonderful meals in cafes, and be almost forced to sample at least some of Belgium's 300+ different varieties of beers. For some this could prove a serious disincentive! Happy planning!
 

ponapay

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If you have a seagoing boat, go by sea. Forget the canals and do it quicker, cheaper and with more verve in the medium the boat was designed for.

The sea is nowhere nearly as bad as its painted out to be by the motor heads, just take a good forecast, plan well and keep a good look out.

ponpay@aol.com
 

kingfisher

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Day 1: Wilhelmstad-Wemeldinge via Volkenrak en Oosterschelde
VHF 68 for Trafic control Oosterschelde, weather on T+15m
Day 2: Wemeldinge-Breskens via Hansweert-Westerschelde (use the tide to your advantage, take the Middelgat via Hoedekenskerke to avoid the heavy shipping)
VHF 3 for trafic control to Terneuzen, VHF 14 for TC to sea (weather on T+50m)
Day 3: Breskens-Oostende
Day 4: Oostende-Nieuwpoort
Day 5: Nieuwpoort-Dover

The route Wemeldinge-Terneuzen-Gent-Brugge-Oostende/Nieuwpoort is also available, but not with a standing mast. You can get to Gent with your mast, but you need a "waterwegenvignet" at 25€. Terneuzen-Gent takes on average 5hrs, due to bridges. Bridge clearance is 10m (or so it was last weekend :)

I'm based in Terneuzen and have done TZ-Willemstad quite a few times and Terneuzen-Dover three times (number for will be in May)

Best chart: Admiralty Small Craft Folio of Eastern Channel coupled with 1801, 1803 and 1805 dutch charts

http://www.allejachthavens.nl/
http://www.doverport.co.uk/index1.html
http://www.vvwnieuwpoort.be/

Obi-Wan
http://sirocco31.tripod.com
 
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