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Self drive barge cruises on Charentes River

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colorado
posts: 8
Self drive barge cruises on Charentes River

Thanks for the replies. As suggested by one, I am resubmitting a question, asking for any information that one might have regarding the company, France Passion Plaisance (FPP), that operates boat rentals to self drive. I cannot find much on the internet, other than their website, and just wanted to feel good about booking with them. Thanks. LeBoat told me for the 'mini week' (Monday - Friday), that the boat has to be back by 9a, but France Passion Plaisance's brochure says on page 13, that the mini week, return is on Friday at 2p. Thanks for anyone's comments.

Westchester, NY
posts: 3
reviews: 14
1. Re: Self drive barge cruises on Charentes River

Did you use France Passion Plaisance? We're considering using them. I'd be interested in what you thought about the boat. Also, it seems like they charge per hour for gas?? Is that true?

Denver, Colorado
posts: 32
reviews: 5
2. Re: Self drive barge cruises on Charentes River

How has your research gone so far? I have rented a self-drive boat, in 2007, from Crown Blue out of Jarnac - but the company has changed hands and they are now called Le Boat. Regarding an upcoming trip, Le Boat has failed to provide a printed price list, and the 'quote' the gave me was ridiculously high, so I am now searching for other self-drive boat companys, with Jarnac being the furthest upriver, and St. Sauvien being the furthest downriver, that I would want to search. Do you have any information? Thanks! Jan Larkin

Denver, Colorado
posts: 32
reviews: 5
3. Re: Self drive barge cruises on Charentes River

How has your research gone so far? I have rented a self-drive boat, in 2007, from Crown Blue out of Jarnac - but the company has changed hands and they are now called Le Boat. Regarding an upcoming trip, Le Boat has failed to provide a printed price list, and the 'quote' the gave me was ridiculously high, so I am now searching for other self-drive boat companys, with Jarnac being the furthest upriver, and St. Sauvien being the furthest downriver, that I would want to search. Do you have any information? Thanks!

Takapuna, New...
posts: 2,230
reviews: 35
4. Re: Self drive barge cruises on Charentes River

Have a look at Nicols. They are a little further upriver than Jarnac at Sireuil, but are easy to deal with and have a good range of vessels. Their price list is on line. I have used Nicols 4 times in the past and have booked with them again this year on La Charente.

boat-renting-nicols.co.uk/france/river-touri…

Denver, Colorado
posts: 32
reviews: 5
5. Re: Self drive barge cruises on Charentes River

You know, Nicols looks great. But it will just be me and one other on the boat, and locking through becomes exhausting :-) I do like to get down as far as Sainte, and starting at Sireuil will add...would you let me know...how many additional locks?

Takapuna, New...
posts: 2,230
reviews: 35
6. Re: Self drive barge cruises on Charentes River

The way I read the Nicols site, from Sireuil to St Savinien, downstream from Saintes and return is 15 locks...but given it is return, it should be an even number, so I believe 15 locks each way. Looking at the map on the Course tab, there are 13 locks from Sireuil to Jarnac and a further 2 locks from Jarnac to Saintes. Then the return trip.

My understanding is all locks are manual with no lock keepers on this waterway. There will be only myself and wife when we do the Charente from Sireuil to Saintes and return over 5 days in June and we are pretty relaxed about it. We are in our 60's and I rarely get off the boat. I use the engine to hold the boat steady in the locks while my wife works the vanes and gates (which she enjoys). I suggest the Nicols 900 for 2 of you. There is very easy access from the bow to drop off before the lock if you are going upstream, and walk on/off access from the quay through the starboard door at quay level. Whether travelling upstream or downstream, we use a single line as a "spring" from the starboard bow cleat, backwards to a bollard on the quay around midships (behind the side door) and through the side door for me to hold. Then I let out the line or draw it in as the boat lowers or rises in the lock, but never need to apply any actual pull. If you put the engine into slow ahead while turning slightly to port, the boat will hug the lock wall on the starboard side. Then just nudge between forward and reverse to hold the position in the lock. It is actually very easy, with no stress on either of you. I might recommend the Duo after our next trip, but I'm not yet convinced that it is as easy to manage for 2 persons. We have booked it this time for the flybridge helm, which the N900 doesn't have.

Another advantage of the N900 is the 2 bedroom cabins with the "en suites". In the past, we have used the rear cabin to store our bags and the forward cabin for sleeping. The rear cabin is above the engine and can get a bit warm. The 2 en suites will allow you to use one as a toilet and the other as a shower. There can be a problem with water sloshing around on the toilet floor after a shower, when you drop your pants.

Edited: 3:57 am, February 08, 2012
7. Re: Self drive barge cruises on Charentes River

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