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Has anybody rented a boat from Locaboat and would you do it again?

pretty much what the title says. pros/cons? worth it? what route? etc etc etc

any input?


Posted by
9110 posts

Several times.

The best routes are the ones in Brittany. Latte up into the delta has good stops, but you spend a lot of time in a ditch and have to hop up on the roof to see much. Burgundy is pretty good. Avoided Canal du Midi since I've seen it look like bumper boats, especially around Carcassonne.

Quit doing it since the narrowboats on the BW system are much better.

Stock up with grub before you get to the boat since the stores in the marinas are expensive and without much variety. Skip the bikes, you don't need them, they cost a bundle, and they get in the way.

Make sure you get inside (not just covered) steering since the weather can turn to stink. The classic penichettes are probably the best for room, visibility, and comfort.

Just noticed you posted in the Netherlands - - no knowledge there. Also none in the RoI or Venice.

Posted by
18 posts

thanks for the reply! i was specifically looking for it in holland. thought it might be a neat way to see the country.

but i'll check out the routes you suggested. can you pretty much dock anywhere? or does it need to be in marinas/designated areas?
about how much time each day did you spend traveling in the boat?

Posted by
9110 posts

Dock anywhere, no - - places with bollards might be full or far apart. Drive in stakes and tie off anywhere, just about as long as it's not somebody's front yard or an industrial area.

Time varies. They're governed down to about three knots to prevent erosion. So it's whatever it takes to get to the next stop. Five hours in a day sucks. Figure a lock takes twenty minutes, so that robs a mile from what you can do in an hour. The more frequent good stopping opportunities is one of the reasons we switched to England.

Posted by
1812 posts

We rented from Locaboat once, in southern France (Garonne Canal & River Baise). It was a great experience ... the third week of a 4 week vacation. After rushing around with cars and trains and hotels, it was such a luxury to just float. We were fairly inexperienced boaters, but after the first few hours of sheer terror and wondering what we had been thinking, we fell into the rhythm of the locks and loved visiting the charming little towns, which welcomed the boat people. It was wonderful.

I agree with Ed that you should stock up with food before setting out. We just bought a little fruit and bread and wine, and were woefully unprepared when we found all restaurants closed in the towns where we stopped for the night on two consecutive days. Apples and wine and a crust of bread might sound romantic, but real food is better.

I would also suggest that you carefully study the floor plan of the boat before you rent it. If the boat is supposed to sleep six, two of them might be on the kitchen table. So you might want to choose a boat that is a little bigger than you actually need.

Posted by
222 posts

My husband and I have done the Canal du Midi with the penichittes 4 times and loved it. Locaboat is a good company with lots of choices for boats and routes. We did one-way cruises 3 of the times so we did not repeat the scenery. We chose the middle of the route because it had more locks - 66 - and we enjoy that aspect of the trip. The locks are exciting, especially the double ones and difficult to negotiate with just 2 people - but it is possible, even for 60+ year-olds. Our last trip we had our 16 year old grandson with us and he loved it - said it was the best of a month long trip of Europe. He drove the boat the whole time. That trip was in June and wasn't that crowded - we rarely had to wait to get into a lock. Key is to stay the night outside the lock and be one of the first to enter. The locks open at 9:00 a.m., close for lunch for an hour or two and close for the day at about 6:00 p.m (I'm depending on memory for exact times). We hope to repeat the trip some day.