France Atlantique Chapter

Welcome to the Atlantic Coast of France


MOA members in this part of the world now have a regular leader we are pleased to announce that Derek Barnard of Yacht Tangaroa kept in the Viliaine has become the first Chapter Captain.

Pictured here with Anna aboard their boat.

We have just one or two events a year, but aim to keep members up to date with useful information regarding access to the wonderful ports and rivers in our area.

Vannes Rally 14 and 15th July 2018

Marinas– 20 yachts have registered an interest in this event, but due to cancellations we are now down to 12. Details of these have been sent to both Crouesty and Vannes Marinas.  Our Vannes invitation was also extended to the Royal Lymington Yacht Club (as several of our members are also members of this club) and the Royal Irish Cruising Club. A list of all potential rally boats is shown on the event page (click the link below).  Please check your entry and advise if it does not reflect your requirements.  If you are not on the list then we haven’t heard from you so, perhaps an email to to register your interest is needed?

Tips for cruising the France Atlantique

Free bus services– many of the Islands and some cities offer a free bus service, allowing visitors to travel within the locality without charge?  Where several circuits are on offer, (eg Ile de Noirmoutier), you can hop from one circuit to the next.  These services are usually available during July and August.  Ask at the Tourist Information Centre as these free services can prove very useful when ‘marina-bound’, due to inclement weather etc.

SNCF travel– Stuck in Les Sables, or La Rochelle? then visit the local railway station – last year there were some excellent offers available for travelling within the Region.

Arzal Lock – boats entering the Vilaine are always given priority so the Lock times shown relate to the opening of the lock.  Boats leaving the Vilaine usually enter the lock 15 to 20 minutes past the times advertised.

Arzal – Camoel Marina – new pontoons have been added to the Camoel side.  If visiting this marina then request a berth on the Camoel side where it is more sheltered and quiet.

If you have any advice/tips on cruising the Morbihan, Loire Atlantique, Vendee and Charente areas then let your Captain know by emailing  Also, of any events that may be of interest.

Have a great sailing season and hopefully will see you on the water.

Derek Barnard

Captain France Atlantique Chapter

Port Haliguen – undergoing major works

Until Dec 2019 mooring at Port Haliguen will be “very difficult”

You are advised to phone ahead before relying on getting a mooring there.

If you enjoy the noise of piling and generators – it is worth going for curiosities sake.

Please see this page for more information

Piriac Sur Mer – 2018 opening hours for Lock

Click here to download


Festival Interceltique 3 – 12 Aug 2018 click here to visit the website and find out what is going on. You can also buy tickets online

P1070415La Rochelle – Bassin des Chalutier and Bassin des Yachts

Access times – click to download

IMG_6123St Martin de Re – 2018 opening hours for Lock

Click here to download

Le Palais – opening hours for lock summer 2018

Click here to download


The Arzal Lock publishes their “theoretical” times of opening. These can vary depending on the river level and the amount of water extraction required and the salinity


Click here for the official 2018 Vilaine document giving lock and bridge times (in French)

Passeport Latitude

If you are coming to France, consider buying one of these – staying in the Quiberon / Morbihan area for 13 high season nights makes it worthwhile – there are 20 ports to choose from

See the website.

Vannes access times

Click on the cover to download the pdf