France Atlantique

Welcome to the Atlantic Coast of France


Derek Barnard of Yacht Tangaroa kept in the Viliaine is our 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.

This year a new idea of a “Cruise in Company” is being instituted.  Yacht Tangaroa is progressing to Rochefort and everyone is welcome to come along.

Click on the red + sign below to reveal the details of how to join and keep up with the cruise.

Details of Cruise in Company from La Turballe to Rochefort

France Atlantique News-Letter (June 2019)

By now most of you will have been out on the water enjoying the weather during May. However, the current winds and rain may be dampening your ardour for our sport, so, here is a suggested ‘pick-me-up’ – a ‘cruise to Rochefort’ in company. You may have read about this in the MOA Compass Magazine and plans are now afoot to sail from Quiberon Bay to Rochefort and return mid-August.  If you haven’t been to La Rochelle and the Islands then this cruise may be right for you. Hopefully, this event will attract you, so don’t delay phone today – see below!  To find out what is at Rochefort then visit the MOA website as this has links to Rochefort’s marina and tourist information.

I have a which spreadsheet illustrates our cruise plan which commences at La Turballe, mustering on the 5thJuly,  (why so late in the year?, simply my boat Tangaroa (Moody 40) has been undergoing some improvements and we get launched on the 2ndJuly at Arzal, on the Vilaine River)..  Email to request a copy.

Obviously, the weather plays an important role in this and there may be changes as we make our way towards St Denis on Ile d’Oleron, arriving there to experience their celebration of the Fete Nationale on the 14thJuly. If the weather closes in and we get stuck at say Les Sables then our contingency is to sail from Les Sables to St Denis direct. Ultimately, our cruise is to visit Rochefort and return via La Rochelle, St Martin, Bourgenay, St Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, L’Herbaudiere, Pornichet and Piriac.

 As with any event, communication is key and as Wifi is tricky in some places I shall be using Whats App (a text messaging application.  If you have an I-phone, or android, then you can get this app free from the App Stores).  Our messages will provide a short briefing on our progress, where we are going, when and possibly with whom!).  If you fancy joining this cruise, for any leg, or just popping in for a chat, then text me with your mobile phone number and I’ll add you to our WhatsApp Group of ‘MOA France Atlantique’.  The App will give you the information you will need to liaise with the group. Haven’t got Whats App?, then still text me and we will try and keep you in the ‘loop’.  Meanwhile, here is the mobile number to text and register your interest, please provide both contact and boat names:

(UK phone) – 07971 206 864

At each location Tangaroa will fly the MOA ‘Battle Flag’ and/or burgee and a large Red Pepper (probably the hottest thing on the pontoon).  To help us find you then please fly your MOA burgee. Hope to see you on the water.

Derek Barnard

Captain, France Atlantique Chapter


La Rochelle

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.

Le Palais

St Martin

Rochefort and Charente

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