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.

France Atlantique Chapter News Letter (Summer 2017) – Moody Owners Association

Bonjour Marins – by now most of you will be on your boat enjoying the weather!  We are currently resting up from a bouncy sail from St Denis d’Oleron to Les Sables d’ Olonne in gusty conditions of westerly force 5-6!  So, while resting I thought I’d drop you a line on ‘what happens next’.

Thank you to all those who attended our enjoyable Rally at La Rochelle, (for those that missed this, 11 yachts took part, 9 staying in the Bassin des Chalutiers and 2 additional boats attending at Minimes on Day 1, (11 July).  We had our first French MOA member turn up at a rally on their Moody 31 with his family and who took part in the Welcoming Drinks pontoon party.  Next day we entered the Bassin des Chalutiers where a second reception took place, (fortunately, it started to rain at 8.30 pm and the group evaporated back to their boats!).  Nine boats stayed for the duration of the Rally and some stayed longer.  If you have been to La Rochelle then you will know what a vibrant place it is with much to see and do.  On yacht ‘Senior Moments’, while enjoying a nightcap, an aerial fireworks display took place behind the rigging of the barque Belem, which was also visiting La Rochelle, docking opposite us in the Bassin

Other news:

Free bus services – did you know that many of the Islands and some cities offer a free bus service to allow visitors to travel within the locality without charge?  You can hop from one circuit to the next and are available during July and August.  They proved particularly useful at L’Herbaudiere and St Denis d’Oleron, and were noted at Sables.  It is worth popping in to the local Tourist Office to enquire of these services.

SNCF travel – if you’re stuck in a marina for a few days then one idea is to pop along to the local railway station – there are some excellent offers on, for example, at Les Sables d’Olonne we were able to buy a railway ticket for euros 45, allowing up to 5 adults to travel on 2 days consecutively to anywhere within the Region. Four of us visited Nantes and Angers.

L’Herbaudiere, more room around the back – it is worth investigating if there is room on one of the ‘hammer-heads’ that you pass when going to the Fuel pontoon.  Marina staff usually allow rafts of up to 2 boats.  These get you away from Pontoon F, M and N where the swell in NE’ly winds can be uncomfortable, (near the harbour entrance), and the smell of the fishing boats.

Vilaine River – continues to have water supply issues see the panel to the right for latest information

Turballe – you cannot use your Passeport Escales card here but the mooring fees were very reasonable during June.  A 12 metre boat cost 15 euros per night, inc of water and electricity and this port is worth considering when Piriac is busy. 24/7 access.

Fez-Noz at Arzal 15 August – these Breton festivals happen around the Morbihan and Brittany areas during the summer season  and we are advised by Alan King of Yacht Anadyr, based in La Roche Bernard, that they are great fun.  So, if you have a Passeport Escales then why not book in for 2 nights at Arzal and join the festivities, which we are advised, happen around the Village and Lock areas.  It is also advisable to book a berth in advance if you can and bring your dance clogs!

Fez-Noz/Fest-Deiz events and other festival details, concerts etc can be found on the following website:

Ile d’Yeu – this year the marina at Port Joinville has been putting out warnings about being full.  What is really means is that you are unlikely to get a finger berth after about 1200.  The Marina have been putting out warnings saying in effect  “we can only offer ‘a couple’ rafting berths, if you don’t want this you are advised to to to another port”.  It is wise to call them when you get to the point of no return or diversion to another port  02 51 58 38 11. (edited by Website Editor)

See you in September, (perhaps) – Anna and I are returning to the UK during August, but will be back in September.  Should you know of any nautical events taking place that may be of interest our Chapter members then let me know by email and I will endeavour to pass this on.

Safe sailing and have fun.

Derek Barnard,

Captain, France Atlantique Chapter.

Meet in La Rochelle July 11-14

We all had a lovely time – watch out for pictures and write up in Compass magazine

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.


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

Please note – extraordinary closures for the whole day

Click here for the official 2017 Vilaine document giving lock and bridge times (in French)

Click here for the English version – somewhat amusing in places, but better than my French

Piriac Sur Mer – 2017 opening hours for Lock

Click here to download


Festival Interceltique 4 – 13 Aug 2017 click here to visit the website and find out what is going on. You can also buy tickets online

P1070415La Rochelle – opening hours for Bassin des Yachts and Bassin des Chalutiers

Click here to download

IMG_6123St Martin de Re – 2017 opening hours for Lock

Click here to download

Le Palais – opening hours for Lock

Click here to download

Vilaine Lock summer closures ceased 


Vannes access times

Click on the cover to download the pdf