France Atlantique

Welcome to the Atlantic Coast of France

Fete Nationale Rally in Rochefort 12 – 14 July 2022

Please email Bob Tuffnell to let him know your intentions: mobile ‭06 11 24 25 42

Sailing Instructions

Rendez-vous at the anchorage S of the Island of Aix, around mid-day Tuesday 12th July. If conditions are favorable, bunting and all flags flying !
There should be the replica Spanish ship « El Galéon d’Andalucie » at anchorage, in between the lighthouses, and the « Fort Boyard ».

Approx. 14h (local time), the Galéon will weigh anchor, to proceed up river.

We should follow, at a safe distance (listen to VHF CH.12, for any instructions from the Pilot, or Port Authorities). Here’s hoping that the crowds will be lining the river banks to welcome us !

The Galéon will enter the dock (at 16h15), usually occupied by the 3 masted frigate « L’Hermione », which is about 2 miles after the « Transborder » bridge. Hold back slightly downstream whilst they manœuvre, with the little tug-boats. There is plenty of room in the river.

We will enter the Marina (1/2 mile further upstream), at around 17h15, as instructed by the marina staff (VHF CH. 9). Visitors are usually on pontoon « A », straight ahead after the lock.

Welcome « aperitif » either on the visitors pontoon, or at the « APPR » clubhouse (200m behind the boatyard). For those who desire, the plancha at the clubhouse will be available to grill your freshly-caught fish ! If you hadn’t had any luck , there are several restaurants around the port, and the mussels and chips bar on the quayside quite  near to the visitors pontoon.

Confirmation numbers for reservation of lunch or evening meal  together for Wednesday.

Wednesday 13th : Shopping or sightseeing,

In the afternoon and evening ; the « Bastille Day » events :
15h30   Fire Brigade demonstrations near the « Corderie Royale », about 500m from the Marina.
18h      Military parade and Colours Ceremony , in the town centre.
23h :     Fireworks , on the quayside near to the lockgates.

Thursday 14th : Market in the town centre, where you can stock up with the best fresh produce, and whatever takes your fancy to lunch together at the APPR clubhouse.

[1er RV au mouillage de l’Ile d’Aix en fin de matinée du 12 Août, pour suivre (grand Pavois hissé, selon mer et vent) derrière le navire « El Galeon», qui va remonter  la Charente, jusqu’au forme de radoub de l’Hermione. Nous rentrons au port de plaisance environ 17h15. Apéro d’accueil. Possibilité de libre service du plancha, etc.,en soirée, au local de l’association « APPR ».
Mercredi 13, visites des sites historiques, musées, etc. sur la ville.
15h30 : démonstration des sapeurs-pompiers et manœuvres sur le parking de la Corderie Royale.(500m du port)
18h : Défilé militaire dans le centre-ville
23h : Feu d’artifice tiré depuis le Quai aux Vivres, près de l’écluse du port.
23h30 : Bal populaire (lieu à venir)Repas ensemble le soir, suivi du feu d’artifice devant la Corderie Royale.
Jeudi matin le marché en centre ville sera ouvert. Repas « Auberge Espagnole »,  au local du club APPR sur le port.]

A few useful sources of information. Quelques liens des informations :
Office de tourisme :
Tourist office :

El Galéon :

Marché et Foire

Serv. Hist. Déf. :

Please email Bob Tuffnell to let him know your intentions: mobile ‭06 11 24 25 42‬


Rochefort (and La Charente River)

Please click here for more information about the town and navigating the river


Bob Tuffnell of Yacht “Dauphin Bleu” kept in Rochefort is our Chapter Captain.

Bonjour à tous.

Je me permets de vous écrire quelques mots pour vous annoncer que j’ai pris la casquette de Capitaine pour la région France Atlantique, depuis le début de l’année.

Je suis propriétaire d’un Moody 37 “Dauphin Bleu” (anciennement “Mr. Cairo”) depuis bientôt 3 ans, avec Rochefort (17) comme port d’attache.

Dans le prochain numéro de Compass, sera annoncé que nous avons re-programmé le rallye annuel à Rochefort, du 13 au 15 Juillet, avec nos propres événements, plus  la Fête Nationale, défilé militaire, feux d’artifice, etc. A suivre………..

En vous souhaitant une très bonne journée.

Bien amicalement.

Bob Tuffnell

RYA Statement on Returned Goods Relief for UK VAT registered boats kept in the EU

Following a meeting between the RYA and HMRC on 17 November, we welcome the Government’s intent to waive the 3-year condition for Returned Goods Relief (RGR) for pleasure craft that are the personal property of a UK resident which are being returned to the UK for personal use.

The draft legislation will amend reference documents for The Customs (Reliefs from a Liability to Import Duty and Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 and is supported by Government guidance on claiming a relief to pay less Customs Duty and VAT if you re-import goods to the UK.

In order for these changes to come into effect from 01 January, it is expected that the legislation will be laid on 10 December or shortly thereafter. The revised guidance will be published on GOV.UK at the time the legislation is laid.

Mel Hide, RYA Director of External Affairs said: “We are extremely pleased that the Government has responded to the concerns set out by the RYA over the past 2 years, acknowledging that this move is the fair and right thing to do. The waiver from the 3-year condition for boats that have been based in the UK under their current ownership at some point means that VAT will not be recharged on their return to the UK regardless of timing.

“However, we are fully aware that there are those who own boats legitimately bought and kept in the EU when the UK was a member state which have never been in the UK. We continue to press the Government to recognise that export for these boats took place at the end of the Transition Period at 2300UTC on 31 December 2020 when in effect the UK exported itself from the EU. As such, the Government should accept that the export / import condition for RGR is deemed to have been met and therefore the 3-year condition should terminate on 31 December 2023.”

If you have any questions regarding this or any of our other external affair issues, please visit the Representation page on the RYA website or email:

Events Proposed for 2021/22

Events for 2022
12 July - 15 JulyFete Nationale Rochefort

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.

Bob Tuffnell

Captain France Atlantique Chapter