France Atlantique

Welcome to the Atlantic Coast of France

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

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 were planning a rally at Rochefort over the Fete National Festival. However, due to uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic social distancing rules and guidelines, this has now been re-scheduled for 12-15 July 2022 and more details of this re-scheduled event will appear in future editions of Compass magazine.

If you are cruising this area during July 2021 then it is still worth visiting Rochefort and suggest you arrive on the 12 July and leave on the 15th, or shortly thereafter, to take full advantage of tides and lock gate opening times, and events. Our ‘man on the ground’, Bob Tuffnell who lives and berths at Rochefort, will be pleased to hear from you, (his details are in the Membership Handbook 2021).

Rochefort lock times,  Rochefort Town Guide, French Covid regulations

Safe sailing – Derek

Events Proposed for 2021/22

Events for 2021
Propose a dateHave an idea for an event, or meeting? then email me with an outline of these so that we can publish an agenda in the Spring Edition
of Compass.
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.

Derek Barnard

Captain France Atlantique Chapter