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Dream On

A narrowboat abandoned in France

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They're rare birds nowadays - I have seen photos of this one before, and I think that only three or four are extant in anything like decent condition. We did not see one when we went along the Berry, though the president of the canal society told us that one was under restoration away from the canal.

They're appreciably bigger than U.K. narrowboats - about 80 feet by 8. Crucially, their freeboard is much higher, which must make them easier to handle through deeper locks.

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5 minutes ago, Athy said:

They're rare birds nowadays - I have seen photos of this one before, and I think that only three or four are extant in anything like decent condition. We did not see one when we went along the Berry, though the president of the canal society told us that one was under restoration away from the canal.

They're appreciably bigger than U.K. narrowboats - about 80 feet by 8. Crucially, their freeboard is much higher, which must make them easier to handle through deeper locks.

They are a bit of a curiosity, there may be one at Anderlecht (Brussels) on a line of residential boats but it doesn't look quite right and I think I have seen one in Paris but I was too scared to take my eyes off the approaching trip boats and the overtaking commercial to get a good look.

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42 minutes ago, Bee said:

They are a bit of a curiosity, there may be one at Anderlecht (Brussels) on a line of residential boats but it doesn't look quite right and I think I have seen one in Paris but I was too scared to take my eyes off the approaching trip boats and the overtaking commercial to get a good look.

I'm not surprised!

That was probably the 'Cher' which had been used as a floating refuelling station but which was lying out of use by 2014. I am delighted to read, on the Berry preservation web site, that they've succeeded in buying it with the aim of taking it back "home", though i do not know if that has yet happened.

They reckon that it's one of five survivors.

 

EDIT: the boat is at a boatyard on the Haute-Seine where it's been pressure-washed etc. and repainted, prior to going down to Vierzon on the Berry, which should be happening this month! It's not clear whether this will be under her own power or towed indeed I'm not sure if Cher ever had an engine; many berrichons didn't, some later ones did, and Cher is a 1930s build apparently.

Edited by Athy

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2 hours ago, Athy said:

Thanks for that most coherently-argued warning (whoops, I mean advice). After reading it I think I would no longer be keen on using a narrowboat anywhere in France bar the Canal du Berry (which has a small fleet of Springers).

Thanks also for the delicious expression "bateau saucisson" and for its appetising photographic accompaniment - though aren't those saucisses rather than saucissons?

However did we manage with our narrowboat on the waterways of Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany.......... 

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42 minutes ago, Athy said:

I'm not sure if Cher ever had an engine; many berrichons didn't, some later ones did, and Cher is a 1930s build apparently.

Cher was a motor berrichon. We bunkered from it on the Seine in Paris when we first arrived in 1995, but the floating chandlery at Austerlitz it was associated with closed perhaps some 10 years ago. There were a couple of wooden ones on the Loire by the end of the St Satur branch back then too, but sadly they were seized and broken up a few years ago now.

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Tam, I have just had another look at their web site and now see that one of the photos of the boat under restoration clearly shows a screw - not very observateur of me, though to be fair I have had that virus which has been going around, and my brain is still on light duties.

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Yes, there are still Berrichons sailing like the "Blue Berry" and "Le Soleil" (it is in Paris and there are pictures of it on my blog) but they are rare ...
Belgium also has this kind of boats: les "Baquets de Charleroi" (bucket of Charleroi), also called "sabot" (hoof ?) ...

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5 minutes ago, Dream On said:

Yes, there are still Berrichons sailing like the "Blue Berry" and "Le Soleil" (it is in Paris and there are pictures of it on my blog) but they are rare ...
Belgium also has this kind of boats: les "Baquets de Charleroi" (bucket of Charleroi), also called "sabot" (hoof ?) ...

Hoof? could be, also. I think, shoe, heavy boot from which we get saboteur, sabotage, 'to put the boot in' 'to kick and break' (Could have dreamt that but I don't think so), In that case there is a good chance that the boat that I saw at Anderlecht could have come from Charleroi and not Canal Du Berry.

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The rubber clogs bateliers (and me) wear are generally referred to as sabots, so I think clog is probably the best word.

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A 'sabot' is also a calibre adapter to allow a smaller bullet to be fired in a larger calibre gun and it drops away after leaving the barrel of the gun allowing the bullet to continue.

Allowing you to shoot a smaller bullet from a shotgun cartridge

Image result for sabot

 

 

Anti-Tank round with a 'Sabot'

220px-Obus_501556_fh000022.jpg

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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13 hours ago, Dream On said:

Yes, there are still Berrichons sailing like the "Blue Berry" and "Le Soleil" (it is in Paris and there are pictures of it on my blog) but they are rare ...
Belgium also has this kind of boats: les "Baquets de Charleroi" (bucket of Charleroi), also called "sabot" (hoof ?) ...

Thanks for that reference - I had not heard of these boats before. I think "Charleroi tubs" or "clogs" would describe them. With a length of only 65 feet they were even more like British narrowboats, though much deeper - a baquet could carry 70 tons of coal (their main cargo) which would have made British canal owners envious. 

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13 hours ago, Bee said:

Hoof? could be, also. I think, shoe, heavy boot from which we get saboteur, sabotage, 'to put the boot in' 'to kick and break' (Could have dreamt that but I don't think so), In that case there is a good chance that the boat that I saw at Anderlecht could have come from Charleroi and not Canal Du Berry.

Sabot is a clog, and sabotage comes from the action of throwing a clog into machinery, to break a power loom, for example. This is in the days when machinery was taking over from hand looms.

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12 minutes ago, Stilllearning said:

Sabot is a clog, and sabotage comes from the action of throwing a clog into machinery, to break a power loom, for example.

That's correct - though I have also seen its meaning likened to "putting the boot in", i..e. violently breaking or damaging something.

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