Anyone can sail the canal

> Le Républicain Lorrain (10 July 2012)

No licence required. In France, contrary to what you may have heard, it’s not necessary to hold a sailing licence in order to sail on the canals.

Just a bit of common sense. On the water, common sense is the most important requirement. “Sailing is quite straightforward” […] A boater is quite like a driver. He sails on the right, only overtakes on the left, and slows down for tight bends. In places only wide enough for one boat, the first to arrive has right of way.

A gentle pace: […] no need to run the Le Mans 24 hours. […] The cruising speed is limited to 6 or 8 km/h.

You can stop just about anywhere: […] we can stop off wherever we please, day or night – so long as we aren’t obstructing other boats. […] So we can tie up in a marina […] or somewhere else, totally free, to take in the landscape, have a picnic or take a bike ride. Basically, when we’re on the water, we’re completely free!

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