At first glance the
canals look like a good way of cutting the corner of the more challenging waters
There are two major problems with
this canal route. The max draft is 1.2 metres for much of it and the width of
many of the locks is narrow, apart from the huge sea locks.
The trip through the sea
lock at St Malo up to Dinan, without taking down the mast, is a good
experience, with a pleasant little commercial quay at the end of it and a very
steep climb up to the lovely town. It is essential to carry the tide for this
passage and from Dinan onwards to the sea there are some depth issues which can
be a problem even for centreboard lifting boats.
In high summer this canal does,
sometimes, almost dry!
The route is this:-
St Malo – Rance
Châtelier lock – Dinan.(1
lock) Air height 19mtrs
Max Draft 1.6mtrs
The trip to Dinan with the mast up is possible for most boats
with a draft of less than 1.6m on the tide with lots of forgiving mud!
Dinan - Rennes (47
locks) Air height 2.5
metres Max Draft 1.2 metres
Redon (13 locks) Air
height 3.2 metres Max Draft 1.2 metres
Redon – Sea (1
lock) Air height
27 metres Max Draft 1.3 metres
For the benefit of catamarans thinking of this route the width of
the locks is 4.5 metres and you need to allow room for fenders and planks…
I have never met anyone who has been further than Dinan and all the
information above is culled form various publications and I recommend you buy
Fluviacarte which is No 12 Bretane – de St. Malo à, Arzal, de
Lorient à Nantes.