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3.6 out of 5 stars8
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 30 May 2001
If you intend to go boating in France, if you dream of boating in France, if you've been boating in France and want to know what you missed - this book is for you. Well-written, well-illustrated and well-produced, it can be enjoyed on several different levels: as a practical guide to a chosen waterway, as a sampler to know which waterway to choose, or just as a bedside book for dreaming about the cruise you'll do in France one day. There's history, technicalities, scenery, gastronomy, and traveller's tales as well as mile-by-mile (ok kilometre-by-kilometre!) descriptions of the waterways. Of course, it can't be perfectly up-to-date, or absolutely comprehensive: but for any item that is missed there are hundreds that are delightfully covered. If you can read this book and at the end say truthfully that you have learnt nothing new, your name must be Hugh McKnight. Buy it!
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on 12 August 2010
Although I'm sure that the book contains many well researched facts about the French Waterways it is exceedingly dated, filled with old colour plates and far too many "historical" faded black and white photos. The useful snippets about places to visit are buried in the dense and impenetrable prose. If you are fanatical about the history of canals and your favourite form of reading is a 1950s history book then this one is for you.

It would be better if it was more organised - with an introduction to each canal containing the history and engineering factoids, a guide on navigating the canal itself and then a third section about the places to see, towns to visit and pleasant watering holes. An extra would be a little gazeeter containing information about where to find fuel, a shower, a pleasant marina and nice shops.

Although some of the information is there you have to work far too hard for precious little reward.
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on 29 September 2010
We have read a number of publications and maps on the topic in preparation for our planned journey into the canals. This book as others have written is good in places but as others have said full of very old photos and flowery information which will be useful once "on the canals". What we have not found anywhere is a short practical guide section to brief newcomers to the real necessary items such as, where are the marinas that can store, repair, keep your boat, suitable places to return back to UK for short or long periods i.e tains, car hire, airports etc. Serious information really needed such as air draft in tunnels and bridges i.e canal du Midi and Bourgogne where air draft quoted is vague due to the arch diamentions; this info is so important that it needs clear explanation. Are the sloping sided locks really a problem for twin screw with no protection boats or are there now floating fenders to protect?? All this would be so useful.
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on 26 February 2010
Not a book of charts, not a pilot book to have in the cockpit and navigate you through. But . . the best detailed guide to every waterway: comprehensive, interesting, informative, well-written and with good photographs. It's almost inconceivable to do any amount of inland boating in France without Hugh McKnight and "Cruising French Waterways". Our own battered copy is one edition old now and has seen us through thousands of canal and river cruising kilometres - must get a new one! Grehan
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on 18 January 2013
It would be good with any future reprints of the book to get some updated photographs. Whilst the preface does ststate that it is hard to keep such a book up to date, the purpose of it is informative (in conjunction with other information which the Author does direct one to) some more modern photographs surely couldn't be that difficult to insert.

Interesting reading none the less.
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on 26 June 2014
Seems quite a bit out of date, even the very latest edition. I also found that the PK numbers (the KM position along the canals which identifies locations) to be completely wrong.. Saying this the information about the locations you pass through is very informative though a little opinionated at times.
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on 5 August 2014
A very comprehensive guide by an enthusiast who writes very well. If you can't get afloat, settling down with this book is the next best thing, especially with a glass of red, a fresh baguette and some weapons-grade cheese.
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on 4 June 2014
Arrived in great condition - like new and arrived sooner than expected. It is a great assistance for our cruising along the French canals. We are using it for points of interest alongside our canal charts.
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