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8 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting read
How this man and his business partners pulled this venture off is still a mystery to me - but they did it. They encountered a huge number of setbacks that would have seen most off - me certainly - but they stuck it out and won through.
Very well written account of the enterprise, well worth a read. This is one of those "can't put it down' books.
Steve Foley
Published on 14 Sep 2010 by Stephen FOLEY

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3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK
Not really what I was expecting. I was expecting more about the guests antics rather than the trials and tribulations of starting and running a business.

However anyone interested in French boating will get something out of it.
Published 9 months ago by Kevin


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting read, 14 Sep 2010
By 
Stephen FOLEY (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Keeping Afloat: Up a French Canal ... without a Paddle (Paperback)
How this man and his business partners pulled this venture off is still a mystery to me - but they did it. They encountered a huge number of setbacks that would have seen most off - me certainly - but they stuck it out and won through.
Very well written account of the enterprise, well worth a read. This is one of those "can't put it down' books.
Steve Foley
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely style, 1 Aug 2009
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This review is from: Keeping Afloat: Up a French Canal ... without a Paddle (Paperback)
John Liley is one of England's canal experts and to older readers they will remember his earlier writings on canals in Britain and Europe. He regularly still writes a column in Waterways World magazine. This book is of interest to anyone who is thinking of setting up a tourism related business, as well as anyone who loves canals and waterways or rural France. It's well written with a nice relaxed style and lots of wry observations on people, France and beauracracy. I'd buy a copy to take on holiday with you this summer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute delight, 20 Feb 2010
This review is from: Keeping Afloat: Up a French Canal ... without a Paddle (Paperback)
It can be embarrassing finding oneself laughing out load in a public place - that is just what happened when I was reading this book. It is a delightful tale of the adventure of running a hotel barge on the canals of Burgandy. Be prepared for hilarious characters and French bureaucracy at its best!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pioneer boating in France, 18 Sep 2009
By 
John Sheldon (Walton-on-Thames, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Keeping Afloat: Up a French Canal ... without a Paddle (Paperback)
Anyone who has discovered the fascination of canal cruising will love this story of how the French were made aware of it themselves. Fired by a passion gained on English waterways, the author John Liley with the help of friends converted the Dutch barge Secunda into a hotel boat, to carry fare paying passengers on the vast and under used network in France. The boldness of this venture, involving two sea crossings of the Channel, heart breaking technical problems, and perhaps worst of all, overcoming French bureaucracy, will make you marvel at the toughness and persistence of the small band who battled through it all. Their success showed the way to leisure cruising of the French system at a time when commercial use was declining, with the inevitable pressure for closures. The formula that was pioneered, of fine cuisine combined with stately progress through glorious countryside, is now well established, and the successor to Secunda, another historic vessel renamed Luciole, is still carrying on the hotel barge tradition. The book incidentally also serves as an informative travel guide to the Burgundy regions through which the waterways pass.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, 11 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Keeping Afloat: Up a French Canal ... without a Paddle (Paperback)
Not really what I was expecting. I was expecting more about the guests antics rather than the trials and tribulations of starting and running a business.

However anyone interested in French boating will get something out of it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, 19 Oct 2011
This review is from: Keeping Afloat: Up a French Canal ... without a Paddle (Paperback)
An interesting book in parts, but not as funny and entertaining as the comments on the rear cover make out. I felt there's a much more interesting story hidden away in this account, which needs coaxing out. Also, some sentences are too long, with too many commas, making it necessary to read them twice to be clear of their meaning.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hotel barging from the inside, 11 Oct 2009
This review is from: Keeping Afloat: Up a French Canal ... without a Paddle (Paperback)
I'm a sucker for books on canals and boating. This one goes behind the scenes and describes, always affectionately and sometimes hilariously, the problems and pitfalls of converting and running a hotel barge on the French canals. John Liley was something of a pioneer in this area, and through writer's eyes he describes the early stages of an adventure that moved hotel-boating from the realm of the canal enthusiast into the world of the discerning visitor to France (who, too, will discover the pleasures of the canals along with the area they meander through!) Strong character depiction and a wealth of incidents bring this book to life. Well worth reading, and revisiting.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Keeping Afloat, 26 Sep 2010
This review is from: Keeping Afloat: Up a French Canal ... without a Paddle (Paperback)
Not well written and too long ago to be relevent. Three ways to capsize a boat is a much better though very different story.
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Keeping Afloat: Up a French Canal ... without a Paddle
Keeping Afloat: Up a French Canal ... without a Paddle by John Liley (Paperback - 17 July 2009)
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