Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Old School Boatyard, The Real Thing

During our stay at Chantier Despinoy we were lucky to watch them “haul out” three peniches, each about 39 meters long by 5 meters wide (about 130’ by 17’), the typical size commercial boats for the smaller French canals. 
This is an old school yard, using “technology” created we don’t know when. Works great, though!

They open the shutters in the gate to allow canal water to flood the basin.

 The basin. Those two boats will remain in position. This started just after noon. The three peniches will go on those racks.

About two hours later, the basin is almost completely flooded.

 They use the crane to lift the gate and the first barge starts in.

 The first barge is now in position. Those little white floats mark the position of the racks.

The second barge is in. Olivier, the yard manager, is in the skiff 
taking lines to shore. By now it’s about 2:30 pm. 
The third barge arrived about an hour later, 
the gate was replaced and they started pumping out the basin.

 The barges are now on their supports and partially out of the water. It’s about 7 pm.

High and dry and ready for work.

They do this every week on Friday. This week it was Thursday because of the holiday. The following Friday they'll "launch" the boats. Since our work was done, we weren't there to witness that process but it must be fun watching the penuches back out of the basin.

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