Latest News: Forums Cruising Gulf of Morbihan in France

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  • #3653

    Has anyone taken a Wayfarer to the Gulf of Morbihan? I am thinking about a trip there in August 2008 and would like to know more about a) the area, b) any difficulties about taking a boat to France (paperwork etc) and c) if there is a sailing club that I could contact about leaving the boat there for a couple of weeks while we explore other parts on foot.

    Andy Long
    Wayfarer 1006 “Catspaw”
    Felinheli, North Wales


    Sorry – can’t help too much. My Wayfarer (8367) has been to the Gulf Of Morbihan but unfortunately that was before we bought it!

    One thing I do remember is that the previous owner said the reason why our boat has its (then) small ships register number on the back was to avoid falling foul of a french law about small boats not being allowed more than 1/2 a mile offshore. I presume this is the case but have no direct knowledge.

    Having been to the area, there’s two things I mention
    a) watch out for the (often unmarked) scaffolding for shell fish beds. Not something to put a boat on to
    b) enjoy the tides!



    I seem to remember a cruising log about sailing on the Morbihan – have you searched the log library?


    You might want to look on the Drascombe website, there is definitely quite a lot to do with Brittany if you don’t get much here. I was put off sailing there by the tales of tides/currents but infact I think it is prime sailing (I was a total amateur then but little has changed!)……..I have towed a Wanderer to Trinitie sur mer and kept it on the beach for free………the sea is very sheltered by that big peninsular so the area is excellent. The French are big dinghy sailors and have always been very friendly and laid back ……..


    I lived in Auray for about 10 years. Sailing on the Golfe is great fun, as long as you are happy navigating in strong currents. The currents are spectacular but not dangerous, there is only one rock that the current will carry you on to, and that is in the entrance to the Golfe. If you do not want to be totally subject to the currents you need a good motor.

    However, the Golfe is hardly a wilderness. The shoreline is “sub-urbanised”, a mix of residential and holiday homes. Large motor boats, nad the tripper boats, can be a problem, as they do not give way to small boats. August is by far the busiest month as the whole of France is on holiday. I would reccomend June or September.

    The top end of the Golfe is less spectacular, but less developed and quieter. It would be a good idea to visit the CN Glénans on the Ile d’Arz, to show off a cruising Wayfarer! If you have a boom tent there are many quiet places to spend the night.

    Oyster beds can prove difficult. Keep a look out for steel poles (as used for reinforcing concrete) Don’t go inside them as the oysters are kept on galvanised tables. Fishing over or between the tables will yield some good bass!

    If you are feeling more adventurous then a trip tp Houat or Hoëdic is a good idea. Another area to explore is the Rivière d’Etel. In the case of appalling weather a stay on the Vilaine, upstream of the dam at Arzal can be interesting (many British yachts lay-up there as iti is far cheaper.


    French sailing clubs are very different to their British equivalent. they are closer to sailing centres/schools. Club racing and privately owned dinghies are not common. If you want to leave a boat I would reccomend contacting one of the boatyards who will be able to provide space (and a large guard dog!). all the boats will be on the water so they should have space available.

    Make sure your paperwork is in order (SSR). It is as well to have on board the safety equipment required by the French authorities. Sailng gear can be bought at very cheap prices at any Decathlon.


    I have sailed a couple of times in the gulf and it’s well worth a visit. The tides are strong which makes for interesting sailing. We camped on a largish island
    in the Eastern end of the gulf, but can’t remember the name. It had a large campsite over looking a quiet bay where we moored our Wayfarer. The campsite even had a delivery van for fresh bread in the morning, very civilised! We recovered from a small slip near the entrance to the river that leads to Vannes. I can also recommend a trip to Hoedic but you must get the tides right to get out of the Gulf. Again it has a good campsite if a little primitive but with a reasonable bakery and restaurant in town about ten minutes walk away. The Eastern end of the Gulf is much quieter and shallow! bur there are a few river that are worth exploring and again are quiet. I would also reiterate that August being the national holiday most of Brittany gets very busy.
    Hope this helps


    Went to the Morbian with Wayfarer Rally in 1994 and have been back several times since. Nothing to add to above but I did enjoy last year’s trip to Penboch camp site, just a few miles west of Vanne, where you can launch the boat from the site and stay in a mobile home or camp at the site, which has great facilities. Swimming pool and bar.
    We booked the whole thing through Alan Rodgers and got a really good deal. Car + trailer on ferry and 8 day stay in 6 berth mobile home £700.00.

    Small ships register is a must to keep the French happy, VHF and flares.

    Have a good trip


    W 9362

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