Monday 15 May 2017


Further inland from St Malo up La Rance lies Dinan another delightful, historic and fortified town. The quay is separated from the main town adjacent the famous viaduct which was also probably the first river crossing until the modern bridges were built.

Along the eastern shore of La Rance lies Mordreuc which grew up around lime kilns, a tide mill and a stone dock where wood to heat the houses in downstream St Malo could be loaded.

Ulysse a local day boat waits for the tide, the bay is sandy and firm plus well sheltered.

A couple of pictures for fellow blogger Doryman, the dory type was clearly common on La Rance, clearly suited to the shallows and sandbanks. These days built in ubiquitous GRP and still used as working boats.

This pretty canoe stern cruiser pulled up on the hard looks to be very well equipped with wind vane steering and beaching legs. It's such a nice spot I'd be happy just hanging out there waiting for the tide.


  1. Great shots, as always, Max. I've been meaning to ask you... what is your opinion of bilge keels. (I'm asking because you see so many of them where you live. Hopefully you have some insights on how they affect performance.) The photos of boats on the bottom at low tide always make me think of them.

  2. Michael, I'm mixed on bilge keelers, some of the early examples were dreadful and almost sailed sideways. In the 1980's with work by designers like David Thomas with asymmetric bilge keels, performance got a lot better, one of my friends a local yacht broker who was involved with some of those developments speaks very highly of the "problem of twin keels being solved".

    Practically the idea of being able to dry out on a hard or sand is appealing, but so few folk actually do it, and we've been guilty of not taking advantage of drying out opportunities with a couple of lifting keel/centreboard yachts we've owned. We've also never had an issue drying out a keel boat along side a wall or post,

    The French seem to have success with them the RM range in particular which seems well suited to the big tidal ranges they get on the west coast.

    I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to buy one, but two fixed keels are less complicated than a lifting mechanism for a centreboard and easier to maintain which is a plus point. I've sailed on a Hunter Duet and Saddler 26 both twin keels and although it was a long while ago I recall they were both nice boats to sail.



  3. 'Maxou' the open sterned Dory looks interesting. I guess the false floor drains out through the stern which is where the outboard motor is hung.

    The pretty double ended sloop looks a little bit like an Albert Strange design.

    A very pretty river and area to explore by foot and in a small boat.

  4. Alden, that open transom coupled with a motor well is typical of the ocean dories here on the west coast of the US. Not so much anymore, but when there were no harbors on the Oregon coast (most anchorages had to be created out of salt marshes or the like) fishermen launched directly off the beach. When motors were introduced, they needed to kick up to avoid the sand.
    You gun it on top of a wave, shut the motor down, kick it up and surf up the beach.


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