Hire Boat: Nicols Estivale Octo-Fly

A newly developed self-drive hire boat for 8+ people

The Nicols Estivale Octo-Fly self-drive hire boat offers a superb sun-deck with an additional smart new integrated and removable canopy. This creates a spacious sociable area, including the upper steering position, so everyone can enjoy cruising and dining outdoors together whatever the weather.

The Octo-Fly has 4 double or twin-bed cabins for 8 persons, with excellent shower-rooms and a spacious bright panoramic saloon and galley area. There is also a sofa-bed in the saloon. There is forward terrace at the bow as well, perfect to relax with a nice cool drink and enjoy your boating holiday or vacation on the French canals.

At A Glance

Key Features:

  • A large ‘walk through’ rear (aft) terrace that is perfect for eating or relaxing. It has a sun awning, table and chairs, shower and swimming ladder and also gates on either side for easy access whichever way round the boat is moored up.
  • A staircase (moulded into the hull) gives access up to the ‘flying bridge’ (the upper deck) which provides superb elevated views of the passing scene as well as a steering position. The boat’s controls fold away to maximise the use and enjoyment of the deck.
  • A galley (kitchen) that is fully equipped to a high standard and cabins and shower rooms that are spacious and comfortable.
  • Length 13.50m – Width 3.80m
  • Flying bridge with canopy
  • 4 Cabins – 4 Double Beds Convertible to 8 Single Beds
  •  Convertible Double Bed In Saloon
  • 2 Washrooms / Electric WC
  • Saloon Area 11 sq.m
  • 220 Litre Fridge-Freezer
  • 4-Ring Hob – Oven
  • Inside and Outside Steering Positions
  • Shower and Bathing Ladders
  • Radio / CD / TV
  • Exclusive Nicols ‘Piscinette’ heated pool annexe option

About canal boat rental holidays and vacations

Self drive hire boats are easy to operate and clients are always given thorough hands-on instruction before setting out – including about dealing with the locks that punctuate French inland ‘voyages’, that are straightforward to become familiar with, and that actually provide lots of interest for the boating holiday or vacation. Steering positions are located either inside the hire boat or outside (in the sunshine) on an aft (rear) deck or on the boat’s roof. Controls are simple – a steering wheel for direction and a throttle linked to an automatic gearbox. Push the lever to go forward, pull back to go into reverse and slow down. Some boats have bow-thrusters to push the boat sideways and help change direction at slow speeds.

On a boating holiday or vacation on the rivers and canals of France it is possible to stop – to moor up – almost anywhere. Against the river or canal bank in the middle of some gloriously peaceful scenic countryside, or to a quayside or pontoon in the middle of a picturesque historic village. Not only does every day bring fresh scenes, fresh pleasures, but also almost every turn of the waterway does the same.

For more information, see the “All About Hire Boating” page


Nicols Estivale Octo-Fly regions - Midi-Languedoc | Brittany


Hire Boating – Midi-Languedoc

map midi languedoc► Self-drive boats available in Midi-Languedoc
Hire Fleets and Bases
 LeBoat: Port Cassafieres, Narbonne, Homps, Trebes and Castelnaudary
 France Afloat / Linssen: Capestang
 Locaboat: Argens-Minervois and Negra
 Nicols: Le Somail and Port Lauragais

Canal du Midi – Canal de la Robine

The Canal du Midi has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of the achievement of architect Pierre-Paul Riquet in linking the Etang du Thau in the south east with the River Garonne in Toulouse, effectively connecting the Mediterranean with the Atlantic. His engineering prowess can be seen in the flight of nine characteristically oval-shaped locks at Fonserannes near the ancient city of Beziers, and if ticking off UNESCO sites is your thing, then you get two for one in Carcassonne, where the canal passes close to the ancient citadel that forms one of the most iconic skylines in the whole country.

The canal meanders between the vineyards of Corbieres to the south and the Minervois to the north and a visit to the wine town of Minerve, one of the most beautiful in France, is a treat. A diversion along the Canal de la Robine leads to Narbonne, which dates back to Roman times when it was a strategic trading centre, and even today its covered market, supplied by local producers, is a kind of foodie heaven.

– [below] In the region: Minervois, Minerve, Canal du Midi, Beziers, Narbonne, Carcassonne –

midi-sunflowers-500x300 midi-lock-500x300 midi-canal-500x300 narbonne-500x300 carcassonne-musicians-500x300

^ click to enlarge images and open gallery ^

See Nicols Octo for further images


The Nicols ‘Piscinette’ heated boat pool (optional extra)

Nicols Piscinette boat pool

The French canal and river network is the most extensive, most delightful, in the world. Exploring the waterways, passing through towns, villages and beautiful countryside – usually in bright sunshine – is enjoyable almost beyond compare. Equally enjoyable is the opportunity to ‘take  a dip’ and with most watercourses, man-made or natural, this is very possible.

The unique Nicols Piscinette expands this delight still further, providing one’s own private small pool, with the clean water at a warm temperature, the depth certain and the poolside safe. A great little splashy playground for the young – and the not so young!

The pool is rather like a floating trailer that is fixed to and towed behind Nicols boats. Every recent type of boat in the Nicols fleet is suitable – Sedan, Grand Confort or Estivale. The boat attachment is completely secure and a boat equipped with a Piscinette is as easy to drive as one without. Overall, it is 2.55m long by 3.10m wide and the pool holds 700 litres of fresh clean water that is brought to a comfortable temperature through connections to the boat engine heat exchanger. There is also a circulation pump and filtration skimmer, to keep things sweet, just like its full-size cousins.

The Nicols ‘pool annexe’ has guard rails, storage boxes – and for when the pool is not in use, it has sliding rigid covers robust enough to stand on or keep things on.



Self-drive Booking Enquiry to Nicols

Stylish and spacious Grand Confort, Estivale and Sedan hire-boats from Nicols

Our unique understanding and experience** (see below) will help you find your perfect self-drive hire boat holiday or vacation

We know that people hate filling in forms (we do too!), but this will really help us to help you. The more information you can provide, the better the response can be. All enquiries are highly valued and responded-to very promptly (normally within 24 hours). You will not be pestered, you will not be sent ‘spam’ emails.

[ or click here to make an enquiry to all the self-drive fleets ].

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Our Expertise – France, Cruising the Waterways and Hire Boating . . .

We have explored the rivers and canals of France on our own yacht and motor boat since 2003, logging up nearly 10,000km along most waterways, in most regions, at all times of year. Independent, impartial and enthusiastic, we know well every fleet operator partner and every hire boat, published on french-waterways.com. Our expert advice and booking services are founded on this unique knowledge.



NOTE: french-waterways.com aims to provide the most comprehensive selection of the self-drive hire boats that are available for boating holidays and vacations in France. We have partnered with the leading operators to whom all enquiries are directed (we ourselves do not act as agents, make bookings or take payments). Details here have been provided by the operator and are published in good faith. We cannot therefore guarantee their accuracy nor warrant regarding condition. Boats may be subject to availability, price change, or withdrawal without notice.