A distinctively modern self-drive hire boat for 2+ people

Two people can enjoy a great boating holiday or vacation in the Sedan 800, with its spacious forward cabin – plus there is a convertible sofa for two in the saloon.

The Sedan design is distinctively unique and provides the perfect self-drive hire boat for exploring the French canals.  The superb saloon has a panoramic view and includes the skipper’s steering position. Large glazed sliding doors give direct level access to the rear sun deck – perfect for relaxing and dining under the integral canopy.

At A Glance

Key Features:

  • Length 8m – Width 2.50m
  • 1 Cabin – 1 Double Bed
  • Convertible Double Bed In Saloon
  • 1 Washroom-WC
  • Saloon Area 5 sq.m
  • 56 Litre Fridge
  • 2-Ring Hob/Oven
  • Exclusive Nicols ‘Piscinette’ heated pool annexe option

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 Sedan 800 regions - North Burgundy-Nivernais | Midi-Languedoc


Hire Boating – Northern Burgundy and The Nivernais

map loire nivernais► Self-drive boats available in Northern Burgundy-Nivernais-Upper Loire
Hire Fleets and Bases
 France Afloat/Linssen: Vermenton and Tonnere
 Locaboat/Linssen: Joigny and Corbigny
 LeBoat: Migennes and Tannay
 Nicols: Brienon and Venarey-les-Laumes

Canal du Nivernais – River Yonne – Canal de Bourgogne

A hundred miles south east of Paris, North Burgundy is a region steeped in culture and history and is considered by some to be the gastronomic heart of France, with its Boeuf Bourguignon, its buttery garlicky snails and its Coq au Vin, not to mention its stunning Chablis wine. To the west of it, the Nivernais Canal links the Loire and the Seine basins and crosses the remote and beautiful heathland of the Morvan.

Among the Nivernais’ natural wonders are the Rochers de Saussois, a limestone bluff that soars above the River Yonne which feeds the canal as it goes, while man-made highlights include the Chateau de Tanlay with its romantic moat and famous trompe l’oeil frescoes. The breathtaking abbey at Vezelay is the starting point for one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago di Compostella , while Fontenay Abbey was built by St Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Still on a religious theme, Auxerre is a historic city of such astounding loveliness that it boasts not just an 11th century cathedral, but a 12th century abbey too.

The lives of more ordinary folk are evident Villeneuve sur Yonne and the beautiful half-timbered town of Noyers-sur-Serein with its characteristic mediaeval arcades, where walnuts and truffles were traded and enjoyed as a complement to the fine local wine.

– [below] In the region: Villeneuve sur Yonne, Fontenay, Tanlay, Noyers-sur-Serein, Auxerre, the Morvan, Saussois, the Canal du Nivernais –

yonne-villeneuve-500x300 abbaye-fontenay-500x300 c-de-bourgogne-500x300 tanlay-500x300 noyers-sur-serein-500x300

auxerre-500x300 morvan saussois-500x300 nivernais-lock-500x300 nivernais-liftbridge2-500x300


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: Bram, 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


Hire Boating – The Charente

map charente► Self-drive boats available in Aquitaine-Charente
Hire Fleets and Bases
 LeBoat: Jarnac
 Nicols: Sireuil

River Charente – River Boutonne

The River Charente in the south west of France is navigable from Angouleme to the Atlantic and the French King Henri1V said it was the most beautiful in his kingdom. Like the Loire to the north and Bordeaux to the south the landscape is covered in vineyards, but rather than making wine they are used in the production of brandy, named after the local town Cognac.

Near Angouleme, the chateau at Verteuil-sur Charente was built in 1078 and was strategically placed on the road between the kingdoms of France and Spain – in the middle ages verteuil meant heavily fortified . Further west downstream the riverside city of Saintes is even more ancient, dating back to Roman times. As well as brandy, the area is known for its succulent charentais melons, its goats cheese and its irresistible salted caramels.

– [below] In the region: Verteuil-sur-Charente, Cognac, Saintes –

verteuil-s-charente-500x300 charente-lock-500x300 charente-cognac-500x300 charente-500-300 saintes-arch-500x300

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.

All Fleets Option >

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

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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.