LWL 6.00m - (19.67 ft)
Beam 2.16m - (7.08 ft)
Draft (max) 1.20m - (3.94 ft)
Draft (min) 0.70m - (2.30 ft)
Displacement 907kg - (2000 lbs)
I'm not sure the Health and Safety Executive would agree with him about the last part.
Here's what the gallery that displayed it said.
"For this piece he adapted an abandoned 6.5 meter yacht so that it appears to be perpetually sinking. To create this, the vessel was split and a new keel was constructed allowing it to be sailed by Berthier at a 45 degree angle off the coast of Normandy. Love-Love, like much of his oeuvre, is impressive, poetic and humorous.
In this project, the artist invests his energies and resources into creating an art of fiasco, aiming in his words to “fix an object at the moment of its deregulation.” The image, and metaphor of the sinking ship is an iconic one – it signifies death, lost hope and sinking dreams. Berthier’s Love-Love freezes those sentiments permanently both celebrating and overturning them. On display in the gallery will be the boat itself as well as a series of accompanying photographs and documentary video showing the performance in Normandy."
Mr Berthier knows something most of us don't, though - how to make money out of old boats. He is reported to have sold this one for £50,000.
The project was first proposed in 1991 and enthusiastically taken up by the people of the city, who contributed from their own pockets a large part of the cost of building the ship. The rest came from the city council, the Département, the Regional council and from business sponsorship.
In 1991 Chantier du Guip set up a special building yard in Brest, making it as accessible to the public as possible, so that citizens could visit and watch the construction of their ship. The Mayor of Brest symbolically laid the keel on a specially declared “Jour de Fete”. Throughout the build the people of Brest took a keen interest, hundreds visiting the yard to watch the skeleton of timber grow and her 15m long oak planks nailed into place. La Recouvrance was launched, during Brest 92, the city's annual maritime festival week, with great ceremony, a cacophony of ship's foghorns and sirens, cannon fire, and the cheers and whoops of a huge audience of thousands of spectators.
(photo: Figurehead of La Recouvrance by Hervé Cozanet)
The Avisos, of which 5 were originally built to the designs of Ingénieur Jean-Baptiste Hubert (1781- 1845), also carried out escort and protection duties for commercial shipping along the coasts of West Africa and in the West Indies. Each vessel had a crew of 50 to 60 men and was armed with 6 or 8 carronades as well as a number of swivel guns.
Rigging and exterior fitting-out was completed in 1993, and the interior finished in the spring of 1996.
La Recouvrance is Brest's own ambassador ship, testifying both to the maritime tradition and to the present-day dynamism of Brest as centre of modern seafaring know-how. She participates in major maritime events on the Biscay and Channel coasts of France, and as far away from home as the North Sea.
Although La Recouvrance is a Brest ship through and through, and will always belong to the people of Brest, you don't have to be a “Brestois” to enjoy the experience. Anyone can ship aboard La Recouvrance and take part as volunteer crew on one of her voyages. There is a full annual program of cruises and events, even day-sailing opportunities, that are open to applicants who want to learn how these historic ships were sailed and manouevred by the muscle power of their crew.
Better know your drisses from your écoutes before you set foot on the deck, though, or it'll mean a flogging, for sure!
LOA 41.60 m
LOD 24.90 m
Beam 6.40 m
Draft 3.22 m
Sail Area 430 m2
(photo: Stern of La Recouvrance by Hervé Cozanet)
(photos: Sylphe racing at St Tropez: www.sail-in-style.com)
During the next 50 years or so Sylphe was sailed and raced in the Mediterranean. It seems she was well maintained, with Mauric himself advising on a number of alterations and small repairs. Her original mast was replaced with a new hollow wood mast in the 1980s, and an engine was fitted at some time (she had been designed and launched without one). The teak deck was also renewed during this period. So when she came up for sale in the south of France in 1999 her new owners found her to be in reasonably good structural order, but scruffy, dated, and in need of a lot of attention.
Her new Dutch owners sailed her to Turkey and set about a 7-month total overhaul to make her more suitable for Mediterranean charter use. Although the interior had mostly to be stripped out and rebuilt to provide more comfortable charter accommodation, the original hull timbers and planking, having endured such a long submersion so many years ago, were found to be in excellent order. Only a couple of rot-infected frames had to be replaced. Her owners are proud to claim that Sylphe still has none of the steel bracing and reinforcement that many other yachts of her day now need to keep them in sailing order. They are equally proud that she retains her original mast winches and her unique, custom made, cockpit sheet winches.
Link to Sylphe Charter site
As a sailing instructor at the Iles de Glénan school - “the only place in France you could really learn to sail, at the time” according to Finot - he got to know Philippe Harlé, the chief instructor, who was leaving to set up a yacht design practice. Jean-Marie, too. wanted to learn about yacht design, so he took a lowly position as Harlé 's assistant in order to pick up some experience.
The apprentice Finot did actually design a couple of boats for the Harlé practice, but as a recently married man he wanted a career that would support a family, so he gave up his yacht design ambitions and left Harlé . However, as a favour to a friend, he agreed to design one last boat, Ecume De Mer, a small cruiser/racer of which it was intended only two would ever be built – one for the friend and one for Jean-Marie himself. This would be, he decided, his last design.
The pair looked around for a French yard to build the hard-chine plywood boats, but none seemed interested. Finally a Dutch builder, Walter Huisman, heard of their project and, impressed by the young designer, offered to build one boat at a reasonable price, provided they would campaign it in a number of races, including the International Quarter Ton Cup competition. Although this entailed modifying the plans to create a slightly larger boat, agreement was reached.
In the Spring of 1968 Huisman delivered a bare painted hull. Finot and his friend went to Holland, and spent some time fitting her out with deck gear and rigging, before launching just in time to enter, as agreed, the Quarter Ton Cup. (photo: Huisman prototype Ecume De Mer in hard chine plywood) With such a lack of preparation and tuning they couldn't hope to win there, but later, with a fully sorted boat, they won the important Delta Race. Their success attracted an Australian, Eric Bradley, who took home modified designs for the boat with slightly reduced freeboard and a coachroof, retaining however the plywood hard chine hull. Several were built in Australia to this specification.
The following season, back in France the prototype boat won race after race, and even returned briefly to Holland to win the Delta race again. Soon this phenomenon caught the attention of the French boatbuilder, Mallard, who contracted to build a series of boats to the design, in GRP. Once again the drawings were modified. Away went the chines to be replaced by a rounded hull shape. The stepped sheerline and flush deck were replaced by a conventional sheer and a short coachroof. Though the efficient racing deck layout was retained, with halyards and controls led aft to the cockpit, on the inside the accomodation was re-designed for comfort in harbour rather than racing. There would now be standing headroom, a dinette, a toilet, and a separate forecabin.
The production Ecume De Mer (colour photo from Mallard 1969 brochure) was a sales success from the start and remained in production, unchanged until 1975 . A 100% standard production boat won the Quarter Ton Cup in 1970 against strong international competition, and a modified, but nevertheless series-produced regatta version with a flush deck won again in 1972. Hundreds of owners had countless successes in offshore and club racing, while hundreds more enjoyed family cruising in a robust and capable boat.
Further modifications were made to re-style accommodation and coachroof, giving more headroom in the heads in 1975. This version won the 1977 Boat of the Year title and was chosen for the 1978 "Tour De France" race. It continued in production until 1980.
Eventually 1385 boats were built to the Ecume De Mer design. Examples of this fine boat, that was supposed to be Finot's farewell to yacht design and of which there should only ever have been two, can still be seen in almost any marina in France as well as in many other parts of the world. This great boat - that launched a lasting career for its designer - has itself lasted pretty well.