Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Sailing of another era on Lake Geneva

by Jean Philippe Jobé on 4 Jan 2011
First outing of La Demoiselle for 2011, here sailing out of her river mooring Jean Philippe Jobé

Now that the racing boats are ashore for the winter, it gives me the opportunity to talk about the old sailing barges that were used on Lake Geneva in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of those still exist and a group of enthusiastic sailors have built a replica called La Demoiselle which is now one of the biggest sailing craft in Switzerland, soon to be the first sailing training ship in the country.



These sailing barges are an evolution of older designs and appeared on the lake around 1785 and are characterized by two latin sails, a large deck to transport materials and a long flat keel. Some of them sport a small jib as well. They were basically used to transport merchandise, in particular quarry stones from the east part of the lake to the different cities on the other side. Most were built in St. Gingolphe which sits on the border between Switzerland and France, some close to Geneva and others on the French shore of the lake.


If you visit this area you might be able to see some of them sailing on a nice sunny day. Let’s take a look at each of them in no particular order:


La Neptune built in 1904, length 27.3m, was restored in 2004 and represents the city of Geneva. She is under the care of the Fondation Neptune - more info here


La Vaudoise, built in 1932 at Locum, length 22.65m, was then bought by the Pirates of Ouchy, and was restored in 1972-1973. You can get more info at their site here.

La Savoie is a replica of the original Savoie of 1896, was built in Thonon in 1997-2000, length 35m. She is the only French sailing barge remaining and is moored in Evian - more info here


La Demoiselle, mentioned above, is a replica of an original barge of the same name from 1828, length 27.8m; she was built between 1997 and 2009 mostly by unemployed people and volunteers and she has been sailing for the last 2-3 years. She will be soon homologated to take passengers and school classes for sailing cruises on the lake. She now is moored in Villeneuve close to the Chillon castle - more info here


There are some other interesting historical sailing craft on the lake like the smaller 'cochère' called l’Aurore, which you can find more information about here and also the replica of an older 'galère' type boat: La Liberté - here


So if you happen to visit the shores of Lake Geneva and are interested, check one of the sites above and come and see if you can arrange a sail! By the way, each year at the end of July, all the sailing barges converge on the area of Vevey – Montreux for the delight of the public - more info here

upffront 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin LensesNaiad

Related Articles

Michael Marshall triumphs at J/22 World Championship
With a second place finish in Thursday’s only race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are the champions. Heading into the 10th and final race, Marshall and Chris Doyle were tied on points at 30. As the 41 teams arrived at CORK in the morning, the after effects of an overnight storm left breeze in the mid-20s, so the Race Committee postponed on shore.
Posted on 25 Aug
Best pictures of the first 4 Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series™
An influx of fresh talent have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40. An influx of fresh talent, new venues and a revised race format have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40 by a smaller, faster catamaran: the flying GC32.
Posted on 25 Aug
Return to Russia for the Extreme Sailing Series™
Joining the fleet as the season heads into its second half is Gazprom Team Russia, led by WMRT champion, Phil Robertson. With one week to go, the fleet returns to St Petersburg for the fifth Act of the season, presented by SAP, 35 of the world’s best sailors are getting their heads in the game and preparing for the one of the trickiest venues of the season so far.
Posted on 25 Aug
Marshall and Doyle tied on points at J/22 World Championship
By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points with Chris Doyle, Will Harris and Adam Burns. Jeff Todd is still in the hunt in third place with 35 points.
Posted on 24 Aug
Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
FAST40+ Class to be the first to have honour of racing for One Ton Cup
14 FAST40+ racing yachts are expected, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA 14 high performance FAST40+ racing yachts are expected for the One Ton Cup, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America. The crew, of which only five can be professionals, come from countries all over the world.
Posted on 22 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club dominates Hinman Trophy Team Race
Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. 2016 Hinman Trophy Team Race - Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. This was the case for Noroton Yacht Club as they won the Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy for the second straight year, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Posted on 22 Aug
Drama Queen - Goransson wins Melges 32 National Championship
Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship - After a weekend of challenging, moderate conditions in Newport, RI, Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Capping a weekend full of tight racing with lead changes around the track, it was fitting that the final race had three teams fighting for the regatta win
Posted on 22 Aug