Please select your home edition
Edition
Rolly Tasker Sails 2019 728x90 Leaderboard

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

Boat Books Australia FOOTERSail Racing 2021 FOOTERPantaenius 2022 - SAIL & POWER 2 FOOTER AUS

Related Articles

ABRW: It's come down to 'take no prisoners'
A lovely 15-20 knot breeze shook up competitors on the penultimate day Airlie Beach Race Week (ABRW) reached its penultimate day and a lovely 15-20 knot breeze shook up competitors who had been basking in light conditions all week at the Whitsunday Sailing Club's marquee event.
Posted today at 8:45 am
SailGP 'Racing on the Edge' : Season 3 Episode 3
Cracking the F50 Code - Part 1 This episode of the behind-the-scenes docuseries in partnership with Rolex focuses on the New Zealand SailGP Team, who joined the league in Season 2 led by superstar duo Pete Burling and Blair Tuke, but have since struggled to perform.
Posted today at 6:18 am
Father's Day: Get 20% off these Vaikobi bundles
Australia & NZ celebrate Father's Day on Sunday September 4th Australia and NZ celebrate Father's Day on Sunday September 4th. Choose from Vaikobi's bundles and get 20% off bundles for dad (or you!).
Posted today at 5:13 am
America's Cup: Update on INEOS Team Britannia
The INEOS media crew caught up with Giles Scott on the team's preparations ahead of a move to Spain The INEOS media crew caught up with Giles Scott, Senior Sailor, on how the team has been busy preparing to begin their Winter Training Camp in Palma later this year, sailing their AC40 Test Boat.
Posted today at 4:09 am
2022 ILCA 4 Youth Worlds at Vilamoura day 2
Another day of beautiful sailing conditions in Portugal Two races were completed on Tuesday at the 2022 ILCA 4 Youth World Championships, hosted by Vilamoura Sailing. With another day of beautiful sailing conditions, 12-19 knots of wind, the top sailors are separated by just a few points.
Posted today at 4:02 am
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award 2022 Jury
The international photo competition dedicated to competitive sailing The international photo competition dedicated to competitive sailing presents its 2022 jury. Loïc Venance, Jonquil Hackenberg, David Graham, Meg Reilly (USA), Nicolas Mirabaud and Brice Lechevallier (SUI) will select the best sailing photos of the year.
Posted today at 4:01 am
2,000 sailors to compete at Hamilton Island RW
Welcome party starts on Saturday at a resumed Hamilton Island Race Week In just three sleeps, the Oatley family will throw open the doors to Hamilton Island Yacht Club at Saturday night's official welcome party for Hamilton Island Race Week, in the Whitsundays that has drawn 224 starters.
Posted today at 2:52 am
SSL Gold Cup - life on board an SSL47
So you think you're up to it? You might want to contemplate the following... So you think you're up to it? OK. No problem. However, you might want to contemplate the following.
Posted today at 12:48 am
Big winds arrive as McVeys vie for Weta supremacy
Father and son duo Todd and Ryab McVey are sailing in the Weta trimaran class A super competitive father and son are sailing in the Weta trimaran class at Airlie Beach Race Week in the Whitsundays this week where the results have sea sawed between the pair from Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club in Boreen, Queensland.
Posted on 16 Aug
2022 5.5 Metre Swiss Open Day 1
Aspire returns to 5.5 Metre circuit to dominate opening day The 5.5 Metre class is famous for going to nice venues, but no one was really prepared for how nice the first day of the 2022 Swiss Open turned out.
Posted on 16 Aug