The project

Group workshop for a typical pilchard drifter in Douarnenez

The  Douarnenez’ association Treizour has just launched a collective and educational ship building workshop. The aim is to make the first sailing replica of a pilchard drifter. Thousands of those boats were navigating all along the Cornish coast at the dawn of the 20th century. Now, they have completely disappeared and have never been rebuilt.

It will be a 33 feet long open boat, with a traditional rigging and a transom aft. All inspired by the style of those which were produced in large numbers around 1890-1895. Her lug sails are completed with oars, to the exclusion of any other auxiliary propulsion – such as an engine.

A fervent defender of wooden boat and traditional sailing, the naval architect François Vivier is designing the plans. Based on reference research such as Ar Vag publications and the drawings of Claude Maho, the shipyard is planned to come into being soon. Our work and energy are fully invested toward the aim of a launch within 2021 fall. That is why we decided to temporary name it by the “registration” D21. A proper christening will come in due course.

Why a new boat for Treizour ?

Our flagships Telenn Mor and Volonté are victims of their own success. They already have an over-busy schedule. And everything suggests that this trend will continue.

This new project meets our need for a boat that serves as a lighter and additional training support.

As a smaller version of our boat Telenn Mor, the D21 will be easier to drive and sail since the sails are smaller and its shapes make it a much less ardent boat, therefore easy to steer even in the breeze. Rowing is also easier since its mass is much less. It wants to be more open to the navigation of fewer participants, less beefy, smaller, but with exactly the same type of operation as Telenn Mor. It will allow new people, including children, to practice what they learn with us on the water and take greater responsibility.

And finally, this site will serve as educational support for all those who want to learn how to build and rig a traditional wooden boat.

This project represents an exciting challenge for Treizour’s members: a passionate site, plenty of navigations rich in learning, education and adventures for the members of Treizour, present and to come.

In the future, who knows, D21 could be the first of many others and the first step of a lengthy regeneration of the Douarnenez’ bay maritime patrimony.

How do we fund it ?

To calculate the cost of the project (forecast budget to date: around € 43,350), we relied in particular on the expertise of our friends from Ateliers de l’Enfer.

The minimum necessary to start the work (the architect and the first wood orders) will be provided by the association’s treasury, then every conventional sources of funding have to be considered (public funding, sponsorship, donations and loans in kind, various helping hands, etc…). Some are already on the right track.

In addition, this website has been designed to communicate about the project and its progress, but also with the aim of collecting donations: you can already give us a little help.

Finally, we plan to create public events around the shipyard through communication around traditional ship building, advertising and funding.

The shipyard in details

Construction is scheduled to take place from spring 2020 until fall 2021.

The preparations, starting with the work of the architect, the associated engineering, the search for wood and supplies, machines and tools, as well as the preparation of our hangar have already started. 

The site will take place in the premises of Treizour in Port-Rhu, Douarnenez. Kindly, our friends and neighbors of Skellig (the lobster fishing boat of Douarnenez) offered to receive us in their workshop, on their machines – they are fully equipped – for all flows and work where a planer-jointer and a band saw and others are necessary.

The actual construction will be done under the direction of the shipwright and emeritus trainer Yvon Marsault, in tandem with his colleague Sammy Bertoliatti.

But it is indeed members of Treizour themselves who will build the boat (whether they are already members or whether they join us to participate in this project): some are already professional shipwrights, for the most part trained in Ateliers de l’Enfer, others are retired or have another profession, but they all represent a real know-how, like our friends from the associations of Skellig or Startijenn, who offered to accompany us in this adventure. All of them will be able to both improve and work while supervising the apprenticeship of beginner ship builders. As a participative site everybody is welcome, whatever his/her level. Though participants shall commit themselves to a certain attendance. There will be a lot to do for all hands.

On-site, Yvon and Sammy will work in pairs to supervise the site. They will be present regularly but not all the time. No doubt there will be three working days organized per week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to start, with the possibility of coming several days out of the three for those who wish, as long as there is a certain regularity) and full week sessions, especially in spring and next summer. For these periods, we will organize a combination of “day at the shipyard and evening at sea” where navigation training will follow the work in the workshop. In short, a dream vacation. Places will be expensive!

The manufacture of the sails will also give rise to a participative site where those who want to learn can benefit from the supervision of our experienced sailboat members and sailboats.

Concretely, the operation of the project will be based on 4 working groups:

  • ship building
  • sail making
  • communication
  • fundraising

All Treizour members are warmly invited to participate, whatever their skills.

As for those who want to join the project and who are not yet members of Treizour, know that memberships are open to all in all seasons.

So we are gladly waiting for you!