100 years of "L'Amitié" a traditional French hand built boat

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100 years of "L'Amitié" a traditional French hand built boat

Hello, 

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Benjamin.

Last year, in a very fortunate turn of events I was able to acquire L'Amitié, one of the oldest and, of now less than 50 pre WW2, hand built, early 20th century fishing boats, traditional in this part of the French Med ( Nice to Marseille ) for next to nothing. 

At 6,90 m long and 2,3m wide this piece of French floating history, "L'Amitié",( translates into English, as "Friendship") was built in 1921 and is 100 yrs old this year.

A perfect year to give her the much needed solid overhaul that will hopefully see her on the water for the next 100 years.

 

I have been able to trace her back to the mid 80's but haven't had time to find out more about her. I do know that she's identical to the day she was built, except for the ageing teak decking (and paint colour probably ?)  

The previous owner had started a restoration project but had to give it up a few years ago due to age and poor health.

She hasn't had any real attention since and when I got her, was looking worse for wear.

Luckily, overall she was in good shape ( after a good scrub and clean) but the parts that he wasn't able to restore have seriously deteriorated and need replacing.

So I have decided to take on this project and with your help will manage to get her looking her at her best and seaworthy for the next 100 years.

 

 

 

A bit of history:

She is locally know as a Pointu, the traditional workhorse of the prewar years in the small vessel world around Le Vieux port de Marseille and a few other major ports.

They first appeared in the late 1800 and are thought to be of Italian original design but no set plans exist for them, instead, they are all slightly different and unique ( really, no two are the same) in any respect. Built from a multitude of woods, they have an undeniable rough and rustic elegance.

Originally powered by Sail or by Oar, 1921 was the year they first starting building them with engins.

After talking to knowledgeable people on the subject I have concluded that L'Amitié was not designed as a Sail boat and although I could convert her to one ( check them out online, they have a Latine Sail and look beautiful), I have decided to keep her as a motor powered vessel. 

These boats are sadly disappearing fast as owners retire and can't find a buyer, as the average boat user wants speed and low to no maintenance.Without minimum attention and kept out of the water, the boats quickly deteriorate.

And yes, they don't go fast ( but 6 knots for roughly 2 metric tonnes of hard wood is good in my book) and yes, they do require more than just a hose down at the end of day.

But they can be repaired over and over again if something happens ( insert lengthy conversation about the Ship of Thesus here) are endlessly forgiving and were initially so well designed that with basic upkeep, they're still around a century later ( I have yet to see a good looking 100 year old fibreglass boat).

To me they're beautiful, and with your help, I want to see her back in her element looking splendid, hopefully for another century (and to use her as often as I can).

Thank you, even if all you do is read this page and talk to some friends about it, that will be a great help.

 

PS: Stop by and say hello if you are every in her home port of Carry le Rouet.

 

À quoi servira la collecte

I have personally invested everything that I can and always worked to the most cost effective solution so far in this project along with countless hours of good old fashioned elbow grease and toil. Not forgetting the help of good friends and close family.

The reason I am asking for financial help at this stage is that the work that I need to undertake cannot be done piecemeal, it needs to be done while she is in a dry dock and in one go so as to keep the wood from drying out too much and minimise cost.

 

These funds are for the many basics things that L'Amitié needs in order to stay afloat safely. 

The main part of the budget will go towards acquiring, shaping and refiting a new section of timber ( and pizza for Charles who along with his vast wealth of knowledge and wooden shipbuilding expertise is kindly accepting to help restore/build theses technical parts in exchange of food, lodging and beer and also a Cigar for Roc, who is helping me source the timber and letting me use a few key tools such as a band saw and planner).

The other big expense is the special paint she needs, I'm not sure when the last time was that she was properly repainted ( can see at least 3 different successive colour schemes in parts) and so the plan is to strip her back down to the wood, make sure everything is sound and give her a proper paint job ( 2 undercoats of primer, and several topcoats of good quality marine paint plus the Antifouling).

The third expense is the tools necessary to get the jobs done. Thankfully I have some of the basics, but a decent orbital sander and hand planner will have to be purchased to even consider getting the paint job done properly

Lastly, the remaining funds will go to smaller essential motor maintenance ( New water pump wheel, new filters, new oil, new alternator belt, new anodes and a new bilge pump).

Obviously, there are plenty of other things that I would love to get repaired, changed or improved and so any extra donations will be greatly appreciated and go towards such items as a new Battery, new silent blocs, respraying the engine for protection against corrosion, acoustic foam to reduce the noise from the diesel engine, new fender ( current ones are quite ropey) etc.

I'm happy to answer any questions and will try my best to document the project and create a Facebook or webpage to put all the pictures/video's up once the project is complete.

 

Thank you once again for all and any contribution, every little helps.

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