Construction du 'Grand Vaisseau' de Versailles

100 %
315€ Pledged out of 315€
6 Donations from 2 countries
Atelier Marin is building a 1:1 scale replica of the 'Grand Vaisseau', ordered in 1669 by Colbert to sail on the Grand Canal of Versailles in order to get king Louis XIV's support to the development of a powerful navy.

Atelier Marin

Atelier Marin ( is a non-profit organisation, founded at the end of 2011 in order to permit disadvantaged youngsters access to sailing with yachts. In less than 7 years, we managed to offer more than 8.000 man-days of sailing, we renewed 3 cabin cruisers and built 2 Bantry gigs.

'Ti Punch', wooden cabin cruiser of 1934

'Javelot', a 37' sailing yacht

'Zinneke', Bantry gig built in 2014 in Brussels

'Uilenspiegel' our 2nd Bantry gig, built in 2016

Early 2017, we launched a new ambitious project : build a replica of the 'Grand Vaisseau', (we call her the 'Unicorn') that Colbert ordered in 1669 at the Havre arsenal in order to get king Louis XIV's support to develop a powerful navy. The 'Grand Vaisseau' was joined later by +/- 60 other ships: yachts, rowing gigs, gondola's, a 1:2 scale galley,....

Video of the project presentation (sorry, only available in french)

Presentation of the project

Early 2017, Atelier Marin decided to rebuild the 'Grand Vaisseau' of king Louis XIV's Royal Flottilla at Versailles. The effective construction started at the end of march 2018 and we hope to launch her before the end of this year. Masts, spars, motorisation and sails will be realised next year. We expect the first sailing trials to take place in the summer of 2019 and we hope to put the vessel at the disposal of Versailles' Palace by the end of the year, exactly 350 years after the original vessel sailed for the first time on the 'Grand Canal'. It is our aim to take all the participants and contributors to the project sailing with the vessel at Versailles.

Start of the effective construction, march 25, 2018

 Etat actuel d'avancement
Actual state of construction

Video of the construction

The vessel is built in Anderlecht (Brussels) at the COOP site, Quai F. Demedts 23 and will be finished at Brussels Royal Yacht Club harbor. The project is exclusively realised by volunteers, youngsters of the canal zone, students of woodworking schools and patients with light psychiatric diseases.

The boat will be 50' long, will participate to naval events and may me used to support thematic exhibitions. 

The finality of the project is to develop a participative shipyard in Brussels (cfr GalGeal in Glasgow, Meitheal Mara in Cork, Tramasset in france, Albaola in Basque Country), where other units of the Versailles' Flottilla might be built.

What shall the money be used for ?

The global cost of the project is estimated at +/- 92.000€, of which half of it was already covered by subsidies, gifts and sponsoring, as well as the Bruocsella Prize we received earlier this year.

- Objective : 4 000 €, which will permit us to finance the wood for masts and spars.

- If we manage to gather 11 000 € in total, this will permit us to finance the full rigging, ropes, blocks, etc...

- If the total amount of  22.000 € is achieved, the sails will also covered by your generosity. 

- If 40.000 € are collected, this will also include motorisation, electrical and security equipment and the 6 tons of ballast (lead) wich will be needed before going under sail.

If we collect even more than that...

...the money will be used to start making the dinghy of the vessel, or start another unit of the Versailles' Flottilla.

How to support our project ?

- By an online gift in this page, after registration and connection to

- By a money transfer on this page, after registration and connection to

They support us also

Media : Le Chasse-Maréé - BX1 - TVBrussel - RTBF

Institutionnel support : Brussels capital Region, Brussels Port Authority, Brussels City, Anderlecht municipality.

Corporate support : Prométhéa with the Bruocsella trophy 2018, SFP

Thanks !

Atelier Marin, all its volunteers, as well as all the youngsters that benefit of the association's action, are grateful for all the gifts, and the support of the generous donators.

Find us on the internet

Website (French/dutch):

Facebook: l'Atelier Marin - Maritiem Atelier

For extra information: [email protected]


Pledge 5 or more
1 donation
Secrets of the Unicorn
Each donator is welcome to visit the workshop, where we will unveal him the secrets of the Unicorn
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1 donation
Pin's du Grand Vaisseau
Nos remerciements

+Recevez un pin’s au logo du Grand Vaisseau
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1 donation
Secrets de La Licorne
Chaque donateur est le bienvenu pour visiter le chantier et pour se voir dévoiler les secrets de La Licorne.
Pledge 100 or more
1 donation (199 left)
Part of a frame
Each donator of 100€ or more will receive a unique part of one of the frames of the 'Grand Vaisseau'. Each piece is numbered in a limited edition.
Pledge 500 or more
0 donation
A tour in a Bantry gig (the trip to Brussesl not included !)
Brussels, located less than two hours from Paris or London in TGV, owns two of the 80 replica's of the original Bantry gig of 1796 that exist worldwide. When visiting Brussels, we will make you discover the city by rowing. ,A unique and exclusive experience !
Pledge 999 or more
0 donation
A trip on a sailing yacht from Ostend
When you'll be in Belgium, you may visit the Belgian coast and its culinary specialities, beers and museums. If you're not afraid of getting seasick, you can join us fror a trip on our 37' sailing yacht Javelot.
Pledge without a reward
2 donations
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