Discover the restoration works for the masterpiece of yachting Pen Duick, the new life of the schooner Séverine, how the Île aux Moines Yard is starting afresh, and the award for Guip Shipyard. Welcome to the Guip newsletter!
Pen Duick, the first boat of legendary French yachtsman Eric Tabarly, became a listed monument in 2016. A gaff-rigged cutter designed by William Fife Jr in 1898, she is unquestionably an icon of French maritime history and arguably the best-known yacht in France. However she requires a comprehensive overhaul if she is to continue sailing.
The author of Pen Duick’s first restoration was none other than Eric Tabarly himself. In 1958 he decided to mould a brand new hull by applying several layers of glass-fibre fabric and polyester resin to the original lying upturned on the hard at La Trinité sur Mer. Shipwrights of Costantini Shipyard then gutted the mould entirely and rebuilt the yacht’s interior, including frames, floors, deck beams, fittings…
Current restoration works began at Guip’s Brest yard in collaboration with Keroman Shipyard for the latter’s fibreglass expertise. The challenge is immense because Guip’s remit is to follow Eric Tabarly’s approach to the rebuild, while using modern construction techniques and the latest materials.
Working in distinct phases, the shipwrights will start by planing the interior and exterior of the hull. Next they will remove the frames and floors one by one, laminate the interior and exterior using the original fibreglass as a core, and, finally, fit each new frame (laminated ash) and each floor. But before doing all that, they will have to first remove the gunnel and the wale in order to dismantle the deck…
She will go on display in the Route du Rhum Destination Guadeloupe race village in Saint Malo from 24 October to 4 November, and subsequently in the Paris Boat Show. Contributions to Pen Duick’s restoration can be made through the crowdfunding website gwenneg.bzh.
Replica of Kinkajou, designed in 1927 by John G. Alden, Séverine is an 18.8-metre aluminium schooner built in 1993. Her Spanish owner commissioned Guip Shipyard to carry out a thorough refit. Works included repairing the corroded parts of the hull, refitting her interior, overhauling the rigging, laying a brand new deck and changing all the shipboard electronics.
Previously, her teak deck planks were fastened directly onto the aluminium deck, causing corrosion problems. This meant that new aluminium deck beams had to be installed to support a deck composed of a marine plywood base and teak deck planks.
Considering the quantity of work achieved in the past eighteen months – the owner also ordered new interiors and the restoration of the coachroofs, rigging and metal fittings – the schooner was almost a brand new vessel by the time she had left the yard.
Going back in the water last July, the ship formerly known as Saint Salomon is now alongside in Santander where her owner is preparing a round-the-world voyage with his family.
Almost forty years ago Anse du Guip, a cove on the southeast side of Île aux Moines, an island in the Morbihan, lent its name to a small shipyard. Today, Guip Shipyard has grown to include two other sites, one in Brest and the other in Lorient.
After thirty years at the helm of the Île aux Moines yard, Paul Bonnel is retiring and will be replaced by Frédéric Bouges. The future of the yard is looking bright, with plenty of projects in the pipeline and the forthcoming recruitment of three or four shipwrights to strengthen the current workforce of five. New buildings designed to blend in with the beauty of the surrounding landscape will be going up, and the yard will be getting a new careening area and an overhead travelling crane, too.
Business is booming, including orders to build three Guépards, to lay a new deck on the Billiers lugger Belle de Vilaine and to restore Yanika, sistership to Monk of Malhan, a wooden racing yacht built in 1965 and recently made a listed monument.
Carsat Bretagne, provider of health insurance and professional liability cover, gave its ‘Inn Situ – Concevoir pour prévenir’ award to Guip Shipyard during the Safexpo trade show in Brest on 27 September 2018.
The award recognizes companies who take concrete steps to prevent risks, endeavouring to making their sites safer and their workstations better suited to the needs of staff. In the case of the Brest yard, the jury was particularly impressed by how the central dust extraction system was, right from the start, integrated into the design of the workshop.