It is impossible to recall, just in a few lines, such a long process, or to quote all those who played an essential role in this story.
This brief summary is a tribute to all the volunteers who have moved mountains for "LA SAVOIE" to exist and become what she is now.
April 1992 - A small motivated group of people got together to create "Mémoire du Léman" and to launch the idea of "giving back to the French side of the lake the most beautiful boat of its history". There were less than ten people.
Summer 1992 - In Brittany, the event BREST 92 gathered together more than one million visitors who came to admire hundreds of rebuilt historical boats sailing along the coasts.
The impact on media was very strong.
June 1993 - The municipalities of the county, under the leadership of Evian's mayor, offered precious help to build the "naviot", the future Barque's tender, which was launched in August in Amphion Harbour in front of 200 spectators! Being awarded by the Rhône Alpes Region for its use of local wood, it is the only example of boats that have existed on the lake for over 500 years.
January 1994 - P.A. REYMOND, naval architect in Lausanne, presented the plans of the future "LA SAVOIE" recreated from the archives, photos, and patterns of that period, as the old builders never used any plans. The Swiss municipality of Sentier en Vallée, P.A. REYMOND's hometown, gave the keel to the Association, an exceptional present that helped a lot in the project's success.
January 1995 - Partnerships were being slowly developed on the French side whilst RHONA SA, the company running the quarries and perpetuating the Barques' activity on the lake, gave the Association the complete motorisation for the Barque. A big thank you to Mr H. ARNOLD who trusted a project that was still only on paper.
March 1995 - The city of Thonon gave the first oaks reserved for the structure, and was soon followed by the Sciez and Messery municipalities. The central base of the structure and frame, were symbolically put together in Amphion by the last Barques' builder's son and grandson: Louis and Maurice JACQUIER.
Autumn 1995 - The giant fir tree used for "LA SAVOIE's" keel was cut in the Risoux forest. Our friends from Le Sentier took care of it until its arrival in Thonon in Spring 1996. The new mayor of Evian, M. FRANCINA managed to get the support of all the waterside municipalities to finance the project. This was the first real commitment and it was decisive.
11th May 1996 - The keel was assembled on the structure in THONON harbour. Nevertheless, as the financing plans were not completed the works did not continue. A year of annoying waiting went on, however full of positive decisions.
March 1997 - The financial plans were fully completed. The MP Mr MAZAUD and the Regional Council announced the state's agreement for the final financing. The Mayor of THONON gave the go ahead to start the works on the site he provided.
September 1997 - The Association's volunteers got fully involved in the works; maintenance, welcoming visitors, small jobs. A stand, placed on the site to sell promotion products in order to support the project, was closed for less than ten days in two years! Works were going on at a good pace and a youth training session was implemented together with the Region. M. BARAT was the primary coordinator and was paid by the Association with Regional funds.
November 1998 - The beginning of the dispute with the builder, whose company was submitted to legal tutelage. The works on the Barque had to stop. That was the start of a intense conflict which ended in April 1999 with the shipyard being closed down.
"LA SAVOIE" was spared and the public funds allocated to her were not affected. But carpenters such as Denis AUDA, who worked their heart out for the Barque, were unfortunately laid off and they could not achieve their task...
September 1999 - The GUIP team, from Britanny, agreed to take over the works. The financing plans were reconsidered and as a result the funds had to be increased.
March 2000 - The Departmental Councillor M. FRANCINA, faithfully supporting "LA SAVOIE" managed to get help from the Department of Haute-Savoie. The works' financing was fully granted.
11th June 2000- 25 000 people crowded to see the launch of "LA SAVOIE". Mr JP GRILLET, who worked as an engineer in the CERN (Nuclear research) and who preciously supported the Barque, lent the Association via the CERN a special trailer: it led to two days of hustle and bustle never seen before in Thonon harbour and fabulous takings that would allow the financing of finishing touches.
Spring 2001 - PUBLIER Municipality gave "LA SAVOIE" her complete sails, that were still missing, thus allowing her to start the 21st Century with a total success of the gamble: The rebuilding of "LA SAVOIE"!
The French side of Lac Léman has rediscovered the most beautiful boat in its history !
Winters 2015 and 2016 - Some renovation was done: new hull planks, news masts, new rudder blade and some necessary maintenance. We obtained some financial support from the members of our association, from local authorities, from the "Fondation du Patrimoine", and from many individuals eager to help of our beautiful Barque. A shipyard from Normandy, Chantier Bernard, completed this stunning wood work.