Of course the proposal to build the Lenox is not without precedent, and perhaps one of the most spectacular is the Hermione Project at Rochefort.
This project is claimed by the local mayor to have turned around the fortunes of this small town near the west coast of France, raising local pride, and creating aspirations and jobs. In the summer of 2011, the Hermione Project received its 3 millionth visitor and currently opens its doors to 250,000 tourists each year.
The plan to build a replica of the Hermione started with a small group of dedicated enthusiasts seventeen years ago. With sound and steady management and a great deal of creativity they persuaded government, regional and town councils and the public that nothing was impossible and that the benefits can be enormous. The dock was excavated, temporary buildings sourced, funding secured, shares sold, and challenge after challenge overcome.
The National Maritime Museum in London provided the drawings used to build her, as the Royal Navy had captured her sister-ship and meticulously detailed its construction. The building programme was tailored to provide the maximum in training opportunities, and skilled specialists were drawn from across Europe.
In the spring of 2012 she was floated out of the dry-dock. She will then be masted and rigged. The following year the plan is that she will retrace the voyage of the original Hermione, when LaFayette used her to harass the English Navy’s blockade of the American colonists.
Visit their website www.hermione.com.
Batavia Yard is a shipyard with extraordinary ambitions, reconstructing ships from the Golden Age that were important to the Netherlands’ maritime history. This heritage was demolished at the time because of its limited lifespan, or has sunk to the bottom of the sea. In April 1995, the Batavia, which is the most authentic reconstruction of a 17th-century VOC ship ever made, was launched after ten years in the making. The initiator was master shipbuilder Willem Vos.
After this reconstruction was complete, a second project was started in the yard to reconstruct ‘De 7 Provinciën’, a 17th-century battleship with which Michiel de Ruyter fought many sea battles.
The construction of the replica of ‘De 7 Provinciën’ is one of the largest and most challenging historical shipbuilding projects in the world. Using vocational reintegration and work experience projects to construct these ships, the shipyard plays an important part in the lives of long-term unemployed people for whom, over time and for various reasons, the distance to the job market has become too great.
Having official ‘Charity Organisation’ status, Batavia Yard is a non-profit foundation that is dependent on donations and sponsors to construct and maintain the ships.
Visit their website www.bataviawerf.nl