Construction of a ship by minimum wage earners and young compagnons du Tour de France

A genuine hub of integration and exchanges, the Jean-Bart shipyard brings together minimum wage earners and young journeymen carpenters of the Tour de France du devoir, to build a full scale 17th century ship in a history and leisure park at Gravelines, in the Nord district.

Social and Employment

Gravelines, France

Benoît Dujardin

10 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2012/06/05

Project leader

Association Tourville

"When I visited the site, I was enthralled by the project, I appreciated its consistency with the values of the Group, and I felt the need to get involved personally."

Benoît Dujardin

The nonprofit Tourville, which has nearly 2 800 members, from all over France and many European countries, was created in 1992. It has an ambitious objective: to build a 17th century first rank ship of the line, armed with 84 guns and 57 meters long!The project is based on a compilation of plates from the album of Colbert, part of the archeological data gleaned from the wrecks of the Hougue, and various period estimates. This project, which started in 2002 in the commune of Gravelines, in a village of artisans, will be incorporated in a history and leisure park on the theme of the privateers and the navy of Louis XIV. The ship will be baptized the Jean Bart as a tribute to the privateer and great naval officer of the Sun King.

Building operations are advancing significantly

In July 2005, the nonprofit Tourville signed a first partnership with the General Council of the Nord and the Gravelines nonprofit Agir for the installation of a back-to-work school shipyard for 8 to 10 minimum wage earners, under a three-year agreement (renewed for 2009-2012). In 2009, the nonprofit signed a second partnership (renewed in 2011), this time with compagnonsdu Tour de France du devoir, to hire young journeymen carpenters in the course of consolidating their professional skills. And in 2010, the nonprofit Tourville joined the European project Interreg des 2 mers Heroes 2C, whose objective is workforce development through the utilization of the maritime culture and heritage. Thanks to these partnerships, building operations have advanced significantly, with the shaping and assembly of new structural parts of which the biggest weigh 8 tons and are more than 11 meters high (stem post, stern post, transom, floor frames, etc.). In the year 2012 and the first half of 2013, a score of new combinations (floor frames and futtocks) will be shaped and positioned (progressively and uniformly) to visually materialize the progress of the Tourville project. And at the same as the shipyard, the nonprofit Tourville, in partnership with its commercial subsidiary Tourville Développement, has started furnishing the infrastructures (restaurant, boutiques, etc.), that will make up the artisanal village and the future history park.

The Veolia Foundation is participating in this social and cultural project that has a regional, national and European scope, by sharing in the purchase of the materials and the improvement of safety on the site.