Solidarity boats

At Marseille, Boud'mer renovates traditional fishing boats to convey aficionados of the sea on outings along the creeks.At the same time, it trains youths in difficulty.

Social and Employment

Marseille, France

Elisabeth Praux

20,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2008/01/29

Project leader


From the Estaque to the Goudes, and no doubt beyond, the small wooden boats, with engine and sail, which the traditional fishermen formerly sailed to go fishing off Marseille, are called "pointus".Today, this artisanal fishing is all but nonexistent.Boud'mer, an association of lovers of the deep and of these traditional vessels, decided in 2001 (when it was created) to bring them back to life while promoting workforce integration and new bonds of solidarity between the inhabitants.

Boud'mer first renovated two boats by first enlisting the aid of volunteers, and then of a job placement agency specializing in wooden hulls.In these boats, it offers neighborhood associations, retirees, and families, sea outings when permitted by the weather.

Preparing the return to work

Encouraged by the success of this experiment, it has been developing a more comprehensive project since 2007: it wants to regularly train youths in difficulty in the renovation of the "pointus".To do this, Boud'mer has approached the association Unis‑Cités, which the Veolia Foundation has already aided on several occasions.

In 2007, a first graduating class of a dozen youths in difficulty, aged between 18 and 30, renovated the boat Le Scorpion, while benefiting from an initiation in the conservation of the local maritime heritage and, more generally, in issues pertaining to the local environment.

In 2008, a new team will undertake the same type of boatyard-school, with a hope at the end of the adventure: that the training acquired with Boud'mer will culminate in professional expertise that will enable them to find a job.