Photographer's Note

The clear origin of the Geneva Lake Boats has never been really established. It is safe, however, to conclude that the first boats were brought inland from the sea: there is a certain similarity with the Mediterranean galleys of North Africa.

These lake boats played an important part in the economy of Geneva up to 20th century, Many sailings were made between Le Bouveret and Geneva; each time the boats were loaded with 120 tons of stone, and gravel. The journey would take between 6 and 12 hours. Most of the boats had their homeports in Savoy. At the turn of the century, 66 of these boats were still in service.

The Neptune is the last big boat of its kind to have been built in the uplake shipyard of Locum (France) in 1904. She was to carry stone from Meillerie and gravel from Vieux Rhône (Bouveret), both near Locum to various locations around the lake.

The keel is made of a local mountain pine. The ribs, bow, and stern are made of solid oak. The hull below the waterline is of white pine 60 to 100 mm. Thick; the freeboard is made of larch as well as the desk. The larch is a deciduous tree of the pine family found in the mountains surrounding the lake. The hull is coated with bitumen, both masts are made of pine, each has a yard made of spruce upon which the sails are fastened with a chain.

1968 was the last year that the Neptune carried stone. She was saved from demolition by the State of Geneva who acquired her in December 1971. Her restoration began in the summer of 1973 and thanks to private donation was completed in 1975.

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Additional Photos by Gal Eota (Galeota) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1682 W: 329 N: 2206] (10352)
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