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Marie-Fernand, a pilot cuter from Le Havre dating from 1894.

Marie- Fernand en chantier

Click to zoom the imageThe pilot Eugène Prentout had Marie-Fernand (named after his first two children) built. The boss of the shipyard, Abel Lemarchand, whose knowledge of naval construction had contributed to the evolution of pilot cutters, was chosen.
Like all other cutters built by this shipyard, Marie-Fernand, or H23, is a fine sailor. One month after its launching, Marie-Fernand wins the pilot's regatta organised by Le Havre Regatta Society.

Launching Marie-Fernand July, 7th 1894

Click to zoom the imageMarie-Fernand, launched on July,7th 1894, the begins a long career until today. 15 days later, on July 24th, Marie-Fernand takes part in Le Havre great regattas and wins the race for pilot boats, with the most wanted cup of that time.

Piloting and Sea fortune

Click to zoom the imageIts career as a pilot, going North up to cape Gris-Nez ans as West as les Casquets is a happy one. A glorious fact is to be noticed. Marie-Fernand saved 7 sailors from the French schooner « Marthe » which sinks under the eyes of the crew a few minutes later. This perilous salvage far off Les Casquets contributes to the giving of the Legion d'Honneur to its pilot.
Gaston Maillard replaces Eugene Prentout from 1909. He is a pilot until the cutters are disarmed during WW1. After the war, the fonction is changed. Pilots each give money and they fit out a steamer.

Fishing, yachting and Royal Navy.

Click to zoom the imageMarie-Fernand is sold as a fishing boat on October, 8th 1917 to Louis Chegaray, who then sells it to an owner, M. Maréchal. The masters are Avise, Droguenbrat and M. Tribhou until march, 26th 1919. In October 1922, is owned by a British yachtman, M. Steward who is hooked by the reputation of pilot cutters from Le Havre, slim sailing boats capable of racing any yacht built essentialy for speed. Marie-Fernand then cruises in Cornwall and in the Saint George canal under the name of Marguerite 2 then Leonora. Archibald Cameron sails it to Scotland from 1926 to 1966. After a brief career in the navy as a survey boat, with Archie Cameron, his son,in command, it comes back to yachting with Ronald Barge. 

Fourth life

Click to zoom the imageIn 1980, after several property transfers, Peter Salcombe a yacht salesman makes it his own. In 1984, it is sold after various negotiations to the Swallow of the Channel, which promptly sails it back to his home port Le Havre. It was then clasified as a historical monument and firstly restored in 1989. From then, it becomes a « heritage sailing ship » and takes part in the gathering in Brest 92, 96, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.
It is also present in Seine Maritime : Fécamp, Saint Valery, Le Tréport and maritime celebrations in Le Havre.
It is also seen in 1989 at the « Liberty Sails » and at the Armada in Rouen in 2003.
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L'Hirondelle de la Manche Charitymis à jour Monday, October 21, 2019