Tour of the Americas : sailboats built for the high seas

To carry out this long-term navigation, passing through Cape Horn and the North-West Passage, the Ecotransat sailboat must be able to face, like its glorious elder the Artémise, all navigation conditions, even the more difficult. Detail review.

Illustrative photo of a sailboat designed for the “Tour of the Americas”.
Photo : DR.

The Tour of the Americas consists, for the most part, of following in the wake of the corvette Artémise. To do this, Ecotransat needs a 82 ft sailboat designed, like its predecessor the Artémise, for the high seas. Skippered by Cape Horner Gilles Melon, who completed a world tour on a 25 ft boat, this vessel must have an aluminum or steel hull. For what ? To safely face the icy waters of the south and north polar regions. Departure planned for 2026.

The corvette Artémise battling with the elements.

The Artémise measured 148 ft long and 39 ft wide and 16 ft high (excluding rigging). It was a three-masted corvette-type French Navy ship. It had 28 cannons and a crew of 266 (maximum) and weighed 1,100 tons.
The ship was built in Lorient. Work began on August 21, 1844. Launched on November 19, 1845. She made several long-distance maritime campaigns before being reformed in December 1868.

On the interactive map below, the route taken by the corvette Artémise is traced in blue. The tour of the Americas that the Ecotransat boat is preparing to take follows the wake of the Artémise plus what is in orange. A passage to Antarctica and, further north for the return, the Northwest Passage; impractical in the mid-19th century.