The Classic Sailing Yacht Rafale

Rafale in the calanque Port Miou close to Cassis The Yacht "Rafale" has been build in 1935 by Chantier de la Liane in Boulogne France (near Calais).
Rafale is our second boat after the little Folkboat "Nipper" from 1964 which we aquired in Toronto an brought back to Europe once we moved back. Nipper was a family member, we loved her a lot. Rafale is a home.

Rafale is not really a classic car, although I think she fits quite well here.
A classic car is usually very well kept and used in good conditions.
A classic yacht -although same age- has to stand the sometimes brutal and harsh conditions at open seas. Even more: todays sailing cloth increase the forces in the rig compared to the old cotton canvas used in 1935.
Still you give your life in her hands.

Rafale still carries her first name meaning "gust" in english. Sailors shall not kill dolphins nor rename their boat. Luckily all owner before us kept these words in mind.
Stern lightShe is old but in a very good shape strong and mostly original inside an outside. We do have the original documents from her launching in 1935 as well as from the design and building process. She is a one of a kind build for a Monsieur L. Babin from Nantes under Lloyds requirements.
From what I know she was kept in the mediterranean with home port Sanary until the seventies. Also as a charter yacht. Then she stayed in the Golfe de Morbihan up until the eighties when a boatbuilder from England bought her and restored her.
She still spend the years in Cornwall and Bretagne until we sailed her to Germany.
She at least crossed the Atlantic once, and participated at the Brest Festival in 2000 as well as the 2001 Americas Cup Jubilee.

What sets her apart from other yachts of her time and size is that she is almost fush decked, but has a full crusing interior. Kept over the years and not ripped out in the seventies to be replaced by plywood-teak-application wonders. If you do know something: contact me please.

BowStill 14tons of teak, oak, acacia and lead.

With her original interior, basic but functional.

The rigging is not original. Well I do not know, as the Lloyd survey just specifies the rigging as "efficent cutter rigged".

She still carries the cutter rig, but the boom has been shortened and a roller furling has been added. As we usually sail her with only two, we have to keep it that way.

She sails pretty stiff, so usually the deck gets only wet up to the mast, even in force 6 winds.

These are the details of Rafale
15,54 m
50ft 6in
Lenght of Hull
13,20 m
43ft 4in
9,7 m
31.8 ft
3,25 m
10ft 8in
1,74 m
5.7 ft
13,5 ton
Sail area
74 sqm
797 sqft
Design No.
Build No.
Launch Date

Le Yacht No.2 Yacht de croisiereChantier de la Liane was a quite modern yacht builder by todays means, as they had their design office in Paris, Champs Elysées No. 26. They had two Yards: one in Marseille an one in Boulogne sur Mer. Her designer was their Head Engineer, Lomakin a Russian living in Paris.
They did participate in the Salons Nautique in Paris. This is a picture from their stand in 1928. The Yacht there looks very similar to Rafale so maybe a series design, just slightly bigger or smaller from boat to boat.

A list of still existing Yachts from Chantier de la Liane:
  • Carimba 1930
  • Beg Hir II 1935 link
  • Amadour 1938 link
  • Winibelle II 1932 link
  • Romance 1934 link
  • Kertios 1936 build in Marseille link

Interior restaurationWe aquired her in 2016 and reworked most of the interior, as it lacked quite some tlc.
We fitted a grey water tank, reworked the potable water tanks, all the electrics, all plumbing, some of the decks.
Repainted and revarished all the interior, mast, deckhouse and cockpit.
Salon starboard
The hull is in excellent shape as she is build out of teak on sawn oak frames and and bend in acacia- all copper riveted.

Here some impressions from inside:
  Salon portside 
Galley Portside Head

Delivering the boat to Germany:

In 2017 we sailed her via the canals and the Rhone to the med and spend the summer at the Cote d'Azur, Corsica, Elba and Sardignia.

Inland trip to the Med: