The Bernese Navy, 1660–1690

By Paul Bloesch, published February 1977


Berne needed troop-carrying vessels to support other Protestant cantons.  In 1666, galley-style Le Grand Ours, 84ft, and Le Petit Ours, 63ft, were constructed in a year, together with two smaller vessels and a challope.   A Dutch engineer modified and re-rigged them and tried to introduce yachts (fast, armed, sailing vessels).  Both Ours were broken up by 1687.   That year, Henri Dusquene proposed a double-usage yacht, to carry cargo or troops, but Berne decided on two larger galleys, rigged with a gaff mainsail and lateen foremast.   Lack of a carpenter, timber and large sawmill meant the project went no further.

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Navies | Shipbuilding & Design

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