The Bernese Navy, 1660–1690
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.