SHIPS in BOTTLES by Michel Bardet            


Winners of the "ROUTE du RHUM" race in multihulls

This is certainly the unique collection in France. You will find below the 8 winners of the "Route du Rhum" race, the great open sea race, which is run every four years between Saint-Malo (Brittany) and Pointe--Pitre (Island of Guadeloupe in the French West Indies) Sir Mike Birch won the first race in 1978 in 23 days, 6 hours and 59 minutes, with a trimaran half as big as the one of the last winner, Mr Lionel Lemonchois who raced successfully in 2006 in 7 days, 17 hours and 19 minutes.
If you take into account the statistics, you could believe that the larger the boat is the faster it sails : it is highly possible, but do not forget also that , during the last 28 years, the greatest technological advances in the sailing world have been implemented. When I began this collection in 1978, I did not have imagined the evolution of the trimarans size. So, do not be astonished to see them in bottles of same volume, because it would be difficult to adapt the bottle size , and specially their diameter, to the evolution of the trimarans size.


The scale of the models is calculated according to the length of the sailing ships, and the volume available inside the bottle. On each sailing boat, the skipper is placed in position to navigate, unfortunately on the photographs, this is hardly visible. If the boat of the first winner is 14 millimetres long, the boat of the last one is only 7 mm high : because of the boat scale !.




Click on one image to get more details.

Winner 1978 Mike BIRCH

Winner 1982 Marc PAJOT

Winner 1986 Philippe POUPON

Winner 1990 Florence ARTHAUD

Winner 1994 Laurent BOURGNON

Winner 1998 Laurent BOURGNON

Winner 2002 Michel Desjoyeaux

Winner 2006 Lionel Lemonchois


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  • Introduction

  • Basic technique to put a ship in a bottle

  • My personal technique

  • The know-how

  • Exhibitions and demonstrations

  • Restoration of boats in bottles

  • Traditional sailing boats

  • Other models in bottles, bulbs and flasks

  • Model under construction