Louis XIV ' galley  

    Advertising leaflet in French (.pdf)  

La Fleur de Lis



Before clicking, check the destination please

For over 3,000 years, galleys sailed throughout European waters in various shapes and under different names, from the sun-drenched Mediterranean to the mists of the Baltic Sea. Originally a commercial vessel, the galley was soon transformed into a war ship in the ancient world and reached the zenith of its technical development in the 17th century, before disappearing in France during the 1750s.
The somewhat mysterious construction and fitting-out of these formidable ships have always fascinated students of early maritime history. Although galleys were often considered to be simply built ships, by the end of the 17th century the galley had inherited extremely complex and refined architectural lines, much more so, in fact, than other vessels with which it co-existed.
The evolution of the galley, whose history spans thirty centuries, allowed it to develop and refine a structure that had to consolidate strength, lightweight, and performance.  These features required novel and original solutions that have rarely been described and have never been systematically illustrated.
With approximately 230 plates drawn to perspective, this study offers a minute account of how a galley was built in the 1690s, from the drawing board to the launching of the ship. The text describes the various stages of construction in detail, including provisions for stowage and rigging. The study also includes a description of rowing techniques and procedures that were directly related to aspects of building or equipping the ship. The commentary on the 26 plates (drawn to 1:48 scale) explicates the drawings of the different components or assemblies that were required to build, equip, and rig a 26-bench galley. The plates include a drawing of the framework of the entire ship, which will allow the ship’s model builder to complete his model with completely accurate proportions. In conclusion, nearly fifty colour photographs of a ship’s model in various stages of completion illustrate this extensive 240 page study whose table of contents is as follows:

Book in French

Summary of the 240 page booklet:


          Rappels sur l'histoire des galères
          Considérations générales
          Sources et bibliographie
          Description des principales parties d'une galère

La théorie de la conception et sa mise en pratique
          Proportions d'une galère des années 1690
          Les gabarits et leur utilisation

La construction
          La charpente longitudinale
          Le chantier
          Fabrication et assemblage des membres

          Revêtement intérieur et charpente de la couverte
          Revêtement extérieur de la coque et de la couverte
          Le talar et les rais de coursier
          La rambade et les conilles
          L'éperon et le tambouret
          L'espace pour la vogue.
          Les cavalets  et le fougon
          Les dispositions de la poupe


Équipements de la galère
          Les rames 
          L'artillerie et les armes
          Les ancres ou fers et les câbles
          Le timon et l'ourgeau
          Les embarcations
          Le retranchement de proue

Lancement, calfatage, peinture et espalmage
Aménagements de la cale
Lest et arrimage
L'art de la vogue
La mature, arbres et antennes
Le gréement des galères vers 1690
         Les voiles
         Gréement  (arbres, antennes et voiles)

Les tentes et pavillons
Les hommes de la galère

Commentaires des 26 planches
Devis des bois
Photographies d'un modèle en cours de réalisation

Liste des planches au 1/48° :

1 - Elévation schématique, sections
2 - Charpente longitudinale
3 - Dessins des membres et des baccalas (1)
4 -
Dessins des membres et des baccalas (2)
5 - Vue et élévation de la membrure

6 - Revêtement extérieur de la coque

7 - Revêtement intérieur de la coque

8 - Dispositions de la couverte

9 - Aménagements intérieurs

10 - Coupes transversales

11 - Construction des œuvres mortes (1)
12 - Construction des œuvres mortes (2)
13 - Construction des œuvres mortes (3)

14 - Construction des œuvres mortes (4)
15 - Construction du tambouret
16 - Construction des conilles et de la rambade
17 - Construction de la poupe
18 - Grande vue en plan
19 - Grande élévation
20 - Vue totale avec la palamente
21 - Vues avant et arrière
22 - Détails des pièces d'équipement
23 - Mâture et poulies
24 - Voiles et pavillons
25 - Elévation gréée
26 - Aboutissement des manœuvres

The model’s dimensions (L x W x H) are as follow ( 1:48 scale):
Hull only: 1.14 m x 0.20 m x 0.19 m
Hull with oars and masting: 1.14 m x 0.50 m x 0.68 m



Back to "Monographies"

G. Delacroix 2016