French frigate Hermione (2014)

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2014 September 17th, Hermione replica comes off the Charente river and reaches open sea for the first time.
French Navy EnsignFrance
BuilderAsselin at Rochefort
Laid down1997
Launched6 July 2012
General characteristics
Class and typeConcorde-class 12-pounder frigate
Displacement1,166 tons
Length65 m (213 ft)
Beam11.24 m (36.9 ft)
Height54 m (177 ft)
Draught5.78 m (19.0 ft)
PropulsionSails, auxiliary engine
Sail planfull-rigged ship
Armament32 (non-functional replica) guns:[1]

Hermione is a 32-gun Concorde-class frigate fitted for 12-pounder guns, completed in Rochefort by the Asselin organisation in 2014. It is a reproduction of the 1779 Hermione, which achieved fame by ferrying General La Fayette to the United States in 1780 to allow him to rejoin the American side in the American Revolutionary War.


This project was conceived by members of the Centre International de la Mer in 1992, and construction began in 1997, envisaging a launch in April 2015 (as compared to the original, which took less than a year to build).

The shipyard was in one of the two dry docks beside the Corderie Royale at Rochefort.

As far as possible, traditional construction methods were used although modern power tools were substituted for the period tools on some jobs. The site is open to the public, and admission fees help fund the project.

Plans of a sister ship, Concorde, were used. The cost was estimated to be $22 million.[2] The original plans had been modified in several ways for reasons of strength and safety: planks had been bolted rather than pegged to avoid movement during the long period of construction. Similarly, the mast sections were fastened with glue rather than metal hoops to avoid water penetration. The cannons are lightweight and non-functional to save weight. Manilla rope has been used for the majority of the rigging and the sails made of linen canvas.

An engine will be used for safety, and electric generators for lighting and basic amenities.

2015 voyage[edit]

In preparation for a transatlantic voyage in 2015, the frigate departed from Rochefort and started her seaworthiness trials on 7 September 2014.[3]

In April 2015, Hermione started her return voyage to the United States.[4] Hermione’s itinerary is meant to reaffirm the relationship between the United States and France.

Hermione welcomed in US waters by USS Mitscher.

Hermione departed from La Rochelle on 18 April 2015.[5]

2018 voyage[edit]

French replica light frigate Hermione at New York South Street Seaport Pier 15, 1st of July 2015

On 2 February 2018, the Hermione undertook another voyage leaving Rochefort for the Mediterranean with 11 stopovers including Tangier, Sète, Marseille and Toulon.[6][7]


Photographs of the construction from 2005.

Photographs of the construction from 2006.

Photographs of the construction from 2009.

Photographs after completion

See also[edit]


  • Emmanuel de Fontainieu, Yves Gaubert, L'Hermione, de Rochefort à la gloire américaine, Editions de Monza, 2002 ISBN 978-2-908071-95-5
  • Robert Kalbach, Jean-Luc Gireaud, L'Hermione, Frégate des Lumières, Dervy, 2004 ISBN 978-2-84454-319-6
  • Jean-Marie Ballu, L'Hermione, l'aventure de sa reconstruction, Editions du Gerfaut, 2007 ISBN 978-2-35191-018-4
  • James M. Volo, Blue Water Patriots: The American Revolution Afloat, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 ISBN 978-0-275-98907-1


  1. ^ Roche, Jean-Michel (2005). Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours. Vol. 1. Group Retozel-Maury Millau. p. 496. ISBN 978-2-9525917-0-6. OCLC 165892922.
  2. ^ Sciolino, Elaine (August 1, 2007). "Following in Lafayette's Footsteps, or Rather, His Wake". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Hermione, freedom's frigate - Introduction - Home". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  4. ^ "Lafayette's Ship, and Journey, Will be Recreated - -". Archived from the original on 9 April 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  5. ^ Schofield, Hugh (18 April 2015). "Replica 18th Century French frigate sails for US". La Rochelle: BBC News Online. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  6. ^ France, Connexion. "Will Hermione pass near you in 2018?". Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  7. ^ "Voyage en Méditerranée" (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-27.

External links[edit]

External videos
video icon French frigate to recreate Lafayette's voyage to US, France 24 2015-04-18
video icon Replica 18th Century French frigate sails for US, BBC News, 18 April 2015