Tall Ships Races 2018, picture of Ships sailing in a Parade of Sail

Small Ships



The Arawak was built in 1954 in Sables d'Ollonne in Vendee. She was christened "Le Refuge des Marins", which could be translated as "the sailor's shelter" in Etel, one of the most important fishing ports of France at the time. Until 1980 the Arawak was a fishing vessel, traveling in the Northern Atlantic during winter and doing artisanal tuna fishing in the Bay of Biscay in the summer. She was bought in 1986, restored, and repurposed as a Sail Training Ship.


The current owners of Arawak have bought her in 1986 and finished renovations in 1990. Since then the Ship sails out of Bordeaux, France, with up to 16 trainees at a time. Since 2008 the Sail Training program on board includes people with mental disabilities and socially disadvantaged youngsters.

Since 2012 the French National Heritage Foundation has been listing the Arawak as French Heritage, as she is the last witness of the artisan fishing out of Port Etel.

The Ships sails locally, occasionally taking part in sailing events, such as La Semaine du Golfe or the Brest Grandes Voillers meetings. In 2018 you can join her for the Three Festivals Regatta.

The Arawak usually sails with up to 16 trainees for overnight journeys. She is capable of taking 24 guests on board for day trips. An experienced captain and mate are always ready to explain everything about sailing and teach you the ropes.



As a trainee on Arawak you will sleep in one of 5 cabins, with 4 or 2 bunks. There are shared toilets and showers available. On deck there is a galley and the professional crew sleeps in the aft cabin.


Shipping type: Gaff-rigged Ketch
Homeport: Bordeaux (FR)
Date built: 1954
Restored: 1985-1990
Capacity: 16
Length: 30 m
Beam: 6 m
Draught: 3 m
Sail: 380 m2
Height of mast: 27
Engine capacity: 240 HP Baudoin