A project for Brest 2000 
The Stone Vessel

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Popular tradition has it that the most significant evangelists of our area arrived in Brittany on board... stone vessels. 

Saints Samson, Helen and Malo certainly arrived by sea. They sailed in either Irish curraghs or Welsh coracles. These boats of wooden frames covered with skins, were ballasted with blocks of granite carved to the shape of the vessel. Their boats, abandoned where they landed, decayed, leaving only the granite....

First vessel 
The second
Today, this legend still makes many Bretons dream and one of them has decided to make his dream reality with the utopian ambition to cross the channel again in a stone boat... 

Jean-Yves Menez is this man. This sculptor from Morlaix, now living in Lanhelin (35) wants to take part in Brest 2000 in a stone boat. 

Jean-Yves Menez is used to challenges considered impossible. “Only the human body can’t be carved” he says. Everything else can be ! 

Twice near l'eventail
Already several scientists are working on the project. The company CREA 2000 and university of  La Rochelle are collaborating on the propulsion system. 

More importantly, a scaled down model shown for the first time in Lanhelin has floated for several weeks now. This model, which weighs 4,5 kgs, is 50 cms long and was carved from a 50 kgs block of Lanhelin blue granite. Its design was directly inspired by Viking boats, it also contains a granite sculpture weighing 1 kilo. 

A second model, also in blue granite, 75 cms long, weighing 10 kgs and carved from a block weighing 240 kgs is currently on show in various exhibitions in and around St Malo and Dinard.. 

Bleu granite of Lanhelin

Blue granite of Lanhélin

It is possible to extrapolate ad infinitum : Thus a boat of 5m would weigh 4,5 tons, could carry one ton, and would be carved out of a rock weighing 50 tons. Even now we can carve away 98 % of the weight of the original block - You can see light through a thin sheet of granite. 

An 8 metre boat would need a block weighing 220 tons and could carry a load of 4300 kgs.

“The ideal size seems to be 7 to 8m” judges Jean-Yves. “The boat would be propelled by a light and simple junk-type rig. I also dream of decorated freeboards. They could be illustrated by cartoonists to tell the tales of the celtic saints...” 

Jean-Yves knows he will have to convince financial partners to conclude his project and take part in Brest 2000


Signature Menez 
For any contact: 
Jean-Yves Menez 
4, place du calvaire
Fax : 33 02 99 73 74 96
Or by Internet : Write to Jean-Yves Menezjymenez@dinard.com
©copyright 1998-2002 the Stone Vessel - Jean-Yves Menez
©copyright 1998-2002, JM Baudet