Ideal: the story of a rebirth

        Built in 1908 on the beach of Banyuls-sur-mer by the carpenter BONAFOS, for JEAN COSTE RESTE,  IDÉAL  is one of the largest fishing boats of the “ Côte Vermeille”. It is a “Sardinal”, and with more than35 feet long and 10 feet width, it has the fine lines , typical of these boats, that ensured them good performances under all winds. After some years in Banyuls, it was bought by Torus from Collioure, who, returning alive from world war one’s butchery, sold the shares he’d got on some other boat to  buy Idéal. The boat is docked on the beach in Port D’Avall, next to the Castle. It is sold again, this time to Francois COCA.

        During WW2,  IDÉAL is overtaken by the German occupants , together with an other similar  boat  named La Perouse.  They are linked together  in  order to use them as a floating dock to drown mines and anti landing devices in the harbor.  One of the mines explodes and the crew is hopefully unharmed.

        In 1948, the boat is undergoing severe work, and the gauge is remeasured. She is then sold to ROSES, from LE Barcares, next to HURTADO from Saint Cyprien who renames her ANNE TONY. She escapes the burnings of 1968 by miracle.  Bought by  Daniel TRUX in 1977, she changes her name again into Al MORENO. In 1995, she is about to be sold again and leave the côte Vermeille, when GILDAS GIRODEAU hears about her by chance. He buys her with the intention of creating  a sailing school in Collioure, dedicated to the Latin sail.

        Renamed after her initial name Ideal, the boat is restored a first time in 1996. Part of the  deck, the shield, major part of the planking and some of the ribs were replaced.  The work was taken over by the BERNADOU shipyard settled in Canet-en-Roussillon. The rigging and a new latin sail of 65 square meters were made by TECHNIVOILE . This restoration had to undergo the merchant navy specifications in order to allow transportation of passengers.

        In order to pay due respect to traditions , IDÉAL was blessed by father ABRAHAM, on JULY the 20th 1996. Sylvie BONAFOS, the godmother, is granddaughter of the original builder of 1908. The mayor of Collioure, Michel MOLY, and other personalities were present. IDÉAL is one of the very few remainders today of these sardinals which were so common in catalan country at the beginning of the 2Oth century.


 April, the 4th 2001

 At dawn on that day, Ideal was destroyed by an arson. Since that very moment, a tremendous movement of solidarity tries to have it rebirthed. The work of restoration started in November 2002. The lumber used for construction is  oak from the Vallespir and pine from the Matte forest. All ironwork will be made like originally in smooth iron from the Canigou.    

Apart from all the individuals who took shares from the public subscription,  private and official sponsors also helped to make this restoration possible. The Collioure town hall and the mayor MICHEL MOLY, The House of wine and grape in Collioure, the deputy of  the 4th district Henri SICRE, the regional center for forest properties, the Catalan association  of Ironworkers, in Arles sur Tech, the BERNADOU shipyard in Canet, the ACTION agency, the Argonaute recreation center, and many others that joined us since. They all work together in order to rediscover the traditional techniques and the ancient materials.


To allow the ship’s restoration, an association was founded. The aim is to raise the funds to rebuild the ship and to help the owner GILDAS GIRODEAU, in his challenge to save Ideal. The president is VINCENT CANTIE, famous wine grower in Collioure. The necessary amount is roughly 45000 Euros. In September 2002 the association had raised 35000 euros. The work is in progress but there are some more needs to fulfill. Any donation is welcomed.

SAUVONS "IDÉAL"    10 ter rue BERTHELOT   66190 COLLIOURE .   Association loi 1901 registered in Céret under no 0661003098. Phone : 06 20 80 52 80 –                                                                                                                               


May 2003,a special vintage for Latin sails:

The cooperative wine-cellar in BAIXAS, Dom Brial, produced a special vintage called Latin Sail, a part of the money worth will be turned on to the association for the restoration of the ship. It is a nice blue bottle, with a picture of IDEAL and a short story of the catalan boats. This white wine, “Cotes du Roussillon” , appellation contrôlée, costs 6 euros and is a wonderful idea for a present. The bottle can be reused as a carafe for drinking water.

  Information and order :  Cave Coopérative de Baixas – 66390 BAIXAS – Tél 04 68 64 22 37  




The catalan maritime patrimony

The restoration 1,  2,   3,  4.