This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Belem is a three-masted Barque
She was originally a cargo ship, transporting sugar from the West Indies, cocoa, and coffee from Brazil and French Guiana to Nantes, France. By chance she escaped the eruption of the Mount Pelée in Saint-Pierre de la Martinique on 8 May 1902. All Saint Pierre roads were full of vessels, no place to anchor the ship. Captain Julien Chauvelon angrily decided to anchor some miles further on in a beach – sheltered from the exploding volcano.

She was sold in 1914 to Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster, who converted her to his private luxurious pleasure yacht, complete with two auxiliary Bolinder Diesel engines 300 HP each.

In 1922 she became the property of the beer baron Sir Arthur Ernest Guinness, who renamed her the Fantôme II (French spelling) and revised the rig from a square rigger. Hon. A.E. Guinness was Rear Commodore of the Royal St. George Yacht Club, in Kingstown, Ireland from 1921-1939. He was Vice Commodore from 1940- 1948. Hon. A.E. Guinness took the Fântome II on a great cruise in 1923 with his daughters Aileen, Maureen, and Oonagh. They sailed the seven seas in making a travel round the world via the Panama and Suez Canals including a visit to Spitsbergen. During her approach to Yokohama harbour while sailing the Pacific Ocean the barque managed to escape another catastrophe – an earthquake which destroyed the harbour and parts of Yokohama city. Hon. Arthur E. Guinness died in 1949. The ‘Fantome’ was moored in the roads of Cowes, Isle of Wight.

In 1951 she was sold to the Venezian count Vittorio Cini, who named her the Giorgio Cini after his son, who had died in a plane crash near Cannes on 31 August 1949 . She was rigged to a barkentine and used as a sail training ship until 1965, when she was considered too old for further use and was moored at the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.

In 1972 the Italian carabinieri attempted to restore her to the original barque rig. When this proved too expensive, she became the property of the shipyard. In 1976 the ship was re-rigged to a barque.

Finally, in January 1979, she came back to her home port as the Belem under tow by a French seagoing tug, flying the French flag after 65 years. Fully restored to her original condition, she began a new career as a sail training ship.
source: wikipedia
Current specifications of the Belem
406 tons and 51 m of length.
Riveted steel keel (for older parts).
Iron sheet : 11 mm.
Ballast in hull : 4,500 pig irons of 50 kg each.
Hull length without bowsprit : 51 m.
Bowsprit length : 7 m.
Extreme length: 58 m.
Waterline length : 48 m.
Midship width: 8.80 m.
Moulded depth: 4.60 m.
Draught : 3.60 m.
B.R.T. : 534 tons.
Displacement : 750 tons.
Masting – Rigging
Steel masts in 2 parts (lower mast, topmast).
Main mast height above waterline level : 34 m.
Lower yards in steel, top gallant and royal yards in wood.
About 220 points of running-rigging.
About 250 simple-blocks, double-blocks and triple-blocks.
4500 m of running-rigging in polyamid rope.
Number of sails : 22.
Sail area : 1000,5 m² (all above, without storm sail).
16 men: – 1 captain, – 1 chief officer, – 2 lieutenants, – 1 chief engineer, – 2 cooks, – 1 boatswain, – 1 carpenter, – 7 yardmen (two from the French National Service until 2000).
Personal management by la Société Nantaise de Navigation.
Maximum number of trainees: 48 (two watches of 24, divided in third of 16).