US

Reconstruction of ship that France's Lafayette took to US Revolutionary War takes test run

  • The three masts of the 213 feet long frigate Hermione whose hull is made entirely of oak, is pictured on the eve of its first test in the sea in Rochefort, Western France, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. Since 1997, in the old dockyard, a passionate team rebuilt the frigate Hermione, which, in 1780, allowed La Fayette to cross the Atlantic to America and join the American rebels in their struggle for independence. The Hermione Lafayette Trip project is aimed to cross the Atlantic in 2015.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    The three masts of the 213 feet long frigate Hermione whose hull is made entirely of oak, is pictured on the eve of its first test in the sea in Rochefort, Western France, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. Since 1997, in the old dockyard, a passionate team rebuilt the frigate Hermione, which, in 1780, allowed La Fayette to cross the Atlantic to America and join the American rebels in their struggle for independence. The Hermione Lafayette Trip project is aimed to cross the Atlantic in 2015.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • The three masts of the 213 feet long frigate Hermione whose hull is made entirely of oak, maneuvers hours before its first test in the sea in Rochefort, Western France, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. Since 1997, in the old dockyard, a passionate team rebuilt the frigate Hermione, which, in 1780, allowed La Fayette to cross the Atlantic to America and join the American rebels in their struggle for independence. The Hermione Lafayette Trip project is aimed to cross the Atlantic in 2015.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    The three masts of the 213 feet long frigate Hermione whose hull is made entirely of oak, maneuvers hours before its first test in the sea in Rochefort, Western France, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. Since 1997, in the old dockyard, a passionate team rebuilt the frigate Hermione, which, in 1780, allowed La Fayette to cross the Atlantic to America and join the American rebels in their struggle for independence. The Hermione Lafayette Trip project is aimed to cross the Atlantic in 2015.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • The back of the three masts of the 213 feet long frigate Hermione whose hull is made entirely of oak, is pictured on the eve of its first test in the sea in Rochefort, Western France, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. Since 1997, in the old dockyard, a passionate team rebuilt the frigate Hermione, which, in 1780, allowed La Fayette to cross the Atlantic to America and join the American rebels in their struggle for independence. The Hermione Lafayette Trip project is aimed to cross the Atlantic in 2015.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    The back of the three masts of the 213 feet long frigate Hermione whose hull is made entirely of oak, is pictured on the eve of its first test in the sea in Rochefort, Western France, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. Since 1997, in the old dockyard, a passionate team rebuilt the frigate Hermione, which, in 1780, allowed La Fayette to cross the Atlantic to America and join the American rebels in their struggle for independence. The Hermione Lafayette Trip project is aimed to cross the Atlantic in 2015.(AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

A reconstruction of the 213-foot-long frigate used by France's Marquis de Lafayette to bring reinforcements to American revolutionaries in 1780 has tested the waters for the first time.

The test run at high tide early Sunday was a key step in a 17-year project aimed at sending the ship next year across the Atlantic, retracing Lafayette's journey to Boston and the foundation of French-American relations.

Maritime and history experts and aficionados have made rebuilding the Hermione a major project for the French port of Rochefort in southwest France.

Ship builders and researchers have painstakingly rebuilt the ship using the same construction materials and methods as those used to build the original, from the pulley systems to the massive oak hull.