US

Replica of French frigate sent to help American revolutionaries setting sail for Boston

  • The three masts of the 213 feet long frigate Hermione sails at La Rochelle, southwest France, as part of preparation of a trip to America, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The replica of 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 aims to cross the Atlantic and will sets off on Saturday. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    The three masts of the 213 feet long frigate Hermione sails at La Rochelle, southwest France, as part of preparation of a trip to America, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The replica of 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 aims to cross the Atlantic and will sets off on Saturday. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • The 213 feet long frigate Hermione sails at La Rochelle, southwest France, as part of preparation of a trip to America, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The replica of 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 aims to cross the Atlantic and will sets off on Saturday. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    The 213 feet long frigate Hermione sails at La Rochelle, southwest France, as part of preparation of a trip to America, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The replica of 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 aims to cross the Atlantic and will sets off on Saturday. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S sailing enthusiast from Newport, waves a flag as the frigate Hermione sails at La Rochelle, southwest France, as part of preparation of a trip to America, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The replica of 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 aims to cross the Atlantic and will sets off on Saturday. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    U.S sailing enthusiast from Newport, waves a flag as the frigate Hermione sails at La Rochelle, southwest France, as part of preparation of a trip to America, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The replica of 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 aims to cross the Atlantic and will sets off on Saturday. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)  (The Associated Press)

With champagne, fireworks and a presidential blessing, a painstakingly built replica of the frigate once used to bring French troops and funds to American revolutionaries is setting sail for Boston.

Saturday night's celebratory sendoff for the 25 million euro ($27 million) Hermione seeks to retrace the 65-meter (213-foot) frigate's trans-Atlantic journey in 1780, when its namesake under Marquis de Lafayette's command helped to lay the foundation of French-American relations.

Lafayette persuaded French King Louis XVI to provide military and financial support to George Washington's troops. Lafayette set sail on March 21, 1780, arrived 38 days later in Boston, and played an important role in the revolutionaries' ultimate defeat of Britain.

French President Francois Hollande plans to take a short trip on the ship ahead of its official departure Saturday night.