retour accueil The Center The Lake of Port Revel

Pilote, capitaine et instructeur de navire sur le lac de Port Revel

The Lake of Port Revel

Port Revel's model lake

Lake Port Revel

Port Revel is located on a man-made lake of about 13 acres (5 ha) that was remodeled in order to reproduce real sailing conditions.
The lake is located near Grenoble (France) where the wind regime is very mild. Moreover, it is sheltered by a forest. Hence uncontrolled wind effects on ships are reduced to a minimum.
At scale 1/25, the lake area represents a navigable zone of about 5 by 2 nautical miles, allowing several models to sail at the same time at normal manoeuvring speeds.
Deep, shallow and very shallow water areas (less than 10% under keel-clearance for some ships) are to be found here.

Lake fully equiped for manned model trainning

The lake of Port Revel

A lake area of about 5 ha is available, allowing 5 ships to sail freely without mutual or outside interference. Port Revel's lake has been designed in accordance with rigorous quality standards.

The lake is large enough, but not too large so that travelling distances between exercises are not too long,

The lake features :

  • It can be emptied for maintenance
  • It has a controllable water level
  • It has very small natural wind effects (over 80% of the lake is protected from wind
  • It has a variety of features including
  • 50 different docking configurations (open wharfs on piles, solid vertical quay walls, rock slopes)
  •  Deep and shallow water areas (2.5 ha of the lake consisting of shallow water areas with less than 27.5 m full scale)
  • Buoyed channels on deep and shallow waters
  •  Canal (7 km full scale) with a drawbridge and two berths
  •  2 locks (W x L x d: 55 x 450 x 23 m and 75 x 450 x 23 m)
  •  One SBM

The lake has the following permanent equipment and features

  • The different types of moorings which exist in ports or near the coast:
    open wharves, solid quays, offshore platform structure, new Panama lock, single buoy mooring,
  • the different types of buoyed channel (deep water and shallow water) with different widths, and a length of ship canal (representing, for example, a bend of the Suez Canal), 
  • a wave generator designed to produce waves of varying period and height (maximum about 6 m at full scale, or 24 cm for the models), 
  • current generators are placed at the north and south ends of the lake and used to produce currents in either a clockwise direction (on 1.6 ha of the lake) or a counter-clockwise direction (on 1.9 ha), giving locally currents up to 3 kn full scale
  • a wind generator designed to reproduce a wind field of 20-30 knots (at full scale), 
  • a "track recording system" using the latest GNSS techniques, 
  • a "garage" (boat house) for shelter and maintenance of the models. 

Canal Lake - Port RevelThis equipment is supplemented by a number of leading marks on land, and an observation tower. Tour - maritime pilot training - Port Revel
The lake is refitted time to time in order to be accurate in depth for the benefit of the trainees.


Around 50% of the lake consists of   shallow waters (< 27.5 m water depth)

Learn more


Currents are a main feature at Port Revel as 3 days out of 5 in the Ship handling Course are conducted with currents.

Learn more


A portion of the (old) Suez Canal when it was still 16m deep and 80m wide on the bottom with 3(hor.) in 1(vert.) side slopes.

Learn more


All types of quay are in use at Port Revel: solid quaywalls, fully open wharves on piles and berths on a rubble slope.

Learn more


A unique feature at Port Revel is the wave generator. It is the only one of its kind in the world.

Learn more


The protected area must be at least 10 000 m2 to be considered operational and 81% of the Port Revel lake is protected.

Learn more