La Belle Sauvage was the name of a canoe owned by Malcolm Polstead, and lent to Lord Asriel. Three times, one child painted over the 'v' in Sauvage and added an 's' thus creating the word sausage. Malcolm, eventually catching the fool who did it, pushed him into the Oxford Canal before they declared a truce. It was covered in tarpaulin made of coal-silk.
During the flood of 1986, La Belle Sauvage carried Malcolm, Alice Parslow and Lyra Belacqua down the River Thames. It was eventually destroyed by Asriel's powerboat when he rescued them from the flood.
La Belle Sauvage is French and translates to 'the beautiful wild' or 'the beautiful fierce one'.