The French shipyard has been innovating and reinventing itself for the past 64 years, and will make a great entrance in the Salon Nautique International de Paris with 17 powerboats and 4 sailboats.
In 1957, Henri Jeanneau discovered powerboating after watching a boat pass by his window. He was already passionate about airplanes and automobiles, and soon after he decided to build a wooden hull with which he participated in the 6-hour Paris race, the largest national race at the moment.
Jeanneau was the first to cross the finish line, and this pushed him to pursue this new passion for boats. He founded the Jeanneau shipyard and in 1958 they built their first fibreglass hull. Then it was a new technology not many people knew that much about, but after building the “Sport polyester”, the “Mirage” and the “Prélude”, fibreglass became the material of choice.
They were important decades for Jeanneau as they created their first production-line of the powerboat Sea Bird and produced their first sailboats, which proved to be a huge success. Moreover, in 1970 boat production went up and Jeanneau positioned itself as a market leader in design and construction of sailboats.
In the competitive atmosphere, Jeanneau decided to enter a single-handed transatlantic race with a Melody helmed by Yves Olivaux. This meant their boats could be sailed across the Atlantic and be competitive.
Jeanneau started taking part in powerboat racing together with Transports Graveleau in 1980. Their Formule 1 Inshore catamaran, helmed by Michel Rousse, dominated competition with its Kevlar hull. During the 80s, Jeanneau launched several successful powerboat models.
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Moreover, between 1982 and 1998 Jeanneau became the exclusive supplier for the Sailing Tour de France with three generations of sailboats.
You can watch the Tour de France à la Voile on Nautical Channel!
In 1995 they appeared in the cinema. With two replicas of the “Pierre 1er”, they appeared in the American film “Waterworld”, with Kevin Costner. And they joined the Groupe Bénéteau. One year later, they created Jeanneau America in the US.
As their construction site increased, the Jeanneau models also expanded. They now had the world’s largest shipyard for constructing production-model boats. This led them to earn the title of European Yacht of the Year in 2008 with the Sun Fast 3200, designed by Daniel Andrieu.
In 2010 the group expanded to Hong Kong, and the Dongfeng Race Team, for whom Jeanneau was the official supplier, participated in the Volvo Ocean Race. The company has continued to grow by offering in 2014 their first production yacht over 60 feet: the Jeanneau 64.
Moreover, they introduced walk-around decks in cruising sailboats. Their Sun Odyssey 440 and Sun Odysseys 490 and 410 have won international awards. Jeanneau has spent almost 65 years innovating and developing new concepts in their vessels. They will be presenting us their latest creations in Paris at the Salon Nautique International de Paris.