Beneteau New Boat Models
Our Beneteau Showroom
The year was 1884. The cornerstone of the Statue of Liberty was laid on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor. In London, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published. And in the French port city of Croix-de-Vie, Benjamin Beneteau founded the BENETEAU boatyard and thus began a journey that continues to this very day.
Benjamin built his fishing boats to be rugged enough to handle the capricious waters of the North Atlantic and fast enough to be the first back to port so the fishermen could get the best price for that day’s catch. Even though he was an artisan, Benjamin was always in pursuit of innovations that could make his boats better. In fact, in the early 1900s, he designed the first engine-powered fishing boat in his region.
After Benjamin, the reins passed to his son Andre, and it fell to him to guide the family business through two world wars. One of Andre’s strengths was as a designer and draftsman, and those living near the BENETEAU shipyard would marvel at his beautiful creations. As calamitous as both world wars were to BENETEAU, a greater threat was on the horizon. Global economic change was slowly shrinking the French fishing industry. Less French fishermen meant less French fishing boats. But good luck, good timing, and good genes intervened! Andre and his children, daughter Annette and son Andre Jr. teamed up to steer BENETEAU into a new age.
They would use another radical innovation, polyester, to create a lightweight hull for fishing boat dinghies, which would later become the first fishing boats used for recreation. Annette took one of the small, humble crafts to the 1965 Paris Boat show where it caused a sensation. It took the rest of the ’60s, but by the early ’70s, BENETEAU had successfully transitioned from its commercial fishing roots to one of the most respected pleasure boat builders in all of Europe. Today, with new innovations and an ever-growing global presence, this farseeing family from Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is now one of the largest in the world.