YARD UPDATE '08: Alliaura Marine

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Most recent turnover ('06/07) €24 million; Privilege capacity expansion; new Feeling 55...

MARCH 2008

Groupe Alliaura Marine’s portfolio continues its evolution. Beyond its Privilege range of sailing cats and the Feeling monohull sailing cruiser line-up, it has the Tresco Shipyard and the Altres Design operations under its wing following an acquisition in June ’06. And it is currently awaiting planning approval for an all new plant.
Following the closure of an old facility in Chateau d’Olonnes, there is now just one main facility, the one in Les Sables d’Olonne, which currently consists of four buildings — one centralized lamination shop, two concerned with fitting out the Privilege cats and the other assembling the Feeling models. Plus there is the Tresco operation, which is in Chateau d’Olonnes.
There are four Privilege models, all designed by Marc Lombard. Following the disappearance of the Privilege 395 for the range last year, the smallest in the line-up is now the 445, the fourth of which recently started, the 495, the fourth of which is now under construction, the 615, 15 of which have been sold to date, and the flagship 745, the third of which recently delivered; and two more are in build. The price tag for the 745 is around €3.5 million (excluding taxes) and the production schedule demands one and a half of them to complete each year.
The average Privilege sale now is probably around €900,000.
As for Feeling, Groupe Alliaura Marine continues to take the brand more up-market. The Feeling range, available with swing or fixed-keel options, now consists of five cruiser models from 9.8-16.8m (32-55ft). There’s the Feeling 32, 36, 39, 44 and the all-new 55. The older 32 and 36 were designed by M Joubert and P Roséo, the 39 is a Philippe Briand design and the 44 came from Mortain & Mavrikios. However, the new Feeling 55 is the work of Tresco boss and naval architect Philippe Cabon and the group’s own Altres Design office; and the interior is the work of Diedre Design, which also worked on the Privilege 745 interior. The first 55, which is priced from around €650,000 (excluding taxes) was shown at Paris’s Salon Nautique 2007 show in December and the plan is for five or six of those to complete this year and probably 10 per year thereafter.

'The unit tally is said to be getting on for 100 boats a year at the moment — say almost 20 Privileges and something approaching 80 Feelings...' 

The group has for now stopped building its TransCat 48 power-cat model, although the brand may well be resurrected at some stage.
However, beyond custom building work, the Tresco operation offers a range of three motorboats — the Tresco Line 7.50, 8.50 and 9.50 — all essentially aimed at the yacht tender and top-end runabout market and available with carbon or GRP hulls. The bigger three are broadly similar in terms of concept and styling to the bigger and much more expensive to Wally’s successful WallyTender. Only around 15 of them have been built thus far, but the orders are now said to be flowing in nicely.
Groupe Alliaura Marine’s most recent turnover figure for its year to the end of August ’07 was €24 million, down from the €30 million or so of the previous period, but note that was actually for a long 17-month year owing to an accounting period shift. However, the previous 12 month period for ‘05/06 was €23 million, so broadly of the past few years the business appears to be fairly consistent, although the forecast for ‘07/08 suggests a modest growth, principally because of its all-new Feeling flagship.
The unit tally is said to be getting on for 100 boats a year at the moment — say almost 20 Privileges and something approaching 80 Feelings.
Overall, exports account for around 80 per cent of group turnover. But note that the Privilege range generally does better internationally than Feeling, which is much stronger in its home market. Business is said to be very good in Germany and Italy, thanks to a new distributor there, and the UK is also doing well. As for the US, it used to be very good for Privilege, but the US dollar has been responsible for that activity slowing significantly.
Owned by Alain Rabineau’s SGGR operation, the Alliaura Marine Group continues to employ around 200 people overall. Rabineau’s daughter Lisa serves as its président.

© Phil Draper