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.
The first BENETEAU boats sailed from the shipyards of Croix-de-Vie over 135 years ago. Since that time, the BENETEAU brand has been synonymous with quality and innovation to all those who have taken to the water – first by the fishermen who made their livelihood from the sea and then by the legions of recreational boaters around the globe.
Over the years, our commitment to innovating and embracing ideas, no matter how unconventional, has been at the forefront of who we are in order to bring you the best boat possible. BENETEAU was one of the first boatbuilders many years ago to use computer-aided design (CAD) as well as lighter, stronger composite building materials. We’ve also been at the cutting edge of using greener materials and processes to do our part in protecting the incredible world which we explore. However, all this innovation doesn’t mean we’ve turned our back on tradition. One thing we’ve discovered in over a century of boatbuilding is that new-world innovations work best with old-school craftsmanship. This combination has resulted in some of the most iconic sailboats and powerboats in the world – supremely seaworthy yachts renowned for their sense of style, luxury, and comfort along with their creative use of space and new technologies.
We’re a lot like you. We love the water in all its forms – the ocean, bays, lakes, and rivers. And we love sharing the boating lifestyle with our family and friends. This love manifests itself in every BENETEAU built in any one of our many manufacturing facilities worldwide. Every BENETEAU sailboat and powerboat on the water reflects the best efforts of the finest architects, designers, and craftsmen along with the highest quality materials and the latest innovations.
When you purchase a BENETEAU, you become a valued member of our BENETEAU family. For this reason, our after-sale service is second to none as evidenced by the multitude of National Marine Manufacturers CSI Awards for Excellence in Customer Service. At the core of this outstanding service is our exceptional dealer network. Every one of our authorized BENETEAU dealers will be there for you – from choosing the right yacht to the handover and beyond. Your dealer will be your able guide when it comes to maintaining your boat properly and will help you maximize the return on your investment when it comes time to step up to another BENETEAU – and it usually does! We wouldn’t have it any other way.