A brand with a long proud family heritage, Beneteau’s origins stretch back to Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, France in 1884. It was here at Quai de Greniers that an inventive Benjamin Bénéteau founded a small boat yard and worked on designing new better performing boats. From fishing to luxury sailing, Beneteau Boats is still a pioneering innovator to this day.
THE HISTORY OF BENETEAU BOATS
In 1909, the maverick created the first engine-powered sailing boat in the region.
After the Great War put a stop to production, the family-run shipyard was back in business and a new fishing boat was unveiled in the 1920s.
The 60s ushered in a new material – polyester, prompting the business to make a new use of it in making a dinghy for the local sardine fishing boats. In 1965, with their first Paris Boat Show appearance, a new distributor opened up a market opportunity for the boatbuilder’s Morbihan, Finistère, and Côtes du Nord boats.
Beneteau ramped up production in 1972 with a new plant and workforce before breaking into the recreational fishing boat market with the innovative Evasion series. Its fishing boats gradually became bigger with the likes of the Ombrine and Antares series.
Then in 1976, Beneteau took a new direction, designing a mould-breaking high performance sailing boat – called the First – that took the Paris Boat Show by storm.
In the 80s, a partnership with Corum led to the successful First Evolution, Lady B, and First Lady prototypes with a new hull shapes being born. Perfecting the cruiser, the new Idylle, Philippe Briand 3 and Oceanis 350 and 430 soon followed. Then a new revelation with First 35, the first boat designed with two rear cabins.
As the 90s rolled on and sailing boats across the market started to take on the same angular shape, a new design inspiration based on luxury cars, gave the First 45 a bold new deck transformation.
In the intervening years up to 2008, the business dramatically expanded with new factories, before incorporating the Italian company Monte Carlo Yachts. This new venture sparked an exciting 23m flybridge yacht called the MCY, affirming Benetau’s positioning in the market for timeless, innovative luxury yachts.
With a strategy to develop its motorboat market share in North America, Beneteau acquired Rec Boat Holding LLC in 2014, taking on the leading brands: Four Winns, Glastron, Wellcraft and Scarab.