Shipbuilding: the Alu Nautique Concept aluminium boats are now made in Vendée

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Atlantic France has a long history of shipbuilding and often attracts entrepreneurs in this field. One of the latest to take the plunge and relocate was Alu Nautique Concept, a company that designs and manufactures lightweight aluminium boats.

Aurélie and Benoit Guignet created Alu Nautique Concept in 2009. The SME specialises in the production of boats made of aluminium. “Aluminium is strong, light, durable, low-maintenance, and recyclable”, explains Benoit Guignet. “From designing to cutting, shaping, and welding, everything is done in our workshops. We mainly manufacture flat-bottomed and V-shaped boats which are exclusively designed for inland waters.

The company manufactures and delivers 50 boats every year. The customers are a mix of private individuals, fishermen, companies, and local authorities who are spread across France, with a particularly strong concentration in the Marais Poitevin, which is partly located in Vendée. The Guignet couple therefore chose this Atlantic France department as the place to relocate their company to (it was initially based in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region). 

We chose to leave Marennes, near the Ile d’Oléron, precisely because we wanted to be closer to our main local consumer base. The Marais Poitevin is the second-largest wetland area in France. We were also looking for a dynamic, attractive area to live and work in. The Sud Vendée met all these criteria! We got in touch with Solutions&co, Atlantic France’s economic development agency and we immediately felt listened to and welcomed by their teams.

Benoit Guignet, co-manager of Alu Nautique Concept 

Finding the ideal property and connecting with the local ecosystem

Alu Nautique Concept established its workshop in a property with 2000 sqm of land in Vix. The support of Solutions&co was decisive in finding the perfect place to relocate the company to and in connecting with other players in the nautical industry.

We shared the specifications with our counterparts at the Communauté de Communes de Vendée Sèvre Autise. We were very responsive and were able to quickly identify a property solution that would meet the needs of the company’s directors. In addition, we put them in touch with local business networks to make it easier for them to set up in the region and introduced them to NautiHub, the regional cluster that brings together more than 500 players in the nautical sector in Atlantic France.

Mélina Cougnaud, Head of Entreprises & Territoires at Solutions&co

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