Category Archives: Inside Aureus Yachts

Visit the Cannes Boat Show, Discover the Hottest New Yachts

 

One of the best-known cities of the French Riviera, Cannes is more famous for its Film Festival with its stars, hype nights, luxury hotels and all kind of rich and famous. But every September, during one week, this place is possessed with another kind of glamour and luxury – the nautical jewels and “stars”.

Cannes Boat Show takes place every year in September
Cannes Boat Show takes place every year in September

Located in the “Old port” of Cannes and the “Port Pierre Canto”, at both ends of the world famous Croisette, Cannes International Boat & Yacht Show is the European leading inwater exhibition.

Each year, this event provides to its visitors an exclusive opportunity to preview the finest jewels of the sea in one of the most beautiful bay in the world. With more than 500 exposed premium and luxury boats, both traditional and modern, and about 50 000 visitors, the Festival is famous for glitz, glamour and international “Premieres”.

Festival plaisance cannes boat show yachts

There is a whole range of boats on display ranging from small boats for the leisure market to glittering luxury cruisers coming complete with the latest gadgets and fineries. Patronized by all the major boat yards, manufacturers and nautical brand names, the show is very useful for prospective buyers, who will gain valuable knowledge and experience before making the ultimate purchase. They can also take advantage of a unique opportunity offered by this show: the sea trials! What could be better than taking the helm of a magnificent luxurious yacht, experiencing the sensation of sailing along the French Riviera, before making the purchase ? This is also a fantastic event for all kind of boating enthusiasts and the first international show of the boat show season.

The Cannes International Boat & Yacht Show offers three areas to visit:

Le Vieux Port gathers all new models with a mix of motor and sailing boats ranging from 10 to 61 metres (yes, 61 meters !) on the water, and a part of manufacturers and service companies positioned on the land.

The world’s most important brokerage houses are settled at the “Espace Brokerage & Charter”, located in the Port Pierre Canto, displaying superyachts ranging from 22 to 50 metres.

The art of living aboard is constantly evolving to satisfy the demands of the discerning owners. Espace Riviera gathers the brands of refinement, innovation, quality and design. You’ll find all kind of services and equipment for increasingly sophisticated boats, including interior installations, equipment and technologies, financing and insurances companies, luxury yacht tenders and tourism.

The sailing yachts corner - Cannes Boat Show
The sailing yachts corner – Cannes Boat Show

For yacht owners as well as sellers, Cannes Boat & Yacht Show is the ultimate place to showcase their product and passion. Yachting lovers from every continent will appreciate the magical atmosphere of a real in-water show. Come; you will not be disappointed!

As for Aureus Yachts, we will attend the 2013 edition to introduce the Aureus XV Absolute. If you want to know more about how to find us, contact us on info@aureus-yachts.com.

Thanks for reading,

Aurelien


What does a vacuum infusion look like ?

 

If you’re passionate about sailing yachts, you’ve probably already heard about the benefits of the vacuum infusion process for building fast yachts. It allows boat builders to lower the weight of their hulls and decks thanks to a better control on the resin quantity, while keeping excellent stiffness and resistance. Resin flows into an “air free” composite sandwich, usually 2 layers of glass or carbon fibers, with a foam core in the middle to add stiffness without adding too much weight. In some areas with high mechanical constraints, we use only carbon fibers on the whole thickness , with no foam. Those are monolithic areas (at that point, I really hope you can follow my English…sorry if I’m sometimes using incorrect words or expressions , especially on technical matters).

Vacuum Infusion Process - Carbon Epoxy
Vacuum Infusion – This is how the sandwich is set for Infusion

To sum it up, the vacuum process makes lighter hulls decks or whatever compared to the wet process in which operators directly apply resin on fibers with painters’ rollers. It requires a strong know-how as it is a complicated process in which airtightness, a steady vacuum, and a regular impregnation speed are the key to achieve quality and long lasting hulls and decks.

To illustrate this process, here is a time-lapse video we shot in our Factory, while manufacturing an Aureus XV’ deck. The deck composition is full carbon with epoxy resin, meaning extra stiffness and resistance at a given weight. The epoxy resin is the most delicate one to use, due to its chemical properties: fast reaction, and the very high temperature the mix of resin and hardener can reach once the chemical has started. This kind of vacuum infusion requires a perfectly controlled temperature, so the day we did it, the room was cooled to 24C° though the heat outside was over 33°C. The strict control of the temperature during infusion process is a necessity to make the process reliable (I would suggest to anyone going for a yacht manufactured in carbon epoxy, using vacuum infusion, to make sure the builder is infusing in a tempered room).

Infusion of an Aureus XV Carbon/Epoxy deck

I hope this illustrates clearly enough the vacuum infusion process. Feel free to ask us if you want to learn more. Thanks for reading,

Aurelien

La Rochelle Boat Show, an occasion to visit Aureus Yachts

 

The “Grand Pavois” Boat show takes place in La Rochelle, France, every year in September.

La Rochelle harbour at night
La Rochelle harbour at night

The Boat Show is located in the Minimes Harbour, that you can reach by water bus in less than 10 minutes from the historical centre of La Rochelle.

It gathers all the major European brands in the sailing yacht and small motorboat industry and a few American, Turkish or Chinese brands too. The positioning of the boat show (as the Grand Pavois 2012‘ promotion poster can attest…) is not oriented towards luxury units but most of the entry level and premium (the difference between premium and luxury is very important in my mind) sailing yachts, from 25 to 55’ are usually here.

Caveau du sommelier - La Rochelle Grand Pavois boat show restaurant
A: Le caveau du sommelier – nice restaurant in La Rochelle

If you’re in town for dinner, and if you’re not a vegan, I would advice you to reserve a table at “le caveau du sommelier” +33 546 276 627 (see the amazingly small ref A on the opposite map) in “la rue Saint Jean du Pérot“. Stéphane, the owner, is really friendly and he knows a lot about his city. Some excellent bottles of wine are available, the cuisine is simple but they master simplicity. This nice pedestrian street is typical for the true La Rochelle. Be aware that if you want to eat proper food, you have to avoid the harbour waterfront where quality of both food, service and restaurant’s interior environment went down as more and more tourists are eager to eat on the waterfront rather than in one of the gorgeous paved street around. I guess the attendance does not incite them enough to feel concerned with quality…
If you plan to attend the “Grand Pavois” 2012′ Boat Show, from September 19th to September 24th 2012, then why don’t you give us a call, at Aureus Yachts, so that we organize a visit of the factory. We’d like to show you how passionate we are about our mission and how we work.

The Aureus Yachts' Factory
The Aureus Yachts’ production site outside La Rochelle

If you are interested, please let me know or contact Olga by email at olga@aureus-yachts.com . Visit will go through the factory and allow you to see an Aureus XV Absolute at the assembly stage.

Thanks,

Aurelien

What Aureus yachts is about

 

Recently, I had many occasions to talk with prospects, journalists, suppliers, investors, bankers, friends or team members, about the Aureus XV, that I see as a quest for the ultimate Compact Maxi Yacht….

I didn’t find any best way to summarize the ambition of Aureus Yachts: “becoming the reference for compact maxi yachts”.

Of course, before I have a chance to develop, I have a lot of similar questions or reactions. I think sharing them, together with what I would like to answer to them might be a good way of explaining what we mean by “Compact Maxi Yacht”.

  • Reaction 1: “yeah…a new brand of fast luxury sailing yachts…just what we needed…”

Yes, that is a fact, there are plenty of “Luxury Sailing Yachts” brands that produce 50 ft yachts: On the performance segment; Italian brands, like Solaris Yachts or Grand Soleil; Danish X-Yachts, Nautor’s Swan and at least a dozen more… that all produce good quality and reliable yachts. The market for 50 footers might represent around 150 units a year, which is not a very big number.

Those brands, especially the biggest ones, have big ranges, usually from around 35 feet to 65 feet or more. The bigger the yacht, the bigger the options list to be able to address the biggest amount of potential customers. Aureus Yachts though, is a pure player on 50 footers. We chose to concentrate on a 50 feet sailing yacht because it is, in our mind, the most appropriate size for people that want to get good sailing sensations, an urban lifestyle with great comfort (you need a little space for that) and still be able to navigate single handed or at a couple. We developed the Aureus XV to be the best 50 footer ever for travelling hedonists.

  • Reaction 2: “How are you planning to compete against great brands, that exist for decades, have large ranges and wide dealership and have sold hundreds of boats like Grand Soleil, X-Yachts or Nautor’sSwan?”

The plan is simple: focusing more about how to deliver sensations on our 50 footer. By allowing us to go for innovations both in materials, technologies and design. By being radical, and refuse to accept compromises, when others think about volumes and multi-purpose. We believe our way is not to “mass advertise” in specialized press, or to produce multi-purpose yachts on a wide range, or hire a bigger as possible dealership. We are working for more than 2 years daily on developing a radical machine, made for speed, sensations and modern luxury, and we believe that this is our best asset to grow the Aureus brand. “Build something worth remarking and unique, and it will take care of the rest” is our philosophy. Looking for excellence is easier for us than to look for reasonable, or price optimized solution, as we are passionate about design and technology. That’s what we want to keep doing for years.

We gathered a lot of talents around this project, such as Eric Benque for the interior design or Emanuele Rossi and 30 skilled joiners, composite specialists, saddlers, tapestry-makers and engineers around a simple plan: creating the ultimate sailing yacht that compacts the luxury, unreasonableness and sensations of a maxi yachts into a 50 footer built to last. Every part of the yacht is manufactured in-house. It took more time that the average development because we looked for new ways to deliver sensations and explored lots of details. Most of our time was dedicated to finding alternatives to usual average, and widely accepted solutions, reducing the spread of possible options. Indeed, to get perfect balance we chose to make many equipment, technologies or designs, that are usually options in other yards, mandatory. We feel like removing one of our radical solution (full push button control, or carbon hull) or decision (allowing only 2 cabins) from the equation will only result in less balance, less “wow” and make us loose uniqueness.  As Porsche would not manufacture a car with a 80HP engine, we do not consider carbon as an option, as the design of the Aureus XV and the effort we made to make this yacht a thrilling machine would not make sense with a heavy fiberglass composite.

We look for emotions, sensations, pleasure and sometimes take our distances from reason. That same reason that pushed a lot of high quality handbags manufacturers to go manufacture there bags in china, while Hermes chose to be unreasonable and chose to keep manufacturing there own bags by hand, in France.

R&D and design are, at Aureus Yachts the biggest budgets, well before marketing and advertising.

  • Reaction 3: “Are you sure there is room for Aureus Yachts? This is such a short market, and with a lot of competitors, and the economy is thriving…”
Hermes Birkin bag
Hermes sales of the Birkin Bag keep growing at a strong paste

Between 2006 and 2012, the global sailing yachts market slid almost 50% in terms of volume, sending many companies down. The fall in the premium and luxury* sailing yacht market is a little bit less, but remains largely higher than most of other Markets. It’s interesting to notice that the main luxury brands and “grandes maisons”(LVMH, Hermes, Richemont, Cartier, Porsche, etc…) kept growing at an amazing pace. Why does the yachting industry slow that much. Why do people continue to buy Hermes Birkin bags, that costs 10 times the price of an average to good women’s bag, or Porsche 911 Club Coupe and get away from sailing yachts? Why do certain people keep being unreasonable when it comes, to fashion, bags, cars, watches and not when it comes to yachts?

Maybe because, despite the great number of builders that can offer 50 footers, many people don’t find what they are looking for on the market, or don’t get excited enough to be unreasonable enough to buy a yacht… That’s what I think. I want radical, sensational products, that deliver a great, or fun or wow experience, not something designed to keep market shares. When I look at the sailing yacht market, I think that there is room for more radical, remarkable, exciting sailing yachts.

Of course, those radical yachts, built for sensations, beauty and speed, are not for everyone, and would probably irritate the most traditional sailors (read customers). Some people think speed is the enemy of safety, that comfort is only about maximizing functionality, or modern design cannot co-exist with the spirit of sailing or that sailing is about having a lot of grinding to do, on a huge number of ropes and sheet to deal with on the deck. The fear to loose traditional customers might be the root for the lack of differentiation on the market. ” The market is bad enough, we really should not add uncertainty to it by changing our design, materials or approach to developing new products “. This pattern is reinforced by the fact that the majority of traditional “luxury sailing yachts” has been taken over by financial companies, or hedge funds, that are looking for bigger volumes and fast financial returns, as the market is expected to benefit from BRIC’s Markets (Brasil, Russia, India and China). To get that, the only solution is to make more polyvalent products, optimize (read cutting) costs, get range effects by accelerating each product development and investing heavily on advertising, boat shows to give exterior signs of wealth.

I believe many people in the world are waiting for a radical, modern, urban yacht that is designed to thrill. This is why the Aureus XV is only available with full carbon/epoxy hull and deck, in 2 cabins, with a lot of equipment designed for hedonists, with push button hydraulic system for total control and a clean deck, etc. Without one of those elements we would not be able to deliver the wow effect we are targeting. The pleasure of sailing goes down with weight, that slows you, or without air conditioning when it’s more than 85° out there, or when you cannot get a simple access to the internet. The excitement goes away too fast when one realises that a pretended “luxury yacht” is actually using the exact same components than a mass market yacht, the same glass fibre and resin, the same electric panel, the same switches, the same materials… So an Aureus XV is a radical yacht, we paid attention to every detail (even head screws) so that each of them is remarkable. The price is higher compared to most of the 50 footers on the market, but the wow effect is guaranteed. We do not look for fast financial return, just long term benefits for our company, our team and our customers and yes, we think there is room for us on the market.

The future will tell us if the Aureus XV is the success we believe it is going to be, but one thing is already for sure, this yacht will not be average or reasonable.

I hope this rhetoric will convince you to take a deeper look at the Aureus XV, and come to us for a sea trial and a visit of our factory. You can contact Olga, at olga@aureus-yachts.com, or me aurelien@aureus-yachts.com, we’ll be happy to organize the visit for you. You can also contact us via our website.

Aurélien Poncin, CEO Aureus Yachts (La Rochelle, France).

* to better differentiate premium from luxury, I strongly recommend the lecture of the great book by Jean-Noël Kapferer: “The Luxury Strategy” a must read for anyone passionate in Luxury widely documented.

Atlantic Rally for Cruisers for a large-scale sea trial

 

The First Aureus XV absolute, “Zig Zag Wanderer” will sail across the atlantic in November joining the 2012 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, better known as the ARC.

This year’s edition will start, as always from Las Palmas, on November 25th, for a 2.600 Nautical miles navigation to Rodney Bay – Saint Lucia. http://www.worldcruising.com/arc/

Las Palmas at night - Las palmas harbour atlantic rally for cruisers departure
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria – Departure of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers

It’s a perfect event to enjoy a great experience of sailing for 2 weeks across the Atlantic and reveal the full potential of the Aureus XV Absolute. The very light weight of the yacht, due to its carbon/epoxy hull and deck, carbon mast and boom, together with its D4 vectran sails should make the crossing fast and sensational.

I will join the crew to make sure we seize this amazing opportunity to improve the Aureus XV again and hopefully find out new ways to deliver wild sensations on our Compact Maxi Yacht.

Saint Lucia - Arrival of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
Saint Lucia – Arrival of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers

260 sailing yachts, big or small, monohulls or catamarans, are engaged and the rally is an opportunity to meet other passionate people while racing in a fun spirit for around 15 days. The arrival in Saint Lucia in early December should be spectacular.

I’ll try to post regularly to share this experience.

We will also organize a few sea trials of the Aureus XV in Saint-Lucia. Feel free to contact us if you’d like to join us there for a sea-trial.

Thanks for reading this blog, Aurelien.