The fruit of a passion
Mathieu Bonnier, founder of Liteboat, has been rowing since adolescence. Although he stopped for a few years at the beginning of his professional career, he has always played outdoor sports and enjoyed extreme adventures. While looking for a new challenge in 2009, he discovered the Rames Guyana race, linking Saint-Louis du Sénégal to Cayenne by one-design rowing canoe. Mathieu Bonnier will finish second in the race. This will be followed by the manufacture of a boat based on Sam Manuard plans for the Northwest Passage in 2010.
A boat absent from the market
When he returns from his expeditions, the athlete wishes to continue rowing in a context of high-performance leisure activities. He is looking for a boat that meets the following criteria:
- as light as a racing boat so that it goes fast and can be handled alone
- stable to navigate at sea
- robust for worry-free transport
After a review of the manufacturers, Mathieu Bonnier did not find his ideal boat and decided to design it with Sam Manuard. Liteboat was born.
A company Made In France, created around the boat
Convinced of the relevance of the product and in search of new professional challenges, Mathieu Bonnier created his company. After a construction experience in Dubai, unsatisfactory in terms of manufacturing quality, the businessman worked with JPS, a company specialising in racing boats in La Trinité sur Mer, which made composite infusion parts for him. At the end of 2014, when demand exceeded expectations, he decided to create his own shipyard in Pontcharra, Isère, to manufacture the liteboat entirely.
For the program set by the yard, Sam Manuard designed wide to bilge hulls in order to gain stability compared to traditional oars. It thus reassures neophytes while allowing safe navigation at sea.
The boats are also self-bailing and unsinkable.
The infusion for a light construction
The weight objective is essential to allow autonomous leisure use. The rower can put his boat alone on the roof. For this purpose, Liteboat chooses the infusion sandwich. It also offers better stiffness and strength, while avoiding solvent emissions for operators.
The process allows an extremely clean construction, just like the workshop.
A range that is growing
The yard currently offers 5 models, each made of fiberglass or all-carbon:
- Lite Sport
- Lite Sport +
- Lite River
- Lite Race
- Double Lite
New projects are in progress such as a yolette or a competition doubles.
An export market
Today, Liteboat generates 80% of its turnover from exports all over the world. The annual production is 200 boats for a staff of 6 people. Initially made up exclusively of private individuals, the clientele is growing with clubs, such as Joinville, which already owns 15 boats.
The work is now in the development of a distribution network.