In Balaruc les Bains (34), we visited the SwissCat site, which has been newly refurbished on the edge of the Thau pond and employs around ten people, plus around five temporary staff.
This yard produces the SwissCat catamarans. Before its installation in early 2016, this building housed the Switch catamarans. At the time of the bankruptcy of this powerful and personalized catamaran manufacturer, the Swiss Jürg von Ins wanted to buy one... to end up buying the yard, or rather what was left of it.
Initially, it launched S2C 55 (produced in 3 copies), followed by S2C 45 (2 copies). These 5 boats were subcontracted to a Turkish shipyard.
Faced with the difficulty of obtaining the desired level of finish, our financier decided to refurbish the production tool in Balaruc (which he owned at the same time as buying the site). He has allocated the services of Eric Kaiser, a goldsmith in the construction of catamarans to take the technical direction of production.
Today the first S48 (an evolution of the S2C 45) is currently under construction and should be presented at the next Cannes show in September 2016.
SwissCat are made of epoxy glass sandwich reinforced with carbon UD and Omegas. An insulated room in the shed even allows post-cooking of the infusion. The hull and deck are painted in polyurethane paint. A titanic work in terms of finishing which translates into boats built in about 8500 hours (twice as long as a large series catamaran) but which have a strong impact on the quality and longevity of the construction.
Designed by Seb Schmidt, these catamarans are renowned for their performance and marine qualities. All that remained now was to show the durability of the site.
Today, with its large hangar with its feet in the water allowing the launching of boats, with its pontoon that can accommodate up to 7 catamarans, the yard is refining its positioning and now offers a la carte service around the boats sold.
Many projects are currently in the cards like a future 75 feet or a catamaran with hybrid propulsion to sail up the canals.
So SwissCat : (very) small series catamaran yard or one off builder? This project must, or must not, take this turn today. The wishes of the next customer will undoubtedly help him in this choice.