The word innovation sells and attracts journalists. Many have understood this and events on the new trends in yachting were not lacking during the Nautic 2017. From the 1st edition of the Nautic Innovation Awards to the Nautic Start-up Day in the Brittany region and the round table on innovation at the annual conference of the Confédération du Nautisme et de la Plaisance, each held its own meeting. Nevertheless, it has to be said that it was easier to innovate in the name than in the content, with 3 themes constantly recurring: foils, the connected boat and"new uses".
The omnipresent foil
The foil is the future of the sailor. Its omnipresence in the presentations would eclipse almost all other technical innovations. Almost a third of the companies competing at the Nautic Start-Up Day and a quarter of the nominees at the Nautic Innovation Awards were related to the flying boat. Seair won the Nautic Innovation Awards for its foil Zodiac and Absolute Dreamer won the Nautic Start Up Day award for the additive manufacture of appendages.
Although it could seduce many young practitioners, the foil is not yet within everyone's reach. Hervé Gastinel, president of the Bénéteau group, underlined during a round table the interest of the Vendée manufacturer for its application to motor boats. "Engine applications are particularly attractive today, but we still need to work on security." Cost issues are also at stake.
Nautic Start-Up Day winners
Boat connected, but for what?
As in the rest of the economy, the adjective connected in boating is flourishing. It nevertheless covers very variable realities. Is the application of simple classical home automation to the boat, presented by major shipyards as an innovation under pompous names really? Many of the elements presented have already been seen in the automobile and home. Nevertheless, there were some interesting solutions on the maintenance side, such as the Offshore Connected Maintenance from the Grand Large Yachting group or Nauti Concept, a solution to help maintain a fleet of boats owned or leased.
The autonomous boat is also in line of sight. Kara Technologies, in partnership with Allures Yachting, announces the arrival of a boat that can dock and leave the port without crew intervention.
The connected chart table Kara
The third recurring innovation also follows the major trends in society. It affects the uses of practitioners who no longer want to buy their boats according to the traditional model. The Boat Club, which made the news in the spring of 2017, are one of the most prominent alternatives to buying. The various purchase financing solutions are also developing. The whole nautical industry is preparing for the change of use, as shown by the study on collaborative yachting presented by the Association des Ports de Plaisance de Bretagne.
Other avenues to explore
If foils, connected boats and alternatives to ownership are important, it is regrettable that major issues such as ecological materials or clean propulsion do not enjoy such visibility in support of innovation.