Interview / Espace Vag, the iKone sailboatyard changes hands

James Simon, Ikone-Espace Vag site owner and his wife

A new manager at the helm of iKone yachts! James Simon buys Espace Vag with development ambitions which he explains to BoatIndustry.com

Pierrick de Kervenoael, who had taken over Espace Vag in 2009 and boosted it with the launch of the Ikone 7.50 Rando, wanted to sell his company a few months ago. James Simon and his company Projet2Team finally took over the Finistère shipyard on 10 January 2018. Meeting on the Nautic in Paris, he explained to BoatIndustry the main lines of his project for the company from Concarneau.

Ikone 7.50

Before taking over Espace Vag, what was your experience of boating?

For many years, I was involved in tax exemption. I bought boats from shipyards for this purpose and managed all aspects of tax exemption for my clients. While I used to deal with boat builders, I'm happy to get to the other side of the fence and see the variety of work.

The Ikone-Espace Vag shipyard range

What are the main lines of your Espace Vag projects, in terms of range and commercial development?

My goal is to perpetuate the activity, by keeping the momentum inspired by Pierrick de Kervenoael. The company will be renamed Ikone-Espace Vag to focus on boats and we will continue the international effort.

We currently have 3 sailboat models and we will release the Ikone 6.50 in September 2018. I want to continue to move up the range, with new larger sizes, up to 10 metres. We will work on the new rigs while keeping the simplicity of our catboats. We must continue to combine an interior classicism of quality with technological breakthrough. When I look at Italy, there are many small construction sites that combine technology and design. It can be a model.

Ikone 7.50 at the yard

Industrially speaking, what will change?

Ikone-Espace Vag will achieve a turnover of 1 million euros in 2018 for approximately 15 yachts sold, half of which will be Ikone 7.50. The company employs 6 people without counting the management. We have just hired a young naval architect to support the development of new models, and we will continue to train internal teams to continue improving quality. The objective is to reach a production of about twenty boats per year.

More articles on channels: