Site visit: Les Ateliers de lAtlantique

Although shipbuilding has been present in the Arcachon Basin for more than a century, not all shipyards are as well known as Guy Couach, Bonnin or Olbia, to mention only two others, much more discreet, are capable of doing almost everything, like the Ateliers de lAtlantique.

Training as a carpenter

Alexandre Badri, 42, started shipbuilding at Caparros in Antibes. A virtuoso of wood, composite - and classic yachting - who taught him everything - or almost everything... Eight years later, our young marine carpenter settles on the Arcachon Basin. Hired by CNB in Bordeaux, he discovered infusion - the shipyard perfectly masters this process - but also the workings of a large structure. He then collaborated with the Chantier du Four, on the Ferret peninsula. There, he is responsible for setting up the tools for the polyester construction of motor boats.

An enterprising entrepreneur

Eager to set up his own business, in 2008 he set up a structure in Lège, in the very North of the Basin, and built two epoxy plywood sail tanks. Alex is already developing a great ability to interpret the plans provided to him - he has no equal in detecting a weak varangue or an inadequate anti-drift plan. Involved in the preparation of light racing dinghies - Optimist, Europe, 420 - he acquired a perfect mastery of polyester and epoxy composite.

Wood and polyester

The solitary builder then settles down in Andernos. There he builds an atypical sailboat, Guiclemanac'h - see our test in detail here - parts, wooden spars, refurbishes old boats - in polyester as in wood - wolf, pinasse, sail tank. A sailboat dropping ashore? Alex is on it! It is sturdy and incredibly autonomous, capable of stowing a keelboat delivered on a trailer without crane. A common car jack and a few props are enough.

Capable of everything, all the time

But the king of the D System can scatter in his multiple tasks. It's not uncommon for his workshop to be open at 3 a.m. - the gendarmes have"stopped" him in his hangar a few times, during a night sanding session or antifouling application under two powerful film shooting spots... You've understood, Alex is as talented as he is whimsical, which plays a few tricks on him as far as deadlines are concerned.

A combination of skills

This is why he has just teamed up with Florent Michelon, a former restaurateur with a passion for boating who has just completed a reconversion at the Gujan-Mestras Sea High School. He was responsible for the management, accounting and development of the site, which was recently renamed Ateliers de l'Atlantique. The projects of the two builders? A 40-foot trawler for mixed use - offshore and river - but also taking a close interest in flying yachts - manufacturing and optimisation of appendages - without forgetting new energies, electric propulsion in the lead!

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