Shipyard visit / Guymarine /White Shark, from fishing-promenade to luxury boat

Nicolas Chiloff, director of the White Shark and Guymarine brands

At their inception Guymarine and Whiteshark have absolutely nothing in common, apart from being two brands of motor boats. The first offers a promenade fishing range while the second offers top-of-the-range open outboards. However, they are now in the same boat, belonging to the Cogemec group, managed by Nicolas Chiloff. We had the opportunity to visit the site installed on the island of Oléron, which since its acquisition in 2016 intends to recover its letters of nobility.


Kelt Marine was founded in Morbihan in 1974 by Gilles Le Baud and is one of the largest boat producers in the Vannes region. Initially focused on yacht construction, the activity will diversify with the arrival of the White Shark brand, high-end open stars. After numerous takeovers, the shark brand passed into the hands of several shareholders: Marine Chauffour Poncin, Outboard Marine Corporation, Dauxin-Fourcade, Dufour, Siparex, Poncin.

The latest, Poncin Yacht, bought White Shark in 2006 but preferring to refocus on its catamaran activity (it will become Catana Group in 2014) is abandoning the open speedboat brand, which left Vannes for Marans, in Charentes-Maritime.

In 2013, Poncin Yachts announced the sale of the White Shark brand, which will be taken over by Fineloc, a Paris-based truck rental group with driver, which in the same year took over the Oleron boatyard Guymarine, a specialist in fishing and walking. The company was then managed by Erich La Chiusa and the site was managed by Fabrice Garnier. The moulds and tools of the shark brand are repatriated to the island of Oléron, within the shipyard founded by Guy Ocqueteau in 1983. This same Guy Ocqueteau, founder of the shipyard of the same name, bought from its founder by Jeanneau in the mid-1980s.

Redemption and Merger

The two brands were then grouped together in the Mains de Marins yard on the island of Oléron, which initially produced the Guymarine Promenade peaches. But again, the yard was in bad shape and went into receivership in 2015, before being taken over by court decision in March 2016 by Cogemec, a company specialising in the metal industry in the Orléans region and managed by Nicolas Chiloff, in order to diversify its activities "" he explains.


The boats are built on site, by a team of 15 people, and made of polyester in contact, within the hangar of 1 500 m2, installed in the heart of the island of Oléron. The workshop has a production capacity of 70 boats per year but currently runs at 40 units. Within the hangar, we also find the mould cutting workshop and the assembly workshop where the boats and the joinery are finished. Hoods and other anchorages are made by vacuum injection, a skill brought back to the yard 2 years ago. Each boat is produced between 8 and 16 weeks.

The range consists of 8 models for White Shark, with an entry price starting at 25 000 € against 9 models for Guymarine with a first price of 20 000 €. Sales are made only through a network of distributors - 15 for White Shark and 25 for Guymarine - spread over the territory. Only two distributors sell the two brands, although they are on two different targets.

Recovery and Developments

When the company was taken over, the site had to be reindustrialised and the documents digitised. Nicolas Chiloff now wants to relaunch these"I am passionate about boating and I wanted to diversify my activities by buying the yard. I believe in the rebound of the business and I think there is real export potential". To do this, when the construction site resumes, ""

A positive assessment in 2017 since the manager presents himself as happy with this recovery, which has reached the end of the crisis """540"We launched a big unit because we wanted to see the public welcome. The image of White Shark is strong and we are in an objective of reconquest"360"We have a concern for space and are looking for a new building to expand the production area. The ideal would be to double our surface but we wish to remain on the island, as well for the know-how as for the brand image that it brings."

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