Naviclean launches its first afloat boat refit station in France

Naviclean launches a floating boat washing station to avoid antifouling

Washing the hull of your boat like a car is possible. Olivier Pinon, founder of Naviclean, explains his ecological approach, regulatory details and the company's projects after opening its first afloat refit station.

Wash your boat like a car

Naviclean opened on 23 May 2018, in the marina of Sainte-Catherine, in Locmiquélic the first floating boat wash station. Boaters can now refit their boats without taking them out of the water, thanks to the Swedish machine developed by BoatWasher, of which it is the first model operated in France and for which the company has obtained an exclusivity. The device is similar to a car wash. The boat, towed from front to back using a winch, passes over large brushes that detach all organic matter and dirt from the hull.

Towards an environmentally friendly fairing

Olivier Pinon, creator of Naviclean, sets the course for a more sustainable yacht. "The goal is to no longer have toxic paints on the hulls. Meanwhile, we are in a transition management phase. Working with the water police, we got prefectural permission to treat boats with antifouling paint, recovering waste." A tarp held by floats contains the pollutants and the swing doors follow the shape of the boat to avoid their dispersion when entering the station. Residues that settle to the bottom are pumped weekly for treatment.

Convincing boaters and port authorities

Although the principle is simple, the concept of a floating car wash is not yet known to the general public, regrets Olivier Pinon. "We're in the communication and pedagogy phase. I spend a lot of time on the pontoons explaining the concept and purpose of the machine."

The marina managers were not the easiest to convince. "I have prospected about thirty ports in the Atlantic and in the Var. All the directors were interested, but they didn't want to be the first! The port of Locmiquélic saw in Naviclean an interesting offer for the owners of boats which did not manage to obtain a dry place, because of the lack of offer in the bay of Lorient. With 5 marinas on a very active stretch of water, it's a good place to start the activity."

Olivier Pinon, founder of Naviclean (right)

Future development

For the first season, the Naviclean station in Locmiquélic, open from 9am to 6pm, offers unit washing rates, proportional to hull length, with occasional promotions. After the first year of validation, the company should propose annual fairing subscriptions in Lorient, then develop in the medium term in other ports. "Like any business, the goal is to grow and network in a few years. But first, we have to launch the company," concludes Olivier Pinon.

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