Point of view / A look back at 2018: Equipment, between electric boat and large outboard

Changes in nautical equipment in 2018

Between electric propulsion, textile fittings, electronics, connected boats and large outboard motors, BoatIndustry looks back at the main trends in 2018 and the major industrial events in the lives of yacht equipment manufacturers and their distribution networks.

The yachting of tomorrow requires an evolution of the boat's equipment. The professionals have understood this well. They worked in all sectors of the nautical industry in 2018, through new products and industrial partnerships in order to increase their development capacities.

Marine powertrain, from electric to super-powered outboards

Which engine and which energy to drive the boat of tomorrow? The question is at the heart of the evolution of yachting. It must be noted that two paths seem to be preferred. The first trend is the emergence of ever more powerful outboard motors. The new Mercury V8 reaches 400 hp, while Yamaha has 425 hp and Suzuki 350 hp. Beyond the display of a large displacement that satisfies some yachtsmen, these new models allow manufacturers to offer outboard engines on ever larger boats, with a gain in terms of ease of maintenance.

The ecological issue and the regulation of certain water bodies are also driving the development of electric boats. 2018 has seen the acquisition of the German leader in electric motors for pleasure boating, Torqeedo, by the Deutz group, a traditional engine manufacturer. The Swedish mastodon Volvo Penta exhibited its strategy to offer hybrid engines in 2021 while the Finnish Oceanvolt launched the manufacture of its own batteries . On the French side, Watt&Sea, a specialist in hydrogen generators, launched its saildrive pod for the propulsion of small units.

The diesel manufacturer Yanmar has reviewed its network in France, resuming direct distribution, after a long collaboration with Fenwick.

Electronics and sailmaking to the connected boat

While the autonomous boat is a source of a lot of ink and saliva, it still requires some technical prerequisites. These missing technological building blocks are of interest to professionals who invest in development. The purchases by trucks of marine electronics from start-ups and ETIs in cartography and home automation bear witness to this. In 2018, we saw that Navico merge with C-Map maps while Garmin acquired Navionics in October 2017. On the home automation and connected boat side, Garmin has offered Trigentic, while Navico has acquired Yacht Defined . In this article, we will see how to roll up long ends. In this example the technique is described for a right-handed person.

We have known the engine hours of a boat for a long time. The life of sails is less easily known, but their instrumentation is in progress. While the One Sails incorporates chips into its membranes Spinlock now offers master sailmakers the opportunity to sew a box measuring the life parameters of the sail . On the economic side, the marriage of Incidence and Delta Voiles sails strengthens their place in the French landscape.

Fittings: textile and complete offers

The world of fittings continued to be structured in 2018. The 4-speed Pontos winches have been integrated into the Normandy equipment manufacturer Karver , completing its deck layout offer. Likewise, the Wichard group has acquired the Lorima carbon masts in addition to its Sparcraft aluminum spars, shackles and Facnor and Profurl reels. Suppliers want to provide shipyards with a coherent, broad and unique offer.

Textile shackles and various high-strength fibre equipment continue to diversify. Nodus Factory has raised significant funds while Ino-Rope has moved to new premises.

The sea clothing in the turmoil

While Gill has just announced investments, textile brands specializing in seawear suffered in 2018. The year was marked by the acquisition of Musto by Helly Hansen that are also entering this market of large units. himself changed ownership . Henri Lloyd almost disappeared and finally found a partial buyer . The pressure from private labels, such as Décathlon, which should invest in a new R&D centre, is probably not unrelated.

Antifouling, a necessary evolution

The change in biocides regulations marked the start of the 2018 academic year. If it has forced suppliers to change formulations and packaging, it is only one step in the necessary evolution of protecting boat hulls from dirt. The range of silicone films to be applied is expanding, while research is continuing, in line with that of Akzo Nobel on the use of mini-UV lamps . In this article, we will see how to roll up long ends. In this example the technique is described for a right-handed person.

Foils, the new appendix

It is talked about everywhere as the renewal of pleasure boating: the foil. It's finally one more piece of equipment on board. Specialized equipment manufacturers have been created. Its democratization comes from the world of sliding and beach gear, which has led to the emergence of specialists such as Loke Foils or Foil and Co. Other players from the offshore racing industry, such as Avel Robotics, are providing cutting-edge additive manufacturing technologies. In addition, integrators such as Seair wish to offer "foil equipment" to be installed on board. Flight control also involves electronics engineers. An entire sector accelerated its construction in 2018.

Distribution, between truck and proximity

How to get the equipment from the manufacturer to the shipyard? The classic distribution model remains strong, others are emerging. The French leader Alliance Marine continued its development abroad with the acquisition of Forniture Nautiche Italiane in Italy and 3SI in the United Kingdom . The Lalizas group has acquired several brands of pyrotechnic and fittings equipment. Faced with a highly concentrated system, new players are trying to enter the market, such as Marine Mobile Diffusion who wants to find another way to work . In this article, we will see how to roll up long ends. In this example the technique is described for a right-handed person.

The general public hardware stores continued their necessary move towards greater digitisation and particularly the offers of withdrawal in store after ordering on the website. The search for new channels of access to the yachtsman is illustrated by BigShip's choice to skip the Nautic and shift its budget to other in-store actions.

2018 will have been marked by a digital and ecological transition in the world of nautical equipment manufacturers, which must now be implemented on boats.

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