Buyers for the Wrighton shipyard and the Bi-Loup sailboats
In September 2018, François Lebailly and his partners reluctantly announced to BoatIndustry the dissolution of Wrighton Bi-Loup. The disappearance of the brand, known in the yachting landscape, had saddened many of the faithful. This was without counting on the resistance of a site that had already been resumed several times. After several months of rumours, 2 buyers, Christophe Riotte and Yoann Cotte, confirm the rebirth of Wrighton. " We are both industrialists active in other fields of activity. And we've been sailing Bi-Loups for several years. So we were attached to the brand. " explains Christophe Riotte.
Bi-Loup has made its reputation thanks to the biquilles
A reasoned resumption of the construction of the Bi-Loup
The new owners are committed to doing things right, taking their time. The headquarters of Wrighton SAS, the new structure, is in La Rochelle, but the manufacture of the boats has been repatriated to their region, to Mâcon. " We want to make a smooth recovery. We took the time to clarify things in terms of inventory, stock, transferring the moulds to our own workshops. We want to take the time to optimize production and transportation costs to be efficient and make a sustainable recovery. "says Christophe Riotte. " Nevertheless, we have decided to be at the 2019 Grand Pavois, even if the new Wrighton 36 (Editor's note: new version of the Bi-Loup 109) is not yet ready, to show that the brand is continuing and progressing. "
The company currently employs about ten people.
Bi-Loup 109 under construction in the old site
A younger and more qualitative positioning
The new team wants to work on the image of the boats and its positioning on the yachting market. The range includes the Wrighton 26, Wrighton 30 models, for which the first estimates are being studied and production is ready to start. A new version of the Bi-Loup 109, renamed Wrighton 36, is announced this year, reworked with its architect Vincent Lebailly and designer Pierre Frutschi. " Our objective is to give back youth to the brand by also working on performance. We will also work on the interior finishing with our journeymen carpenters who carry out the internal fitting out of the boats. We are aiming for a quality that is close to the Hallberg-Rassy idea. "illustrates the buyer.
For the hulls and decks of boats, Wrighton will be able to rely on the know-how of Mr. Riotte's other companies, active in technical composite parts.
Commercially, the boat sales network is being restructured. " We set up referents by geographical area. "concludes Christophe Riotte.