Fora Marine: The builder of RM sailboats in great difficulty

RM sailboat under construction © RM Yachts

The Fora Marine shipyard, builder of the RM yachts, is going through receivership. The nautical specialist from La Rochelle enjoys a strong image with many boaters, but is struggling to find an economic balance.

Judicial redress for Fora Marine

The Fora Marine shipyard has been facing difficulties since the sale of the company in 2017 by Martin Lepoutre to the partners of Aime Mer, including former MEDEF president Pierre Gattaz. After Stéphane Sénacq's two-year term as President between March 2017 and January 2019, Olivier Gainon, Pierre Gattaz's former Chief of Staff, took over all operational responsibilities. He still had strong ambitions for BoatIndustry in March 2019. But the company remained in a delicate situation, which prompted Aime Mer, the parent company of Fora Marine, to request a safeguard procedure at the Bordeaux court on 22 September 2019. But the last 2 months have not allowed a quick solution to be found and Fora Marine has finally applied for legal redress. According to rumours from the Paris Nautic, a buyer immediately positioned himself. Despite our requests, we were unable to obtain confirmation from the site managers.

RM yachts remain a brand with a strong image

The situation may seem paradoxical. Indeed, the RM brand still benefits from a strong image with the yachtsman, driven by a strong marketing presence. The election of the RM 11.80 as sailboat of the year by our colleagues at Voile Magazine testifies to this. Unfortunately, this appeal could not hide the industrial difficulties, leading to a significant drop in results. The construction site suffered a loss of more than ?1.4 million in 2017, despite a significant increase in turnover. The 2018 balance sheet is not available. The difficulty of industrializing the production of RM sailboats in the face of growing demand, while maintaining the epoxy plywood technique for which the brand is renowned, could partly explain the situation. Attempts to add sandwich top planks are also a surprising technical choice.

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