Ever since its origins in 1993, JFA Yachts has been in the port of Concarneau in northwestern France. As it celebrates three decades in business, one of the founders remains actively involved, a noteworthy achievement. To ensure its future remains steady, the shipyard is making three long-standing employees official partners.
Frederic Jaouen, who co-founded JFA Yachts, grew up mere feet from where the yard premises sit. With his friend Frederic Breuilly, he established the yacht to construct custom yachts, both sail and power. The duo simultaneously focused on refits, whether old or newer yachts. Over the years, the partners invested in the facilities to keep disciplines under their own roof. Even today, 50 direct employees, ranging from composite specialists to welders and engineers to cabinet makers are on site. Of course, they work in more than one building, too, which have risen up on the property over the years. The investments have led to 31 deliveries and more than 45 boats undergoing maintenance or refit. The deliveries and service-seekers include sailing yachts, motoryachts, monohulls, and multihulls of all major hull materials, too.
Among the new builds, several hold significance to JFA Yachts. Firstly, consider Kermor, which saw delivery the very first year of operation. Although she’s not a superyacht, the sailing yacht does measure 75 feet (23 meters) LOA. The sloop goes by the name of Runaway Bunny today.
Yet another first took place a decade later. It was the launch of the 121-foot (37-meter) Axantha. She was JFA Yachts’ first motoryacht. Notably, the owner was so delighted with the construction and build experience that he returned for another yacht. She was Axantha II, a 141-footer (43-meter) which saw delivery in 2011.
The first decade of the 21st century marked several significant achievements for JFA Yachts. Hortense, a 95-foot (29-meter) motorsailer (top), went on to cruise every ocean on earth, including the Southern Ocean (a.k.a. Antarctic Ocean). Among other sailing projects, Mousetrap made history as the largest sailing cat employing carbon fiber at the time of her launch in 2012. Her LOA: 110 feet (33.5 meters). Next, WindQuest, an 89-foot (27-meter) cat, became the first yacht in the Long Island series in 2014. Finally, on the motoryacht side, Bystander (above) commanded attention. The 138-footer (42-meter), finished in 2007, has throwback styling, the perfect complement to the yacht she escorts, the famed J Class Velsheda.
To take JFA Yachts into the future, the ownership team is in the midst of a change. While Frederic Jaouen remains as CEO, Frederic Breuilly recently retired. Three longtime associates within the next five to six years will be full partners. Specifically, they are Gael Douguet, the sales manager; Vincent Balouin, technical and project-management director; and Dominique Rouchon, project manager for interiors. Once they become full partners, they will take over operations from Jaouen and Michel Siou, the latter currently project manager.
Altogether, the team behind JFA Yachts has its eyes on key strategies for the near and long term. Currently, it has its largest-ever superyacht in build, a 164-footer (50-meter). An explorer design (above), she is further its first with an aluminum hull and partially composite superstructure. Delivery should be next year. Opportunities like that will continue to be presented to clients, alongside the Long Island catamaran series and refits. Simultaneously, they plan to explore new markets within composite construction. Already, JFA Yachts has delivered two yacht tenders. More may come as well.
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