May 20, 2023

P'tite Canaille, the 1st do

Julien Marty has been a sailing fan from an early age. He grew up on the Ile d'Yeu, surrounded by the sea. Passionate about boats, and sailing in particular, his career has nonetheless unfolded through manual and creative professions. After 30 years in his field, and at the age of 50, he decided to realize his dream of building boats. Already building boats of his own in his garage, he was finally able to put into practice the idea that had been in the back of his mind for so long. With the arrival of the Covid, he took the opportunity to leave his business, a large-format digital printing company. He then picked up the digital milling machine, which enables him to machine wood with precision, and started his business in May 2023.

He recounts: "This is what I use to cut my boats. I approached manufacturers of marine plywood, which I stock. I also got in touch with an architect, who designed my first model, a 3.30 m epoxy plywood clapboard sailboat with one-third rigging."

The special feature of Julien Marty's company, as its name suggests, is that it offers kit boats. He can also build the boat "helm in hand".

It details: "There's either a basic kit with detailed plans, step-by-step assembly instructions and plywood, and the buyer then has to source the solid wood, glues, paints... or a premium kit, which includes all the supplies. Although it's hard to put a time on it, depending on the degree of finish required, it takes between 150 and 200 hours to build the P'tite Canaille. I'm just finishing the first model. All that's left is to sand, paint and varnish it, so that it can be presented at trade shows."

The boat can be transported on a trailer, which will also be offered for sale on the manufacturer's website. The basic plywood kit will be marketed at around 1,300 euros, to enable buyers to spread out expenses over time, as Julien explains: "They'll start first with the plywood, which will take some time. Then they'll buy the rigging, then the trailer." A ready-to-sail boat should cost under 8,000 euros, while a premium kit should cost between 3,000 and 4,000 euros.

Also in the catalog is the Fripouille kit, at 199 euros, originally built for a little niece. This little 1.23 m canoe is made of 5 mm plywood and is specially designed for children.

Julien Marty is also thinking of several ways to diversify his business, as he explains: "I'd like to sell my boats via my website or take part in events to build and sell boats live. I'd also like to launch an accompanied building program. Buyers would come and build their boat in my workshop. For example, on a 10- or 15-day course for three people. This would allow us to build boats in parallel, exchange skills and give each other a hand."

Finally, Julien offers cut-outs for amateur builders on plans other than his own. He explains: "Thanks to the large-format digital milling machine, I retrieve digital files, cut out the boat and ship it to its future owner. I'll also be offering construction-related products such as epoxy resin, fittings..."

Incidentally, Julien Marty doesn't practice his new trade by the sea, but in the Lot region, on the banks of the Dordogne. As he explains, he can ship his boats from anywhere! And to conclude, he tells us: "Everyone is welcome to come into the workshop and see how I work."

Chloé Torterat More articles on the channels :