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Sea | Les Nauticales: a winning return to yachting in La Ciotat

The 19th edition of the Nauticales opened its doors yesterday morning in La Ciotat. Until March 27, sea lovers have an appointment on and around the Capucins lake for the most important boat show afloat. To know everything about this event, the new things to discover, the activities offered and the conferences to follow, you just have to follow the guide: a special edition of 20 pages is offered to you, in free consultation.

When we know that a single blank year – and a fortiori two – can sign the death warrant of a show for the general public, we could legitimately worry about the future of the Nauticales, the 2020 and 2021 editions of which had to be canceled due to the health crisis. But yesterday morning, a few hours after the opening of this 19th meeting for lovers of the sea, boating and yachting, the organizers and exhibitors alike could congratulate themselves on having believed in it, seeing firsthand the relevance of their commitment. Indeed, despite the gloomy weather, the visitors had responded, coming in large numbers to discover the best of what the builders and distributors of pleasure boats, but also engines, nautical leisure gear, equipment and fittings offer on the eve of summer. And many observers say to themselves that at this rate, if the sun deigns to join the party, the attendance figures for the last nominal edition could be largely exceeded, in eight days, at closing time.

The La Ciotat boat show opened its doors yesterday. He will close them on Sunday, March 27.Photo Franck Pennant

A real resurrection of the Nauticales, the first afloat show of the season, which the president of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis, Martine Vassal, was able to appreciate throughout her long stroll through the aisles of the show, guided by Jean-Christophe Serfati, the CEO of the La Provence group, to whom the local authority has entrusted the management of this 2021 edition as well as the next four. They were accompanied by Arlette Salvo, mayor of La Ciotat whose city has hosted the event since its creation, the deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône Bernard Deflesselles, and the president of the territorial council and mayor of Gémenos, Roland Giberti. Without forgetting the prestigious sponsor of the show, the architect of the houses under the sea and oceanographer Jacques Rougerie, nor the no less famous ambassadors of the event, the skipper Christopher Pratt and the kitesurfer Alexandre Cazergues. It is also an opportunity for elected officials to salute the memory of the former mayor of La Ciotat, Patrick Boré, who was one of the key players in the success of the bold relocation of the Marseille boat show to La Ciotat at the start of the years 2003.

The La Ciotat boat show opened its doors yesterday.  He will close them on Sunday, March 27.
The La Ciotat boat show opened its doors yesterday. He will close them on Sunday, March 27.Photo Franck Pennant

And if additional proof was needed that the Metropolitan Boat Show is indeed back, because the Nauticales are never really the Nauticales without a little show of humor on the day of their inauguration, yesterday morning, a committee welcome awaited the personalities at the gates of the show in order to draw their attention to the situation of boaters in Port Vieux…

Electric is on the rise

Developed by a company from Nantes, the Temo 450 thruster weighs less than 5 kg.
Developed by a company from Nantes, the Temo 450 thruster weighs less than 5 kg.Photo Ph.G.

Already buoyed by a favorable wave, the offer of electric motors for pleasure boats has seen growing interest since the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and the surge in fuel prices. This is particularly the case at the Nauticales where several models attract the attention of visitors, designed mainly to equip tenders or light units.

Distributed by the company Servaux, the small German outboard Torqeedo which has long dominated the market, must now face stiff competition. Particularly silent due to the positioning of the engine in a submerged pod, its Travel 1103 model still sets the benchmark with its thermal equivalent power of 3 hp and its thrust equivalent to that of a 4 hp.

Designer of an astonishing linear thruster which is installed on a simple oarlock, the Nantes-based company Temo presents its entry-level model Temo 450, weighing less than 5 kg, in La Ciotat and announces the forthcoming marketing Temo 1000 weighing 13 kg, delivering power equivalent to that of a 3 hp internal combustion engine. The latter will have the same integrated connectivity as that of its predecessor, and will also benefit from a removable battery.

Much further south, the Ozo group, based in Eguilles, is exhibiting the prototype of a very elegant and promising outboard motor with a power equivalent to that of a 10 hp internal combustion engine, which it is announcing the release during this summer. With extensive expertise in retrofitting equipment for electric motors for bicycles, Ozo has its own production line for lithium batteries which enables it to offer its customers à la carte combinations, in outboards as well as in inboard.

Servaux is full of novelties

Historical distributor of the Zodiac and Bombard inflatable boat brands, which it has been promoting for nearly 70 years with its Provençal customers, the Servaux company did not miss the Nauticales 2022 meeting, with around fifteen models on display, on land as well as afloat, and not least. Having diversified its portfolio by integrating the brands Ryck, Frauscher and Fjord into its catalog, Servaux is notably presenting this year four units among the most prestigious gathered during this 19th edition at the La Ciotat show, namely the Fjord 41 XL, the Frauscher 12.12 Ghost (our photo), the Ryck 280 and the Zodiac Medline 9. As its manager, Nicolas Benveniste explains, “we have been impatiently awaiting, for two years, the return of the Nauticales in which we have participated since the beginning, because it is a show that matters. It is the first of the season and above all, it is organized afloat, which is very important for our customers. Some come, in fact, from afar to meet us because they know that it is a unique opportunity to see the models that interest them in their natural element.“.

Jacques Rougerie and François-Alexandre Bertrand, these “Mériens” who give us the keys to dreaming about the sea

Jacques Rougerie notably confirmed the relaunch of his drifting vessel project
Jacques Rougerie notably confirmed the relaunch of his drifting ship project “Sea Orbiter”, suggesting that the city of La Ciotat could be concerned…Photo DR

Co-animators, yesterday afternoon, of “Dreaming the sea”, the first of the twenty thematic conferences that Les Nauticales 2022 are offering their visitors until Sunday March 27, the architect oceanographer Jacques Rougerie and the entrepreneur François-Alexandre Bertrand won over their audience with their soothing and optimistic message; a speech particularly welcome these days. It must be said that each in their field has gone to the end of their passion for the marine world, giving the beginning of reality to one of the wildest dreams of humanity: to work, live and live under the surface.

The nature of human beings is to surpass themselves, and the field of the underwater world gave me the opportunity to push back my own limits. Besides, afterwards, I no longer had the same outlook on life and the world”, assures Jacques Rougerie, sponsor of this 19th edition of the show. A “pragmatic dreamer“as he defines himself, who wants to be more forward-looking than ever, and in particular the younger generations to whom he wishes to transmit this same momentum. But the father of the houses under the sea is not worried.

It is enough to walk through the aisles of the Nauticales to see that there are young people today who in turn are leading us into new challenges, with extremely promising technologies that are born of their imagination. This is why we must stop constantly spitting on humans and our civilization“.

Designer of Platybus, a small partly submersible boat intended for underwater exploration and research, the prototype of which is exhibited at the La Ciotat show, François-Alexandre Bertrand is on the same wavelength as his glorious elder. Without, however, denying the problems and challenges that will confront man in the coming decades.

The sea is beautiful. So let’s forget for once the garbage sea in order to dream of the sea. We always tend to be pessimistic when Humanity has never had so many human, technical, financial and scientific means“.

And to give the example of space which, like the oceans, was one of the great objectives of the human species during the second half of the last century. “If space has again become a major issue of the 21st century, we have not yet fully recovered this dream of the sea and maritime conquest.“.

But the two “Mériens” are convinced: it won’t be long!

In the program


2-3:30 p.m.: “Offshore racing skipper, the Everest of the seas” (Marsail) with Christopher Pratt, Nauticales ambassador (Conference room).
4-5:30 p.m.: Conference “Buying a second-hand boat, instructions for use?” (Cap Océan), with Jonathan Boutboul, president and founder of Cap Océan (conference room).

Round table

2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.: “Navigation at sea, a source of individual and collective transformation”. Round table with Déborah Pardo and the Earthship Seasters, member association of Accelerator M, supported by the Metropolis and Europe (Stand de la Métropole).

The practical living room

The Nauticales, 19th edition. From Saturday 19 to Sunday 27 March. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Marina, Quai des Capucins, 13600 La Ciotat.

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