While Allures Yachting has only been around in this millennium, the boats that leave its Normandy workshops are already fundamental for those who plan to sail far, long, and fast. And with the elegance that suits such noble projects… Stéphan Constance and Xavier Desmarest, the brand’s creators, look back at the genesis and development of this young company, which quickly became a leader.
A success story at the origin of a group dedicated to blue water cruising
Founded in 2003 by engineers Stéphan Constance and Xavier Desmarest, Allures Yachting is a shipyard for ocean cruising yachts specialising in the design and assembly of aluminium centreboarders located in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin in Normandy, France. In just a few years, the shipyard orderbook has increased ten-fold. The yard’s founders recount this wonderful story.
Stéphan Constance: « Xavier and I had been looking for some time for a long-distance cruising yacht that would meet demanding criteria yet remain within a reasonable budget. A boat that was both safe, whatever the conditions, efficient and a real pleasure to sail, ingenious, allowing access to any anchorage, comfortable, friendly, and without forgetting an elegance both exterior and interior. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a single sailing boat which matched our desires on the market. And for our fellow sailors, the situation was the same. Many sailors had the same desires, the same dreams, but none had found the sailboat that would allow them to realize those dreams. That’s when we said to ourselves, this boat of our dreams, we’re going to build it ourselves. »
Xavier Desmaret: « When Stéphan and I decided to create a sailing boat in our own yard we had very specific personal requirements. But we also wanted this boat to meet the expectations of the other sailors with whom we had shared our dreams. That’s why, for months, we went to meet sailors, well-known or unknown, to share with us their experiences from thousands of miles covered on all the seas of the globe. The sharing of all these experiences and the lessons we were able to learn from them confirmed our main convictions and made it possible to determine the key focuses for our boats. We therefore chose aluminium, for the strength and safety that this material provides, and composite superstructures for performance, comfort and elegance. Choosing a centreboarder allows you to free yourself from constraints and offers an absolute freedom. »
Stéphan Constance: « The first yacht we built at the new Allures Yachting yard was a real success. Proud of our achievements, we quickly extended our range at the request of our customers, who were quickly growing in number. The first 6 years the company doubled in size almost every year! In 2007, we decided to take over Outremer, and then in 2010 we bought Garcia Yachts. The merger of these three shipyards specialising in blue water cruising has led to the creation of the Grand Large Yachting group, which is now the first centre dedicated to exceptional boats for blue water sailing. »
A real success story
As good scientists by training, the founders of Allures defined several essential parameters to solve the equation of the ideal long-term cruising boat, while remaining within a reasonable budget:
- safety in all conditions
- performance and pleasure at the helm
- access to all anchorages
- comfort and friendliness
- external and internal elegance
With our budget, we quickly realized that the choice of possibilities on the market was very limited. Every day, we met sailors who’d made the same observation. We had the same wishes, shared the same desires. It was just the aluminium yacht of our dreams was missing.
And so to meet these expectations, we created Allures Yachting.
For the design of our yachts, we’ve been careful to integrate the experience of thousands of miles covered on all the seas of the globe. For months we had exciting conversations with many sailors, some famous, some unknown.
The combination of all these experiences has forged our conviction on the key features of our sailing boats
- aluminium for safety
- centreboard for unrestricted freedom
- composite superstructures for performance, comfort and elegance
Focusing on these important factors, we have developed a range of sailing boats designed to suit all desires.
It comprises the Allures 39.9, 45 and 52.
The company grew rapidly, doubling in size almost every year for the first six years. With the takeover of Outremer in 2007, and then Garcia Yachts in 2010, our group has become the first centre dedicated to long-distance sailing yachts in Europe.
Grand Large Yachting
Founded in 2003 by Xavier Desmarest and Stephan Constance, the Grand Large Yachting group now includes six shipyards and two service companies and operates in three markets: leisure sailing, professional and service.
The leisure yachting division of the Grand Large Yachting group has:
Two brands of aluminium sailing boats, Allures Yachting and Garcia Yachts as well as 2 standard-setting brands of composite catamarans, Outremer and Gunboat.
In the group’s four shipyards, designing and building boats is only one part of the close relationship we have with each of our customers throughout their project, from the desire for a boat to its definition, from production to services during and after sailing. Much more than a boat, these shipyards offer close, long-lasting and trust-based relationships.
Since Garcia Yachts joined the group, the exceptional know-how of the fabricators at the historic Condé site has been dedicated to the manufacture of Garcia and Allures hulls. Further construction continues at our Cherbourg yard, where both brands benefit from the same specialized facilities and highly qualified teams for both design and production.
The pooling of know-how and resources is one of the fundamental principles defined for Grand Large Yachting by its creators. At the same time, this gives perfect control of production, guaranteeing a high level of quality and compliance with the programmed timelines, and sufficient flexibility to meet the positioning of each brand and the specifications of each owner. And the owners are always welcome to come along and visit, and see the facilities which allow us to respond to their specific requests and guarantee the traceability of products.
For Allures and Garcia, this common production tool is a key success factor, allowing them to benefit from much greater resources than their individual size would normally allow:
- In Cherbourg, two teams of engineers share their experience and know-how for the benefit and success of each project
- Between Nantes and Condé, two fabricating sites are available
- In the Vendée, a group carpentry shop specialising in the production of furniture for the marine industry
- Finally, in Cherbourg, a specially equipped site can be used to work on ten units simultaneously and at different stages of progress.
The identity and differentiated positioning of each brand are respected at each stage of the design and manufacture of the yachts, as they must meet distinct expectations and programmes. But Allures Yachting and Garcia Yachts benefit on a daily basis from the accumulation of experience, knowledge and know-how of our teams, whose motivation is enhanced tenfold by the variety of challenges they face.