The OCEA Shipyard Turns 30!
It was in February 1987 that Roland Joassard and Fabrice Epaud founded OCEA by taking over a shipyard in Les Sables-d’Olonne. In 30 years, the shipyard turned into a major industrial group that has since diversified into maritime safety and security, passenger transport, working boats and, of course, motor yachts. Business is spread across a wide range of geographic sectors and markets — OCEA generates 95% of its turnover from exports — which today ensures a sound financial position.
In 2012, OCEA launched Orion — a plan focusing on optimisation and industrial reorganisation for OCEA Naval — in order to fully upgrade its production tool. A large part of this plan involved building the new production site in Les Sables-d’Olonne where the yachts are made. “It is a smart building that has given us a competitive edge and allowed us to
expand our range of vessels to larger boats,” says Mr Joassard. The site can now accommodate units up to 85m. OCEA is currently building the world’s largest aluminium patrol boat (84m) that will be launched in the coming months.
From the very beginning, the two partners made the strategic decision to specialise in aluminium; the material significantly reduces boat weight and fuel consumption while making maintenance easier… and with a lower environmental impact! Over the years, OCEA has acquired unique expertise in aluminium and its hulls now come with a ten-year guarantee. “We are developing efficient, high-quality, well-built vessels, and all at a low cost of ownership. We started out this way and we have kept the same standards for all the types of boats we have developed,” explains Mr Joassard. Until now, OCEA has delivered more than 300 ships in France and around the world.
In the early 2000s the OCEA shipyard entered the world of yachts by drawing on its extensive expertise to produce efficient and high-performance boats, with excellent sea-handling capabilities and transatlantic range. For shipowners, integrating the necessary knowledge and expertise at each stage of building a yacht at the shipyard also ensures schedules and budgets are fully met, and a high level of support throughout the life of the boat. OCEA Yachts has delivered nine vessels to date, the largest being 47m long. State-of-the-art facilities in Les Sables-d’Olonne today enable OCEA to expand its range of motor yachts and offer — alongside the ranges Commuter, Nautilus and Nemo — even larger units, such as the project X47 and the Nemo 50 Ice, and even custom yachts up to 85m.