THE FRENCH NEW WAVE
From its home in Brittany, Lanéva Boats is pioneering a luxurious and eco-conscious boating experience
It’s often supposed that luxury and eco-sustainability are incompatible ideals. Lanéva Boats has proven that this need not be the case. What’s more, its craft demonstrate that an eco-conscious approach can result in a more comfortable and desirable experience than the traditional one.
Lanéva Boats CEO François Richard was inspired to launch his company by the environment of his native Brittany. As well as the beauty of its coastline, François was aware of its vulnerability to oil slicks, such as the one which struck in 1999. “This is where I developed my great passion for environmental consciousness,” he says. Coming from a background in shipbroking, he resolved to build small craft from recyclable materials which would run on electric propulsion, while maintaining the design quality and comfort of regular boats.
François was conscious of the drawbacks of the usual, petrol-driven motor-boat experience. “The noise is a problem,” he says. “Not just the fact that you can’t talk with the person next to you, but there is also the smell, and the vibrations of the boat.” You don’t get that with Lanéva’s day boats, which are designed primarily for river and lake outings. The electric propulsion affords a far more peaceful ride, at one with the tranquil surroundings of the water. Materials – like balsa wood and bio-composite, or natural cork and flax fibre – are selected for durability as well as sustainability. Lanéva inaugurated its first prototype in April 2019 at the Monaco Yacht Club with Prince Albert II in attendance.
While cutting right back on damaging fossil-fuel emissions, Lanéva does not stint when it comes to design and comfort, with customers invited from the outset to take part in the creation of their uniquely customized craft. “Whether it’s the layout of the deck, or the colours they like – we want to involve them,” says François. “In Monaco, no one wants to have the same boat as their neighbour.”
François is conscious that the future for the boating industry is only going to be greener and greener. Which is why Lanéva boats is facing up to those challenges right now, constantly exploring design improvements. “We benefit from the fact that electric is getting into people’s life, in small cars, buses, planes. And now it is the turn of boats.”