Who is Henri Jeanneau?

Jeanneau was founded in 1957 by French maritime enthusiast Henri Jeanneau. The company started to produce sailing boats at that time, and over time, it created a wide product range and began to produce motor yachts, catamarans, and more.

By David Foster Published on 9 Şubat 2024 : 17:57.
Who is Henri Jeanneau?

 Jeanneau's founding purpose was to offer people the opportunity to make dream trips on the seas.


It started when Henry Jeanneau produced a wooden boat in a hardware store inherited from his father and participated in the competition called "6 heures de Paris (6 hours in Paris)". The success he achieved in this competition increased his excitement and enabled him to adopt boat building as a profession.

Henri Jeanneau used to run a hardware store and in 1956 started building small power boats in his father’s workshop. He entered his first wooden hull power boat in to the “Six heures de Paris” power boat race – at the time, the largest boat race in France. Henri was clearly very talented and he came first in the race. His win was the catalyst for turning his hobby into a commercial business and so the Jeanneau yachts brand was born.


The shipyard built the first fiberglass hull. This new material, a petrochemical product, ushered in a whole new technological era.

At first, they were building three boats a week.

They were making everything from the ship's keel to its ribs from wooden molds.

They had to show their customers that fiberglass would perform as well as wood.

The name of the first fiberglass model was “sport polyester”. Afterwards came “Mirage” and Prélude. Fiberglass has definitely become the material of choice.


Jeanneau shipyard produced its first sailboat. He achieved real success with Alizé.


Sailing became an accessible pleasure and boat production increased.

That same year, Jeanneau launched the magnificent Love Love and Sangria. This latest model was a great success and established Jeanneau as the market's leading manufacturer and designer of sailboats.

3000 boats were sold.


JEANNEAU participated in the single-man transatlantic race with YVES OLIVAUX AND MELODY. With this event, it was shown that the Atlantic Sea could be crossed with this model, like Eric Tabarly.


The first Lagoon catamaran was produced.


Jeanneau Shipyards joins Bénéteau.


Jeanneau America was founded in the United States.


Jeanneau produces boat models of various sizes and types. It offers products in different categories such as sailboats, motor yachts, and catamarans. Each model stands out with its unique design, engineering, and marine performance.

The first speedboat was the Seabird. Then, in 1963, the first highly acclaimed sailing boat, Alizé, appeared.

Wanting to make sailing accessible to everyone, the company produced the Love Love Alize and Sangria sailboats in 1970. Jeanneau proved that the Melody model was extremely powerful in the 1976 trans-Atlantic race. Melody was crossing the Atlantic alone.

In the 80's the sturdy, reliable 1.8 meter sailboat Flirt was launched. It was a busy time with the introduction of the new iconic Cap Camarat 75 powerboat.

Other new additions to the range included the large cruiser Sun Kiss, the Fleury Michon 7, the arrival of the first Lagoon catamaran, and Jeanneau's entry into the luxury yacht market with its first Prestige model.

The world's attention was once again turned to Jeanneau in the 90s, when the Jeanneau One model became the official sailboat of the Sailing Tour de France and some Jeanneau boat replicas were featured in the big-budget movie Waterworld, starring Kevin Costner.

With the dawn of the millennium came further expansion. (Jeanneau increased the shipyard size to over 40 hectares, making it the largest boat manufacturing site in the world). The new Sun Fast 3200 won the title of 'European Yacht of the Year' in 2008.