Socarenam has been building boats at Boulogne-sur-Mer since 1969. “But our history goes back to 1961 when Caen-based boatbuilder Navale Caennaise established a new yard with a 200-metre drydock at Calais for fleet maintenance,” says Philippe Gobert, the yard manager. In 1969, Socarenam took over the Baheux yard at Boulogne where it is still based today. In 1973, the company opened a workshop in Dunkirk specialising in mechanical engineering and industrial maintenance. Then, in 1980, Socarenam took over Étaples-based marine joinery Lefebvre. “We’re committed to northern France and we’re here to stay,” adds Philippe Gobert.
In 1969, the Navale Caennaise yard had to cease operations. “So the employees decided to buy the company. Some 50 employees bought stakes and are still the company’s sole shareholders. This form of governance combined with the shareholders’ spirit and commitment have contributed to our success,” says the CEO. “The yard continues to build around three 16- to 40-metre fishing boats a year for a variety of fisheries”.
Diversification in the 1990s
Like many other yards, but possibly with more drive than some, Socarenam decided to diversify in the 1990s. “We started paying close attention to the contracts offered by the DGA, our defence procurement agency. Indeed, we quickly realised that our know-how was largely applicable to the design and…
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