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Industry mourns trailblazing French boatbuilder

Boatbuilding pioneer Guy Couach died Monday. He was 88.

According to the French publication Sud Ouest and translated by Google, Couach drew boats until his last breath.

“It was his passion,” his son Pierre told the publication. “He had always [in] hand his notebook and pencil. He was an architect for whom the most important [time of the design process] was the day of the launch so he could see the lines of the boat. He was not as interested in the decoration that followed.”

Guy Couach remains one of the biggest names in luxury navigation. He began with his father, Albert, the creator of Couach 1897 Motor Gujan-Mestras. The company manufactured the first engines for marine use.

In 1946, Guy Couach created Arcoa Arcachon, the first company in the world to make boats on an industrial scale. In 1948, he continued to innovate by undertaking the mass production of a pinnace of 10.5 meters. More than 400 of the boats were built.

In 1962, he left the business with his father and created the Guy Couach shipyard in Gujan-Mestras, where he pioneered the use of composite materials in yacht construction.

"My grandfather was more interested in engines and hulls, and my father was more interested in the boat around the engine," Pierre Couach said.

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