Groupe Beneteau signs extension of SailTime deal

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Groupe Beneteau is solidifying its position in the sharing economy by signing a five-year extension of its partnership with SailTime.

The partnership allows SailTime bases throughout the United States to sell Beneteau boats into their local fleet via SailTime’s yacht ownership program.

“We couldn’t be happier to extend this terrific partnership,” SailTime CEO Todd Hess said in a statement. “Beneteau is known throughout the world as the premier brand of sailing and power boating, and SailTime is a terrific way to bring their product to a market looking for easier and more affordable sailing.”

SailTime said it has seen growth of 161 percent since 2012, expanding to 28 bases in the United States and six in Australia.

Through the partnership, SailTime franchisees have the opportunity to offer Beneteau boats for both the membership program and the yacht ownership program. Three Beneteau yacht dealers in North America integrated with SailTime in 2016, including SailTime San Diego, SailTime New Orleans and SailTime New York.

"The partnership with Beneteau has been terrific for us," SailTime San Diego base manager Keenan Hirsh said. "Allowing our members to sail Beneteau's amazing fleet increases our pool of prospective boat owners."

Groupe Beneteau, who recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of its manufacturing plant in Marion, S.C., sees the partnership extension as a reaffirmation of the importance of the North American market in its growth strategy.

“The sharing economy is the fastest-growing segment in our industry right now, and SailTime is helping us grow in that space,” Beneteau America president Laurent Fabre said. “The synergy with our yacht dealers incorporating their franchise model into their business is outstanding, and it is driving additional boat sales for Beneteau.”