The 210 year-old Dubourdieu shipyard in Arcachon is the oldest one still active in France. Its current owner, Emmanuel Martin, has admired the luxury futuristic fashion brand, Courrèges, for as long as he can remember, with particular affection for Coqueline Courrèges' 1969 prototype for an electric car. Her eco-friendly Bulle (bubble) creation was several decades ahead of its time.
Martin approached current owners Frédéric Torloting and Jacques Bungert to ask if they would consider styling the interior of a limited edition handmade Dubourdieu motorboat. No answer came for over three months. Then, he received a phone call 'convoking' him to a meeting in Courrèges' Paris headquarters the following day with the enigmatic message, 'We have something to show you.' Intrigued, he made the trip.
He was presented with a heartfelt apology for the delay before a stunning mock-up of the boat's interior design was unveiled. Courregès' deceptively simple signature is translating intangibles of lightness, transparency, weightlessness and futurism into design. Named, 'White Ocean,' the interior combines natural and synthetic materials; Plexiglas, stainless steel, mirror and Kerrock with raw teak, suffusing the cabin with light and spaciousness. The teak of the decks and bulkheads is deliberately unvarnished to allow it to weather naturally to light grey, breaking away from the classic glossy finish of luxury motorboats.
Designer Julien Gaubert's hardest task was pinpointing the exact shade of grey for the hull to avoid casting a shadow on the water, creating the illusion that the craft hovers over the surface. With the sun deck deployed, the 13m4 (44 foot) White Ocean's maximum speed is 30 knots.
Torloting reveals that White Ocean's name is a play on the book title 'Blue Ocean Strategy', as the Courrèges brand has never followed any predetermined textbook strategy, preferring instead to chart its own 'poptimistic' course.