Out of just over one million pleasure boats registered in France (2020 figures), 45,248 are registered in Haute-Normandie, including 5983 sailboats and 2239 less than 5 meters. Even if the two Normandy just arrived at the Languedoc-Roussillon level and far behind Brittany and Provence-Côte-d'Azur, this small armada still requires a lot of maintenance. It is largely owned by small owners who regularly maintain the hull, deck, cockpit, rudder, mast and sails.
This is where the Maritime Conservatory intervenes in Le Havre (Seine-Maritime), which provides them with an associative shipyard coupled with an integration site. Founded in 1987 by a group of sailing enthusiasts, the associative shipyard had at the time the objective of building new small classic wooden boats and ensuring the maintenance of the members' boats with the help of two employees including a marine carpenter. Bankrupt in 1995, the establishment integrated an integration project in 1997.
Read alsoSailing transport, bio-based materials, electric motors... Navigation goes green
"Since then," explains Jean-Marc Estival, president of the Conservatoire maritime, "we have been preserving historic boats in order to sail them, because we are not a museum." Gone are the days of keel construction to rigging. From now on, the 80 members can return their boats to "maintain, repair or restore them by themselves". "We provide room and board," continues Jean-Marc Estival. It's like an associative garage: members benefit from space, machines, advice and a helping hand from knowers or their comrades. In addition to their contribution, everyone pays a contribution according to the surface indicated on the official documents of the boat. But, be careful, we are not a place of storage or wintering! »
Cleaning, sanding, painting the hull, joinery...
When the work becomes too complicated or boring, such as cleaning, sanding, painting the hull or developing joinery, members, but also external navigators, can become customers of the insertion site. "They entrust their boats after a quote. Then, managed by a technical supervisor and a professional integration advisor (CIP), our twenty employees intervene. »
"We recruit them from a platform set up by Pôle Emploi and after an interview," explains Jean-Marc Estival. They are not specialists. After signing an employment contract, they learn how to remove the obstacles to employment, a profession, discuss their personal project and find a job. Many do not know what they want to do but the majority are textbooks. Our goal is to put them back into a stable economic activity, mostly outside the navy. Moreover, many do not have sea legs! »