As long as he can remember, Jacques always loved travel, it was a passion. At the age of 15 , he hitchhiked all over Europe, but thought that the ideal way to travel was by boat. He wanted to sail around the world. At 16, he joined a sailing school and learned the ropes. That school also had a boat building and design class where he drew a kayak and built several of them. It was fun but nobody considered that this could be a career.
At that time, there were no yacht design schools in continental Europe and there were zero expectations to ever find a yacht design job. Without a clear plan, Jacques started an engineering path in college, but after two years, switched to architecture for another two years. This mix of technical and creative skills did not give him any formal degree, but later, they complemented each other perfectly.
For about 10 years, he worked in Europe, as an engineer and building contractor, constantly thinking of sailing around the world. He owned several boats and sailed a lot. Sailing in maxi boats for the Admiral’s Cup but also dinghy racing, delivering power boats from Belgium to the Med, to Africa and the Persian Gulf. This included a good number of ocean crossings as captain. He did not miss one opportunity to get on the water. In the 70’s, he had the funds to start a small boatyard as a side business and built his dream boat.
Finally, he set sail and meandered all over the place to end up in Florida where, in the early 80’s, he started working in the boat building industry.
Jacques’ first business was a company specializing in repowering large boats. He decided that this was better done using a computer and the brand-new 3D modeling software. Soon, well known yacht designers were asking him to draw lines and do calculations for them. He could do it very fast and accurately and was able to supply developed panels for aluminum and steel yachts. After a couple of years, he had what he considered to be the requirements to be a yacht designer: at least 10 years at sea on many different boat types, 10 years of boat building experience, and a good engineering background.
During one of those jobs, with the help of resin and glass suppliers, he developed a material that could be used to build prototypes from which we could pull a mold. This was the epoxy plywood sandwich we use in most of the designs for amateurs. It is lighter but stronger than single skin fiberglass and except for areas of compound curvature, adequate for most power boat hulls. This created a solid foundation for the creation of the business.
In 1991, our boat plans and engineering services became available on the internet. Our first website showing boat plans, Bateau.com, was started that same year. In 1993, we expanded and began showing our study plans and pictures of our boats and operated our first online ordering system. Bateau.com was created to sell wooden boat plans and that business led to online plywood and epoxy sales, among other boat building supplies, each with their own website. In 2016, the business was purchased by Jeff Morrow. Jeff consolidated the online businesses and has incorporated all the related websites into one convenient online store, BoatBuilderCentral.com. Now you can purchase plans, kits, paint, and other supplies in one simple transaction. Meanwhile, Jeff and Jacques continue to be partners in the selling of high-quality boat plans. Jacques provides continuous support and feedback on our Builder’s Forum to help builders in their construction journey. As always, we are here to help you build and finish the boat of your dreams.
Now Boat Builder Central is a leader in the professional and Do-It-Yourself boat building and repair industries. We are a family owned and operated business based in Fort Pierce, Florida, a town with a rich boat building tradition, and have been supplying and assisting builders and boat enthusiasts for over 30 years. In our new, over 7,000 square foot facility, we have everything you need to build, maintain, or restore your own craft. We carry high quality marine plywood, paint, epoxy, fiberglass, and other materials and tools needed to build or repair your boat. In addition, we also have over 150 boat plans, many of which have Do-It-Yourself, ready to build, CNC Kits. That’s right! We cut the parts, you put it together!
The most important asset you will find is our team of boat building specialists who are eager to assist you. We support our worldwide customer base by including our knowledge online. In fact, we have built an online library of how-to documents and tutorials to share with our customers. If you need more help, we are always just a phone call or email away with answers.
Thanks for visiting our site. We look forward to working with you!