Since its creation in 2007, the Black Pepper Yachts brand has become a benchmark in the world of international yachting. We invite you to discover our world.
Whatever the size, whoever the architect or whatever the method of propulsion, a Black Pepper boat is instantly recognizable: it has “that little extra soul, that indefinable charm, that little flame” (© France Gall & Michel Berger).
Michel Douville de Franssu
An agricultural engineer by training, it was under other skies that Michel dreamed of his first boats. It was in Africa, the land of his birth, that he created his first company processing natural materials for the perfume and flavour industry. Brown flavours are his specialty, coffee, cocoa, vanilla but also Black Pepper… the name of the shipyard was born. Passionate about the sea and boats from an early age, it was in 2007 that his nostalgia for the sea caught up with him. An aesthete at heart, he couldn’t find a “boat to suit his taste”, and the urge to create his own travel companion grew. And so, with a touch of madness, he set about building “the” boat he had in mind: Code 0.
An early enthusiast of vintage style, in the etymological sense of the term, he took up the elegant lines of the old metric class yachts, combining the classic with the modern. Thus was born the unique, timeless profile of his boats, which combine ancestral & contemporary materials and know-how, not forgetting high performance, because Michel likes to go fast… on the water as in life!
The pleasure of looking at a beautiful, efficient, sleek and sober boat: that’s where the founder of Black Pepper® adds his pinch of salt. I’m not a naval architect,” he warns, “I wouldn’t be able to draw a volume that floats straight. But when it comes to the overall silhouette, and the detail that emphasizes a line, I have my ideas. The angular roof, for example, I claim as my own” with just the right amount of softness: “I give a little radius to round out the line”.
As a general rule, he hunts down anything that can turn into “warts on the deck”.
“I look for harmony, to avoid any clash such as two colours that do not complement each other. I look for the most fluid lines, with as few bumps and edges as possible. So the silhouettes may sometimes be a little old-fashioned, but I like them… the Tender 17 and 24, for example, are very 60s…. I acknowledge that my taste is classic.”
But Michel is not one to cling to dogma. The proof, he, a devotee of slightly inverted bows, recently welcomed the scow design. After all, aren’t revolutions all about revising your opinions? In the early days, he suggested Marconi rigs to architects, until he realized the relevance of adding a small gaff rig horn at the masthead, to increase the mainsail area, and therefore the yacht’s speed but also “because the silhouette that emerged looked more like classic gaff rig yachts than Bermudan”. In this case, the concession to modernity was more like a return to original design!
Black Pepper® is convinced that in every field it is possible to progress by bringing together talent, training people, and providing them with innovative technologies, new methods and new know-how.
Product design, execution and development are entrusted to renowned naval architects and sailors. Our design team, the experience of our engineers and the inspection bodies with which we collaborate, guarantee the reliability of our products, designed to withstand the most extreme conditions.
Our experienced engineers and craftsmen come from a wide range of backgrounds, including shipbuilding, the composite materials and chemical industries, ocean racing, cabinetmaking and artisanal upholstery. This melting pot of cultures lends Black Pepper® a highly original touch, combining traditional know-how with innovative, modern production techniques.
Our boats offer luxurious finishes in a neo-industrial style and the very best in performance and safety. They combine quality and modern materials, where exotic wood rubs shoulders with leather, carbon and stainless steel. No frills, just an efficient, sober, clean and chic style with a touch of impertinence, showcasing construction details that are usually hidden.
The details and meticulous know-how of our craftsmen enable us to achieve the highest standards of quality and unique creativity. At Black Pepper our craftsmen are encouraged and do indeed express themselves freely in their work.
A community of kindred spirits who have made the brand and its style their own, are today at the helm of production, and constantly nurture the creative process. Each yacht is unique, accumulating skills in fields as varied as composite, wood, paint, electricity, electronics, deck fittings, rigging, mechanics or plumbing.
The engineers in our Design Team, always on the lookout to ensure that the brand is at the cutting edge of innovation and new technologies, are constantly working to improve our boats.
Skills acquired in building Imocas for ocean racing are also applied to the construction of our production yachts.
Black Pepper® yacht owners form a community; they like to meet up and sail together; all sensitive to etiquette, savoir vivre and a certain form of sober, timeless aestheticism, they contribute in their own way, every day, to the development of the brand they have, in a way, made their own.
Anything is possible for our yacht owners…
At Black Pepper Yachts, as in the clothing industry, “Made to Measure” means making our pieces by hand. Each element is conceived, designed and crafted individually in accordance with very precise specifications in order to meet the desires and tastes of the future owner. The result is a unique work, the fruit of a co-creation between a craftsman and his customer, which will never be exactly reproduced.
This singular approach, both anachronistic and modern, takes time: time for study, time for exchange, time for production and modification, time for fine-tuning, always with the aim of achieving as closely as possible the future owner’s idea of perfection for his boat.