Zodiac’s J.J. Marie assumes top gun status

During a career that spanned a quarter of a century, J.J. Marie and his team built the Zodiac line of inflatable boats into one of the best-known brands in the world. Marie had already enjoyed success in many well-known international companies before he joined the Zodiac Groupe in 1984 in Toronto, Ontario.In 1990 Marie moved to the United States as president of Zodiac of North America and
Author:
Updated:
Original:
jj_marie

During a career that spanned a quarter of a century, J.J. Marie and his team built the Zodiac line of inflatable boats into one of the best-known brands in the world. Marie had already enjoyed success in many well-known international companies before he joined the Zodiac Groupe in 1984 in Toronto, Ontario.

In 1990 Marie moved to the United States as president of Zodiac of North America and continued to develop Zodiac’s model lines to satisfy the growing needs of the civilian, military and law enforcement markets.

But at February’s Miami Boat Show, Marie said that he is handing over the Presidency of Zodiac North America-Zodiac is now wholly owned by the Carlyle Group--to his longtime associate and Vice President, Howard French. Marie isn’t going away any time soon, however, and is staying on as Chairman and ‘goodwill ambassador.’

French said he is going to continue the trajectory Zodiac now is on, much of that because of Zodiac’s fuel efficiency. He’s also going to ramp up the production capabilities at Zodiac’s new facility in South Carolina.

Marie began his nautical career in the French Merchant Marine and then went into the French Navy. A private pilot he also holds a 50-ton ocean operator’s license. “I’m really not going any where,” Marie said in Miami. “French has given me too much to do.”

In 1990 Marie moved to the United States as president of Zodiac of North America and continued to develop Zodiac’s model lines to satisfy the growing needs of the civilian, military and law enforcement markets.

But at February’s Miami Boat Show, Marie said that he is handing over the Presidency of Zodiac North America-Zodiac is now wholly owned by the Carlyle Group--to his longtime associate and Vice President, Howard French. Marie isn’t going away any time soon, however, and is staying on as Chairman and ‘goodwill ambassador.’

French said he is going to continue the trajectory Zodiac now is on, much of that because of Zodiac’s fuel efficiency. He’s also going to ramp up the production capabilities at Zodiac’s new facility in South Carolina.

Marie began his nautical career in the French Merchant Marine and then went into the French Navy. A private pilot, he also holds a 50-ton ocean operator’s license. “I’m really not going any where,” Marie said in Miami. “French has given me too much to do.”

Related

01-LEAD-lagoon46-ncz4503-a3

Learning New Sailing Skills

The other day I was thinking about the very first time I sailed a multihull. It was in New Zealand, of all places, on the Bay of Islands, midway through Christmas break at the school where I was then teaching as a Peace Corps volunteer in Western Samoa. Stranger still, I was ...read more

Gale-Force-Watt-and-Sea-wind-generator

Gear: Watt&Sea’s Hydro-generator

Gale-force Electricity Watt&Sea’s award-winning hydro-generators have long been popular with both racers (for whom its products were first created) and cruisers. But what to do if you are, say, François Gabart aboard the maxi-tri Macif, a boat in which the main hull spends much ...read more

Beneyteau-Excess12

Boat Review: Excess 12

Groupe Beneteau, builder of Lagoon catamarans, has introduced a new multihull line called Excess. The first of the boats to reach U.S. shores at the Annapolis boat show was the Excess 12, a 38ft 6in design based on the popular Lagoon 40. The thought process behind this new boat ...read more

Spindriftracing

Extreme Sailing: No Piece of Cake

It can be easy to take for granted the incredible performance of today’s most cutting-edge grand prix racing boats. The latest crop of full-foiling 75ft America’s Cup monohulls, for example, were all up on their foils and even successfully tacking within hours of their first ...read more

Solar-Dinghy-pump-photo

Gear: Solar Powered Dinghy Pump

Tired of forever finding your dinghy or open daysailer filled with water when you arrive to go sailing? For years, sailors and engineers have sought a solution to this seemingly eternal problem, and now it appears the folks at Sea Joule Marine may have finally found it in their ...read more

BestBoatPromo-03

Best Boats 2020

How’s this for a thought experiment: imagine setting a diminutive Tiwal 2 inflatable dinghy alongside a Catalina 545 cruiser? It would be hard to imagine two more different watercraft, and yet they are both still very much sailboats. They are also both winners in this year’s ...read more