Beneteau (Euronext: BEN) is a French sail and motor boat manufacturer, with production facilities in France and the United States.Shipwright Benjamin Beneteau founded his company in 1884, at Croix-de-Vie, France to build sailing trawlers. In the mid sixties Benjamin's grandchildren Annette Benneteau Roux and her brother Andre Beneteau introduced a line of fiberglass boats. Madame Roux is still active in leadership.The company is a large and recognized boat builder, commanding a substantial worldwide market share for sailing yachts, predominately in the United States, France and the United Kingdom. It has five factories in the Vendée region of France and one US plant in Marion, South Carolina. The Beneteau USA plant opened in 1986; since then the factory has nearly doubled in size to about 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2), with roughly 25 million of total capital invested in the US. This is considered to be an advanced marine factory; it is newer than most of its competitors factories.Note in the models below that the First Series is much faster than the Beneteau Series (lower PHRF means a faster boat), the latter series have similar performance ratings to similarly sized Catalina models. Bénéteau vessels have won numerous prizes, among other European Yacht of the Year 2002, 2007 and 2009.