Raphaël, could you introduce yourself in a few words ? Your history with port Lympia and Navily ?
I am 29 years old, I am Harbour Master of the port of Nice in the Boating department which I joined in 2016. I grew up in Cannes and studied law in Nice; I hold a Master 2 in Maritime Law, but also a sailor in the Merchant Navy and Midshipman in the National Navy’s operational reserve.
My link with the sea, the marines, sailing and the harbour world has always been very strong. This is one of the reasons as to why I founded the Maritime News website in 2012, which addresses all aspects of the sea.
That same year, I discovered the application Navily, and that a team from Nice was designing it. The idea of creating a boating community and sharing experiences seemed very interesting to me and that is why I wrote about it in my first few articles to support and encourage its high potential as they are pioneers in their area of expertise.
6 years after discovering Navily, which I first used on my own account for cruises in the Mediterranean, the application became for me, a work tool as part of stopover reservations for boaters passing through the port of Nice.
So, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a longstanding history !
What is the most beautiful boat you’ve ever had the chance to welcome ?
We’ve been fortunate to receive many of them, both classic boats and yachts.
Arrival of l’Hermione at the port of Nice
Parmi eux :
Le Maltese Falcon
Le Al Mirqab
Le Christina O
Le Sea Cloud
And some as prestigious as the others. But the one that personally impressed me the most was the sailboat Manitou, formerly owned by president J.F.K.
It’s nearly 19 metres long, sails in the Mediterranean and every year it participates in the traditional regattas. It sometimes calls at the port of Nice. It’s a floating museum and a part of history which often goes unnoticed, and it was nicknamed “the floating White House”. it’s surely one of the most beautiful boats I’ve had the opportunity of welcoming and mooring.
And your greatest memory since being the Harbour Master ?
My greatest memory since being the Harbour Master, or at least the one that impressed me the most , is the arrival of Hermione. The long awaited ship arrived at 08h00 on the morning of the 25th April 2018.
Many ships accompanied it, a tugboat started the parade, a crazy world was on the quays and on the embankment. Cameras in hand, the French Navy was on the spot and welcomed it with a bang. Unforgettable !
The highlight of the show was the 8 cannon shots fired during its entrance, followed by the accompanying fog horns which resonated throughout the town. It was spectacular.
How do you view online boating ?
I view online boating as an inevitable turning point in the evolution of marine consumption patterns.
I don’t wish that it becomes dehumanised but imagine it as a facilitator for all players, i.e. both boaters and professionals : sailors and captains, ship owners, agents and brokers, nautical companies, ports, craftsmen, shipchandlers, municipalities, and even maritime and customs officials.
Encore faut-il que les interfaces et applications soient intuitives, accessibles et simples.
La plaisance connectée n’est pas à mon sens un tournant indispensable, mais tout converge vers ce nouveau type d’usage numérique. On parle déjà d’ubérisation” et de “airbnbsation”, c’est l’une des raisons qui porte à croire que ce tournant est inévitable !