"The Tiwal is just a nice way of gently snubbing my dad" says Marion Excoffon, TIWAL designer.
"I used to sail with my family on my father’s 30 foot sailboat ( a First 30 from Bénéteau) when I was a kid.
When I turned about 20, I asked my father whether I could take it by myself. He refused. So I told him as a challenge: "Ok dad I will design and make my own boat by myself.
Less than 2 years later (after many drawings, ideas and models), he was surprised to discover the first prototype of an inflatable boat (which would be named TIWAL few days later).
As a designer, I didn't want to design 'just another boat' but a really new boat. Many sailing lovers dreamed about having their own sailboat, but that comes with many constraints. The TIWAL was born from a desire to make leisure sailing accessible to most sailors and to refocus on pure pleasure. My challenge was to design a sailboat that would be easily transportable, user-friendly, high performing and above all, a fun boat!
Later, with the encouragement of my husband Emmanuel (who is also today my associate) we decided in 2012 to launched together a company to manufacture and distribute the Tiwal. Now 2200+ boats are already sailing in more than 45 countries worldwide and new Tiwal designs are born. It's an amazing story!
And the happy end is that my father now lends me his boat!
Thank you for all dad!"
I am a New Zealand sailor who learned to sail in the beautiful Malborough Sounds and then went onto represent NZ at the 2000 Olympics.