In issue 68 of The Crew Report, we address the common problems with tender operations and maintenance and provide advice from captains and manufacturers about how to best maintain a superyacht tender to prolong its life expectancy and keep safety at an optimum level. During the investigation we discovered that, although there is plenty that crew can do to maintain a tender properly, there are also common errors that crew make which impede on maintenance and safety. We ask these captains and manufacturers to share some collective errors made by crew that could easily be avoided to improve operations.

For Paul Edmonds, operations manager at Wahoo Ribs, electronics and wiring tend to be sources of elusive problems. “Damp chart plotter screens and malfunctioning navigation or courtesy lights are avoidable with top quality installation,” he says. “Copper wire corrodes in a marine environment if not kept completely sealed from the elements so look for tinned cable and soldered connections.”

“Many crew either make extra work for themselves, shorten the life of the tender or even damage the tender by incorrect application and use of the wrong cleaning products on the wrong surfaces,” asserts Captain Guy Booth of motoryacht Aurelia. “There is a huge list of products that the first mates will not let their deckhands use, but things like rust remover can stain the upholstery, acid can damage the inflatable pontoons and Scotch Brites for the teak can scratch the gel coat and paint.”
But mistakes aren’t solely made during maintenance; a great amount of consideration must also go into safety around tenders. “Many inexperienced crew believe that they can stick their hand or foot between the tender and the yacht, or the dock to fend off and invariably they get hurt,” Captain Booth continues. “Many yacht tenders can weigh upwards of 1,500 kilograms or more and if it's either swinging on a crane during launch or recovery, or floating beside you, your hand will not stop it. Tune-in, concentrate, keep alert, use your eyes and ears, listen to instructions, keep fingers and toes clear, practice these manoeuvres and have a fender ready.”

“Many inexperienced crew believe that they can stick their hand or foot between the tender and the yacht, or the dock to fend off and invariably they get hurt."

“I have seen that one of the most common accidents is the sinking of a tender or toy, just because crew did not check for the bottom or drain plug to be put correctly, a very simple quest but forgotten very often,” adds Captain Salvador Villerias-Eckart of motoryacht Azteca. “Another common mistake is the lack of attention in the fuel gauge and then they run out of fuel, a very embarrassing situation with guests on board.”

These anecdotes are all instances that captains and manufacturers see happen all too often when inexperienced crew do not take adequate precautions when handling superyacht tenders. Full advice on the appropriate maintenance and guidance to replacing superyacht tenders will appear in issue 68 of The Crew Reportclick here to download.