In issue 146 of The Superyacht Report, Rebecca Dark discusses the growing number of issues captains are having to consider to ensure a safe tender experience for crew, guests and owners.

Is there any specific statutory training for certain tenders/RIBs, bearing in mind their size/cost/design, and if yes, is it sufficient? If not, how would you like to see this changed?

Captain Olof Templeman

As far as training is concerned, I think all drivers should be properly trained and certified in both outboard and jet propulsion. In both cases, the training should be much more stringent and the student taught to understand how a small boat handles in different conditions. Green water might be amusing for the young driver, but it’s not his holiday! Training should include heavy-weather handling.

Captain Arnaud Vasquez
Tender operation is an integral part of the yacht’s operation and as such must be guided by precise standing orders. The specifications of each tender needs to be taken into consideration each time. Safety, maintenance, launching and retrieving procedure and etiquette must be laid out through the vessel’s system. Local regulations and bylaws must be respected at all times and be enforced by the bridge of the mother ship. The current training providers seem to do a reasonable good job at teaching the necessary basic knowledge and I do not see the need for another license or certificate. On the other hand, ISM and mini ISM should include thorough training in tender operation. One must remember that most tender accidents (some of them quite horrific) have occurred through lack of discipline, or unsafe or unprofessional practices. There is no certificate that’s going to resolve that.

What have been the most positive/negative experiences you’ve had with the tenders/RIBs that you have bought?

Captain Salvador Villerias
Positive experiences include simplicity, build quality and the ease of maintenance, which translated into reliability. Negative experiences have been with the exact opposite: complexity, poor quality and difficulty with maintenance, which made the tender a constant problem.

Captain Carlo Summonti
We have experienced noise coming from the diesel engine compartment and a steering system that was too stiff during the manoeuvres.

Is there a conflict between being stylish and using the latest technology with issues of safety and practicality?

Captain Salvador Villerias
In relation to tenders, I don’t see that as a particular problem, although the new style of limousine tenders does not take into consideration the crewmember driving it; it is only about the integrity of the guests, which is not fair on the crew.

Captain Arnaud Vasquez
It’s always the compromise between form and function. In some extreme cases, yes, there are serious issues with safety and practicality. Mostly, we encounter issues when the tender is not designed for lifting. Launching the tender and lifting it back on board becomes dangerous when the tender has not been either designed or heavily modified for it. Superyachts Pegasus V and Senses offer really interesting solutions. It’s too bad so few owners and/or designers have been inspired by this.

Find the full article in issue 146 of The Superyacht Report. To subscribe to The Superyacht Report please click here.