On yachts designed and built within the last five to 10 years, tender garages have mostly moved to be found in the hull, with garage doors that open out near the waterline. “The tender slides out on two beam cranes and is lowered to the waterline,” explains Tim Fleming of Boating Matters. “In the old days, tenders were stored and they were visible, out in the elements and too high to launch easily, but I would say that the industry mostly passed that.”
The location of tender garages is also being dictated more and more by the clients’ requirements for the use of the mother ship’s internal space, which has subsequently been influenced by trends in design.
“We are seeing more large yachts utilising the aft area usually reserved for a garage as a 'beach club',” observes Mathew Hornsby, sales director at Williams Performance Tenders. “This is driven by the larger superyachts and has some trickle down to smaller yachts, which is a common trend. It means the tender needs to be stowed either in a side garage or on the foredeck."
Due to the competition for internal volume, Richard Faulkner, owner of Compass Tenders, finds that the available space for tender stowage is often compromised, and predominantly builds tenders that are stowed aft. “For ease of launching and recovery, aft tender bays are better,” he explains. “Also you are more likely to be able to carry out maintenance during passage with the stowage aft.”
On occasion, MasterCraft supplies boats that are stored on the bow. “This generally has less restrictions, but of course this option means the boat is more exposed to the saltwater elements,” says Managing Director Michael Hardicker. “Tender garages are always accessible, however, are on occasions limited in overall height and length due to the builders trying to maximise the space available on board.”
Having designed, specified and selected boats to be mounted in a wide array of garages, Josh Richardson of Superyacht Tenders and Toys acknowledges that there is a wide range of opinions on what will work best. “We have seen some relatively shocking options over the years with spaces compromised,” he concurs. “One area this has been a concern is on the SOLAS tenders, which inhibit the rapid launching and recovery required."
Now employed to consult on garage space from concept with some of the major builders, Richardson’s team are advising for increased functional sized garages in the right locations. “A typical garage we are regularly having to provide tender options for is one that is only 1.2m in height and has millimetre tolerances for tenders,” he explains.
Richardson adds that many builders will specify a set of tenders for the yacht from concept – this is a fair starting point but fails to allow that the owner may want to have some choices so that they have a tender to meet their needs.
A tender can be so pivotal to overall operations on board, that it can make or break an owner's enjoyment of their yacht. While tender garages may often come as an after thought in new build design - with other items taking priority in terms of internal space - stowage should be focused on more in initial design discussions to highlight its importance to clients.
Images courtesy of Superyacht Tenders and Toys