As the fleet of 60m-plus superyachts continues to grow, the semi/custom superyacht tender market is having a long overdue moment in the sun. The SuperyachtNews team spoke with Pascoe International to better understand its operations, capacity and what the future looks like for the British tender manufacturing stalwart.
“Pascoe is the largest semi-custom superyacht tender builder in the world,” starts Tom Southern, Vice President. “There are already over 260 Pascoe tenders in active service, which accounts for a significant percentage of the current market. We are now regularly taking orders of at least two to five vessels per new build project.”
The ability to achieve every request that a client might have for their new tender, Southern believes, is uniquely approached by Pascoe, not only because of the quality of the product that the Southampton-based manufacturer puts out, but also because of the scale of the operation and variety of in-house expertise.
“Pascoe has grown around 200 per cent in the last five years,” explains Southern. “It is truly staggering the rate at which this operation has grown. When I joined seven years ago, I was employee 32, we are now at around 100 employees. We are very happy with the size of the business as it stands and we are now shifting focus to future innovation and development rather than continued growth.”
Such has been the company’s growth in recent years, it has acquired a number of the subcontractors that it had previously utilised.
“We used to subcontract more, but we took the decision to bring several key subcontractors into Pascoe and it was the right decision given that we accounted for 90 per cent of their work,” continues Southern. “Bringing these skills in house allows us to maintain the highest standards and quality control throughout the entire build process. In fact, the only elements of construction that are now subcontracted are the carbon hulls and decks for the larger limousines and our upholstery. The carbon process is highly specialist and would require a great deal of space that would be put to much better use here at our waterfront facility.
“We place great importance on providing a seamless and rewarding client experience therefore having a single point of contact during the purchase and construction of the tender is imperative,” he says. “That is what separates us from the companies that are limousine or sport tender specialists. The senior managers drive every boat that comes out of this shipyard and Owners, Captains, Engineers and whoever else may be included in the operation of the tender want to know that they can speak directly to someone who really knows their tender should any issues arise.”
It is for this reason that Pascoe’s marketing strategy focusses on Captains, Chief Officers and Engineers and, according to Southern, one of the most powerful tools in the Pascoe armoury is the skillsets of not only the craftsmen in the boatbuilding teams but also the engineers responsible for the superb electrical and mechanical installations.
“We recently delivered a number of tenders for a project at a renowned northern European yard,” explains Southern. “When the opportunity arose, the Chief Engineer brought his Second and Third Engineers over and opened up the engine room so they could inspect it. They all started taking pictures and sending them to their various WhatsApp groups. We have taken the quality of mechanical and electronic system to a level far above the excepted superyacht standard. However, crucially, they are easy to maintain, easy to fault find and easy to fix.”
One can hardly have a conversation at a superyacht event today without an issue associated with sustainability being raised and the same is very much true of the tender market, especially when it comes to the various benefits and shortcomings of the electric-tender (E-tender) market.
“The E-Tenders that are currently available are limited by current battery technology which means that range is severely compromised. However, it is clear that in the not so distant future, all new tenders will be electric or hybrid.” explains Southern. “Current diesel engine powered tenders can be running continuously all day, the electric tenders that are available right now cannot come close to matching the range of their combustion engine counterparts. At best, in their current forms, they are toys not tenders.”
“E-tenders need to be able to offer the same performance, speed and range before they will be a totally viable option for superyacht owners looking to move away from internal combustion engines. Pascoe have been working secretly on a very exciting development which will revolutionise the tender market and will soon make all of these qualities a reality… at this stage that is all I can say!”
In recent years, the Pascoe operation has grown rapidly, it is almost the only proof of quality and customer satisfaction that one might require. However, if anyone doubts the strength of Pascoe’s product and operation, all such issues would be assuaged once onboard one of their tenders. While Southern remains adamant that the business is moving the focus from growth to futureproofing and innovation, you can be sure that the business will continue to evolve and adapt to the requirements of today’s superyacht owners and charter guests.
Pascoe will have a strong presence at Monaco Yacht Show 2019 with three tenders on display including the stunning 9.6m Limousine from the recent launched 79m CRN, Mimtee. Following the overwhelming reception of the 10m Open Limousine at last year’s event, Pascoe have decided to exhibit the newest 10m Open Limousine, which features the latest technologies including a Seakeeper stabiliser. Pascoe will also be displaying a SY10 Open that, powered by a pair of Mercury Racing 400R, has a top speed of over 80mph.
As well as the three tenders on display, Pascoe will have a further 10 tenders at show on board the following yachts:
Aurora Borealis (67.6m Amels)
Bliss (52.4m Palmer Johnson)
Elixir (55m Amels)
Grace (52.3m Amels)
Mimtee (79m CRN)
SYZYGY 818 (77.3 Feadship)
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