“I have always loved the concept of a superyacht limousine but I hadn’t seen yet anything that captured the level of classic and contemporary styling and features I felt should be attached to such a vessel,” Kit Carlier, design director of his eponymously named New Zealand design studio. “We wanted to create something that emulated superyacht class in classic styling, all wrapped around an extremely modern core.”

Inspired by the gentlemen’s racer of the 1920s and 1930s, the studio’s new tender concept, Chimera, is a 14.5m limousine tender that promises to combine classic good looks with a technologically advanced tender package. Taking styling cues from classic old chauffer-driven cars, Chimera enables guests to hide away in its luxurious private interior while being chauffeured from a port helm station positioned forward.

The interior is tasteful and luxurious, offering entertainment, bespoke lighting and access to wireless communication and Bluetooth via touch screens located from the helm to the main cabin as well as the vessel’s own app, which allows smart devices to access the vessel’s facilities without passengers having to leave the comfort of their seat. Forward, the internal landing accesses a large luggage space (or, in different configurations, a day-head) and also provides access to the helm and forward boarding points. The concept can be widely customised and adapted to suit client requirements, for example the layout can be adjusted to suit 12 passengers.

For Carlier, the most unique thing about Chimera is how high-tech it is underneath the classic, uncomplicated shell. “We decided early on that Chimera’s function would be as limousine - this meant we didn’t compromise on the luxury and comfort that she delivers, he says. “We wanted the passage in Chimera to be an experience.”

Modern construction methods and use of advanced composite materials – design insights taken from Carlier’s years in the superyacht and boat-building sectors – mean that weight will be kept to a minimum, and Chimera will offer three key propulsion options: conventional rail turbo diesel engines, diesel/electric hybrid and the opportunity for fully electric is being researched presently.

Carlier strongly believes that owners are looking for something different from their tenders in today’s evolving market. “They are looking for something that allows them to stand out from the other tenders going to and from the marina,” he says. “Superyachts are getting bigger and the use of shadow yachts is becoming more popular, this means clients aren’t always restricted to a tender with specific proportions previously required for stowage in confined garage spaces. This instead means fewer compromises, allowing for added comfort and luxury.”

Space restrictions may be less of an issue and finding a tender that stands out may be a priority for many owners, but Carlier stresses that selecting a tender for your yacht is an important decision and that owners have be clear on what the function of the tender will be. “A dedicated limousine will not work well as a dive boat and vice versa,” he says. “Deciding upon this early on will ensure fewer compromises and it will do exactly what it was intended to achieve.” Also important is ensuring that the team, from designers to yard, that are enlisted to create the vessel, have an existing working relationship. “This ensures the project will have a collaborative approach throughout all stages,” he explains. “Both parties therefore understand all aspects the tender's function and ensure it is fit for purpose.”

Before founding Kit Carlier Design in January 2015, Carlier gained significant industry experience working for Alloy Yachts as project manager, production manager and lead designer across yachts like Kokomo, Vertigo, Loretta Anne, Encore and Mondango. “My time at Alloy Yachts saw me immersed throughout the entire design team; working closely with the systems, electronics and structural design departments,” Carlier says. “It gave me a complete understanding of the expectations clients have when beginning the creation of their vessel. It now allows us to ensure all elements have been thought through in the early stages meaning there are no surprises down the track.”

If you have enjoyed reading this article, you’ll love our upcoming event, The Superyacht Design Forum, taking place on 25 - 26 June 2019 at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. The Superyacht Design Forum provides anyone in the superyacht design world with a unique opportunity to explore new thinking and share smarter solutions for the future of superyachts. To find out more or to register, click here.