Pascoe International has been building dedicated superyacht tenders since 2004, and after more than 15 years in the industry, the company remains one step ahead of the competitors within this niche sector. With a successful voyage throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, delivering 10 projects and signing contracts for a further six craft since the UK government announced its lockdown, Pascoe’s extensive range continues to grow.
The company has most recently begun construction on a pair of SOLAS limousines. “These are guest standard limousine tenders, which are also both fully certified as SOLAS rescue tenders and as lifeboats – quite the undertaking!” comments Tom Southern, director, Pascoe International.
Over the years, several manufacturers have built custom lifeboats, but traditionally these are seen as a piece of safety equipment that are a compliance necessity. “[The lifeboats] are not used by owners or guests and are therefore hidden away and not used operationally.” continues Southern.
What the team at Pascoe is seeking to achieve is something very different. “On the larger yachts, which are required to carry lifeboats, there are far greater operational needs, with larger parties of guests that results in more complex itineraries and so the usual single guest limousine tender doesn’t offer sufficient capacity or flexibility,” explains Southern.
Pascoe was the first company to introduce superyacht standard SOLAS rescue tenders over 10 years ago and has delivered over 50 fully certified rescue tenders that one wouldn’t know were an item of required safety equipment, through their innovative designs and execution.
“Our latest models take that even further. One of the stipulations of SOLAS is that the craft has to be able to be righted if the vessel overturns, so on many SOLAS tenders you’ll see large arches and frames with an inflation bag which when activated enables the craft to self-right,” adds Southern. “On our most recent models, these systems are all completely concealed so you wouldn’t know it’s a rescue tender at all ...”
This got the company thinking more and more about SOLAS regulations and how to make best use of the tender stowage spaces available on modern yachts. “The lifeboats you often see are very commercial in origin with few creature comforts; the way we’re approaching this is to offer a superyacht limousine tender which is fully certified as a lifeboat. So, first and foremost, they are a limousine and not a lifeboat – which is something that’s never been done before!” emphasises Southern. The new vessels by Pascoe are currently in build now for a Dutch new-build and will be delivered to their owner end of next year.
Following the theme of larger yachts requiring more from their superyacht tenders, Pascoe can see that the increase in the average size of superyachts has meant that tenders are also getting bigger. “There’s been a boom in growth and an increase in size. We are working on a number of special enquiries for 12- 16m tenders, whereas previously 10m used to be the limit,” says Southern. “It’s size proportional, so as the yachts get bigger, they have to moor further offshore, which means the tenders get larger – so as the mothership grows, the tender grows with them.”
Pascoe is also currently working on its ‘green’ credentials, to keep pace with the overwhelming priority of every individual's carbon footprint. “This will not be an overnight change, but it’s clear that, worldwide, the environment is becoming more at the forefront of people’s minds. At the moment, the battery technology isn’t there from our perspective, as there isn’t anything that can replace the power of diesel or petrol tenders that can work for 18+ hours a day and can be refuelled in under 10 minutes,” notes Southern.
This is something Pascoe is working on intensively and keeping its finger firmly on the pulse in terms of available technology. While many companies are spending time developing solely electric tenders, Pascoe has confirmed that the company is developing its own special concept, and will present its plans to the market when it feels it has suitably resolved the range and performance issues of current electric tenders.
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