SuperyachtNews speaks with Richard Faulkner, CEO of Compass Tenders, the British tender manufacturer, about why custom superyacht models are more suitable for certain owners and certain projects. 

“The main benefit for building custom, instead of purchasing a production or semi-custom model, is that owners are able to get exactly what they want from a project, not to mention they get tenders designed by some of the market’s most renowned individuals,” explains Faulkner. “Increasingly, there is a desire to have a product that echoes the design and quality of the tender’s mothership. This is especially popular within Compass’s target market, the 80m-plus sector.” 

Unlike smaller superyachts, those in the 80m-plus sector frequently find themselves offshore and at anchor on account of the limited number of berths available for them to use. As a result, the tenders on board the mothership take on a greater prominence than those used on the vessels that are, ordinarily, berthed, due to the fact that the tenders, especially limousines, become the public embodiment of the mothership and the owner themselves.

“The large superyachts’ guests that are anchored offshore are still going to be coming on shore to attend parties, bars, dinners and all manner of social and business appointments, so the limousine tender has become increasingly relevant as the average superyacht size has grown,” continues Faulkner. “In these instances, the tender needs to become the jewel of the mothership; peers and the public will see the tender, as well as guests and the owner using it.”

Custom tenders also provide a degree of flexibility and maximisation during the build of a mothership that would be hard to replicate with a non-custom model. While being far from practical, it is often the case that the issue of tenders is not considered until the design of the mothership has been finalised and the build underway. 

“The mothership is always going to come first,” Faulkner says. “The one thing I will say is that tender size is not always accounted for properly initially. When we are provided with the dimensions of a tender garage, we are able to build a tender that makes the most of the available space. The tender that we designed for M/Y Madame Gu only just fits inside the garage, it absolutely maximises everything. In some instances, this may require foldable or removable elements. For example, the limousine we built for M/Y Lady Lara has a removable windscreen as well as a console that folds down to account for the very low tender garage.”

The flexibility of a custom tender is not limited to its form; where custom projects can really pay dividends is in the flexibility of their function. Do you need a limousine tender that performs like a sports tender, looks like the mothership and has a fold-down forward section to allow easy access to the beach, why not get one? Custom tenders can be as unique or formulaic as the owner desires, but it is the flexibility and uniqueness afforded by choice that separates the custom tender from its semi-custom or production counterpart.


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