One of Vikal’s most popular models is its D-RIB tender. A ‘D’ fender is half the diameter of an inflatable RIB fender, so a D-fendered tender offers increased space saving in addition to the rugged RIB characteristics that are beneficial for berthing and coming alongside vessels. Garage space on board superyachts is expensive real estate, so the concept has great appeal on the RIB tender market.
Now a tried and proven platform, Vikal has delivered dozens of its D-RIB tenders over the past decade in a jet-powered configuration and with an optional assisted bow door for beach landings. Vikal has recently delivered its first D-RIB with an actuated bimini rooftop mechanism. This design is believed to be a world first, adding another dimension of versatility for crew and owners.
“It offers a degree of flexibility and safety that is subtle until one sees the system in action,” explains Gunnar Vikingur, managing director of Vikal. “We have found experienced yacht crew and owners alike identify with the system immediately and intuitively once seen.”
One of the key features is the ability to operate the tender with the bimini top in any position: forward above the helm; midship over the passenger seating; or fully-retracted down, with one side of the tender still accessible aft to forward. Being able to retract the bimini rooftop all the way down is crucial for stowage on most yachts, where garage height is limited. Being fully electro-mechanically actuated, this can be done at the press of a button in a quick, convenient and safe manner.
“The system is unique in that the tender is fully operational with the roof in any position,” adds Vikingur. “For example, if the crew need a rapid trip to shore, or rapid mobilisation at the yacht or near the yacht, this can be accomplished with absolute speed and safety, while still retaining full-height bimini top utility.”
Finally, unlike a fragile, manual, hand-folding bimini, the bimini system on board Vikal’s D-RIB tender is robust, sharp and smart. Always tidy, the fabric is never creased.
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