Nearly just as fast as yachts have grown in size and volume, their owners have wanted and needed smaller, more limber boats to explore ashore. Boatbuilders really show their creative streak when building craft that needs to fit in the garage (or on the decks), be safe, reliable, comfortable and versatile, to say nothing of being fun to drive. With superyachts, the definition of tender takes on a whole new meaning. We bring you a crop of recent boats, perfectly enjoyable on their own or suited to become ultimate tenders.
Liz Pasch contributed to this report
J Craft Torpedo 41
Swedish builder J Craft’s boats appeal to the nostalgic in us. Under the mahogany finish and behind the vintage-style switches and dials are the latest in boating and audio technology, plus the ease of joystick control. Aside from twin Volvo 500 IPS (750 hp each), the boat sports a beautiful handcrafted wheel, which is a close relative to an iconic 1963 Ferrari wheel. We tested one in Palm Beach. The Torpedo 41 behaves like a lady in sharp turns and does not much move when crossing wakes, which allows actual ladies to sip Champagne or stab a tasty morsel with the silver cutlery, designed by Prince Carl Philip of Sweden. Despite all that heft, the Torpedo 41reaches 44 knots and cruises effortlessly at 35 knots. Belowdecks, the boat has berths for four and a small crew cabin, aft. While they are built in a series, each Torpedo has a distinct personality. A wide array of color and fabric choices ensures not one will look exactly like the next and this great day boat can be a tender to an 80m+ motoryacht when fitted with the necessary lifting gear.
LOA: 41'5" (12.63m)
Beam: 11'11" (3.63m)
Draft: 3'1" (0.95m)
Engines: 2 x Volvo Penta IPS 500
Speed (max./cruise): 44/35 knots
Designer and builder Philippe Cabon has set up the Tender Shipyard to build made-to-order tenders. His previous experience led him to build complex projects for the 65m Azipod-fitted Ambrosia and other yachts, focusing as much on issues of handling and storage as comfort and speed. Cabon recently tested the new TS72 Berkut, which will serve as tender to a 174' Baglietto. There is much more than meets the eye on this colorful low-profile tender built in carbon and epoxy resin. The 23' boat goes a zippy 45 knots with its 260-hp Yanmar engine fully open, making it a great candidate as a water-skiing boat. But it dresses up to act as a limo tender with a removable hardtop, which is operated hydraulically, to enclose the seating area in foul weather. A removable front dodger also breaks the wind and sea spray. A bow thruster helps with maneuvering. While this tender should fit easily in most superyacht garages, it can also be lifted easily. To simplify crane operations, the tender features a removable steering console.
LOA: 24'3" (7.39m)
Beam: 9'2" (2.79m)
Draft: 1'7" (0.48m)
Engines: Yanmar up to 260 hp
Speed: up to 45 knots
Construction: carbon composite
Zero Emissions, Maximum Fun
Riva Iseo 27
Many of Riva’s smaller boats have proven irresistible to yacht owners as elegant accessories to the mothership. Historic Aquarivas to the more recent Aquaramas have found homes on many large yachts’ decks or in garages. A likely new candidate is the soon-to-launch Riva Iseo. While on the small end of the new Rivas, the Iseo isn’t short on credentials. Officina Italiana Design worked closely with Ferretti’s AYT engineering group to devise a practical and beautiful boat. For easy transportation, the boat comes with a custom-made car trailer. As far as looks go, 20 coats of varnish guarantee a high-gloss mahogany finish. Various power options give it a speed range of 34 to 38 knots on the top end. Diesel or gasoline engines are available, but there is also a hybrid version with a zero-emission mode option, particularly suitable for lakes (like Lake Iseo near Riva’s historic facility) or protected areas.
The Riva Iseo launches summer 2011.
LOA: 27' (8.24m)
Beam: 8'2" (2.50m)
Draft: 2'11" (0.88m)
Engines: Various gas/diesel engines
Speed Max./Cruise: Yanmar 260: 34/28 knots, Yanmar 320: 37/30 knots, MerCruiser 380: 38.5/32 knots
FS Is for Full Speed
Deep Impact 360 FS
If your idea for a tender is one that flies, Deep Impact’s 360 series will deliver. Try 77.1 mph. We did. This deep-V two-step hull cuts through the waves with minimal slap for a smooth and exhilarating run. Our test boat featured custom eye-catching “Miami Heat” graphics and dual forward seating, a Clarion sound system, sea-resistant JL speakers, Livorsi gauges and throttles and underwater lights. A 9'6" powder-coated hardtop with rod holders; a leaning post with sink, cooler and drawers; a forward head compartment and electric anchor windlass come standard. Options include triple and quad engine packages up to 1,400 hp; an additional 100-gallon fuel tank; helm and/or transom bolster seating; a 6' sun pad in front of the center console; a bow thruster; a transom shower and underwater LED lights. If the forward-seating option doesn’t float your boat, Deep Impact offers three more 360 models with various custom styling plans. Its latest, built for the diehard angler, is the 360 Tournament Edition (TE).
LOA: 36' (10.97m)
Beam: 10' (3.05m)
Draft: 3' (0.91m)
Engines (standard): 2 x 275-hp Mercury Verado
Speed (max.): varies with power option
Construction: Kevlar-reinforced composite
The Race Is On
Pursuit ST 310
At the 2011 Miami boat show, Pursuit introduced a sporty new model with multiple features created for a cruise-friendly market. It features forward full-wrap and transom seating and a starboard-side console, leaving only a portside walkthrough. This provided opportunity for the builder to create a real head, accessible through a molded fiberglass door, and to include plenty of storage for diving equipment and fishing gear. A fiberglass table doubles as a sun-pad base and the built-in swim platform has a practical ladder and handrail. Helm seating for three on bolster seats with foot rests provides windshield protection from wind or spray. The Miami-show model is tender to the 105' Broward Independence 2, owned by a family man with grandkids who like to cruise, fish, dive and play. And with twin 300-hp Yamahas for a top speed in excess of 50 mph (Captain Matt Braisted has had it up to 56 mph), even the most impatient grandkids will be happy. Having had a chance to test the tender in the Exumas, we can attest to its impeccable riding attitude and great looks.
LOA: 31'2" (9.50m)
Beam: 9'6" (2.90m)
Draft: 2'10" (0.86m)
Engines: 2 x Yamaha F300
Speed (max./cruise): 54/36 mph
Ready for Action
Intrepid Custom 350
Intrepid has the ability to build every model as a fully custom boat with multiple options. For the 281' Cakewalk, Intrepid built a custom 35-footer with diesel motors (so the crew could fuel it directly from the yacht) and a retractable carbon-fiber hardtop for a good fit in the garage. It also needed to be ready for diving, scurf boarding, wakeboarding, water-skiing and fishing.
To clear the way for watersports, the builder moved the engines forward. The twin 370 Volvo diesels (the same found on another of the yacht’s tenders for practical reasons) were fitted snugly side by side under the helm seat. Captain Zinser, after a thorough test period, says he’s pleased with the boat’s stability and performance. Intrepid’s newest model, the 327 Center Console, like the Cakewalk tender, features a more open aft deck area with larger fish boxes and plenty of enhancements.
LOA: 34'8" (10.56m)
Beam: 10'6" (3.20m)
Draft: 3' (0.91m)
Engines: 2 x Yamaha 350
Speed (max./cruise): 62/40 mph
Construction: Kevlar eglass blend, PVC foam core vacuum-bagged and infusion molding
Esprit de Top
Combining the sturdiness of a RIB with stylish appeal, the Novurania Chase 38 offers yacht owners durability and luxury in one. Novurania’s Protex collar protects both the tender and the yacht’s paint during mooring. The materials used are durable and comfortable. Many of the possible options customers would want, such as teak inlay, a side-boarding door, a bow dodger and folding handrails for boarding, are already available as standard features. “Apart from color choice and upholstery, there’s very little to customize, as everything has been incorporated,” says Novurania President Robert Collada. “Every detail was considered in the design, including providing easy access to every piece of wiring.” With elements like digital instrumentation and an electronic pod console that folds down, plus a glossy-black collapsible Esprit hard top, the Novurania Chase 38 achieves a low profile for tender-garage storage, just like the model recently delivered to Top-100-listed Attessa IV.
LOA: 38' (11.58m)
Beam: 10'6" (3.20m)
Draft: 1'6" (0.46m)
Engines: 2 x Volvo D4 300hp diesel IO
Speed (max./cruise): 49/38
Construction: Foam core vacuum-bagged composite
Daydream of a Boat
If your idea of a tender is a virtual mini-yacht, you need to look at Zeelander. Cor D. Rover designed this 44-footer, which radiates style and meticulous craftsmanship even at a distance. Custom-designed stainless-steel stanchions and handrails capped with a low-maintenance and convincing wood lookalike material, give it a fabulous finish. Under the sliding roof is a folding dining table with ample seating for 10. Elegant cabinets conceal everything from liquor to glassware. Below, the yacht accommodates four guests. Twin Volvo Penta IPS quietly propel the 40-knot boat, while the Frank Mulder-designed hull handles choppy seas effortlessly. Shore-side or yacht-side docking is controlled and elegant, almost child’s play. A hidden swim platform that unfolds at the touch of a button makes it possible to enjoy a casual swim offshore. In the United States, Zeelander is represented by Nautique Group and dealer Marine Max. The company will soon start building its boats in Holland, Mich., through a partnership with S2 Yachts.
LOA: 44'4" (13.52m)
Beam: 13'1" (4.0m)
Draft: 2'11" (0.9m)
Engines: 2 x Volvo Penta IPS 600
Speed max. sPEED: 32 to 40 knots
Fjord 40 and 36
Beyond the Fjord 40’s modern minimalist eye-catching style, designers concentrated on the essentials: speed, efficiency, space and exceptional comfort. This fairly big boat is maneuverable and fun, with twin Volvo diesel engines and IPS drives that not only yield a speed of more than 40 knots (with the larger engines) but also the usual ease of docking. While minimalist in appearance, the boat is sophisticated, with teak decking from foredeck to swim platform and retractable cleats that not only look attractive, they’re safer for people to move around the boat. Nearly 110 square feet of open deck convert easily into a dining and relaxation areas for up to 12 guests. A complete owners’ cabin with 6'6" of headroom features an entertainment center, spacious closets and an ultramodern head/shower combination. Hanse Yachts builds the Fjord series, which now also features the 36 Open, in Germany. Top speed is about 36 knots with twin 300-hp Volvo D4 engines and its smaller size makes it an even better candidate as a lift-on tender.
Fjord 36 Open:
LOA: 35'5" (10.8m)
Beam: 11'11" (3.65m)
Engines: 2 x 260 HP Volvo D4 DPH Drive + Joystick or 2 x 300 HP Volvo D4 DPH Drive + Joystick
Speed (max.): 30 to 36 knots
Nautica Express 42
The euro-styled Express 42 is Nautica’s newest and largest RIB. Nautica does not shy away from innovation while staying true to its roots. The RIB specialist fitted the first Express 42, a custom order, with a hardtop. Based on a deep-V hull, this tender is well suited for the yacht garage, thanks to its collapsible console. The optional lightweight carbon-fiber hardtop also folds down, with help from a telescopic lowering system. Multiple deck and seating layouts suit guests or crew with penchants for sun or shade. A side door with a built-in step provides easier boarding. Available power options include up to three outboard motors, turbo-charged diesel stern drives (convenient for refueling directly from the yacht’s fuel tank) and jet drives with a Blue Arrow joystick that interfaces with the bow thruster for sidewise movement and easy docking. Color choices are far from the standard white or gray and can be mixed and matched to complement the mother yacht.
LOA: 42' (12.80m)
Beam: 11'5" (3.48m)
Draft: 2'6" (0.76m)
Engines: 2 x Yanmar 315 diesels, or 2 or 3 x 350 outboards
Speed (max./cruise): 60+/40 (according to power)