The Protector Targa 30, launched earlier in 2012, is fast becoming the tender of choice in San Francisco Bay. Its large cabin and tough demeanor are perfect for the bay’s sunny but cool days and often windy conditions. The Protector’s performance has received high commendation from the organizers of the Louis Vuitton Cup and participants of America’s Cup. A few of the syndicates participating in the AC have Protectors as their chase boats and VIP transportation. Brian Peterson, Protector’s Oakland-based general manager, took us on a tour of San Francisco Bay to show us that the boat will handle in rough water like no other. “The bigger the chop the better,” he says.
The Protector has a distinctive hypalon collar around the sides, enabling the boat to do what it was designed to do—handle rough water at high speeds. The boats, built of hand-laid fiberglass, are extremely strong. The shock-absorbent and distinctive collar that rings the Protector is fully integrated; the boat is actually molded around it. Peterson says he likes to pull up alongside other powerboats and then show them what the Protector can do. It looks like AC racers are not the only ones to engage in a little competition.
The Targa 30, built in New Zealand like all Protectors, has many more features than its predecessor, the 28: extended living space below, wider bunks, increased space at the helm to accommodate shock-mitigating captain’s and companion chairs, larger aft deck, a larger transom engine well for today’s heavier outboards and quicker top-end speed. Build time to delivery is about four months.
Since 2000, Protector USA has handled sales and service, functioning as an extension of the manufacturer on the US market and, from the looks of it, has been very successful.
As Peterson cruised us around the bay to show us the America’s Cup course, we poked around the San Francisco waterfront and then zoomed under the Golden Gate Bridge to experience the wave and current action. Then we cruised out to Sausalito and Belvedere. And low and behold, in davits in front of a half a dozen of the finest waterfront homes there were several Protectors hanging at the ready. The Protector is guaranteed to protect against the elements and provides a fun way to get around the bay. Join the club.
For more info, visit protectorboats.com.