Koenig’s First Take:
These boats are about as space-age as it gets in the world of high-end tenders, and nowadays that’s saying something. I’d bet that über-light displacement and outsized power package have this boat skipping across the water like a flat stone—in the best of ways.
For most tenders, it’s hard to stand out. They’re usually just run-of-the-mill RIBs hidden inside the garage or strapped onto the swim platform, notable for their practicality but not much else. Not so with this 180 built by Tampa-based Carbon Craft. For one thing, somewhat obviously, they’re built using loads of carbon fiber, with all the distinctive, black-thatch accents that let everybody know what you’re sitting on. So the aesthetics are there for certain. But so are the performance attributes. And that’s because the carbon fiber, while otherworldly strong, is also light—the 180 displaces just 2,800 pounds. And that helps get the most out of the powerful 295-horsepower FNM diesel matched to an Alamarin jet. Carbon Craft reports that sea trials have consistently shown speeds cresting the magic 40-knot mark, with crisp, responsive steering and a smooth ride. All of which means this boat must be a hell of a lot of fun to wheel around. I imagine she’s got to feel more like a PWC than a boat, despite her 18-foot 6-inch LOA. This dinghy should make buzzing back and forth between the beach and the big boat one of the best parts of your entire cruise. And isn’t that the point? Sure a tender’s got to be capable, but it certainly helps if she’s a lot of fun too.
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- Builder: Carbon Craft
- Model: Carbon Craft 180
- Year: 2015
- LOA: 18'6"
- Draft: 1'1"
- Beam: 6'9"
- Displacement: 2,800 LB.
- Fuel Capacity: 24 GAL.
- Water Capacity: 7 GAL.
- Standard Power: 1/295-HP FNM HPE Diesel W/ Alamarin Jet Drive
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.