Whether you own a 36-foot Chris-Craft or a 160-foot Christensen, a reliable tender is essential for enjoying your time on the water. From ferrying you and your guests to shore, to provisioning or simply allowing you to explore waterways that your primary vessel can’t, tenders serve myriad purposes and according to one industry insider, the demand for them is as high as ever.
“In general, the industry has been seeing increased yacht sales, and tender sales are rising right along with it,” says Chris Rimmer, president of Williams Tenders USA, the American sales arm of the UK-based, custom tender manufacturer. “We’ve been finding that when people buy a new yacht they don’t want to drag their old tender aboard, they usually want something new to go with it.”
And it’s not just old-school hypalon inflatables these owners are after. Rimmer explains that as yacht styling becomes flashier, so does the demand for tenders that can match up to the big boats. “Yacht builders are offering today’s owners more custom hull colors and upholstery options. They’re not just white and blue any more and customers want to have a tender that matches their yacht.”
Rimmer has also seen a shift in demand from traditional gas-powered outboards to diesel-powered drives. “These [diesel tenders] are definitely something we expect will continue to become more popular in 2015. If owners can avoid having to carry extra gasoline aboard, why wouldn’t they?”
Another trend Rimmer expects to continue post-Miami boat show is for space-conscious tenders to rise in demand. “People want to fit the largest craft possible on their vessels.” The jet drives offered by Williams Jet Tenders certainly help accomplish that but there are other space-saving options out there too. Palm Beach Tenders, in partnership with Princess Yachts, has been finding success with its outboards that fold up (and into) the body of the tender.
So whether you’re purchasing a new yacht at the show, or are looking to step up your tender game, keep these trends in mind and you’ll be way ahead of the pack.
This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.