Frequently Asked Questions
The most important consideration is making sure that the Tender is large enough to carry the required number of people ashore. Also if the Owner would also like to water ski it is recommended that an Outboard of 50 HP or a 90 HP Jet be used. However the space available to stow the Tender and the all up weight (including the weight of the engine the fuel and the accessories ) need to be calculated accurately . This is important in order for the correct capacity Davit to be installed. If the Tender is being installed on a hydraulic or fixed platform the Owner must ensure that the builders recommended capacity of the platform is not exceeded.
When the Tender is mounted on deck the positioning of the tender is normally predicated by the space that is available . If there are choices a clear view of the Tender being lowered and recovered from the water is the most advantageous.
Typically a RIB or Rigid Inflatable Boat is best suited because the inflatable tube acts as a fender and reduces damaging the hull of the Yacht to a minimum. However, in recent years hard hulled luxury tenders with foam filled protective collars have been increasingly popular. Normally, Hard Hulled Tenders tend to be heavier and the ride is typically not as smooth but they require less maintenance.
When choosing an Outboard Powered tender for installation in a garage on a Sport Cruiser additional care needs to be taken regarding the height and overall length in order for the Tender to fit and the stern door close correctly. When an Outboard Powered Tender is stowed in a garage on a large Yacht this is less of a problem. A Personal Watercraft has the advantage of a low profile less overall length and exhilarating performance providing an exciting driving experience.
If there is insufficient room on board or because of weight issues the alternative is to tow the Tender. This is providing the Tender has special towing eyes installed. This option has become more common place with Owners of large Yachts towing Outboard Powered Boats in the 25 – 30 ft range on extended passages.
The best place to stow the Tender is normally predicated by the layout of the Yacht. However, on Large Motor Yachts (150 ft and above), it is preferable to launch and recover from the stern rather than the bow. In some instances (such as a Helipad), the Yacht layout doesn't allow for the stern to be an option.
There are several options available for launching the Tender. The most popular is by Davit for larger Tenders or by a Hydraulic Swim Platform for smaller Tenders and Jet Skis. When a Hydraulic Swim Platform is lowered into the water this enables the Tender / Jet Ski to float off the platform.
In all cases the tender must be affixed to the deck or swim platform by tie downs and chocks when the Yacht is underway. When the Tender is stowed in a “Garage” the Tender must be tied down on a cradle system which totally supports the keel of the Tender. In the event of the Yacht having a fixed swim platform (rather than hydraulic platform), special side launch and recovery systems are available to the Owner.
The best way to determine which Tender is the biggest that you can install is by taking the overall beam ( width ), the height which in the case of an outboard boat is from the keel to the top of the Outboard with the Outboard tilted to approx. 2” below the keel. The overall length is determined by the distance from the bow to the skeg ( propeller ) of the Outboard with the Outboard 2” beneath the keel. In the case of a Jet Powered Rib or Jet Ski the beam height of the console and the overall length of the unit are the required dimensions. The Jet pump does not normally extend beyond the stern of the Tender or Jet Ski.
It has been generally accepted by Rescue Organizations World Wide that a RIB - Rigid Inflatable Boat is the safest type of Tender
The key considerations are location, after sales service, knowledge of the installation of the Tender in question and reputation. Also knowledge of the weight of the Tender being considered which includes the weight of the engine fuel and accessories. The suitability of the Tender pricing and the warranty coverage.