Top Yacht Design magazine recounted 15 significant mega-tenders (or day cruisers) of the moment, outlining the evolution of this type of boat. We discover in 3 different episodes the world of mega-tenders and how it works. After the first episode, here’s the second!
The movement was kickstarted quite by chance in the late 1980s when Gianni Agnelli brought the chase boat used by the Australian Kookaburra III team at the end of the 1987 International 12 Metre Class World Championships in Porto Cervo. He did so because, as Luca Bassani recalls in his piece on page 146, he required a larger tender to transport his friends and guests. The rest, as they say, is history. Bassani himself did plenty to write that history with the iconic Wallytender a few years later. It has proved an extraordinary success because it was such an intuitive riposte to a needs experienced by a growing number of sailing and motor superyacht owners.
Today there is an astonishing array of options designed to meet the many demands of the market. One of the most interesting of the new arrivals on the scene is the Bluegame yard, which is now part of the Sanlorenzo stable, and has hit the headlines with the BG 42 and the BG 62.
An evolution of the Cabin version, the Air with Central Control is an elegantly stylish 8.6-metre with plenty of megatender appeal.
Fourteen metres of Mercedes Benz cl.ass and spirt make this one of the coolest mega tenders on the market.
The queen of the dayboats, this 10-metre is a stylistic and historic evolution of the iconic Aquarama and the most covetable tender around. Left the Iseo entering j’ade.
This Pininfarina-penned 10.89-metre performance sport yacht has the Princess Active Foils System for a blistering 50-knot top speed.
Built by Maxi Dolphin and designed by Nauta, the Tender 48 is a fast motor craft designed either as a support boat for a sailing superyacht or a comfortable high-performance cruiser. Stretching 14.62 metres in length with a beam of 4.38, the Tender 48 is powered by twin Rolls Royce Kameva water jets coupled with a pair of 600 hp Cummins engines. The results is a 38-knot top speed. The exteriors have a patrol boat-inspired aesthetic although clothed in elegant lines and exuding a sense of authority that implies serious sea-keeping abilities. This is particularly true of the forward- raked windshield and the all-round fenders. The cockpit is designed for use both at anchor and underway. It has two large sun pads aft that extend into two symmetrical seating areas with occasional tables under the hard top also. This area is open to the modern, functional steering position which has forward-raked windows for improved visibility. In the interior there is a master cabin, a guest/crew cabin and a galley. The décor is simple but chic with original resin-laminated linen used for the soles, ceilings, and galley and bathroom tops. A design quirk borrowed from the interiors of the Tender 48’s mother ship.
Both models channel the philosophy on which the brand built its reputation and which was epitomised by the 2002 55’ Luja which was later flanked by a 47’ and a 45’. “We started from the designs we had previously developed for a 40’ and a 60’,” Luca Santella told us. The architect and former Olympic sailor is the driving force behind the yard and the inventor of what might be described as a sport utility boat. “We decided to bring in some updates. The most significant is a full-beam hydraulic stern platform. With input from Studio Zuccon, we also modified both the design and structure of the hard top and the forward-raked windshield.” The design’s strong point is its incredible sea-keeping abilities.
The hull has the look of a fisherman crafted to tackle all kinds of seas in complete confidence and safety. And how could it be otherwise given that the waterlines come from the pen of naval architect Louis T. Codega? “We have already delivered one vessel to an owner who has a 52-metre,” says Santella, “plus we are in negotiations with others. The key factor is that these boats can undertake long voyages completely self-sufficiently and follow the larger mother vessel. Both their fuel efficiency and performance levels have been boosted by the use of IPS also. If needs be, several crew can be accommodated aboard and yet the craft can still double as a tender.”
But Bluegame is far from alone in designing production models that are winning fans far and wide as chase boats for superyachts. The Dutch are positively excelling in the genre. Vanquish Yachts is a good example. Founded only in 2012, it has become a support boat go-to in the space of a few short years, thanks to a range that now spans 16’ to 90’ open models clothed in innovative lines. Another hot player is Wajer – the quality of the design of its models appeals greatly to megayacht owners.