Cut to the Chase


There cannot be many superyacht Captains who have not, at some time in their careers, wished they had a bigger tender or a chase boat. Those who never have, are perhaps in the enviable position of already having one, or are those who have set their sights somewhat higher, lusting after a shadow boat which is the same thing only larger and therefore ever more capacious.Increasing chase boats are being purchased by yachts suffering space restrictions on board either on deck or inside the garage. Chase boats are vessels that do not live on the main yacht. They often have a
dedicated crew of their own and can be towed, driven separately or berthed in a convenient location. They can be highly customised and luxuriously equipped with accommodation, dining, TV and AV. Josh Richardson of Superyacht Tenders and Toys says, “There is a vast array of choices available with both production models and custom build options on the market. Superyacht Tenders and Toys is able to assist with any enquiry having experience working on custom chase projects up to 22m.”

Before jumping to the conclusion that any chase boat will do the job, it’s important to choose the right vessel and take into account how you intend to transport it. Depending on the type and size of the mothership, it is often possible to tow a large tender for a day’s passage in fair weather, however, this is only an option if the tender has the right bow fittings and is fundamentally of the right design to be successfully towed.

Simon Billington is the Managing Director of Tendacentre, a specialist supplier of superyacht tenders and chase boats. He works with a wide range of manufacturers to develop new products and improve existing ones, ensuring that the needs of his customers are catered for. He says, “In order to avoid potential issues it is of great advantage if the chase boat has the range and sea keeping ability to follow
under its own power when required. If it has accommodation, a crew member can even take it ahead to the next port to ensure that berthing arrangements are in place
or wait behind to collect a late arriving guest or essential parts and provisions, even if this involves an overnight stay.”

Chase boats are generally between 9 and 15m long, with those at the smaller end being simply a larger version of the typical RIB’s that are already carried on board most yachts. The sea-keeping abilities of a good 9m RIB are significantly better than those of a 6 or 7m equivalent, so although a tender of this size would not normally provide a cabin, guests enjoy a softer and dryer ride in choppy conditions and longer distances can be covered safely.

Chase boats are usually required to be quick, comfortable and multifunctional, they perform in a multitude of rolls and therefore need to be adaptable. They are increasingly used as a getaway for guests to hang out for the day at the beach, so the ability to perform a beach landing is considered a great feature, this has opened up the market to large catamarans which are ideal for the role with large deck space for loading of toys and even entertaining guests with large TVs, fully stocked bars and lounging areas.

Josh Richardson says the features that are most requested on chase tenders are “Maximum seating, shelter for guests, often with air-conditioned interior spaces and toilet facilities, depending on size, a berth for crew. Specific custom features include bike racks, Seabob storage, high end sound systems, retractable sound decks and speakers.” When it comes to diversity chase boats it seems have it all.