Flight of the Falcon
Frances and Michael Howorth go head-to-head with Mark Pascoe
It is hard, some might suggest impossible, not to mention the name Mark Pascoe when discussing innovative electric superyacht tenders. Indeed, the name Pascoe still headlines the brand image of a superyacht tender builder even though he no longer works for, or has any connection with, the company that now bears his surname. Yet it remains a fact that Pascoe, together with designer Ken Freivokh and the Maltese Falcon project forever changed the way we think of superyacht tenders today. Even more confusingly it was those tenders that perhaps spawned the use of the name of the superyacht tender building company that Mark Pascoe now heads up as Managing Director. He calls it, Falcon Tenders. We met up with the master builder and went head-to-head for this On Board exclusive interview.
OB: Why did you set up Falcon Tenders?
Mark Pascoe: I have always been driven by new fresh ideas and concepts, keeping a keen eye on maintaining the highest quality of engineering and electrical systems and leveraging skills learnt during my Class 1 offshore powerboat racing career. I am ready to push boundaries and want to offer something totally exclusive to the yacht owner and I feel that Falcon Tenders can do just that.
OB: What is it that you build now?
Mark Pascoe: Falcon Tenders specialises in building fully custom yacht tenders for the discerning yacht owner. Hand-built by a team of skilled British craftspeople from a dedicated Hampshire facility, each tender benefits from hybrid electric propulsion and the highest level of finish.
OB: Who designs your tenders?
Mark Pascoe: We have attracted some of the world’s top design studios to join us on this exciting journey, To meet the growing demand for sustainable, design-forward tenders, Falcon Tenders collaborates with some of the top names in superyacht design, including Tim Heywood, David Weiss of Designova and Michael Leach Design and to help achieve our goal to deliver the finest bespoke tenders to owners and their crews ranging from 5 metres up to 18.
OB: How did these superyacht design collaborations come about?
Mark Pascoe: Over the course of my 20-year career building some of the best superyacht tenders in the business, I have come to know and work with a large pool of top designers and stylists who we now welcome to join us on the Falcon journey. Working together with these extraordinary people we can satisfy the wildest dreams of any existing, new, or future yacht owner. Our styling and attention to detail is second to none delivering beauty along with performance and the smoothest possible, quiet, dry ride. As a very experienced builder I work closely with designers and stylists to ensure the wildest ideas remain practical and can be manufactured to the highest quality, on time and within budget.
OB: How is Falcon Tenders different from other tender builders?
Mark Pascoe: Here at Falcon Tenders, we are in the fortunate position to be able to collaborate with any design house or superyacht builder and are not tied to anyone, unlike some other tender manufacturers.
OB: What changes are you seeing in tender design?
Mark Pascoe: The yachts that are currently in build are becoming larger, increasing in volume, and are often further away from the shore. As a result, we are seeing a trend for larger tenders, and the tender itself becoming more important. For this reason, we focus on reliability and ease of service and maintenance in the field.
OB: What changes are you seeing in tender technology?
Mark Pascoe: We are also seeing an increase in demand for hybrid and fully electric technology. As a small fully custom builder we can easily diversify and include the latest in hybrid and electric propulsion as the technology advances; we are even able to offer retrofit systems to existing tenders.
OB: Is there a place for Hydrogen as a fuel for tenders?
Mark Pascoe: In addition, we are investigating Hydrogen powered options to marry Hydrogen fuelled yachts into our range of offerings. The hybrid technology we have chosen for this project maintains quiet, smooth, zero emission transitions throughout the port and inshore waters seamlessly changing to combustion power in open waters and automatically back to electric drive when coming off plane and arriving at the yacht.
OB: What are the advantages of a hybrid system?
Mark Pascoe: The system can also be isolated to use electric power only for inland waterways such as lakes or the canals around Venice for example.
OB: How sustainable is the superyacht tender business?
Mark Pascoe: Sustainability is at the core of the Falcon Tenders brand appealing to the younger generation of yacht owners today and relevant to the owners of tomorrow. We manufacture our main structures and small component mouldings using plant-based epoxy resin coming from the latest innovations in bio-based chemistry.
OB: Which Falcon tender models will be debuting at the 2023 Monaco Yacht Show?
Mark Pascoe: Falcon tenders will be exhibiting an all new “In-House” design of 9.7m fully closed limousine tender at this year’s MYS, currently in build at the facility in Southampton for final delivery to the client early in 2024. Future tenders will be sleeker, wilder, more sustainable, and ever more ground-breaking with design and technology boundaries being crossed; the only limit is our imagination.