The number of yacht owners and size of yachts is growing year after year. This is apparent when traveling along the coastal waters of the United States. Today, marinas are lined with yachts in a multitude of lengths. However, yacht ownership is complex, considering all of the moving parts and the number of crew required for operation and maintenance. Take it from me: I worked an eight year career aboard a fleet of yachts with a private corporation. One constant is the necessity of a yacht tender. Yacht tenders, without question, serve multiple rolls. Understand the importance of a mega yacht tender. 

What Is A Yacht Tender

Without question, a yacht tender wears many hats. Additionally, tenders come in different sizes and forms of construction. 

Yacht Tender Construction Variations

During my time working aboard yachts, I primarily dealt with Nautica Tenders. Nauticas are constructed with fiberglass hulls and inflatable sides. Thus, they are deemed RIB, which stands for Rigid Inflatable Boat. 

However, never assume that all tenders incorporate inflatable components. Instead, other tenders are constructed solely of fiberglass. 

Yacht Tender Deck Layouts

It is essential to understand that the primary function of tenders is to transport people. For this reason, they are designed to allow for accessible entrance and exit. 

Furthermore, tenders are constructed with comfort in mind. Again, this relates directly to transporting people, most importantly safely but secondly comfortably. 

For this reason, ample seating is available both forward of the console and aft. During changing weather conditions, passengers have the option to move in the event of water spray or high winds. 

Yacht Tender Performance

Performance is critical when it comes to tenders. A tender will operate in almost all weather conditions as a result of a necessity. For this reason, the boat must be capable of withstanding big seas. I have run a 24 foot Nautica RIB in less than ideal conditions countless times. Vessels designed specifically as tenders perform well even under the most challenging marine conditions. 

What Functions Do Yacht Tenders Serve

First, understand that the functionality of a tender goes beyond what is noted below. The possibilities are nearly endless with how a tender assists with yacht operations. 

Shuttling Passengers

Again, as mentioned above, the primary purpose of a tender is to move passengers. Remember, yacht tenders are most frequently used when they are out at anchor as compared to dockside. 

For the most part, the tender picks up passengers and luggage and transports them to the boat and vice versa. 

Additionally, tenders are fundamental when it comes to entertainment. There are ample waterfront restaurants, remote beaches, and picturesque shorelines. The tender allows passengers to explore these unique sites. 

Snorkeling And Dive Trips

Without a doubt, guests aboard yachts have the opportunity to explore life beneath the surface of the water. 

For this reason, a mega yacht tender is perfect for heading out to reefs and wrecks. The tender serves not only as the transport vessel but also as the watch boat with guests in the water. 

Grocery Getter

Yachts don’t have the option to pull up alongside a grocery when it’s time to re-provision. I have made many trips to the grocery store aboard a tender when the time came to restock on vegetables, meats, and drinks. 

Mega yacht tenders ferry the chef and crew members to marinas with grocery stores or markets within close proximity. Most often, coolers are loaded onto the tender to serve the purpose of keeping the food cold during transport.

Crew Adventures

I’ll admit I used a tender for many adventures as a crew member aboard yachts. Without question, when the crew has a night or two without guests, the party starts. 

Comparably, instead of the tender shuttling guests, the tender shuttles crew to and from bars. No doubt about it, the crew needs a break, especially when they are away from home for extended periods of time. 

In addition to getting a break and heading shoreside, tenders are perfect for crew spearfishing or rod and reel fishing adventures. The crew has the opportunity to get out and catch fish. On many occasions, the fresh catch becomes the crew’s dinner. 

A Mega Yacht Tender Serves A Multitude Of Functions 

One of the most highly valuable components of yacht ownership is a tender. The tender is the workhorse of the fleet. I know firsthand because of my experiences as a crew member aboard yachts. Without a tender, the opportunities for guests and crew to explore would be limited. Additionally, the yacht would be required to go dockside with incoming and outgoing guests.