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For the yachting professional on the Mediterranean
Viewing posts from: November 2000

A Bridge Too Far

Article by Frances and Michael Howorth


Safety and security when navigating the oceans is the main priority for all yachts. Michael Howorth looks at the intuitive integrated bridge systems and navigation software on offer from the leaders in the maritime field

I remember only too well, the time from my past when, as the Navigating Officer sailing aboard the P&O liner Oriana on a voyage to Australia, we, the bridge team, adopted the somewhat pompous practice of answering the engine room telephone by saying “Good Morning this is the Nerve Centre”. The practice only stopped when the engineers began telephoning asking to talk with


the chief nerve. Jesting aside, the bridge of any ship or superyacht is almost always; command central. It is from here when at sea, at anchor and even at times when the yacht is alongside, that the principle decisions regarding the yachts course and safety are decided and enacted upon. When it comes to paraphernalia there are often areas on board such as the engine room or control room that are better fitted out with more expensive control equipment. When it comes to décor then almost certainly the master stateroom will knock the bridge into a cocked hat but the fact remains: it is always the bridge that lies at the very centre of superyacht operation.

In a book, co written by Frances Howorth entitled, ‘Bridge Procedures A Guide for Watch Keepers of Large Yachts under Sail and Power’ written specifically for those working on yachts in excess of 24 metres we said of the bridge: “Safe navigation is the most fundamental attribute of good seamanship. An increasingly sophisticated range of navigational aids can today complement the basic skills of navigating officers, which have accumulated over the centuries. Sophistication, however, brings its own dangers and a need for precautionary measures against undue reliance on technology. Experience shows that properly formulated bridge procedures and the development of bridge teamwork are critical to maintaining a safe navigational watch.” As navigation and routing becomes more electronically generated that is becoming more and more important.

Generally speaking, the commercial shipping companies are extremely cost conscious, looking to maximise every possible efficiency to keep costs as low as possible. In terms of electronic navigation, cells are purchased on a route-by-route basis, with very little cross-track buffer. This will keep the costs down, but it does of course have an impact on the amount of detail for things like emergency ports of refuge. Yachts on the other hand, have traditionally been more liberal with their ENC consumption to cover off the unexpected change of itinerary. Rather than purchasing week-by¬week, yachts will look at a much wider area for a longer period to be safe.

As an independent supplier of navigation solutions, OneOcean can trace back company activity back to the days of Nelson. Clearly in those times there was no such thing as electronic navigation and indeed the bridge as we know it today did not even exist but it does give the company a fairly unique view on both the world of commercial shipping and superyachts. While the equipment being used on both types of vessels is very similar, the bridge procedures can greatly differ. Former yacht crewmember, Chris Warde, is now the company’s Head of Superyachts and has been in that position since January 2018. Before that he worked for Sunseeker International as a Superyacht Technical Sales Manager. With that sort of background he is clearly qualified to comment on navigation and compliance solutions.

He says, “With the introduction of our OneOcean Pay As You Sail (PAYS) scheme the superyacht community has quickly embraced the concept making it a commercial success, but on the commercial shipping side growth of this sector has been somewhat slower. With PAYS yacht crew have access to the world (with the exception of 5 areas) and only get charged for the cells they sail through. So a yacht can be sat at anchor of the coast of France and start planning route across the other side of the world. They save time and money by being able to keep entire areas up to date, without having to purchase the individual cells.”

There is a tracking fee and planning fee for PAYS, but the cost the yachts save on the ENC consumption far outweighs this up-front subscription. In shipping however, where their ENC consumption is already kept to a bare minimum, the perceived benefits of having more access to ENC data is not deemed a high enough value for the additional tracking and planning fees. Warde says, “Interestingly we see a more widespread adoption of full paperless navigation in the commercial shipping sector. You would expect with all the perceived money in yachting, that superyachts would be leading the way with technology. It’s true that as individual vessels, the new larger superyachts tend to have the most advanced technology and equipment, pushing the boundaries of integration, but there is also a large fleet of smaller (sub 500gst) yachts and older yachts that don’t have the technical infrastructure to run paperless and therefore continue to run with paper as the primary source of navigation. While paper navigation is quickly becoming something of the past in shipping, there is still a sector of yachting that continues to use paper and this is unlikely to change in the near future.”

Team Italia
Team Italia
Charity & Taylor
Charity & Taylor


Probably the biggest difference between ships and yachts can also be drawn within yachting itself as the difference between privately registered yachts and commercially registered yachts. As a commercial
vessel you are more exposed to Port State inspections and have much tighter regulatory restrictions from flag meaning, in theory, you have no choice but to carry the required material, be completely up to date and have comprehensive passage planning detailed and recorded. Privately registered yachts are recommended to carry the same as a commercial vessel, but are not required to do so.

As private vessels are not subject to the same level of Port State inspections, there are plenty of yachts out there that are doing the bare minimum. Private yachts (especially those under 500gt) are yet another reason why paper charts are holding on in yachting. In theory paper charts are the primary source of navigation and ECS should only be an aid. It is common practice, however, to find all the route planning and navigation reference is actually being done on the ECS using unofficial charts while paper charts stay stored away pristinely in the chart drawer.

“There are of course exceptions to the rule, not all private yachts cut corners,” Says Warde. He adds, “Generally, the professionalism of yachting is improving all the time. We are seeing more and more crew wanting to run their bridge procedures correctly and there is more recognition of the importance of having up to date information and proper passage planning in place.”
“The one commonality between commercial shipping and yachting is probably the biggest factor driving innovation and new solutions and that is time. Neither have it in an abundance. For yachting it has meant that, for many, proper passage planning was seen as a luxury they’re not able to comply to. More often than not, they rely on past experience, having been to many of the places before. As new solutions are developed, we can optimise the time spent creating a route and building a comprehensive plan meaning that even on smaller yachts with fewer crew or busy charter yachts where bridge crew are also extremely busy on deck have the ability to follow the correct procedures.”

In general, OneOcean can see a trend of superyacht crew getting better. As more yachts get built above 3,000gst, more professionals holding ‘unlimited’ certificates are being introduced to the industry and that is having a positive effect. But we are a long way off the day when companies no longer have to explain the difference between an official chart and an unofficial chart or explaining what the AIO layer is for.
“Solutions are constantly improving,” says Warde, “This enables yachts to plan better and have more reliable, up to date information available to them, but until we see tighter regulatory control for privately registered vessels there will still be those out there that sail dangerously close to the wind.”

Massimo Minnella, is the CEO and sales manager at Team Italia a company specialising in the integration and functional optimisation of navigation, telecommunications, security and data transmission equipment based
in Viareggio with offices throughout Italy. Together with his financial partner, Daniele Ceccanti, the company CTO, Massimo founded Team Italia 20 years ago.

With experience of commercial ships before he entered the world of superyachts Massimi is in no doubt that the superyacht bridge can be vastly superior to those found on commercial ships. The company designs, engineers and produces custom bridge solutions. Its I-Bridge solutions have been installed on more than 250 new buildings since 2000 on superyachts ranging from 30 to over 100 metres. Because each I-Bridge is a customised solution each has specific features that respond to the requests of ship owners and captains. A good example of this can be seen on board the recently launched Sanlorenzo motor yacht Attila, where transparent head-up display system has harmoniously been permitted to overlay the company’s exclusive electronic chart table system they call I Chart.

As more yachts get built above 3,000gst, more professionals holding ‘unlimited’ certificates
are being introduced to the industry and that has a positive effect

In the Heads-Up Display mode, navigation data is available on the transparent display, allowing the Captain to easily check all information needed and still keep fully focused on steering the yacht. The transparent display allows him to overlay and display this with navigational data - such as route, waypoint, AIS and ARPA targets.

Barry Murfin is the General Manager at Charity & Taylor (Electronic Services) Ltd who have this year become a member of the Aage Hempel Group one of the largest marine electronic groups in Europe. Seven years into the job and with a history of working as a Marine Electronics Project Engineer, his company provides access to an expanded range of products, services and technical resource, and local engineering support in the Mediterranean. All this ensures bridge equipment can be supplied, installed and maintained in a cost efficient manner to both yachting and commercial ship clients. Murfin concedes however that there is a difference between the two, saying, “Superyachts of over 300gt will invariably share the same bridge equipment as their larger commercial counterparts, this ensures the necessary performance and reliability requirements are met, in keeping with any superyacht aesthetics then become a large factor in the equipment selection process.”

Originally rooted in commercial shipping, German based Boening specialises in the development and manufacture of electronic devices and systems for on board automation. Devices and systems, the majority of which they have developed and manufactured themselves are found on more than 13,000 commercial ships and superyachts. Headquartered in Japan, the Furuno Corporation has a UK division with offices in the south of England and another in Scotland. Bruce Hardy the Sales Director in the UK has designed some of the most advanced ship integrated bridges built in the last few years. Across the pond, and based in Fort Lauderdale, Palladium Technologies has for the last 25 years been creating products that include: SiMON X, a bridge monitoring, control and alarm system, IT Networking, Cyber Security, Intrusion Security, along with complete Electrical designs throughout the yacht.

Communications systems play a vital role in the bridge equipment menu. Senior Vice President of Safety and Security, Yacht and Passenger, at Inmarsat, Peter Broadhurst says, “A commercial ship must comply with SOLAS, so its required equipment is defined by IMO regulations and the flag state. Although a superyacht does not have to comply in this way, most do as they either voluntarily follow the guidelines or register themselves as SOLAS. The regulations define the minimum equipment and most commercial ships will stop at that. A superyacht will add things like cameras, tender tracking monitoring, UHF or PMR radios, etc. Also, a commercial bridge is a place of work, whereas a superyacht bridge is also part of the décor of the vessel with guests and owners visiting it. This means a superyacht bridge may have larger monitors, integrated solutions per monitor, computer-controlled solutions and interfaces - and obviously a more pleasing aesthetic finish which sometimes is more important than the function.”

Applie Marine Automation
Applie Marine Automation
RH Marine
RH Marine


Kongsberg Maritime introduced the world’s first, commercially available ARPA radar back in 1969. Other innovations followed: an autopilot with track-control functionality built into the radar was released in 1975. The company has since been in the forefront of innovation, developing what was called the scan-converter for rotating radar signals and pioneering the use of conventional computer screens rather than the fluorescent PPI in 1990, together with some of the very first available electronic chart systems.

Today Roger Trinterud is the company’s Sales Director, responsible for the cruise, yacht and passenger markets. He has worked with Kongsberg Maritime for 23 years, first as a service engineer on bridge systems, then as a project manager for refit/upgrades on bridge equipment before spending more than 10 years on sales of bridge equipment. He subsequently held the role of Senior Sales Manager, with responsibility for coordinating the yacht market within Kongsberg, for 4 years.

Kongsberg Maritime has over the years focused on all kinds of electronic control for ships and offshore installations since its beginning in the late 1960s. These include automation, power/energy management, safety management and control systems, bridge systems including navigation, joystick/ dynamic positioning and remote control of any propulsion/rudder/thruster setup, as well as integration between these control systems.

More recently, Kongsberg has become heavily involved in digitalisation, condition monitoring, remote diagnostics and service and autonomous vessels. Last year, Kongsberg also acquired the maritime division of Rolls Royce, enhancing their portfolio with propulsors (propellers, thrusters, waterjets), rudders, stabilisers, deck machinery and more, making the company a supplier with possibly the widest offering to any vessel type. Today Kongsberg also manufacture its own GNSS solutions for position, heading and speed measurements, AIS and ring laser gyro systems.

Superyachts of over 300gt will invariably share the same bridge equipment as their larger commercial
counterparts, this ensures the necessary performance and reliability requirements are met

More recently, Kongsberg has become heavily involved in digitalisation, condition monitoring, remote diagnostics and service and autonomous vessels. Last year, Kongsberg also acquired the maritime division of Rolls Royce, enhancing their portfolio with propulsors (propellers, thrusters, waterjets), rudders, stabilisers, deck machinery and more, making the company a supplier with possibly the widest offering to any vessel type. Today Kongsberg also manufacture its own GNSS solutions for position, heading and speed measurements, AIS and ring laser gyro systems.

In Trinterud’s opinion, bridge equipment has not changed much as one might think over the last five years. He says, “There is still a big focus on individual pieces of equipment and their functions, rather than on the performance of a bridge system. I would hope that carriage requirements, focusing on counting pieces, would be replaced by functional and redundancy/ backup requirements in the future.”

“On yachts in particular, we are seeing an increase in interest for dynamic positioning systems, as this can increase safety and or comfort of some operations. Solid state radars have been introduced. I still do not see the added cost being justified by improved performance, but I think that will change over the next years. This will also improve performance and degradation of radar systems, as well as simplifying service. The most important change may be happening now, with more and more equipment brands enabling possibilities for remote diagnostic functions.”

Portfolio Manager of the Integrated Bridge Systems at RH Marine is Marcel Vermeulen whose career began as a deck officer in commercial shipping. Having designed automated ship motion solutions within the RH group he began managing his current department about 4 years ago. In the 1990s when RH Marine was known as Imtech the company has witnessed many changes in ridge design having delivered to the market one of the very first electronic chart systems. They followed this with the delivery of the first complete PC based integrated navigation bridge just as the century clicked over from 19 to 20. Of the changes in recent years Vermeulen believes the new ECDIS standard and the introduction of Bridge Alert Management has had the most impact on the wider acceptance of integrated operator panels. “Besides functionality,” he says, “Aesthetics of the bridge has gained importance, and this has been supported by technological options to automate more and use smaller components.”

Chris Warde at OneOcean says, “A huge amount has changed.” He adds, “Not just in the technology, but in the application. Integrated services have led to a much better situational awareness and quicker access to information has improved navigation preparation and safety management.”

“Developments to bridge equipment in the last five years have been heavily focused on simplifying the user interface and reducing maintenance requirements says Barry Murfin at Charity & Taylor. He concludes, “Thus easing the burden on crew for training and maintenance co¬ordination.”

Simrad, a company with a 60 year history in the business has been developing multifunctional displays (MFDs) for many years. Gianluca Babini heads up the Mega Yacht Engineering Department at Simrad. He started to work for NAVIOP, now part of Simrad, 15 years ago and has worked in a variety of different roles within the company. In that time, he has also witnessed much change. “These displays have evolved in very much the same way as a smartphone has over the same sort of period,” he says. He adds, “Chartplotters, Echo-sounders and radars are all now an application that launch inside the MFD as soon as it is switched on in much the same way as your mobile telephone becomes a camera and a calculator inside your pocket.” Babini continues, “The acquisition of NAVIOP by Simrad in 2017 has enabled us to enhance our offering and most importantly develop fully integrated marine-electronics systems that enhance the yachting experience. With Simrad Command we can now offer unique solutions for navigation control. Multifunctional display solutions that not only offer navigation functions but also monitor and control all of the boat’s key processes and systems. From the design-phase to our close collaboration with engine manufacturers and our technical know-how, makes Simrad Command one of the few platforms that can provide this level of integrated solutions.”


Gazing into the crystal ball trying to predict what is next in the way of major equipment to become available to superyachts can be difficult. But Roger Trinterud at Konesberg is prepared to stick his head out and suggest it might be Situational Awareness Systems. He says, “Today the bridge is a cluttered mess of screens and instruments displaying information in an unstructured way. There is a mix of raw information from sensors and processed data supplied through computer systems that can be complementary but in fact often overlaps with redundant information. This can sometimes be comforting but at other times confusing. Trinterud thinks, “We will soon see information structured as layers on top of each other on the same screen -instead of adjacent - combining video, radar signals, electronic charts with all sensor data. This way it will be easier to detect faults and inconsistencies, and at the same time give the navigator a better understanding at a glance, and more time to look out the windows, in the right direction.”

“The integration of joystick and dynamic positioning systems in the navigation suite are giving us the possibility to develop new, advanced manoeuvring functions, that will also ease operations. Warming to his theme, Trinterud also suggests, “These include all-speed autopilots that work from station keeping to transit speed, automatic docking and automatic collision avoidance systems.”

There has been a large amount of positive feedback on the ease of operation
which Joystick and Dynamic Positioning offers the bridge crew

At RH Marine whose speciality is to deliver tailored integrated solutions system they are designing and building bridge automation and power solutions in-house. Looking into the future Marcel Vermeulen thinks, “We will see more of the larger size monitors. Some will be integrated into the chart table recalling the size and familiarity of the good old paper chart experience, like with our Voyage Planning Station. He believes, “More equipment will become available with network interfaces to support a higher level of integration, again helping to minimise the required volume for bridge equipment and allowing smarter bridge design.”

Team Italia are looking to the future in a partnership with Rolls Royce, to create what will become the MTU SmartBridge. “This project,” says Massimo Minnella “opens up to the integration of the propulsion thus integrating all the systems onto a single platform and obtaining the digitalisation of the entire boat.” He adds, “Everything, except for the throttle control which will always remain physical, will be based on touch screen technology.”

At OneOcean, Chris Warde’s crystal ball suggests, “The availability of electronic record keeping is going to become more important in the future. The IMO are due to recognise electronic record keeping as an official form of record keeping in October 2020 and Marpol logbooks alone, will provide a huge amount of data that can be used to analyse vessel performance, without the need for costly remote monitoring of engineering.”

“My prediction,” says Barry Murfin at Charity & Taylor, “is that augmented reality will become a big contributor to the superyacht sector as an aid to navigation, crew training and remote support.”

Gianluca Babini at Simrad shares the belief that augmented reality will become. He says, “When sailing, it would be good to know at a glance what you are approaching getting data from the AIS and seeing it projected on the windscreen so as to see navigation data, route, speed, size all in one place. Never one to have just one idea, Babini has a second prediction, “But I cannot tell you when it will be in the marketplace.”

He tells us. “I think automatic mooring is a real need, I have to say that it is much more important for non professional crew, but it can be very helpful in many cases where professional crews can use such sophistication. I think that already many companies are investing in this field but they all have a long way to go before they reach the goal of getting to the market at affordable price.”


But if that is the future, what about the present? What piece of bridge equipment do the experts consider to be the most important? “Still the radar and the gyro,” say our man at Konesberg.
Barry Murfin at Charity & Taylor belives that no one single piece of equipment is any more important than the other. He says, “A complete properly installed and integrated bridge can be an asset but only in the hands of a competent watchkeeping officer who can use to these aids.”

More prosaically, “It is probably a part that you cannot actually see,” says Marcel Vermeulen at RH Marine. “To maintain a reliable and flexible navigation network infrastructure on the modern bridge you require a lot of information to be shared between applications and equipment. This needs to be managed well in the background to optimise the availability and the user experience and that’s generally done by processors housed in little black boxes located under the bridge console.”

“Considering that much of navigation equipment on board is there because its carriage is mandatory,” says Massimo Minnella, “I would suggest the most important piece inside our I-Bridge solution is the one that adds the most added value and in our case that would be the console in the touch screen control panel responsible for the total integration of the entire equipment package.”

Adopting the procedure for announcing the results of the Miss World competition, or the Euro song scoring, Gianluca Babini lists his top seven in reverse order. They are: Forward Facing Sounder, Auto Pilot, ECDIS, Echo Sounder, VHF and GPS. Most important he says is the radar. “Professional crew working on superyachts,” he says, “Can turn it on at any time, in rain, fog, snow, sunshine and even unlimited visibility! It’s a way to see behind their shoulders staying in the bridge from where you can have a 180° sight.”

But our favourite response to this question is the answer given by Chris Warde at OneOcean. He says it is: “The operator! Technology is great, but if the person using it is not up to scratch it’s irrelevant.” So very true!

Kongsberg Maritime
Kongsberg Maritime


Bridge equipment suppliers do not, of course, work on the bridge of a superyacht and their opinion of what is, and what is not, important can differ from those whose place of work the bridge really is. We asked our panel of experts: “What piece of equipment they thought captains of superyachts might treasure most?”

Dynamic positioning system topped the list with both Roger Trinterud at Konesberg and Marcel Vermeulen at RH Marine. Trinterud said, “Once the captain gets to know it, I think this is the dynamic positioning system. I know many are ‘afraid’ of it, think it is complicated to use and unnecessary, but I’ve heard so many stories from captains that have taken their time to learn it, telling how it saved a situation. Now we are trying to simplify the operation, by integrating it with the navigation system and having it operated through the chart display, hopefully giving the captains more trust in it. This is a part of what we call advanced manoeuvring.”

Marcel Vermeulen said, “Of course each situation calls for its own favourite tool, but we’ve noticed a large amount of positive feedback on the ease of operation which Joystick and Dynamic Positioning offer. The automated assistance in berthing and other complex manoeuvring situations is highly appreciated.”

Almost inevitably Team Italia’s Massimo Minnella cites his own equipment. And why not? He says, “From our experience the captain treasures most our multicontrol system that allows them to use the majority of the systems on board with the same Human Machine Interface.” He adds, “Our exclusive I-Bridge system makes possible the integration and control of the different systems that are now essential on board, from a single piece of equipment, using the latest touchscreen technologies.”

Chris Warde thinks GPS is top of the captains’ most treasured list. He says, “Whether they’re using an ECS/ECIDS or even paper charts, being able to immediately plot your position saves a lot of time and effort.” Sticking to the same theme of time saving kit, Gianluca Babini at Simrad opts for Radar. He says, ”It is not only very good at monitoring situations automatically but it does so at the same time as reducing the workload for all of those working on the bridge.”


As bridge equipment has become more complex, has the maintenance become more difficult we asked our panel of experts: “Are users now better trained in the use and maintenance of the equipment than in the past?”
Barry Murfin at Charity & Taylor believes, “Maintenance has been lessened with the manufacturers developing more versatile and common hardware platforms, along with ‘maintenance free’ hardware. Training for ETOs and Engineers direct from manufacturers has helped bridge the gap for preventative maintenance tasks.”

“Bridge equipment has become more complex having a lot of functionalities.” So says our man at Simrad Gianluca Babini. He adds, “We are in charge of simplifying the user experience of the bridge, it’s mandatory. The maintenance is not more difficult, usually it works or not! The crew are very different but I would say that younger crew adapt to new systems more easily.”

Chris Warde thinks, “Users are definitely not better trained, equipment and management solutions have become more intuitive and have therefore become easier to maintain.”

Giving us the Kongsberg point of view Roger Trinterud says, “This very much depends on the actual configuratio n. How many brands of equipment, how integrated they are, and whether the owner/captain has given an ETO or other crewmember the possibility to do some training. With a good, trained ETO and remote diagnostic functions, we actually see less need for travelling, but increased phone/web support.”

With the shift to a more automation focus of bridge equipment, information and communications technology (ICT) maintenance aspects obviously grow, and remain a concern as with all new adopted technology. However, the growing expertise of remote access and support is putting these fears at bay. For professionalism and safety these bridge systems are vital.

Let’s scrap that idea

Article by Frances and Michael Howorth


Salty SeaDog


In all my time at sea, both as a superyacht Captain and as a Navigation officer serving aboard the large passenger ships operated by P&O, there is one day that is forever ingrained on my memory. I was serving as third officer on a beautiful 7,000 ton cargo ship that had been built in 1948. We had been on three month-long around the world voyages carrying general cargo in the days before the container was the box of choice.

That was in 1971 and we had just completed our discharge in Chittagong, now more correctly called Chattogram. It was, and still is, a major port and financial centre in south eastern Bangladesh. Quite convinced we were waiting to load a full cargo of jute for London we were horribly shocked to hear that there would be no new cargo and that our lovely old ship had been sold to a ship breaker’s and our task was to take our grand old lady to the knacker’s yard.

Unbelievably, the yard was located on a beach close by at a place called, and I kid you not: ‘Shit-a-kundu’ and at the allotted time we set off to make the handover. Because we had fuel to spare, our Captain and Chief Engineer decided to see how fast the old girl could still travel. She had, for the past few years used 14 knots as her standard cargo carrying speed and on one occasion, I remember the old girl being cranked upto 17 knots. But as we were headed for the beach at Shit-a-kundu, slowly her speed began to rise. She quickly achieved 17 knots and then crept up to 18 then 19. Black smoke billowed from her funnel as we touched 20 knots and by the time we drove her up the beach, we were steaming at a full 23 knots and were fully braced for what was a bone shattering impact.

Trust me when I tell you that among her 48 strong crew of men there was not a dry eye on board when she eventually came to a stop on the very soft sand.

I tell you this sad story because recently, I had the chance to sit down to dinner with a yacht broker chum of mine. He is hugely knowledgeable when it comes to superyachts and together we began discussing old yachts and where they were in the world. As we talked, I remarked that I had not seen one particular yacht in some years and my friend told me she had been lost at sea. Such a shame, such a grand old yacht and one clearly worth a great deal of money or so I thought.

No, said my chum, she had been on the market for years and had had several offers from would-be-buyers but none of them offered what the owner considered was enough. The longer she lay in harbour, the more neglected she became my friend said. And the more she deteriorated, the less she was worth. It was all very sad said the broker.

We got to the point that we considered selling all her interior fittings and stripping the hull down to metal for scrap but you know there is so very little in the way of real metal in a superyacht and scrap value is almost nothing when it comes to yachts.

What happened then? I asked. Well the strangest thing my friend said. The owner suddenly got a most wonderful offer, way in excess of the asking price. All he had to do was deliver the yacht to a spot some 500 miles away and the deal would be sealed. The owner got the yacht ready, revalidated the insurance, hired a local crew off the beach and she sailed in the middle of the night. She never made it! She sank quickly in very, very deep water when a sudden blob of bad weather hit, and the owner had to claim her value which of course was based on the letter of offer made by the mystery buyer.

It was at that point in our conversation I realised that we never hear of superyachts being sold for scrap or being dismantled on a beach.
However, we do hear a lot about unfortunate fires and superyachts suddenly sinking and now I am beginning to wonder why. Aren’t you?

Let’s scrap that idea

Article by Frances and Michael Howorth


Salty SeaDog


In all my time at sea, both as a superyacht Captain and as a Navigation officer serving aboard the large passenger ships operated by P&O, there is one day that is forever ingrained on my memory. I was serving as third officer on a beautiful 7,000 ton cargo ship that had been built in 1948. We had been on three month-long around the world voyages carrying general cargo in the days before the container was the box of choice.

That was in 1971 and we had just completed our discharge in Chittagong, now more correctly called Chattogram. It was, and still is, a major port and financial centre in south eastern Bangladesh. Quite convinced we were waiting to load a full cargo of jute for London we were horribly shocked to hear that there would be no new cargo and that our lovely old ship had been sold to a ship breaker’s and our task was to take our grand old lady to the knacker’s yard.

Unbelievably, the yard was located on a beach close by at a place called, and I kid you not: ‘Shit-a-kundu’ and at the allotted time we set off to make the handover. Because we had fuel to spare, our Captain and Chief Engineer decided to see how fast the old girl could still travel. She had, for the past few years used 14 knots as her standard cargo carrying speed and on one occasion, I remember the old girl being cranked upto 17 knots. But as we were headed for the beach at Shit-a-kundu, slowly her speed began to rise. She quickly achieved 17 knots and then crept up to 18 then 19. Black smoke billowed from her funnel as we touched 20 knots and by the time we drove her up the beach, we were steaming at a full 23 knots and were fully braced for what was a bone shattering impact.

Trust me when I tell you that among her 48 strong crew of men there was not a dry eye on board when she eventually came to a stop on the very soft sand.

I tell you this sad story because recently, I had the chance to sit down to dinner with a yacht broker chum of mine. He is hugely knowledgeable when it comes to superyachts and together we began discussing old yachts and where they were in the world. As we talked, I remarked that I had not seen one particular yacht in some years and my friend told me she had been lost at sea. Such a shame, such a grand old yacht and one clearly worth a great deal of money or so I thought.

No, said my chum, she had been on the market for years and had had several offers from would-be-buyers but none of them offered what the owner considered was enough. The longer she lay in harbour, the more neglected she became my friend said. And the more she deteriorated, the less she was worth. It was all very sad said the broker.

We got to the point that we considered selling all her interior fittings and stripping the hull down to metal for scrap but you know there is so very little in the way of real metal in a superyacht and scrap value is almost nothing when it comes to yachts.

What happened then? I asked. Well the strangest thing my friend said. The owner suddenly got a most wonderful offer, way in excess of the asking price. All he had to do was deliver the yacht to a spot some 500 miles away and the deal would be sealed. The owner got the yacht ready, revalidated the insurance, hired a local crew off the beach and she sailed in the middle of the night. She never made it! She sank quickly in very, very deep water when a sudden blob of bad weather hit, and the owner had to claim her value which of course was based on the letter of offer made by the mystery buyer.

It was at that point in our conversation I realised that we never hear of superyachts being sold for scrap or being dismantled on a beach.

However, we do hear a lot about unfortunate fires and superyachts suddenly sinking and now I am beginning to wonder why.

Aren’t you?


Article by Frances and Michael Howorth


Superyacht Coatings ONBOARD Magazine


The way the superyacht industry meets and merges with the paints and coatings market has come a long way in the last 20 years. Back in the first months of this century it was not uncommon to see the clause; ‘The vessel shall have a Super Yacht Finish’ as being the only specification when it came to exterior coatings. Yet despite yachts of that time being well respected for their quality in finishing the fact was that paint technology did not play as a significant role then as it does now.

Quality Assurance Control Consultant Nico Roper of Atlas Paint Consultants believes that in that period, larger vessels were produced, paint and fairing system application times shortened and products adjusted to comply with ever changing environmental requirements. He says, “This all has had its effect on the paint applications and the need for properly described Application Guidelines, Specifications and Quality Assurance / Quality Control requirements.” He adds, “Today new build and refit paint projects start with set up and production of tailor made Specifications and Inspection Testing Plans, which clearly describe the requirements for each main step in a paint and or fairing application process and how this shall be verified and documented.”

Documents such as these specifying paint standards are constantly being developed and improved. The industry today has access to these professional tools and they provide process control helping all parties involved to achieve the agreed technical and cosmetic result on all painted areas of a superyacht.

It is not just in the world of superyachts that practice is embracing modern expertise. The technology behind the automotive paint supplied to a F1 team gives a significant drop in weight. But the demands placed on above-the-waterline marine coatings are somewhat different to the demands required of a coating on a Formula One race car. Inge De Jonge, Product and Marketing Manager Imron Marine for Axalta in Europe, the Middle East and Africa says, In Formula One, a coating’s speed and weight are key - the speed of the refinish process because of the vast number of components and the tight timeframe, and weight of the coating can not have a detrimental impact on the overall weight of the car. She adds “Marine coatings on the other hand are exposed to extreme weather conditions, in particular the ravages of saltwater, so durability is key. This is compounded by the fact it is not an easy task to dry dock and to refit a yacht, so marine coatings must be built to last longer, with the speed and weight of the paint being of secondary importance.” As a global company Axalta is focused solely on coatings and providing customers with innovative, colourful, beautiful and sustainable solutions. From light OEM vehicles, commercial vehicles and refinish applications to electric motors, buildings and pipelines, their coatings are designed to prevent corrosion, increase productivity and enable the materials they coat to last longer.

storm yachts
Storm Yachts
Absolute Boat Care
Absolute Boat Care
Finishing de Luxe
Finishing de Luxe

Malcolm Kerr one of the owners at Storm a paint specialist company working across the world with new builds and refits thinks the question needs to be more specific. He says, “First thing we need to clarify is what is meant by UV protection, because when we mention UV protection this could be referring to the durability of a coating meaning gloss and or colour retention and that has nothing to do with heat absorption.” Kerr adds, “In terms of durability there is no huge difference between whites, blues, etc – only colours like reds or oranges have poorer gloss or colour retention thus less UV resistance. In terms of heat absorption
– it’s known that darker colours absorb more radiation/heat, meaning light colours like white are better to keep vessels cooler.”

It is an established fact that one leading paint manufacturer limits the absorption of heat and thus makes the use of darker colours more feasible. Kerr says, “These coatings incorporate specialist pigments into the finish paint formulation which are designed to reflect sunlight and thus absorb less heat, keeping areas cooler and at a more constant temperature. Here at Storm we have had positive experiences with these products in the past and would happily use them again.”

Superyachts are increasingly veering away from the traditional white hull as colours become more reliably stable. The 72 metre Axioma is sporting a fresh new blue coloured hull in recent months and is a prime example of that trend. The fact remains however that, white is the most popular colour due to UV and heat protection.

We asked Christopher Rothe at Wrede if the same UV protection and heat deflection could be applied in equal measure to coloured coatings. He responded saying, “Not currently, research is ongoing into creating coatings that appear visibly dark yet also reflect UV radiation. Such products will be a huge boost to the entire coatings sector and not just superyacht coatings.”

At Axalta, Inge De Jonge believes, “It is possible to achieve the same UV protection in coloured coatings as it is for white coatings when a clear over base system is used. In this scenario the UV protection comes from the clear coat. When it comes to heat deflection, however, white will always perform slightly better as heat from solar absorption is linked with the absorption properties of the pigments.”

Atlas Paint Consultants
Atlas Paint Consultants

Better products are the result of research and development and there is evidence that the investment into that field is beginning to pay off. Awlgrip are for example now officially trialling a fully sprayed filler system. Axalta, a global market leader in colour technology. “At our R&D facilities around the world,” says Inge De Jonge, “We are continuously investing to develop new and better performing products that not only meet but also exceed our clients’ needs, while also maintaining a strong focus on our environmental impact. We have a number of developments in the pipeline that are being designed with those key values in mind.

Malcolm Kerr at Storm highlights the move towards electrostatic painting as another major step forward. He says, “This still needs a lot of work and expectations on the resultant ‘finish’ need to be managed as they are different to the standard ‘conventional’ finish. In our experience, environmental control and replication of atmospheric conditions is fundamental with electrostatic painting.”

Kerr adds, “We are currently working on two innovative projects ourselves when it comes to R&D. One being a custom app for management and quality control, thanks to a successful European funding grant. The second being an environmental control system which can also monitor emissions ¬the objective being to subsequently reduce emissions.”

Like both the aviation and motor industries, weight is a factor and in this regard R&D in this field is important. Christopher Rothe says, “On some high speed light weight projects it can be very important. If we can fair and paint yachts using fewer and lighter products, then this has considerable benefits both environmentally and in terms of reduced running costs.” Generally the fillers used by Storm are lightweight so the weight of the filler is negligible considering the other products on a yacht,” says Malcolm Kerr. “A pallet of filler could weigh less than a marble worktop so I would say that weight isn’t particularly an issue in regard to coatings.” Ewan Clark from Aquarius Marine Coatings says, “It is easy to be side-tracked with the notion of ‘weight’. Of greater importance is the efficacy of the anti-foul itself and the amount of drag it creates.” Conventional anti-foul paints absorb water when launched, so swell, increase in weight and roughen at the surface, which causes an increase in drag (leading to reduced fuel efficiency and hull performance). Coppercoat-Superyacht, on the other hand, is a non-absorbent epoxy resin. When launched it does not swell, increase in weight or roughen, and instead provides a smooth and lasting resinous surface, ideal for maintaining both boat speed and efficiency.

Wrede Consulting
Wrede Consulting
Sea Shield
Sea Shield
Lux Wrap
Lux Wrap

Because of ever stringent environmental regulations and concerns, for those manufacturing paint products the reduction of VOCs carbon-based chemicals which evaporate easily at room temperature is an absolute priority. But as Christopher Rothe at Wrede points out these are less of a priority for the yachts and owners who are primarily concerned with the appearance and longevity.

The reduction of VOCs in our products is a huge priority for Axalta says Inge De Jonge. “However, reducing VOCs while still maintaining the outstanding performance of coatings is a challenge, and this is particularly true of marine coatings, which are exposed to extreme conditions. This is why we continue to invest in our research and development of lower VOC coatings that still offer a virtually unlimited choice of brilliant colours and that last a lifetime.”

Malcolm Kerr at Storm, points out, “We live in a world that is no longer willing to accept pollution to the levels we have been producing in recent times. We believe that the coatings’ manufacturers have a massive role to play here in developing greener products … and the industry as a whole needs to perhaps accept the subsequent ‘finish’.”

Ewan Clark at Aquarius Marine Coatings who make Coppercoat the anti fouling bottom paint used by a great many superyachts believes, “The reduction of VOCs in coatings is vital. Indeed, all our anti-fouls are completely VOC-free, and this was a key part of their original development. So while we have fully ticked the VOC-free box, many other coatings manufacturers have room for improvement!” Coppercoat-Superyacht provides very long lasting protection against bio-fouling, with a treatment typically remaining effective for at least 10 years. This saves the time, expense and logistical problems associated with repeated applications of conventional anti-foul paints. It is also a more environmentally sound choice, being both VOC-free and water-based, with no end-of-life problems. And it does all this while providing a smooth, low-drag surface that allows the vessel to sail quickly and efficiently.

Yacht detailing products and yacht cleaning supplies from the US based Sea-Shield have been developed over the years by experienced professionals working within the superyacht industry. Their Francisco Linares understands better than most, the task involved in yacht detailing and the importance of adding a protective barrier against the damaging effects of the sun and the sea. He says, “We developed products to make the crew’s life easier. When our products are applied, maintenance time is substantially reduced. Future wash downs get easier every time Sea Shield is used and so ensures the yacht has the best protection available.”

The application of ceramic protective coatings will seal the pores on paint, glass and stainless, preventing them from being damaged and creating an uneven surface that will never shine no matter how many wash downs are done. From the crew’s point of view, washing down a surface sealed with a smooth ceramic coating is quick and easy and results in the perfect shine. These specialist polymer and ceramic coatings enhance and protect the exterior paint surfaces against ultra violet, salt, dirt, exhaust fumes, oil and a host of other contaminates. Using a good polish can delay a paint cycle and if applied from new or whilst still in good condition can extend the life of the paint for years.

Malcolm Kerr of Storm believes that when it comes to working conditions, planning and management the key word is ‘consistency’. We work in a world of custom yachts in a job that has no real recognised schooling or training. This is a massive challenge. The more we can create a uniform work process, the better the chance we have of consistent and acceptable results.
Ewan Clark, Aquarius Marine Coatings says, “For our Coppercoat antifoul to adhere for the long term, and provide its standard 10 years of protection, the substrate must be clean, dry, stable and matt. As Coppercoat-Superyacht anti-foul is a modern water-based epoxy resin, it must be applied in dry, mild conditions. If a vessel is to be treated in the open (as opposed to in a shed or covered dock), a tent or kirt should be attached to the topsides to protect the below water-line sections from any precipitation. When it comes to job planning, the most important elements during application, are atmospheric, clean air, and temperature control.”

Wrede Consulting GmbH, with its headquarters in Hamburg and locations in Bremen, Barcelona, La Ciotat, Rotterdam and Palma de Mallorca, provides independent consulting for coatings from new builds to refits with specialisation in superyachts. Founded in 1999, the company owes its success to the many years of experience of its independent paint consultants and surveyors, as well as to state-of-the-art, innovative technology. Speaking on behalf of the company Christopher Rothe says, “For the finest results, conditions have to be provided so that the applicators have no excuses for not delivering an excellent result. This means, time, space, lighting, cleanliness, stable environmental conditions, planning, scheduling.” At Storm, Malcolm Kerr says, “It is vital to replicate, as much as possible, the ambient conditions. Reducing the variables is key to a successful paint job.”

When painting, it is always best to avoid extreme air quality or temperature conditions. Low temperatures will for example increase drying times while high temperatures will reduce drying times and can make application more difficult, as product flow and levelling is compromised. Optimal painting conditions are when the ambient temperature is between 10 - 26° Centigrade and relative humidity is below 65%.

It is always best to avoid painting in direct sunlight, or when the substrate itself is excessively warm. One good way to check this is to check the surface temperature using a specialised surface thermometer.
With over 20 years experience crewing superyachts, Duncan Sykes the Managing Director at Absolute Boat Care, understands absolutely the requirements and demands of captains and owners alike. Based in Mallorca, they have a large, highly professional team who have the capabilities to undertake absolutely any job, whatever the size. Captain Jason Lambourne, of the motor yacht Angara has enjoyed working with Absolute Boat Care and done so for the past four years. He says, “The products and the knowledge they employ when polishing Angara have always given her an incredible shine and made sure she is looking fantastic for her owners every season.”

Captains like Jason Lambourne want more than just a good looking yacht. They want her to stay looking good and they look for answers if that is not the case. That’s where warranties come into play. Christopher Rothe says, “The variables in which a yacht is used and maintained once a project is completed mean that is it impossible to truly warranty the result beyond what might be considered a major failure. These are rare, but lesser issues remain a constant discussion point.”

“Warranties need to be adequately managed,” says Malcolm Kerr of Storm. The point being that in order to manage warranty, you first need a definitive list of what is covered / not covered. Fundamental is a detailed mapping of all problematic areas (e.g. corrosion points on refit) found during the complete work process.”

“It is important to manage client expectations. We do this,” says Christopher Rothe, “by demonstrating the achievable and being fair and consistent in one’s appraisal of results and communication with the client.”
“Transparency is the key,” says Malcolm Kerr. “It’s very simple, starting with a kick off meeting is imperative and constant detailed reporting and dialogue is an absolute necessity. No secrets, no short cuts, everyone stays on the same page.” Coppercoat concur that clear lines of communication are paramount. Ewan Clark says, “By listening carefully to the requirements of the client we will provide them with an accurate and honest report of what they should expect from our products.”

Whatever the size of the project there are benefits of employing a yacht consultancy. Christopher Rothe at Wrede says, “Yacht crew and management generally do not see very many paint projects and are not suitably qualified to make some of the decisions that maybe asked of them. A good coatings consultant will provide expert advice and insight into a project to help it progress effectively to completion and also relieve some of the pressure from the crew and management.

Malcolm Kerr at Storm says, “Our experience of yacht consultancy is limited to the coatings aspect. We regularly have coatings surveyors checking and controlling our works. There can be a tangible benefit if said surveyor is qualified and has the same objectives as the rest of the project i.e. getting the job done to an acceptable standard in the given timeframe. Unfortunately, the truth and reality of the matter is that some surveyors are only in the game to invoice and create as many site visits as possible, whilst having very little responsibility.” Back at Aquarius Marine Coatings, Ewan Clark says, “When relevant, we like to personally oversee applications, alongside any existing surveyors, managers and consultants. By being on-site we can immediately react to any situation and thereby ensure the smooth running of the project.”
Smooth running projects and a smooth finish are clearly the end results for those who, in the industry, are painting a better future for the superyacht coatings fraternity.

All Set to Celebrate

Article by Frances and Michael Howorth

Marina at Royal William Yard

Ahead of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims leaving the city for America. The city of Plymouth is all set to play host to an increasing number of Superyachts eager to sample the best of British hospitality.

Plymouth is the Great British superyacht port in the south west of the UK that is gearing up for an influx of visiting superyachts planning to arrive over the course of next year. Already American owners and charter guests are organising visits to this easy to enter harbour as part of their own research into family history. Marinas are reporting a steady stream of berthing enquiries over the next 12 months with many Captains stating that they need to be able to witness celebrations

The official Mayflower 400 UK commemorations are set to showcase an exciting year-long programme of ambitious cultural and artistic events. They range from dynamic community spectacles to large-scale festivals. Breath taking lights shows, unforgettable festivals, inspiring exhibitions and world class events will be among the highlights of a memorable 12-moth events programme in the Mayflower 400 anniversary year. Four hundred moments each marking one of the 400 years since the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 begin with the dazzling Illuminate light shows in November 2019. , Touring exhibitions, informal and formal gatherings and world class events that will captivate a memorable 12 months of commemoration through to November 2020 and the closing Illuminate ceremony.

Located at the mouth of the Rivers Yealm Plym and Tamar the port and its rivers form the county boundary twixt Devon and Cornwall, while the city has the highest number of post-war listed buildings outside London and is cited as a unique example of a 20th-century city. Yet it also has many historic buildings that survived the war, such as the 15th-century Merchants House and the Elizabethan House. It was in Plymouth, that offshore solo yacht racing started, Sir Francis Chichester's around the world solo voyage started and ended here and it is 250 years ago, that Captain Cook set off from Plymouth to chart the Pacific. In more recent times the superyachts Alamshar, Sarafsa, Samar and Vava II have been built here and it is in Plymouth and the surrounding suburbs that Princess Yachts build a significant proportion of large motor yachts. Plymouth is renowned for boating, sailing and hosting major inshore and offshore racing including: the Americas Cup, the Fastnet finish, power boat championships and a range of regattas and other sailing events throughout the year.

Sutton Harbour Marina
Yacht heading for Sutton Harbour
Mayflower Marina from Mount Wise

The port is a wonderfully sheltered haven with a massive and highly effective breakwater allowing for plenty of deep water anchorages. There are seven marinas hereabouts all capable of handling tenders used by superyachts at anchor but those capable of handling large yachts include Sutton Harbour Mayflower Marina and Yachthaven Marina.

A Statutory Harbour under law, Sutton Harbour is not only superyacht capable but is also home to the second largest fishing boat harbour in England. Accessed through a 12 metre wide lock that free flows except when closed three hours either side of low water when it opens on request the port happily handles yachts of 45 metres and can handle larger ones by arrangement. Slap bang in the middle of the old town this is where the action takes place as Sutton Harbour takes centre stage to historic Plymouth

Mayflower Marina offers both permanent and visitor berthing together with some of the most outstanding cruising waters with anytime access for boats up to 20m and facilities to offer larger boats by arrangement. Ashore it has most of the facilities visitors would require, including maintenance, repair, basic provisions, chandlery and they are particularly proud of the marina’s award winning restaurant. Offsite Plymouth’s City Centre is only a 5 minute taxi ride away and has plenty to offer including, the Theatre Royal, cinemas, museums, the marine aquarium, a huge array of shopping opportunities, supermarkets, restaurants, bars and cafes.

Yachthaven Marina is a Five Gold Anchor Marina lies at the mouth of the River Plym in the shelter of the Mount Batten peninsula, offering comprehensive facilities and exceptional 24 hour service, just minutes from the open water of Plymouth Sound. Accessible at all states of the tide Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (it is closed on Christmas Day) the marina has CCTV surveillance, electronic bridgehead access gates and free Wi-Fi available to those docked there. Yachts of up to 52 metres can be accommodated without fuss so long as the draught does not exceed 4.5 metres but larger yachts can find space providing the harbour master has been consulted first. Other marinas capable of handling smaller craft and superyacht tenders include: Queen Annes Battery, the Royal William Yard, Kings Marina and Millbay Marina

Inside Royal William Yard
Cannon above the entrance to Sutton Harbour
Michael at devil's Point watching the Princess 65

When it comes to culture Plymouth really packs a punch. The Royal William Yard for example is home to the largest collection of Grade 1 listed Naval buildings in the UK. Walk to Devils Point, Swim in the tidal pool or watch paddle boarders at Firestone Arch, explore art at Ocean Studios & coffee at Column House Bakery. Plymouth’s Breakwater, described as ‘the Channel Tunnel of its era’ is what makes the sound so peaceful while Mount Batten Tower (built in circa 1650) guards the southern approach to Plymouth’s harbour. Each is fascinating. The Art Deco Lido is one of the finest examples of a 1930’s and it overlooks Plymouth Sound (the oldest, continually studied, marine area on earth. While the city itself has the highest concentration of cobbled streets in England; and lots of ‘green space’ (40 percent of the city), with over 100 hectares of wildflower meadows. Devonport Naval Heritage Centre formerly known as the Plymouth Naval Base Museum is a maritime museum well worth visiting while Smeaton's Tower the most iconic of Plymouth’s landmarks is a memorial to celebrated civil engineer John Smeaton, designer of the third and most notable Eddystone Lighthouse. The Mayflower Museum is the perfect spot for exploring seafaring history and the Mayflower's 1620 voyage and it includes a model of the ship herself.

For us, one of the highlights of our stay in Plymouth was out trip all the way up the Tamar to Calstock. Taking a boat trip on a summers evening must be one of the very best ways of enjoying the countryside. We visited the National Marine Aquarium and marvelled at the deepest tank in the UK, purifying 75,000 litres of seawater a day. A Master Distillers tour of Plymouth Gin, is a must if you have a morning to spare. The opportunity to create your very own Gin surly is a temptation to hard to miss out on especially as you get to take your booty home with you. Explore the house and gardens at Mount Edgecumbe as we did catching the ferry across the harbour. It is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon as is a visit to nearby Dartmouth with its Naval History. We love the Historic Barbican and the Brunel Bridge and the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club with its stunning views is a great spot for a sundowner.

Mount Edgcumbe house
A visit to Plymouth Gin
Plymouth Gin distilling room

Get away from it all
Superyachts that visit Plymouth and have guests who want to venture a little further away should investigate the World's Best Gin in the beautiful harbour of Salcombe famous for its sailing club, while Falmouth has its fascinating the National Maritime Museum. Try and squeeze in a trip to the port of Charlestown with its nautical history and the opportunity of visiting locations where the TV series Poldark was filmed. The wild expanses of Dartmoor are great for those who want to go trekking and for those who want a quaint English village by the water there is Noss Mayo and Newton Ferres and of course the Ship Inn! With fabulously safe anchorages within the protected sound there is plenty to do after a yacht drops the hook. There are great sandy beaches at Kingsand Bay, Cawsand Bay, Wembury Bantham beach Mothecombe and off Burgh Island

Out & About
In Plymouth and in need of food then be sure to try the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill at dinner time and Mitch Tonks’s Rockfish restaurant for lunch. We loved the food at Le Bistro in the Fort William Yard and we adore the tiny fish and chip shop called Platters on the Barbican. There is no shortage of watering holes in Plymouth and among them the Skyline Cocktail Bar in the Penthouse of Crowne Plaza Hotel has stunning views across the harbour. Our favourite is Le Vignoble, a boutique wine and tapas bar famous for wine tasting and its plates of tasty charcuterie. The Waterfront Bar on the site of what was the Royal Western Yacht Club founded over 175 years ago and where the plaque commemorating the start and finish of Sir Francis Chichester’s solo voyage around the world is located is a great place to get a dram or two as are the Treasury Bar the Refrectory Bar

Sammie Coryton owner of Pentille Castle
The Elizabethan Gardens in Plymouth
The arch at Firestone Point in Royal William Yard

So for those visiting Plymouth in 2020 here is our recommendation on where to stay. The Crowne Plaza is a contemporary 4 star hotel in a prime location with stunning views over looking Smeatons Tower, the original Eddystone lighthouse, right across Plymouth Sound. Views from the stunning Skyline Cocktail Lounge on the Penthouse level are a yacht spotters dream. This IHG hotel offered a great night's sleep free Wifi and an excellent breakfast. The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill is situated on the penthouse floor of the hotel also boasts panoramic sea views while treating guests to signature steaks, timeless English and French classics all delivered with Marco's unique flair. The Bistro Rooms are located in the lovingly restored a truly stunning Grade II* listed building in the historic Royal William Yard in Plymouth. The owners of Rooms by Bistro Pierre have taken the time, care and attention to use traditional craftsmen and building methods to bring the house back to its former glory, full of Georgian features. Its collection of 14 stylish, simply appointed bedrooms are filled with periodic architectural charm and are the ideal place to relax after a day of exploring the stunning area. Rooms are located just across the green from the bistrot where we enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner during our stay.

Just outside the city boundaries and a wonderful ride away by superyacht tender, Pentillie Castle is a family-run castle set in a 2,000 acre estate set on a bank of the River Tamar. It offers accommodation on a Bed & Breakfast basis in 9 en-suite luxury bedrooms, accommodating up to just 18 guests. The Coryton family have owned Pentillie Castle since the early 1800’s and the present generation are a small but passionate team who take enormous pride in what they do. The chance to stay in a real castle whose exterior doubles as the location backdrop for the TV series Delicious should not be given up.

Bordingdon Hall Hotel & Spa is an enchanted place on a hill outside Plymouth. The Elizabethan manor house with its dramatic exterior and majestic surroundings combine to make this a palace or pampering that begins at the bar where they serve gin distilled on the premises to the dinning table in the exquisite Gallery Restaurant that specialises in intimate, classic, memorable dining, underpinned by discreet and attentive service. Every effort has been taken to meticulously restore and retain the dramatic architecture of each sleeping suite whilst offering all the mod cons expected in a 5 star hotel. The Gaia Spa is a space in which find ones self naturally relaxed, enjoying facilities and therapies that provide the opportunity to nourish mind, body and spirit, resulting in a balance between the individual and the wider world we live in.

The Hoe with Smeaton's Tower and the Lido
Entrance to Mayflower embarkcation steps
Entrance to the eastern breakwater

Princess: Britains boating royalty

Article by Frances and Michael Howorth



Antony Sheriff joined the British luxury yacht manufacturer Princess Yachts as Executive Chairman in January 2016. He graduated with a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Engineering as well as an M.S. in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T). Following a consultancy role at McKinsey & Company Antony spent eight years at Fiat Auto where he was Director of Product Development for Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia cars. In the decade preceding his takeover at Princess, he was Managing Director of the luxury car brand McLaren Automotive. Under his stewardship, Princess Yachts is experiencing record growth, advance orders and a return to record profitability underpinned by a renewed focus on quality, technology and innovative product development at Princess’s Plymouth headquarters.

Princess Yachts Antony Sheriff

This unprecedented commercial proposition is underpinned by a stronger-than-ever presence at boat shows around the world, at which Princess plan to launch a record-breaking total of 9 new models in 2019.

Writing for ONBOARD Magazine, Frances and Michael sat down with him and asked him about his plans for the great British brand.

Antony, under your leadership at McLaren, you are credited with turning around the luxury, low-volume McLaren-Mercedes SLR project to deliver the highest volume of carbon-based road cars ever produced, how did you do that?
We worked hard to build a high-performance sports car division which conceived, designed and hand-built a range of carbon-based, ground-breaking and award-winning supercars including the MP4-12C, 650S, 570S and P1 - the world’s first hybrid supercar. At the same time, we built a global distribution network and set the foundations for McLaren to be the elite, technology-driven and profitable luxury sports car brand that it is today.

Having done that for top end motor cars can you pull off the same trick at Princess Yachts?
I am sure we can and I hope to deliver on that undertaking soon. It’s a process we have already started. We have already delivered two consecutive years of record-breaking financial results for 2017 and 2018, with its highest ever sales, a robust return to profitability, and strong advance orders. Financial results for the 12 months to 31 December 2018 show record turnover of £340.3 million that’s 24% up on 2017 figures, and a record operating profit before exceptionals of £29.8 m which is 173% up on 2017. These results make 2018 our most successful year in the 54 year history of Princess Yachts.

Besides sales have you broken any other records?
Yes, in 2018 we hit a record high for employment of 3,200. Recruitment has taken place across the business from engineering to exterior design, manufacturing to management, making Princess one of the UK’s largest specialist manufacturers. Princess also increased investment in its successful apprenticeship programme with 42 new apprentices brought into the business; apprentices now make up 4% of the workforce with a 100% retention rate following qualification.

What is your order book looking like?
Thanks to the positive reaction in the market to our new models, our forward orders are worth £700m and stretch through to 2021. A 100% of our 2019 production and 75% of 2020 production has already been booked.

That’s impressive but what do you think is driving that optimism?
Princess Yachts represents good value to the UK economy with over 90% of Princess’s yachts exported to customers around the world. True to the motto of ‘Crafted in Plymouth’, over 80% of each yacht excluding engines of course, is manufactured in the city.

That must make you feel very proud.
Yes, I am really proud of what my team has achieved in 2018. Their focus and dedication enabled Princess to build on the previous two years of solid financial figures and beat 2017’s record results. The team launched six stunning new luxury yachts while growing revenues to over one third of a billion pounds.

The strong financial figures we have just spoken about will enable us to build upon our unique, highly integrated infrastructure in Plymouth and invest even more in advanced technologies, new yachts and quality levels across design and production. We continue to forge ahead in our vision to be not just the highest quality, most innovative and successful luxury yacht manufacturer in the world, but also a great British employer.

What is underpinning these strong sales, production and recruitment numbers?
I think it is the innovative yachts targeting new segments such as the R35, and the game-changing X95 Superfly, a superyacht due to be officially launched at Düsseldorf in January 2020. As sales, commercial results and recruitment hit new heights, so does investment. Supporting its longer-term plan, Princess continued to invest in a sustainable strategy to ensure that the business continues to drive forward product innovation and its manufacturing capabilities. As a result £14.7m (2017: £8.9m) was invested back into product development in 2018. With over 75% of each yacht manufactured in Plymouth, Princess continues to invest in its UK sites, adding capital expenditure of £9.0m to the additions in 2017 of £3.7m.

These are exceptional figures. What are they based on?
They are based on a combination of strong sales at the industry’s three biggest global boat shows – Cannes, Fort Lauderdale and Düsseldorf – and new levels of interest in the brand driven by increased investment in design and technology, progressive new global retail partners, and innovative marketing activity. 2019 began in equally buoyant form with strong orders secured at the 2019 Düsseldorf Boat Show in January, which saw 21 yachts ordered, worth in excess of £60m.

We are now into our fourth year of a five-year £100m turnaround plan since I took the helm in 2016, introducing new processes, technologies and business strategies that combine the best of Princess’s traditional yacht-making skills with best practice honed during 20 years of leadership at international automotive brands.

With customer demand at an all-time high, our five boatyards in and around Plymouth are working at maximum capacity and the order books are full throughout 2019 and for much of 2020.

Are you having to call upon help to make these investments?
To help drive this plan HSBC UK Bank plc and National Westminster Bank plc are pleased to announce their support for the refinance of Princess Yachts, backed by L Catterton which is a partnership between LVMH and Groupe Arnault, as part of the growth of the business, having constructed a multi-year funding facility as of the 16th of May, this year.

You mentioned the R35 a yacht you famously launched as the Bateaux in the Chateaux during the Cannes Show last year What can you tell us about that boat?
It is a revolutionary carbon fibre R35 performance sports boat that we built in partnership with Ben Ainslie Racing Technologies – the world’s first luxury yacht with a fully carbon fibre hull. It is a ground breaking new model that has carved the path for an assault of new product designed in collaboration with Princess Yachts, naval architects Olesinski and the world renowned styling house Pininfarina. In building her we are showcasing innovative, lightweight and sustainable materials along with new technologies. She is a fully carbon fibre boat with all the advantages in weight savings, and the Esthec synthetic teak deck, which comprises of 25% recycled materials along with natural resins, fibres, minerals and colour pigments. The active ride control foiling system that we have pioneered at Princess gives fuel savings of up to 30% at cruising speeds on the R35, and I can confidently predict that this technology will soon be seen on future bigger yachts.

Does Princess Yachts have a USP?
I think our USP lies in our ‘Crafted in Plymouth’ moto. 80% of each yacht (excluding engines and glazing) is manufactured at Princess’s five Plymouth boatyards from raw materials, making Princess one of the UK’s largest furniture manufacturers, and ensuring that it has control over the design, timings and, most crucially, quality.
Design is absolutely critical to our success, as it is to all luxury projects. Throughout everything it does, Princess focuses intensely on design elegance and surfacing, ensuring each project is of the highest standard in terms of both aesthetics and build quality.

Chase me now

Article by Frances and Michael Howorth



There was a time when the small boat that attended to a larger boat, was called a tender. Confusingly, the names people now attribute to tenders is changing and increasingly they are elaborating on their use by calling them; day boats, sports boats, or even limousines. We have even seen the term fun boat come across our desk! In short nothing much has changed. What has happened, is the desire to carry more than one tender, for various uses.

Fassmer BLC 10.5

As space to store them becomes easier to find when designers are drawing large garages so comes the desire to fill those spaces with toys each one having its own usage. As explorer yachts become more de-rigueur, so the need for specialist tenders becomes more apparent. But the chase boat is slightly different in that it is seldom hoisted aboard a mothership.

Traditionally the chase boat was a fast open boat that chased after large sailing yachts competing in regattas. Back then it was quite legitimate to land or take on extra sails or crew to suit the weather and therefore the racing conditions. Today rules prevent such legitimatised tactics but the chase boat name has evolved to cover boats that, while too large to be hoisted upon a superyacht, choose instead to chase it to the destination getting there long before it or following up slowly behind it depending on the owner’s use.

Ironically it is the smaller superyacht that is embracing the use of the chase boat rather than the larger, money is no object, 100 metre plus yachts. Yachts in the 30 to 60 metre grouping seem to have embraced the concept of the chase boat with great gusto. They realise that if constructed well enough the chase boat can act independently of the mothership and still provide a useful function in both guest entertainment and yacht operations scenarios. We know of one captain who sends his chase boat away ahead of the slower mothership instructing the chase boat crew to bag the best anchorage spot at the destination.

As the yacht’s captain approaches so the chase boat vacates the spots and hovers around until the mothership is safely at anchor and then it comes along side. Equally, we know of owners who prefer to travel at greater speeds than their yachts can comfortably cruise at. They, and their families, typically board the chase boat and enjoy it as a day boat returning to the mothership each night in much the same way as a family out motoring returns to their roadside hotel.

Chase boats work well for single season yachts. Yachts that cross oceans to enjoy a second season can find the cost of shipping the chase boat far outweighs their economic usefulness. For the captain of a single season yacht, it is important to consider whether the yacht crew can handle the additional maintenance and logistics that come with operating a chase boat. One captain we know recruits a chase boat crew just for the season. Because his chase boat has its own accommodation, the crew sleep onboard and yet remain on the crew list of the mothership which is where they go to eat and rest.

Here we review what is new and hot in the chase boat market

Fassmer BLC 10.5_

Fassmer’s yacht solutions are individually designed for you: tenders and boats that match your yacht – and your every desire. They are sleek, luxurious, customised, elegant, plus they’re designed and hand-crafted in Germany. After being a family controlled business for five generations, they have the knowledge and expertise to deliver and range of incredibly well built yachts. Fassmer’s newest landing craft is a custom 10.70m tender boat for ambitious demands. This comfortable, high-speed boat is powered by two inboard diesel engine giving 370hp with jet propulsion and capable of reaching speeds of 30

knots. It is ideal to accommodate guests on transfers, carry goods, support diving parties, go deep sea and sports fishing as well as bringing the BBQ and toys ashore. The boat is capable of operating either to a beach or port. With its large open deck, comfortable seating and wide bow ramp it is an incredibly versatile ship’s boat.
For more details Tel: +49 4406 942 111 or visit www.fassmer.de

Fjord 38 Open

Ever since the Hanse group re-launched the brand Fjord in 2008, many owners of yachts longer than 50 metres have found in the design of Patrick Banfield the perfect solution to their needs. In fact, the success of these models’ practical and versatile design has shown that these boats are not only the ideal tenders for DOMANI E32 a megayacht, but they are also perfect to complement a superyacht. With the new 38-footer and the successful 40 and 44, as well as the largest model, the 52, Fjord has been able to fill in a gap within the cruising yacht and chaseboat sector.
For more details Tel: +34 670 760 569 or visit www.mariventyachts.com


A zero emission chase boat for exclusive sailing sensations. With the launch of the new E32 Chase Boat Domani creates a new yachting experience for discerning owners. Different by the distinct design, digitally developed and driven technology. Full electric, with the highest efficiency possible, with extra emphasis on sound reduction throughout. Every Domani is made to order, reflecting her owner’s personality, usage preference and range aspiration; skilfully built, personally selected. Driven by a desire for freedom and distinguished by progressive design –

Domani is about sailing Gran Turismo style; fast, fun and luxurious. A timeless elegance worthy of admiring looks from the quay. Join Domani’s world of zero emission yachting.
For more details Tel: +32 473 66 20 14 or visit www.domaniyachts.com

Your Crew Matters

Article by Frances and Michael Howorth



When it comes to bragging rights in the superyacht industry, Germany can claim to build the biggest. Holland, Italy and even Turkey can all boast about numbers, tonnage and overall length. But, when it comes to designing superyachts it seems that the bragging rights best belong to Britain. The United Kingdom may not build the biggest and the best, but when it comes to flagging, crewing, training, insuring and serving the industry, Britain does indeed, do it best.

Greycoat Lumleys
Greycoat Lumleys

We are not being jingoistic nor even overly patriotic here. Just look at the facts. The Red Ensign has the largest number of flagged superyachts in the world. The MCA is the code beloved by all. Our courts, lawyers and advocates are the people superyacht owners turn to when they want to negotiate contracts. The majority of the largest yacht brokerage and yacht management houses all started off being British.

Look at the crew list and count the number of Brits on board. Chances are they far outnumber the rest and if not by passport, then certainly by the qualifications they hold. It is to Great Britain, that crew turn to when they seek to enhance their career by seeking quality training and qualifications that they can use on yachts around the world.

If Great Britain has got superyacht design well wrapped up, then when it comes to crew, Great Britain really can boast being the best when it comes to training and recruitment. Over the last 30 years, UKSA has become synonymous with yacht crew training and has helped launch the careers of thousands of individuals in the superyacht industry.

An RYA Centre of Excellence and a youth charity, UKSA uses the power of the sea to change the lives of thousands of young people each year. With a vision to widen access to maritime training, enhance life skills and increase employment within the maritime sector, the charity has been instrumental in positively impacting the lives of people of all ages and abilities.

Based on the Isle of Wight, on the South Coast of England, the UKSA is meeting the increasing demand for trained crew in the superyacht industry, with captains, senior officers and entry-level crew. Located in Cowes, it is perfectly situated for its students to explore the Solent, a stretch of water considered to be one of the best in the world to train on thanks to the relatively sheltered waters. Plus, the tides and wide range of conditions provide an excellent environment for both learners and advanced sailors.

The Warsash Superyacht Academy is not far away on the River Hamble and is a pioneering initiative from what was originally, the Warsash School of Navigation. Now under the control of its parent organisation; Solent University, it has branched out into teaching courses in engineering and interior to superyacht crew. For many, it has become the first port of call when seeking STCW, safety and security training.

“I believe there is a growing worldwide demand for higher standards of maritime safety and training as the leading British companies today aim to demonstrate stringent governance standards. Like the rest of the wider global industry, here at the Maritime Skills Academy, we seek to save more lives and reduce accident rates by delivering a new level of marine, fire safety and simulator training to superyacht crews. Located in Dover we are perfectly placed to meet these opportunities,” says Mark Jaenicke, Director of Training and Performance at the Viking Maritime Group.

Dieter Jaenicke, Mark’s father and Chairman of the same group says, “The UK is pre-eminent for high quality crew across the maritime sector including within superyachting. Low cost airfares mean that our MCA accredited training is easily reached right across Europe and is an important part of Superyacht UK.”

The Maritime Skills Academy is just one part of the Viking Maritime Group (formerly Viking Recruitment) which consists of Viking Crew, Chiltern Maritime and the Maritime Skills Academy. It was started as Viking Recruitment in 1988 by Dieter Jaenicke, an industry veteran who now has over 50 years of experience in the marine scene.

Dieter first went to sea with the British Merchant Navy as a deck apprentice in 1967, sailing as Chief Officer in 1975.

He came ashore in 1976 and has worked in marine recruitment, human resources and training ever since. With his firm’s head office in Dover, along with the MSA safety and simulator training centres in Dover and Portsmouth as well as offices in Guernsey, Dieter and his family, who all work in the same business, have expanded the Great British recruitment concept to their offices in Fort Lauderdale, Auckland and Manila.

Many in the industry will know him for other valuable contribution to the industry itself, with his involvement in many initiatives to improve maritime awareness in careers, training and welfare. He is well placed in this, sitting as he does, on various committees and steering groups such as the UK Chamber of Shipping, Merchant Navy Training Board, Superyacht UK (Part of British Marine) and past President of the International Superyacht Society. Dieter Jaenicke says, “As Viking Maritime Group Chairman, my role has changed from running the company on a day-to-day basis into acting as an ambassador for our three businesses.”

Viking Crew
Viking Crew
Port Profile
Port Profile

“Viking Crew provides a wraparound Placement, Management & Deployment service to superyacht clients. Many of these also take advantage of the training offered by the Maritime Skills Academy, which this year adds officer simulation training to our staple STCW courses. Chiltern Maritime is now managing UK superyacht cadets who take additional modules for this popular qualification option.”

When Terry Wilson a longtime member of staff at Viking left the company in 2007 to set up shop on his own, he created wilsonhalligan, a recruitment company that clearly has no capital letters or space bars on its computer keyboards. Terry steered his fledgling superyacht crew recruitment company to great success, basing it in Hamble. Having achieved fame, if not fortune, he has moved on to a life of golf courses leaving the firm he founded in very capable hands.

Nicola Morgan is one of the firm’s directors and describes her role as overseeing the office. She says, “I ensure that our clients and candidates are receiving the best possible service when it comes to recruiting crew or finding a new job. The company has always been based in the UK and although we travel regularly to events and shipyards worldwide, having our headquarters here on the sunny south coast does not hold us back at all. Over the years, we have seen the superyacht industry within the UK grow, not only with more yachts heading this way but with additional yacht support companies (management, uniform suppliers etc.,) having the UK as their base – we now have a great network of local businesses within the UK, many of us work collaboratively to help further propel the industry.”

Many people work on yachts for just a few seasons, but equal numbers of people choose yachting as their permanent chosen career. At the moment, there is very little in the way of information to guide professionals about how to move around within this space. The British based on line jobs board Yotspot, has made it their mission to rectify this making it easier to see all the opportunities in one place. They have been successfully trading online jobs for the yachting industry since 2010.

Steve Crawford, Director, explains their plans for 2019 and beyond. “For years now, we feel there has been a large disconnect between captains and crew who work onboard the yachts and those individuals who work within the shore based side of the industry. We want to bridge the gap and make it easier to transition between these roles. So now, you can advertise shore based vacancies such as Yacht Sales Broker, Charter Manager, or Designer in exactly the same way you would advertise roles for Captains and Crew. Everything is under one roof, so even if crew a re not directly looking for a post on land, whilst flicking through yacht based positions, they might stumble across a land based job that just makes sense to them.”

One final success story within this industry has been the development of Port Profile by Anthony Park. Back in 2004 he jumped on board with his first job as a chef, 15 years later and he’s still there, well sort of, but on a slightly different tack.

When Anton decided to dip his toes into the waters of the tech world and create a software-led platform, designed to reshape how recruitment is carried out in the yachting industry, it wasn’t exactly what he set out to do! The tech solution came much later! Back then, it was still all about cooking.

He created a Facebook page in 2015 and called it; Yacht Chef Support Network there are a fair few yacht crew who may remember it, if only for the infamous party he jointly hosted at the Antigua charter yacht show with Shore Solutions, the provisions company back in the day. There are crew who still talk about that part some six years later!

“The initial concept quickly moved from a support network solely for chefs, to a system for all yachting crew in the industry. Fast forward and the Port Profile platform went live in April 2019, and we took full advantage of the Palma Boat show to showcase what we had built. Interest came in many different shapes and forms and gave me lots of ideas going forward.”

The cost of a posting single job post is £50 plus VAT. That post will remain active for 30 days and then there is an option to extend for a further 30 days for £25 plus VAT. Each paid job post gives the recruiter unlimited access to the extensive Port Profile database for the duration of the advertisement.

Anton explains, “I do all the social media postings myself using Hootsuite and various other programmes to schedule posts. As we grow so I will in time be able to employ people. For now, I am proud that Port Profile is helping improve the way crew get to choose their perfect job.”

Clean Energy Cruising

Article by Frances and Michael Howorth




Demand is growing for the marine industry to provide clean, quiet, and affordable alternatives to combustion engines for use in Tenders. Experts in the field of clean energy are confident that the new breed of electric motors coming onto the market will satisfy both boat builders and end user requirements. As a result, there is an air of excitement among boatbuilders who believe clean and quiet alternatives are about to change the way tenders are built and used on board superyachts.

Electric engines are designed to be a direct replacement for a traditional diesel engine both in size and cost. Already several 48 volt DC electric motors, designed to replace small diesel engines are available for boats up to 10 metres and larger canal craft. Companies are manufacturing and marketing marinized chargers and inverter/chargers which, when working alongside lead acid and lithium batteries, complement and facilitate the use of electric motors to drive water jets and conventional propellers.

The efficiency of these new style drives means that there are new tenders emerging onto the market that offer an excellent range as well as being easy to service and maintain on board the mothership. Without the need of water cooling systems or gearboxes and with their direct connection to shafts, electric tenders are, right now, at the cutting edge of technology. Several are now beginning to emerge onto the market that feature motor direction, throttle and navigation controls in one digital colour touch screen display that really look like the future has already arrived.

For those looking to reduce both noise and emissions, the affordable electric option offers really efficient and reliable electric that are sensible alternatives to the traditionally powered superyacht tender.

Rim-driven and brushless motors capable of delivering more torque using less energy are becoming available to boat builders and with new lithium batteries capable of storing a higher charge from deep cycle charging which crucially can be repeatedly undertaken without damage, the electric boat scene is gathering momentum. One of the most recent breakthroughs in the world of electric motors, comes from Siemens who have designed a motor for the aeronautical industry that could well be adapted they say, for marine use. With a weight of just 50kg the motor delivers a continuous 260kW (348hp), at just 2,500rpm which is about five times more power than equivalent systems.

With a new generation of digital controllers, managing the ebb and flow of energy with predictive intelligence and the fast development of battery technology, things are looking up. The Dutch manufacturer Mastervolt pioneered full-size 12 and 24 volt lithium-ion batteries for marine use. Their second generation, Ultra range are one third of the weight of an equivalent lead-acid design and come with a claimed life cycle of at least 2,000 deep discharges. Complex electronic circuitry connecting each cell ensures perfect charge and discharge balancing, and guards against the risk of overcharging.

Batteries employing the use of oxygen as one of the reagents are in development and could, be made for a fifth of the price and a fifth as light as lithium, and offer operation times five times longer. Graphenano based in Spain has developed a graphene polymer battery called the Grabat, which it claims is 33 per cent the weight of lithium ion and four times the energy density. These batteries can recharge 33 times faster than lithium ion, and retain over 80 per cent of their capacity.

When it comes to powering yachts by electricity it would seem that the future is not far away. But what we do know is, that some of the electric tenders on offer are also pushing the boundaries of design aswell.

Lex Boats

A motorboat built with passion and a love of detail. I you have grown up with boats and have very high expectations for a motorboat of sophisticated technical design and at the same time competitive performance. Back in 2013, Nina and Christian Lex devoted themselves to the challenge: their own boat brand. A boat with style, elegance and individuality - modern with a sense of tradition, the unique eLex 610 and now the sporty and longer Lex 790 have arrived. In a short space of time the brand Lex Boats became a large part of the electric boat scene.


For over 25 years Budsin has been building some of the finest electric boats available. The boats are crafted one at a time by people who love their job. They range in size from 15 to 22 feet and their virtually silent operation provides hours of running time, with top speeds of five to seven knots. Conversations can be conducted at normal levels and the driver’s controls are convenient and unobtrusive, demanding very little attention. Handling is accurate and smooth, it will do a 180° in a boat length. Hand made by passionate and skilled craftsmen, so if you’re looking for something a little more subtle and special, give Budsin a call.


The innovative team behind Q-Yachts conceived the vision of bringing to the market a unique boat which offers the same experience of relaxed speed and silence, that sailing offers. Thanks to the innovative propulsion technology and the hydrodynamically optimised hull, the boat produces minimal noise and wake. The Q-Yachts concept represents yet another ncessary step in the evolution of boating - where the journey truly becomes the destination.


The SAY 29E currently holds the record as the fastest e-boat in the world (series production, 8-10 m). The 48kn fast and extremely seaworthy carbon composite construction is powered by a drive from Kreisel Electric, the most innovative supplier of e-mobility in Europe. A staggering 360 kilowatts provide the thrust for breathtaking acceleration and make the 29E the forerunner of a new generation of tenders and chaseboats. Her wave cutter bow and the sidewings of the ultra-light hull (at only 400kg) provide maximum stability and enable incredibly high speeds on all water conditions. Behind this special boat, the SAY brand and at the head of the shipyard is Karl Wagner, one of the most experienced carbon specialists in Europe. With his expertise Wagner raised the in-house quality standard and engineering at SAY to an automotive level and optimised the production.

Schaaf Boats

The new Tender 15 is a superyacht tender with timeless modern style. In typical German fashion, it is uncompromising in terms of handling, ergonomics and functionality . SCHAAF have designed the ideal vessel for shuttling guests to and from the mothership and exploring idyllic bays. Probably the most striking feature are the purpose. These allow the tender to be easily and safely placed on any garage platform without the need for expensive adjustments. This tender is very well positioned with a choice of jet propulsion or outboard. But with their sustainable approach, the Tender 15 is also available with an electric motor.


Vita Yachts was established in 2017, with the aim of bringing the latest in automotive technology and engineering to the marine world. Its team comprises a naval architect at the forefront of electric boat design, a head of production from the superyacht industry, and a head of power and performance who was formerly a key member of the Mercedes F1 Engines team. Vita has been a major sponsor of the Blue Marine Foundation since 2018, with a percentage of each sale committed to the conservation of the world’s oceans.

Rand Boats

The innovative Danish boat manufacturer RAND Boats offers 4 unique tender models ranging from 5.4m to 8.5m. Among the four models, the luxurious and sporty Supreme 27 is the perfect companion for superyachts, and can easily be lifted onto the deck due to its low weight, or be used as a chase and sports boat with its strong offshoring capabilities. The overwhelming space aboard the Supreme 27 culminates at the aft size three-man bed. Whatever the purpose you are sure to arrive in style with one of the most trailblazing and sustainable boats on the market.

Beau Lake

Beau Lake’s Tahoe ’14 Electric Runabout combines the beauty and mystique of classic wooden boat aesthetics for today’s ecoconscious audience. Co Founders, Lee Kline and Paul Lavoie, look back to the craftsmanship of bygone eras with tremendous respect and look to emulate that kind of quality in everything they craft. The self-draining electric boat consists of three

primary construction components; the hull, cockpit liner and deck surface, while an ergonomically designed, hand-carved wooden tiller with joystick component steers its course. The Runabout’s molded fibreglass body, inlaid maintenance-free veneer deck, compartmentalized cooler that contours to the boat and beautifully finished stainless steel castings and hardware invoke the essence of a Beau Lake state of mind. Added luxuries includes marine upholstered seating, Bluetooth speaker system and accent lightening. The luxury Electric Runabout is propelled by Torqeedo’s German engineered 2.0 PodDrive.

Elec boats Alt2.indd

This Swedish first class manufacturer of 100 percent electrical crafts, is leading the way in the marine industry with the market’s most modern e-boats. X Shore crafts are built and designed around three main pillars: design, technology and sustainability. The combination of speed and distance in an electric boat is what makes X Shore’s crafts unique. Today the boats reach top speeds of 40 knts and a fully charged battery can take you a distance of 100 nautical miles. The hydrodynamics collaborates with Rolls Royce to test and develop the most advanced hull, shaft, propeller and rudder.

Just add water

Article by Frances and Michael Howorth


MISCHIEF ©Quin Bisset


It seems that when talking about toys for superyachts in today’s ever changing market, the buzz word is electric. Jet powered and petrol driven wakeboards, single person submarines in the shape of sharks and water jet propelled moon boots are all being pushed to the back of the closet by battery power. Silent and non polluting, the electric bike is king quickly followed by wake boards and seabobs. These are the toys that are walking

out of the door according to experts in the supply chain.

“It used to be jetboards but right now it is the electric foils,” says Romina Ruoss at Lampuga in Germany. “Superyachts are choosing the electric foils because they are simple and maintenance free. They are small, light and compact so easy to store. The foils use very little battery so the ride time is fantastic. They are new, exciting and different to anything else on the market,” she adds.
Josh Richardson at Superyacht Tenders and Toys says, “Lift eFoils are selling like hot cakes at the moment. They are an electric hydrofoil surfboard and give you the experience of flying over water.

Definitely one of my personal favourite products and one I have had a lot of hands-on experience riding them. They are a great product for a newbie who is starting to get a grip on the powered surfboard craze. But equally they are truly great for the more experienced user who is happy to throw the board into big swooping curves whilst foiling. We also wanted to sell a non foiling option of the same thing. It’s taken some time to find it but we have finally found Radinn, a product in this industry that we are happy with, the battery lasts and the board performs. When I was riding these boards to test them, I was very impressed with their performance and capability.”

Vitalij Reidel of OLO Boards in Hamburg Germany makes electronic surfboards but is happy that the superyacht market is embracing change and coming up with exciting products. He says, “The great news is that there is a continuous flow of new and interesting toys. Be it little submarines, amphibious vehicles or electric surfboards.” He adds, “I’m a little biased here but I strongly believe that electric surfboards are the new thing on the market. Take our OLO electric surfboard our board is definitely going level while at the same time it is super easy to learn. If you have never surfed before, I promise you within 5 minutes you are going to hit at least 35km/h with a big smile on your face.”

Watersports do tend to dominate the toys purchased for use on board superyachts but Romina Ruoss at Lampuga has seen a rise in the demand for electric bikes. She says, “I’m surprised to see how electric bicycles, scooters and cars have taken off. Electric vehicles for land use are often outselling jetboards and water toys at the moment.” Certainly, Gocycle are selling bikes in very large numbers to superyachts. Conrad Allum, the company’s communication manager says, “The new quick fold CX model folds away in less than 10 seconds and means yacht crew can pack them away or get them ready for guest use quickly and without a lot of fuss.” Top end Gocycles the likes of the G3 are very popular for owner use and the more budget GS model is a favourite for yachts seeking smartly styled electric bikes for on board use. Many crew are opting to buy these for their own personal use taking them from boat to boat when they switch jobs.


Thierry Manni is the Founder and CEO of Stajvelo and is passionate about bikes and the feeling of freedom you get when you ride. He says, “We all remember the moment of intense satisfaction the first time we rode a bike without training wheels or took our first long bike ride. No other mode of transport fills us with as much emotion or makes as much sense. Biking is the most environmentally-friendly mode of transport that exists. With Stajvelo, I wanted to create the bicycle of my dreams.

An urban e-bike featuring never-before-used technologies, rooted in a philosophy of simplicity, ecology, comfort, design, and above all, riding pleasure. Manni says “Our RV01 was created using highly Advanced Injected Composites, giving it a distinctive design unique to this material. It meets the highest standards of recyclability, safety, comfort, and fine finishing. It features automatic electronic gear shifting and a battery integrated into the frame. It has clear lines and a totally new directional frame geometry. It offers ideal comfort and user-friendliness. Each RV01 receives a custom fit according to the rider’s body measurements. Its chainless transmission system uses a carbon belt, meaning cleanliness and low maintenance, and the axial hydraulic braking system offers complete safety and stability.”

But if electricity is gaining a foothold in the non polluting world of superyacht toy enjoyment so too is sailing. Equally green and harnessing free power it is catching on quickly too. Emmanuel Bertrand CEO at Tiwal a company based in Vannes, France, has seen the trend swing in favour of the sailing yacht. He says, “Guests are turning towards more eco-responsible activities. They are looking for activities in contact with nature, but activities which are always big in sensation. Sailing is constantly on the up. Especially with the introduction of inflatable technology on small sailboats. Our Tiwal sailing boats are compact and practical. Being inflatable they are easier to use by being both comfortable and safer for guests.” He adds, “The choice of superyacht toys is now huge. But sailing toys, especially inflatable ones, are being bought more frequently now than in the past. Sailing is once again becoming an important activity for the elite. It conveys values and a unique pleasure. We are seeing it very clearly today with the interest in the new Tiwal 2 inflatable dinghy.”

Josh Richardson offers a range of sailing yachts and the fact that he has three recommendations seems to back up this trend. His first recommendation is the Flying Mantis. “It is,” he says, “A very new dinghy and recently won the dinghy of the year award for 18/19. It’s a fully carbon foiling trimaran which is just as fun to sail as a lowrider (non foiling for the beginners) as it is for the experienced. Tested here on our local lake it comes highly recommended by the Superyacht Tenders & Toys team. Continuing to expand on sailing dinghies he has to offer superyachts Josh says, “A new concept which I was introduced to during Dusseldorf this year. A foiling dinghy that’s got a price point to appeal to a wider audience (cheaper than others!). Unlike the Moths and Waszps its far more stable and achievable for all. Richardson’s final recommendation is the Reverso. He says, “This is a non foiling dinghy that is designed to pack down into an average estate car’s boot… an impressive idea for yachts with a lack of storage who want a rigid dinghy rather than a Tiwal or MiniCat inflatable.”

It is not all about foiling. ‘Normal’ sports like golf on board are making a comeback. Yacht Golf is becoming very popular on the larger yachts. Superyacht Tenders & Toys have sold numerous greens with golf club sets, plus matts using both floating and biodegradable golf balls.


Then there is the computer generated golf experience simulator. This is a very cool option which is now being fitted to a new build yacht design. It utilises projectors, sensors, and real world courses to give the most realistic experience to the player. This is a good product for a group to pay a fun/competitive round of golf without straying from the comfort of the yacht.
They have also had a run of requests for custom carbon games decks like the one created on the bow of Anna. There Superyacht Tenders and Toys created a five-a-side football court with astroturf and carbon goals. Custom designed toys are becoming increasingly dominant in the world of superyachts. There has been a rush in the custom painted, reupholstered carbon fibre sit down Jetski market during the 2018/19 season. Customised toys are becoming so popular that Superyacht Tenders & Toys have employed a full time in-house engineer and technician to solely work on custom products. Richardson says, “Anything is possible from custom painting, upholstering, carbon iPad mounts / accessories, sound systems, depth sounders etc.”

One of the most bonkers bits of kit out there, is not new but now that it is CE certified, the Seabreacher is attracting more attention given that it can now be sold in the EU. When it comes to new to the market the latest Seabob is the F5SR, a unit which includes 10% extra power than the F5 with built-in forward facing and selfie camera. Foiling wakesurfing boards, wakeskates and wakeboards are great options to have for towing behind the Nautique and all go to prove that foiling is the latest craze and the next step with a lot of sports!

If you feel the need to slow down and take a more leisurely approach, the Node is an eco friendly recycled SUP that is thriving in the market place and selling well riding the current trend in green living. For those seeking to fully submerge themselves the Peter Diving unit is not really new but is now becoming more accepted and requested by superyachts more frequently. It is perfect for shallow reef experiences, especially for the non-experienced scuba divers that still want to get an underwater experience.

Representing Bic Sport, Benoit Tréguilly says, “Our stand up paddle board SUP currently tops our best-selling sports category.” He adds, “They are ideal for those active superyacht guests who want to explore their anchorages more closely or do a bit of sport either in the morning or evening. The SUP is an ideal activity because it mixes exploring and exercise. We say that it is like doing sport without realising it, as you are having so much fun paddling and exploring that you often forget that you are also getting a good work out. All of the watersport products produced by BIC are particularly easy to store on board a superyacht.”

“Some time ago the idea of creating a water equivalent of a go-cart ignited our imagination,” says Pawel Siezieniewski of 3Bros in Poland. He says, “We were wondering how to bring a greater number of people on the water. We wanted people, without the need to have a motorboat license, to safely taste the freedom and adrenaline while racing across the waves.


We thought it unfair that terrain racers have their mini-equivalents in the form of go-carts, and there has never been anything like that on the water before. So we decided to turn our visions into reality! Our own tests and the opinions of people who have had the opportunity to try, clearly confirm that we have succeeded. The 3bros ONE go-cart does not require a license, because the basic version is powered by a 9.9 horsepower engine, which safely allows it to legally operate at speeds of upto 35 knots.”

Somewhat more gentile is the underwater sea bike from Sea Bike. Its Russian creators have done what the name suggests and created a propeller driven bike that you pedal underwater. Olga Bazanova from Sea Bike says it can be used for pure fun as well as for exploring the underwater world. When folded and packed, the Sea Bike is not more than 70 cm long and weighs 3.5 kg: this package will be conveniently stored aboard any yacht.

Way back in the late 1980s, Richard Boissevain and Paul Jobin were working for the same financial organisation in London, when Richard noticed on Paul’s desk a trophy of a kite crowning Paul ‘European Stunt Kite Champion’. This sparked the idea for a new enterprise and soon after they formed their company. Nearly 25 years on TKC Sales has grown into one of the leading distributors of action sports and active leisure products in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Products now take in beach, street, snow, bike, mountain and outdoor sports. Chances are the superyacht garage has several bits of TKC kit onboard.

Marjan Rožman is the CEO of Quadrofoil in Slovania and the man behind an innovative team who have conceived the all electric aquatic rideable Quadbike. The Q2A, is their entry level model to what is perhaps the next generation of watercrafts. It allows the driver to experience the amazing feeling of freedom while soaring along just above the water. The 3.7 kW electric motor and a 5.2 kWh battery pack form an ideal combination of power and energy efficiency that will, in most corners of the world, let guests cut through the water without a boating license or registration.

Josh Richardson tells us that inflatable toys are still high on the toy request list. Again they are proving the trend towards a noise frees non-polluting form of water entertainment. “Yacht Blob,” he says “is a simple yet potentially extreme thrill for guests. We supply both standard and custom Blobs, but the maddest request was for a 14m x 9m Blob onto which three crew were jumping at the same reinforced sides to help them hold shape alongside the yacht, rather than the yacht camp style which always collapsed and were meant to use in a lake with no wind or waves.” On a personal note, he adds, “We are working on some more easy to handle inflatables which can self-deploy minimising handling for crew and thus increasing owners enjoyment. Space onboard is always at a premium and electric and inflatable toys seem to be getting smaller and lighter which can only be a good thing.

Yacht Joust is another fun inflatable product where the guests can destress and beat each other over the head with inflatable jousts!

OLO Boards

With camera ready drones from suppliers such as DJI and GoPro, technology is playing its part in keeping the superyacht toy market hot. Where the market is clearly slowing down is a guest’s desire to go waterskiing. Ten years ago it was all the rage but today the sport is almost extinct on board superyachts with guests preferring to wakesurf and wakeboard.

The simple thrill of a towable has now been replaced with a vast array of other more exciting toys. Captains are reporting that their guests seem to be adopting a weekend warrior attitude where they look for toys which are a quick thrill but with no skill in a way that will suit everyone especially on charter yachts.

Vitalij Reidel at OLO Boards agrees saying, “Most of the toys on the market now did not exist in the same way 10 years ago. There has been a great development in the variety of toys. Obviously, pretty much every Yacht owns a jet ski nowadays. So maybe this is a segment that may see a little decline.” Jetskis and petrol jetboards are becoming less popular, says Romina Ruoss at Lampuga. She adds, “This is because of maintenance issues, noise and pollution.”

So what will the future bring to the superyacht toy market? “More and more electric toys,” says Josh Richardson. “There seems to be a lot of investment into this area.”
Emmanuel Bertrand, says, “We are moving towards activities that, while remaining accessible, require a certain amount of technical expertise and know-how. The guests seek to challenge each other, to undertake activities close to nature, to play with the elements.”

Romina Ruoss believes, “The future of superyacht toys is simple. Electric, good run time, quick charge time, small, light, compact and believe it or not cheaper. Even the biggest superyachts are buying all of the cheaper boards and toys now. Vitalij Reidel says, “I am of the opinion that we are going to see more and more electrically powered toys on the market. As the battery technology advances there are endless possibilities in creating new and exciting water toys. What counts at the end is that our superyacht toys offer joy, excitement and entertainment to our customers.”

But what is it that has made having toys on board become such an important issue for yacht owners, their guests and those who charter the yacht? Josh Richardson thinks, “A lot of it is that people are more health focussed and enjoy getting out of real life and onto the water where there is also less distractions from real life. It is one of those moments you can focus on enjoying yourself without every social media and email bleeping in your pocket every 5 seconds. The industry has embraced it as a selling point for owners. I guess the trend of younger owners are also more adventurous and physically fit too.”

Emmanuel Bertrand says, “Guests are looking for special experiences. Their stay on board must give them a break from their daily life. Activities offered on board are designed to do just that and allow them to experience sporting adventures, new experiences and new sensations to share with friends and family. Burgess reported that one of their clients, who had chartered one of their superyachts, had spent his time sailing the Tiwal 3 with his son. When it came to the following year’s charter, this customer had made it a condition that the new yacht had a Tiwal 3 on board.”


Vitalij Reidel says, “Yacht owners, their guests and those who charter yachts are mostly very busy people with a limited amount of time they are able to spend on the yachts. So once they are on board they expect quality time for themselves, their family and guests. Having toys on board is just that: quality time for all guests, from kids to adults. And these are the rare moments when adults become kids again. One of our customers charters a yacht for his family and friends every summer. He recently bought OLO surfboards for his daughters and has now told me that the girls only agreed to a yacht vacation this summer if they can bring along their OLO surfboards.”

Romina Ruoss at Lampuga believes, “The superyacht industry has become so competitive and they are all the same thing at the same locations charging the same prices so people are basing their choices on what toys are onboard so it’s really important to have a wide variety of toys for all ages and for different levels of experience in the water. When people charter superyachts now the first question they ask is what toys are on board.”

Whatever brand is mentioned in answer to that question the chances are in today’s market you will definitely be told there is a selection of electric aquatic rideables, along with the now traditional slides, inflatables, jetbikes and of course the SEABOB.