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