When we were commissioned to build the tender for Grace E, a waterjet driven boat, we worked with leading hull designer, Andrew Wolstenholme to design our first mould and he ensured that the hull form was suitable for both jet and stern drives. One of Cockwells’ defining strengths is that we have the flexibility and expertise to offer clients exactly what they want.
Looking to the future, we have received numerous enquiries about electric tenders and it goes without saying that we would love to produce such a vessel.
However, our detailed research and in-depth review of sea trial data concludes that for an electric boat to be a success, the limitation of range needs to be accepted by the crew. This requires careful planning in terms of how the tender will be used, which can be challenging and a step into the unknown.
It would also help if the cruising speed requirement could be lowered because you can travel all day in comfort at 12 knots from the same amount of power required for an hour at 20 knots.
Unfortunately, if you want to go electric and go fast, the battery technology of today does not currently offer a useful range. It’s a catch 22 situation. To get a boat to plane, you need lots of power. Lots of power comes from big batteries, which are heavy and to move them, you need more power.
It is only a matter of time, however, before propulsion from an alternative power source will be a realistic choice and we can’t wait to be able to experiment with that.
The designs of the future that we are working on today have advanced digital switching systems, which enable our boats to be fully remote-controlled. Our highly-skilled engineering design team is constantly pushing the boundaries in this field and is working with key suppliers in the industry to improve their components by asking the question: “What if it could do this…?”
We have reduced the amount of wiring on our tenders by 50% as data messages become the desired form of communication and with this advanced programming no longer limited to ‘on’ or ‘off’, clients are no longer limited by equipment, just their own imaginations!
Every new brief is exciting for the team to work on. We are at our best when problem- solving, identifying solutions to those design issues which others say can’t be achieved. Each boat we build becomes part of the Cockwells family and is backed up by a personal aftercare service and the very best onboard and remote technical support.
Founded by Dave Cockwell in 1996, Cockwells celebrates 25 years in the business this year. I have had the good fortune to be part of the team since the company’s first tender launch, T/T Grace E. Prior to that, Cockwells specialised in bespoke sail boats and motor launches designed to meet the exacting standards of private individuals, so it was a natural progression for the company to expand into the luxury superyacht industry and produce exceptional tenders with optimum performance in mind.
From our purpose-built, low environmental impact HQ at Mylor Creek in Cornwall, we utilise natural resources responsibly and embrace the potential of modern materials and processes to help us innovate and create a sustainable future.