Article by Chris Clifford
WITH A NEW DEMOGRAPHIC OF OWNERS COMING INTO THE MARKET, THE NEED FOR MORE ADVENTURE AND AUTONOMY IS DELIVERED BY THESE CHASE BOATS
There was a time when the small boat that attended to a larger boat, was called a tender. The initial use was to simply ferry owners and guests from the mothership ashore. The tender would need to carry out multiple tasks; take the guests skiing, or drop them and the BBQ gear on to a secluded beach and even assist the crew in bringing provisions on board. However, as the yachts themselves have got larger, so has the storage options for a different kind of tender increased. We now see a multitude of specialist tenders on board the mothership from ski boats to laydown the perfect wake, to limo tenders that are fancier than Rolls Royces to pure action boats that allow the boss to let down his hair as he scoots over the waves at an impressive 60knts. As explorer yachts become more de-rigueur, so the need for specialist tenders becomes more apparent. But the chase boat is slightly different. It delivers speed, elegance and the capability of travelling further from the mothership in rougher seas if required.
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’s rules prevent such legitimised tactics but the chase boat name has evolved to cover boats that, while maybe being 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 no object 100 metre plus yachts and maybe this is matching the new entrants to the ownership market. 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 designed well enough the chase boat can act independently of the mothership and still provide a useful function in both guest entertainment and yacht operation scenarios. We know of one captain who sends his chase boat way ahead of the slower mother ship 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 mother ship 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 mother ship each night in much the same way as a family out motoring returns to their coastal five star hotel. But what this means is that the chase boat needs to cover many functions.
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. And, believe me, you do not want to tow a chase boat across the Atlantic. Yes, it’s been done successfully and quite unsuccessfully in the past. 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. Many skippers will hire additional crew just to operate the chase boat, so normal operations on the mothership are not interrupted. Let’s look at some options on the following pages.
The Vandal Explorer
Designed by world-renowned naval architects Espen Øino and Scott Jutson, the Vandal Explorer is a new semi-custom foil-assisted power catamaran, a tough, do-anything, go-anywhere companion, ideal for off the grid adventures. With its high-performance Yamaha XTO 425hp engines and asymmetric hull form, the Explorer drives like a race boat, providing exhilarating handling in all weather conditions. The unique foil design carries 35% of the Explorer’s weight and reduces fuel consumption by up to 30%, providing an excellent range of up
to 240 nautical miles thus reducing both cost and emissions. The foil requires no particular skill from the operator and nor does it add to vessel draft. In addition to improved efficiency, it gives a smoother ride, less spray, enhanced high-speed stability and, of course, better performance – up to and even beyond 40 knots. Built in the Netherlands by the team at Tenderworks, who create bespoke Tenders and Chase Boats for the world’s finest superyachts, every VANDAL Explorer is the crystallisation of generations of boatbuilding experience and are simply built to go the distance – a low maintenance, lightweight aluminium vessel that can be depended on, day in, day out, year after year.
The Lomac GranTurismo and Adrenalina range satisfy the needs of an international clientele that pays attention to design, performance and safety, but also and above all to on-board comfort. Perfect as luxury-tender boats, performing and elegant at the same time, they are totally customisable: from the colour of the tubulars and cushions to the colour of the gelcoat used for the hull and deck, to the on-board accessories such as awnings and handrails. Each unit becomes unique according to the taste and personality of each customer; they
are therefore perfect for those boat owners who like to have a tender that reflects the style of their boat. The design and the water lines bear the signature of Federico Fiorentino, a talented Milanese designer with extensive experience in luxury and racing boats who has been collaborating with the Lombard shipyard for about ten years.
The motorisation of the “Graf Ipanema” leaves nothing to be desired. Whether single-motor with Z-drive for the pragmatist, or twin-motor with shaft drive for the purist, whether diesel or petrol: acceleration, running smoothness and top speed are peerless in every case. We install state of the art steering and instruments – although admittedly that shouldn’t be visible on a classic boat. Anyway, you only get stranded with the “Graf Ipanema” when you want to! When building classic wooden boats, some people succumb all too easily to the temptation to
compromise under the surface. That is not the case with the “Graf Ipanema”. We continue our uncompromising striving for the optimum with the equipment, too. For instance, the most noble of materials can be found even in the berth. Everything impresses through complete perfection. We also accommodate special wishes gladly and with virtuosity. The table, for example, is good for a surprise, hiding as it does within its interior a clever piece of joinery and four champagne flutes for a luxurious drink. By the way, an elaborately integrated cooler ensures the correct drinking temperature. So: “A votre santé!”
LEKKER Boats is expanding its fleet with a next-level yacht: the LEKKER 44. This seagoing dayboat has a top speed of more than 50 knots (92 km/h) and is perfect for days of adventure. Thanks to the smart and functional design, there is room for sixteen passengers and four sleeping spots. LEKKER Boats is known for its fast, exclusive high-end boats with a functional, low-maintenance design. The recognizable LEKKER-DNA of speed combined with traditional Dutch cosines also forms the basis of the 44 – lots of power, a robust and functional design
and maximum comfort. And thanks to its modular design, the LEKKER 44 can be adapted to suit your needs. The 44 is designed and built in the Netherlands and is available in three different configurations: Sport, Adventure and Ultimate. The first LEKKER 44s are under construction and will sail in Amsterdam, Cannes and Miami.
With the new Black Series edition, Tesoro Yachts, create the maximum expression of what Tesoro Yachts Exclusive Department is able to achieve creating an authentic piece of art, with a black & red design, where exclusivity and style are the essence. An exterior design and interior plenty of refined details make the T40 one of the greatest models of the range. The T40 Outboard is the result of the application of last technologies and construction systems in the permanent efforts to get the excellence and perfection. On the exterior of
the T40, there is a bigger stern solarium that makes a massive sunbed with the dinette table conversion.
Drawing on our racing heritage, the new high-performance Hawk 38 will be capable of up to 62 knots with standard twin Mercury 400R outboards and Mercury Racing Digital Zero Effort throttles. Its searing performance will ensure an exhilarating ride. Together with Fabio Buzzi Design, winner of 43 World Speed records and 55 World Championships, we developed an exciting stepped hull for this model. Whilst the incredible design, features, and equipment delivers ultimate day-boat appeal, a choice of paint finishes and upholstery will
also make the Hawk 38 the perfect superyacht chase boat. The optimised hull takes advantage of the latest outboard engine technology giving not only performance benefits but also low-cost maintenance. We have always dominated the performance yacht space and will continue to do so with this cutting-edge model.
Aluminum Excellence from the rough north. With a deep-V shape hull that is manufactured of the best military grade aluminum in the market, XO’s crossover boats are tough and robust, yet easy to maintain with excellent driving qualities. The XO range offers boats and tenders, which suit the needs of both professional boaters and superyachts. There are eight models in the XO fleet with the latest addition, XO DFNDR 8 being launched soon as 9th model of the fleet. All these models are organized into one of three distinct product lines:
XO EXPLR, XO DSCVR and XO DFNDR. Out of these, the XO DFNDR boats have the most opportunities for customization. The gem of the fleet is the multi-purpose offshore sportsboat XO DFNDR 9, which can be equipped for towing or craning, depending on your preference. Ideal as a tender, this boat can function as adventure boat for expeditions, for commuting ashore, or as boat to have fun and enjoy the warm days by the sea. When equipped with two Mercury 225 engines, this boat can reach up to 50 knots speed. Customize the DFNDR 9 for your needs and set off!
In addition to carrying out all those ship-to-shore people and equipment transport routines, the fully customisable ROM 28 offers a practical alternative to those unattractive limousine tenders, with a sportier and far more stylish twist that owners and their crew will want to use, enjoy and spend as much time with as possible. With a spacious front, the ROM 28 has the combined pace, space and grace to transport up to 8 people at fast cruising speeds at any given time.
Vikal International has produced some of the worlds most luxurious and bespoke custom Superyacht tenders during its 40 year operating history. Founded by Gunnar Vikingur, a second generation boat builder from Iceland, the Vikal brand was established as a premium tender manufacturer through an unwavering commitment to innovation and technology. Lynden Vikingur, inspired by his father’s approach to meeting the evolving tender market, is now leading the charge into electric propulsion, catering to both electric-hybrid and full
electric systems amongst Vikal’s proven suite of tender products. Vikal is well-known and admired by captains, crews and owners alike and is located in Perth Western Australia.