Increasingly we are finding that shipyards and designers are more aware of them and they are getting designed better into the yachts storage and operations, giving owners, guests and crew a better experience. Many designers have preferred brands to work with based off past history and design in various manufacturers boats from the outset, which then sets the box dimensions (height, beam, length) and also crane weights installed by the shipyard. At SYTT we are regularly involved with new concept yachts and assisting in getting practical garages designed which fit the owners’ brief. Key considerations being ease of operations, cleaning, maintenance, chocking and of course proposing suitable boats for purpose ensuring boats are not compromised by height for sea keeping and deep V hulls, length for vessels being dry and fast, and beam for loading capacity of guests and equipment.
As ever, the earlier tenders can be designed into garages during the build the better, and this goes without saying and avoids tenders having to be purchased to compromise. However, it is not just sizes of tender garages which are important, but also the cranes, chocks and other seemingly small details. Cranes and the lifting points on tenders are more often than not the single most important aspect of designing a new yachts garage arrangement affecting owners’ choice in the tenders they can purchase. This is however something rarely yacht captains and owners are involved in as it is planned at the very early stages of the build. With this in mind it makes a huge difference whether the tender has a single point lift, twin lifting points or the more traditional 3 or 4-point lifting. Avoiding spreader bars is fundamental to smooth yacht operations, something we are regularly having to fight with manufacturers against to find ways around when proposed. The lifting setup not only affects the stability and launching conditions which are possible to launch and recover tenders, but also impacts significant aspects of the tender design such as engine and drive choice, limousine roof length, seating and more. In tender builds lifting points need to be aligned to bulkheads and the load spread according to the boats centre of gravity. These then need to be rated and certified typically to 2.2 times the safe working load for a static lift, to 6 or even 8 times the load for carrying passengers.
When designers are working up a general arrangement they need to decide how the tenders will be launched and recovered. At this time in the design there is a focus into the layout of the space to meet their requirements, and in particular the tender storage. Whether this be a drive in tender dock, beach club, roller launching up the transom, side garages with davits aft, mid-ships or on the bow, winching onto deck or simply lifting on deck with davits. All of these need to be considered according to the types of tenders and the conditions and locations they will be used.
A system for one yacht launching tenders in Antarctica in 40 knot winds is very different than a typical Med yacht. Recently we have been involved in a yacht who’s brief was to be able to drive a tender onto the yacht whilst at 10 knots. Transom rollers can work very well here. Regardless of the criteria of when and how the boats will be launched and recovered the correct answer is almost always the easiest. If boats can quickly be attached to a crane or driven onto rollers whilst the vessel is moving, then this invariably represents the safest option for the crew operating them and the vessel avoiding trapped fingers in large shackles and getting caught on lines from cranes. Prolonged periods when people are manhandling and shackling on lifting slings represent an increased risk. For many shipyards to try and design their tender launching system in line with what would be required for SOLAS tenders (Safety of Life at Sea Rescue boats) is positive, as it stipulates that boats need to be launched and recovered quickly at sea.
With the garages and tenders designed what’s left? Simply making the tenders as easy to use as possible – logistics involving fendering and securing. This is something that most captains, crew and owners are able to have more influence on, as many items are purchased by them after a vessel is built or during the latter stages of a build. Below are some of the key items to consider: