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Showing posts from tagged with: Zodiac


Article by Frances and Michael Howorth




It is hard to believe how quickly the role and the appearance of the SOLAS rescue boat as carried on board a superyacht has changed in the last decade or so. Gone is the ugly orange blob of an inflatable that together with its own dedicated launching gear cluttered up the foredeck of every superyacht required to carry one. Not only where they nasty to look at, but their very position on deck where they could be swept overboard in

exactly the same weather conditions as they were likely to be used, caused many Superyacht Captains to have nightmares. Yet Flag States seeking to impose commercial ship regulations on superyachts thought they knew better and it was only when threatened with the potential loss of income as yachts sought to reflag that they caved in and, hey voilà, we have the rescue boat as it exists today in all its glory.

Rescue boats built in the 21st century now come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours and can be rigid, inflatable or hybrid RIB type craft. The self explanatory name; rescue boat explains its ‘raison d’être’ and describes it’s innate ability to recover persons from the water when they are unable to do so unaided. Under SOLAS Rescue Boats must also be capable of marshalling and towing liferafts that would otherwise be left to drift helplessly.

Rescue boats must be between 3.8m and 8.5m overall and be capable of accommodating at least five persons all of who must have room to sit together with a casualty strapped into a standard SOLAS stretcher. Seats for those occupants except the helmsman can be on the deck or floor of the craft but cannot be on the buoyancy tubes, gunwhales or transom. Motive power can be provided by a fixed or outboard engine.

Under SOLAS rules boats must also be either self-righting or capable of being righted manually by two persons. Under the same regulations they can count towards any lifeboat carrying provision providing it meets the performance standards for both craft.

With safety regulations requiring a SOLAS rescue boat on many large yachts, boat manufacturers have sought out a number of ways to satisfy the legislative requirements whilst still producing a practical tender for transport and even sports boat purposes.

With traditional SOLAS rescue boats being somewhat agricultural in both looks and function a number of custom boat builders and specialist tender suppliers have worked hard to create rescue tenders that can double up as comfortable guest transport or water sports boats and also match the look of the mother ship.

There are a wide variety of options available depending on whether the main vessel is under or over 500 gross tonnes. White SOLAS tenders are available from a number of tender suppliers, that are certainly more acceptable than dayglow orange when considering superyacht and guest use in general. SOLAS compliant rescue boats can be supplied ex-VAT but only if solely used by the yacht for rescue purposes.

Yachts built to the passenger yacht code are obliged to carry two rescue boats, one on either side of the vessel but superyachts below this size need only carry one. Rescue boats must be equipped with certain items and stores needed for their rescue role. All you have to do is seek them out and our guide should help with that task.


HURRICANE was one of the first builders to recognize the need for luxury SOLAS approved custom tenders for Yachts over 500 tons and delivered its first MCA approved ECLIPSE™ in 2000. One of the main criteria in choosing a builder for a SOLAS yacht tender is the degree of engineering resources available to support a credible and properly documented effort. HURRICANE has a permanent staff of in-house engineers that provide the know-how of ensuring that your custom SOLAS tender will fit your requirements and stay within Class. HURRICANE is one of the few Yacht tender builders that

actively maintain a certificated Quality Assurance system compliant with ISO 9001-2015 which provides customers a level of comfort that technical issues are properly managed to ensure traceability throughout processes.
For more details Tel: +1 604 940 7631
or visit www.hurricanetender.com


As one of the leading tender specialists over the past 20 years and having built over 100 tenders, many of them custom built, Yachtwerft Meyer has continuously developed its product portfolio to cover the complete range of full and semi-customs tenders and boats to serve the superyacht industry. Custom or semi-custom SOLAS tenders are versatile boats are designed to fulfil the SOLAS requirements, plus to act as a utility tender, with the maximum reliability and practicability as with all Yachtwerft Myer tenders. The fully custom SOLAS tenders are premium luxury tenders designed and crafted with direct

owner input at every stage of the process to fulfil every specification and desire, creating a sophisticated statement of personal style.
For more details Tel: +49 (0) 421 98 50 39 50
or visit www.yachtwerft-meyer.com


Fassmer is a world market leader in the design and construction of SOLAS approved tenders for the superyacht industry. Their product range covers customised standard designs, completely tailor-made high-end tenders, and even beach landing craft. Luxurious, elegant, safe and SOLAS approved, Fassmer’s designs benefit from the company’s longstanding experience in this field. The TL Limo 1100: An individual, stylish and luxurious tender, with a full portfolio of design and comfort assets, spot-on functionality and a joy to handle. The SEL-RT 7.5 or SEL-RT 8.5: A partially enclosed life

and rescue boat with exquisite ergonomics, sure to satisfy the most demanding requirements. The RIR 625 ID: A small but nippy, sophisticated rescue boat with a streamlined hull and dynamic drive characteristics, enjoyable to handle and highly functional. The BLC 10.5: Both comfortable, high-speed excursion tender and yacht support tender, this custom craft is ideal for short tours like diving trips or fishing excursions, and its combined guest seating concept with crew area and loading bay is a pleasant experience for you, your crew and your guests.
For more details Tel: +49 4406 942-0
or visit www.fassmer.de


The NARWHAL FRB-700 SOLAS Rigid Inflatable Boat is designed for rescue operations on high seas with a maximum capacity of 7 + 1 people under a MED (SOLAS) Type Approval issued by Lloyd’s Register. The console is wide and protects the pilot against the wind and spray with sufficient space to install state of the art electronic equipment. It is connected to the single point hoisting system with a Henriksen quick release mechanism. It is equipped with a 220hp VOLVO Inboard Diesel Engine and a Hamilton waterjet propulsion system. Fuel is supplied via a 200lt fuel tank located under the deck

and offering an autonomy of 4 hours and maximum speed of 32kt depending on sea state. The A Frame located at the rear has a self-righting system, radar reflector, life buoy and navigation lights. The deep V Hull allows smooth sailing and great manoeuvrability in turns with a reinforced structure offering greater resistance and durability. The deck is made of a reinforced glass fibreboard and a non-slip and fireproof covering.
For more details Tel: +44 (0)1244 504 500
or visit www.star-international.co.uk


The goal of the Ribeye SOLAS Tender range is to create a collection of flexible tenders that truly contribute to your yacht and tender fleet rather than being stowed away and never used. Every Ribeye tender is based upon an offshore hull with a deep V and sizeable bow sheer meaning each tender will By combining these core characteristics of the Ribeye with the SOLAS specifications means that the Ribeye sets a new standard in the yacht tender market. Ribeye SOLAS Tenders are available from 6 - 9m with either outboard or inboard propulsion systems.
For more details Tel: +44 (01)1803 832060
or visit www.ribeye.co.uk


Presently Castoldi manufacture N. 3 SOLAS rescue tenders: JT 14 RB, JT 18 RB and JT 19 RB. They all have the Type Approval Certificate in acc. to IMO res. MSC 81(79) and are suitable to equip yachts over 500 GT, built under the LY3 code. JT 18 RB and JT 19 RB have also the MED Type Approval Certificate. While JT 14 RB, being small, can be righted easily by the operator using the special straps located on one side, JT 18 RB and JT 19 RB are equipped with a patented recessed self righting system (called RI.SE.R.) consisting in a balloon and

tank, stored in a dedicated stern peak. We’ve adopted this solution so to not install unaesthetic and bulky arch; basically the SOLAS versions of JT 18 and JT 19 are looking the same of the non SOLAS versions.
For more details Tel: +39 029401881 or visit www.castoldijet.it


Xtenders supplies custom carbon SOLAS rescue tenders from 5.6 up to 8.5m in length. SOLAS stands for ‘Safety of Life at Sea’. Besides rescue craft, these tenders are rugged, versatile boats capable of fulfilling a variety of roles including day-to-day operations and expeditions as well as guest transfers or rescue missions. Reliability is essential for a rescue tender. Building in full carbon fibre allows us to keep weight to a minimum whilst maximising the durability of your vessel. This brings the boat into the realm of many yachts constrained by crane capabilities that in the past would have had to opt for a

smaller vessel. Aesthetically, our ability to customise every component enables you to align your tender to the mothership if required, but more importantly also allows you to assemble a suitable solution in terms of functionality. Each custom tender is tested for SOLAS certification and remains fully functional for delivery, which is part of our unique approach. Hence, our client can be sure he or she gets a physically tested product and not a “type-approved” design. Xtenders SOLAS tenders, more than certified rescue vessels.
For more details Tel: +31 36 760 14 93
or visit www.xtenders.com


Rib-X International offer a range of British designed and British built SOLAS tenders from 5.0 to 8.5 metres, together with a Custom range of SOLAS tenders for the Yacht looking for something a little different. The SOLAS Rescue Boat is designed to act as a man-over-board recovery boat and provide a marshalling vessel for life rafts in the event of abandoning the mother ship. All rescue craft are engineered to comply with the most stringent requirements for a SOLAS tender, that said they are built to the same finish and offer the same functionality as the regular Rib-X Superyacht tenders,

effectively offering the yacht the capability of carrying less tenders yet still fully complying with safety regulations. Rib-X International is 9001 approved meaning there is assurance of quality and control throughout the entire build process.
For more details Tel: +44 (0)116 247 7017
or visit www.rib-x.co.uk

Repforn is an approved local service and repair station for Zodiac SOLAS approved rescue boats and also official sales agent. They are located in Bijela, Bay of Boka, Montenegro. The trained and certified technicians have accumulated wide experience in both servicing and supplying these special RIBs. Annual services are performed at the service station in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. They can thoroughly pressure test your boat and undertake professional repairs for


anything from pin hole leaks to significant damage and tears. The indoor, ventilated, temperature and humidity controlled repair area ensures the repair will last and, they back all of the repairs with a one year warranty. Although founded primarily as an inflatable life raft service station, the company offers other services such as; Annual and 5 yearly inspection of lifeboats, davits and winches, Inspection and supply of immersion suits, Service and supply of inflatable life rafts (leisure and commercial), plus Service and supply of self-contained breathing apparatus. The companies team act in a responsible way, basing their activities on a firm set of values and business principles. Quality problems are not acceptable as they are directly connected with safety. No compromise with safety, no compromise with quality, is the company mantra. They strive to achieve operational excellence day after day.
For more details Tel: +382 (0) 68 008 758
or visit www.repforn.com