Insight: building custom tenders

Written by Gemma Fottles

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Compass Tenders have been building custom tenders for superyachts since 2004. Here we sit down with owner and CEO of the British brand, Richard Faulkner, who has been building and repairing yachts and tenders at his workshops on the River Hamble for over 30 years and shares his insights into the importance of getting your tender right.

Tell us some of the main evolutions of the company over the years.

In 2004, our core business was building, repairing and servicing racing yachts. With the assistance of Ed Wingate the Design Manager and Katharine Dominy the Operations Manager, the business has grown since then to have some 3000/m2 of workshop space, employing over 50 craftsmen, five designers and five additional office team members. A dedicated stores/ordering department, engineering and joinery workshops and our climate-controlled spraybooths, gives us the benefit of in-house quality control.

What have been some of your most significant projects?

All our projects are significant in their own way! One that stands out particularly is our first limo tender. I remember at the time we received the Tango Limousine Tender there were a few people in the industry that doubted our capabilities, but we went on to build an award-winning tender that became renowned for its styling, ride and comfort and, most importantly, the client loves it. This also marked our entry into the limousine tender market. Following this project, we moved directly with the Tango client’s build team onto their next project; Madame GU. For Madame Gu we produced two award-winning tenders for this high-profile project. More recent significant projects include the Lady Lara Limousine and Sports tenders.

We’ve heard you have a new ‘platform' tender under development, a starting point for clients to then customise. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Our new platform tender, which will be called the Compass Latitude Limousine, will be announced in detail ahead of the Monaco Yacht Show, but we will be using a tried and tested hull design with a range from 9.5-metres to 11-metres in length. We will use a leg driven engine package from either Volvo or Yanmar and our preferred systems for items like Air Conditioning, roof mechanisms, door mechanisms and electrical install. This ‘platform’ will still have several customisable options and, to some extent, we have been using this concept with our 9-10-metre Open Tender models which we have successfully produced for Ocean Victory, Lady Lara, Dilbar, Project Jupiter and two further projects which are in build.

At what stage of the build process should an owner be considering their tender requirements?

I strongly believe that an owner should be considering their tenders at the first concept meetings with their design and build team. Time after time, we feel that we could have offered a better tender package if more consideration for the use of the tenders was given earlier in the design process. The size and layout of the tender garages generally dictate the tender you can fit on board. The crane capacity also needs to reflect the type of tender required. These must clearly reflect the intended use of the mothership and the client’s expectations of use. Also, once you get over 90-metres, a dedicated tender for crew operations, as a sensible workhorse, can be hugely beneficial - but this is often overlooked.

What are some of the benefits of a custom tender build?

The main benefit of a custom tender is that we can produce exactly want the client wishes, in both style signature and operational capabilities for a given length, beam and stowed height. With larger yachts now often at anchor, it’s usually the first experience the owner and/or guests have of the mothership and the enjoyment it offers. The tender they are picked up in at the start of their trip is a clear reflection of what is to come.

We offer two ways of building a custom tender; we can cater for the client who has already been through the design process with their chosen designer and simply wants a builder to construct their custom tender, or we can offer a full design and build package, with the design incorporating their style accents and a wish list of features.

Compass Tenders
Port Hamble
Hamble Yacht ServicesUnit16
SO31 4NN

T: +44 23 8045 7844
E: [email protected]



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