Nautical Expert

The global motoryacht magazine

Let’s talk about tenders

Let's talk about yacht tenders

Updated on September 24th, 2023

It is difficult to imagine a motor yacht without a tender. They are brave workhorses who work tirelessly on a wide variety of tasks, from getting us to and from shore to transporting cargo and any ancillary work around the yacht and pier.

If your yacht is large enough to have its own support vessel, then all problems are solved. The shadow boat can not only carry all your favorite toys, including a helicopter and a car, but also different types of tenders that can be used depending on the conditions.

However, owners of smaller yachts may face the problem of choosing a tender. Indeed, this market is now huge, and manufacturers in their advertising booklets give a lot of reasons why their tenders are the best. So what should you pay attention to first?

RIB tender


A fairly common mistake when buying a tender is miscalculations in size. So this is where you need to start. Not all yachts have an aft garage, so they have to allocate space on deck for the tender. Too small a boat is also not always good, but it is much worse when the tender takes up all the free space and interferes with movement on the deck. When calculating, one must not only take into account the overall length of the boat, but also, for example, whether there will be a passageway if the sterndrive is raised.

It is also necessary to consider whether it will be safe to take the tender aboard in rough seas. And while inflatable boats are more friendly to the hard objects around them, a fully rigid boat can damage equipment and gelcoat when returning to its seat.

After the size is determined, you can think about the model of the boat. Futuristic hulls and closed models that protect from bad weather are attractive, but seaworthiness is much more important. And in this regard, of course, RIB has no equal. This is simply a marine SUV that comes to the fore when it comes to extreme conditions. Therefore, it is the main transport unit of any operational services related to the sea.

However, lovers of the classics will never deviate from the fantastically beautiful lacquered boats of Riva and the like. Yes, they are more whimsical and require constant attention and care, including the services of woodworking specialists. But this is undoubtedly an ideal tender, because it not only fulfills its intended purpose, but also constantly pleases the eye.

Riva yacht tender

And, although RIBs are much safer in stormy conditions and generally more reliable, we vote for style and beauty. A classic boat is, of course, the most important decoration of any yacht. It is not a tool, but a self-sufficient source of pleasure.