I once again this month get to chat to a captain of industry in the marine sector, and this time it was the turn of Josh Richardson, who co-founded Superyacht Tenders and Toys with his wife Claire. Tenders and Toys are probably my favourite part of the yachting industry, I mean what’s not to like? They are designed to make life aboard a yacht even more fun and exciting, if such a thing is possible. And it certainly is if the success of SYTT is anything to go by. I’ve been lucky enough to see various different presentations from the SYTT team at different nautical conferences and they are always the one that recieves 100% attendance. From Seabobs to the latest in submersible technology, Superyacht Tenders and Toys have their finger on the pulse of anything that is state of the art, yacht related and cool.
I ask how the company came about. Josh tells me that he has always been into sailing, and after going to University in Southampton he set up a Sailing School on the Solent before realising that really wasn’t the life for him. He met Claire during the Fastnet and they have been inseparable ever since. During the early years they worked across various different boats, quickly learning that whilst the programme may be spectacular, sometimes the other elements don’t live up to expectations. It was on a boat in New Zealand that it came to them that they felt that their brains were slowly turning to mush and if they didn’t do something soon, choosing a beautiful anchorage and what to have for dinner would be the height of their intellectual stimulus. Moving from boats onto land they became yacht managers for Hill Robinson in the South of France, looking after the Abu Dhabi fleet, among many others. It was at this time that the seeds of an idea began to grow and when they eventually decided that they wanted to return to the UK it had become a flower in full bloom.
What Josh and Claire had noticed was that there was a gap in the market. If you needed help with your tenders and toys, such as what brand to buy, how much you should be paying and how to store it onboard after purchase, there was no-one to help. And so was born the consultancy, Superyacht Tenders and Toys, 10 years ago now. Josh says that things have changed radically in that time, but they have built themselves an outstanding reputation and finding a superyacht that hasn’t had some dealing with the now 18 strong team is something of a miracle.
Josh is unsurprisingly very proud of the fact that Superyacht Tenders and Toys is now the leading yacht tender and yacht toy consultancy company. They specialise in providing yachts, owners and captains with a one stop shop for all superyacht tender and toy needs. They have specialist departments looking after new builds, yacht toys, deck equipment and rentals. In fact they are able to assist with any project or enquiry and guarantee to pass on the best possible prices on all purchases. Whether their clients are an owner, captain or industry professional, the team will find a tailor-made solution and you only have to read the testimonials across their website to see just how admired they are in the industry.
The way it works is that once you give them your purchase or rental requirements they then respond with all suitable options, including timescales for supply and shipping. During the proposals stage they can draft owner specific brochures and toy lists, plus their designers can design storage for equipment, including racking, shelving, chocks, trolleys and more, to ensure the best use of space. This is a service that has been very well received by owners, captains, project managers and shipyards alike as their ability to show toys in 3D and do visual walk arounds helps in planning the space on board.
But the support does not stop on delivery, they also offer full service and repair facilities in the UK and globally through their partner network, plus warranty support, spare parts procurement, and the supply of safety equipment – all with global delivery. Their lovely UK headquarters, based on a beautiful farm in Sussex, has a warehouse and packing facilities on site, for the storage of tenders and the gathering together of items for inclusive delivery of large new build orders. They also have an on-site helipad for client visits! It doesn’t come much cooler than that! In France they also have yacht toy rental storage and a new sales office in Monaco, so that once the boats are out of the yards and into the marinas they have the friendly face of Roxanne to help them with all their ongoing needs on the ground, well, more accurately, in the water.
Josh explained to me why SYTT stands out in the marketplace, and whilst their outstanding service levels is obviously key to this, there is also so much more. Rather than being the yes men of the earlier days, they have now streamlined their offering, and are therefore true specialists in the Tenders and Toys sector. Also, as they’re not affiliated to any particular brand, they have the ability to offer choice rather than compromise. The team are free to source exactly what is needed based on the requirements, restrictions and budget of each individual yacht. Whether a boat is looking for jetskis, wetsuits, dive kit, safety equipment, inflatables, towables, Seabobs, performance clothing, watersports toys or tenders, they can provide a selection of products to suit every need. By offering one experienced point of contact, they make it easy to choose the items to fit out any new build or existing yacht. By grouping items together for shipping it means additional savings, and they handle all aspects of delivery, from sourcing the best rates, to customs and importation.
It’s not just the superyachts that are singing their praises, in April 2017 it was announced that Superyacht Tenders and Toys had been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade. These awards are the highest official UK awards for British businesses and the awards are made by the Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, after examination by an advisory committee composed of leading individuals from industry, commerce, trade unions and government. You can imagine the team’s delight to be awarded such an incredible accolade. The following year in 2018 they won the British Marine Federation Business of the Year and best company to work for awards, which is hardly surprising, as when I talk to Josh his sheer enthusiasm for what he does shines brightly through, and I can only imagine how great it must be to work on such interesting projects, where the results put big fat smiles on the faces of your clients.
Talk inevitably turns to Covid and the effect this has had on the business. He is very honest and open in his answer. He says that in actual fact they have had a wonderful year and are 30% up on last year already. They have even had to recruit three new staff and were extremely lucky not to let anyone go. However, he says that whilst there are the obvious positives it has been a horribly anxious and stressful year, as on a day to day level, the future is simply unknown. He is quite frankly amazed to have navigated it unscathed, but says that they were sensible and didn’t take risks. I say that maybe it’s because one of the safest places you can be is aboard a yacht and therefore people need things to keep them entertained. He agrees saying that they themselves panic bought a RIB and some Opis for the kids. As he rightly points out, regardless of size, everyone’s yacht is their superyacht.
The future continues to look bright for this lovely family owned company, who put their staff and service at the forefront of everything they do. So, if you fancy going all James Bond in your submersible, skimming across the water on your Seabob, or throwing yourself from a great height down an inflatable slide, look no further than Superyacht Tenders and Toys!
By Victoria Pearce
Superyacht Tenders and Toys
UK +44 (0) 2380 016363
Cannes +33 489 733 347
Fort Lauderdale +1 954 302 9066
General Enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Office and Warehouse:
Superyacht Tenders and Toys
Harkstead Hall Barns
UK office open 09:00 – 17:00