Back when working as a yacht manager outfitting a 70m new build I spent a lot of time searching for the best tenders for an owner’s brief. The brief was simple: a 9m beach landing RIB, required for trips ashore with ample guest seating; a classic ‘owners’ tender, practical yet beautiful; and then a watersports boat for wakeboarding and towables. This would seem pretty simple from the outset, however the range of choices I found from every manufacturer was overwhelming and there was a huge amount of time that went into factory visits and specification changes. It would have been entirely possible to research this for months, taking me away from all other yacht management responsibilities for the other boats in the fleet. No supplier could really give me what I asked for without compromises and every manufacturer, of course, claims to be the best. What I wanted was a company that I could go to with a brief and then get sent a proposal outlining the relevant tenders available across the board that I could review with the owner and help move the decision-making process forwards so that he got the boats he wanted at the best possible price. I then wanted someone to oversee the build to ensure it was the most well built, reliable tender which would not let the owner down and would be delivered on time. That person did not exist so I saw a gap in the market and decided to leave my position as a Yacht Manager and set up Superyacht Tenders and Toys (SYTT). With my previous positions as a captain and prior to that running an RYA training school dealing in all manner of powerboats and sailing yachts and a degree in business management my background was instrumental to being qualified for this role.
In the first few months we sold a number of boats, predominantly to captains and owners who were acquaintances but quickly realised that when offering a new service to the industry we needed to educate clients as to what our USP is: not only do we spend time doing all proposals and spec reviews for no charge, but clients can also buy these boats from us at less than manufacturer direct pricing – a win-win situation which some thought too good to be true and questioned how this could be the case. Quite simply, as a dealer or distributor for the manufacturers and due to the large numbers of boats we sell we have greater purchasing power that enables us to get the best possible prices from the manufacturers and we can pass huge discounts on to our clients. Our team of in-house project managers then manage the builds and keep clients informed to whatever level they desire. Owners and captains are invited to attend at any stage of a build, or simply rock up for sea trials – whatever works for them.
One of the key things SYTT do is remain independent. This means we are not specifically working with only one or two brands, but can offer all. So if an owner is after an 8m tender for example we can offer all options from Zodiac, Novurania, Ribeye, Cobra, Pascoe and others to name but a few. This gives the client huge choice in terms of the build quality desired, budget, options, looks and functionality.
On large custom builds, such as limousine tenders which are designed individually for clients to match the mothership we work with all well-known brands such as Windy, Compass, Yachtwerft Meyer, Hodgdon, Vikal and some lesser known brands. On projects like this there is an increasing trend for owners to purchase these directly, as the discounts available on the more production models are not always available here and the sums involved are often much larger, therefore SYTT offer separate contracted project management of the builds. This includes the choice, specification, contracts, build management and then aftersales and warranty handling. Whether it is carbon, composite or aluminium in any shape or style we have been there before and have gained a lot of experience with each type of tender and each manufacturer. We ensure that the client has the best possible experience and receives a boat that is delivered on time and budget. This has been particularly well received by a number of owners and key management companies who use us to oversee all builds on their behalf. With 16 custom projects in build at this present moment it is clear that the industry values this input and manufacturers such as Compass, Hodgdon and Vikal all say they appreciate the positive contribution in terms of build planning, design, production and reporting stating that it significantly reduces their costs and they can concentrate on the builds leaving us to update owners. One of the key items builders often struggle to do do is the reporting and SYTT provide monthly written and photo reports to ensure everyone is kept informed and key decisions are made in a timely manner. As well as the owner reports we also provide the builder with a separate version to ensure that they make sure all items picked up on visits are addressed.
As the superyacht tender market matures it is evident that more and more companies who manufacture production leisure boats are getting into the superyacht sector as they see the potential higher value they can market their boats at. This can be a good thing to keep some of the old timers on their toes in terms of pricing with cheaper alternatives becoming available however quality needs to be closely monitored. This increase in options does make the marketplace even more confusing for owners, captains and build managers looking to order new tenders though as there is more choice but a wide range of levels of quality. Recently tasked by an owner with reviewing the small RIB market we found nearly 100 manufacturers who could build a boat to the size and spec required. Out of those we would only probably recommend around 15 as a starting point for the project, with realistic options being 6 or 7. Cutting through the noise by offering owners only relevant options for their brief straight from the start is what we do well.
I strongly believe that the service offered by the yacht tender specialist is required by the industry more than ever and with transparent competitive pricing and excellent service then asking a yacht tender specialist such as Superyacht Tenders and Toys for any project, at whatever level required adds significant value.
By Josh Richardson – Tender Specialist