How To Choose The Right Yacht Tender

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Most of the time, picking out the tender is one of the last decisions a yacht owner will make, but it is an important decision that should not be left to chance. Having the right secondary vessel on board your yacht, no matter its use, can make all the difference in your yachting experience. Here are some helpful tips on making proper considerations when on the hunt for your yacht's tender.


Many tender buyers end up purchasing the wrong size. Be prepared and really think about where your tender will be stowed and how it will be carried. Take very thorough measurements of the space and height available for it rather than taking a risky shot in the dark. Determine if the tender will be lifted or towed. If you already have a tender garage, consult with the builder or dealer as they likely already know the largest sized tender than can fit. Speaking to owners of the same models is also a great way to gain insight on weight and size limitations.

Ask yourself how you will be using your smaller boat. Will it be simply for transporting your guests and their luggage or are your looking for something to use recreationally? If you are sure the tender will be rarely deployed, spending most of its time on the davit or swim platform then a smaller size would be suitable. But, if you are planning on fishing and diving excursions or exploring beaches with your family, don't settle for something small - you'll need to accommodate tons of gear and seat multiple people comfortably. It is very common for families to find themselves using the smaller boat quite often once the yacht has arrived at its destination.

Another common mistake when buying a tender is having it be overpowered or underpowered. New, lightweight tenders only need a 50 to 25 hp engine. Don't get caught up in wanting to outfit your secondary vessel with the most power possible, much of the time it’s not necessary and can potentially cause the craft to become uncontrollable and dangerous. On the other hand, some buyers settle for far too little power making it a very slow, unenjoyable ride while ferrying guests. There is also the undesirable scenario of the vessel being unable to produce enough juice for your kids to get up on those water skis.

While your tender is the secondary, smaller vessel and may not be a detail you are too focused on, be sure to adequately do your research and properly assess your yacht before buying. It's a very important part of your yacht and the decision making process shouldn't take a back seat.




Yachting Magazine put out a list of some of the top yacht tenders available. Check it out here for more guidance. 

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