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As luxury motor yachts and superyachts continue to grow in size, the form and function of their tender garages are also evolving. What was once just an aft storage space for a yacht's extra mode of transportation is now another opportunity to add even more of an impact to a vessel in variety of different onboard locations. It is no surprise that designers and owners alike aim to push the envelope with out of this world ideas for brilliantly concealing their tenders while simultaneously turning the bonus garage space into an impressive beach club or something equally as fun. With a move to larger and larger yachts, which will always rely heavily on tenders for guest transportation and toys for added water fun, yacht design has been focusing on a creative spin with tender garages and all their potential uses. We explore the latest tender garage trends that have been taking already impressive superyachts to a whole new level of WOW.
To first get a better understanding of today's superyacht tender garages and their non-traditional locations, we spoke with world-renown yacht architect and superyacht specialist Ward Setzer of Setzer Design Group. "With yachts consistently increasing in size, we have seen a departure of tender garages being located strictly aft, and other configurations are being used to accommodate tenders while freeing up transom space." says Setzer. "Garages are being located in the bows of superyachts typically starting at 160' and upwards. With the further application of the use of Plumb-Bow hull forms (a vertical, or unraked bow having a straight edge) these spaces can press further forward and still have ample beam to allow tenders racked in from both sides and up 9 meters or 29 feet."
When deciding on the positioning of tender garages, there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account. Setzer tells us it is recommended that the owner be involved in the early stages of the design process so they can determine the types of tenders they wish to have on board - a factor that directly effects the flow of the garage layout. "Owners need to provide the input as to their tender's anticipated usage, with most conveying the desire to have everything close at hand for water sports but also hidden from view." Once that information has been pinpointed, a killer superyacht tender garage concept can be born.
In the world of superyacht design it seems everyone is talking about "Beach Clubs" aft on boats where the tenders are often now taken elsewhere and hidden away or simply launched to get them out of the way so the full use of the water toys' support zone such as the Beach club can be put to use. We are seeing more large yachts utilizing the aft area usually reserved for a garage as a beach club. This concept of the beach club or cabana has certainly been influenced by trends in the larger superyachts and has event trickled down to smaller motor yachts. To make this arrangement possible, it means the tender has to be stowed either in a side garage or on the foredeck. A tender bay application can also be utilized. Pictured above, the Setzer Design Group rendering demonstrates the beach club concept where jet skis and a small tender can be stored and once they are out in use, the entire transom space converts into a beach club with tons of room to play on the expansive swim platform and a bonus bar area within. Beach Clubs offer guests and owners a change of scenery and uninterrupted views of the water which no doubt maximize the yachting experience.
The new Wider Yachts 150 is a stunning example of a beach club incorporated in the transom space of a superyacht. A float-in dock that takes up around a third of the lower deck, and the base of the garage is fits the hull of the 9.6 meter tender like glove. When the Wider 32 tender is out exploring, this area is then transformed into a giant beach club complete with a seven meter saltwater swimming pool. Watch how the yacht's crew sets up the lounge area with pool after the tender has launched.
The side garage is a stellar option for keeping the transom space completely open for whatever the owner's heart desires. The implementation of the side garage can work very well but must be carefully planned during the design of the yacht due to the heeling angle when launching the tender. Some yachts for instance have water-ballast tanks specifically included to counter the effect of launching the tender from a side garage. With this well-concealed configuration, tenders are launched through launched through large hydraulically operated gull wing doors and many yachts opt to include dual side garages, one on each side.
The common desire to free up transom space led designers of Ester III built by Lurssen Yachts to use side garages in their concept, keeping the tenders closer to the bow. Here you can see Ester III with open gull wing doors that allow her eight meter custom tender and a crew boat to be securely accommodated.
Another brilliant arrangement for keeping the aft of the yacht free and clear is the foredeck garage. Pictured above is the garage on board the 45 meter Big Fish, a McMullen & Wing build. The floor of the foredeck area raises up so that underneath the tender garage can be revealed. This of course leaves the entire back of the yacht open for maximum water access and once the tender is deployed the flooring retracts back level with the foredeck so that the area can be once again used for sunbathing.
Drive-in Tender Bay
The drive in tender bay, also known as the the float in, float out garage option, offers yacht owners the greatest solution for privacy, an increasing concern for clients. This configuration of tender storage means owners are able to board while still in the comfort of their yacht, get settled in and be delivered to shore without anyone knowing who exactly is on board. Many beach clubs are built around the tender bay concept, driving the boat into the floodable area and stepping off into the cabana/wet bar area. Famed vessels such as the 58 meter J’Ade, built by CRN Yachts, keep beautiful Riva tenders in this uniquely outfitted arrangement creating quite the buzz when she first launched. Typically vessels utilizing the float in garage have the entrance situated at the stern of the boat, but J'Ade's is uniquely located at the side. When the yacht's tender returns from its outing and is in place, the water in the bay is pumped out in a matter of moments. For J'Ade, the 18,400 liters of water are pumped from the dock in less than three minutes.
Aside from storing tenders there are many other uses owners have for their tender garages. Aft tender garages are full of all things fun - sailing dingys, paddle boards, dive gear, inflatable mats, jet skis, sea bobs, inflatable climbing walls, kayaks, bikes and motorcycles. If using alternative garage options like tender bays, side garages or foredeck garages, owners can do whatever they'd like with the free transome space, it doesn't necessarilly have to be a beach club. Some garages on larger vessels have cars, spaces that convert to salt water pools, massage rooms, extra galleys for beach club use and even gyms like the one onboard HMY's Trinity Yachts 190 listing, Skyfall. It's clear that over the years yacht design has adapted to the creative desires of the yacht owners. There is no limit to what tender garage capabilities can be added to a custom superyacht when imagination, technology and expert engineering combine.
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