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Compass Tenders - Bigger, Better, Faster, Further.

First impressions are vital, and for those about to meet an awaiting superyacht, a tender is the all-important first experience of what is yet to come. To make the journey from dockside to aft deck in style, a limousine tender is the transport method of choice.

There are now 75 superyachts on the water in excess of 100 metres in length, and at this top end of the market, larger superyachts and larger tenders go hand in hand. We spoke to Compass Tenders about some of their recent limousine tender projects, which have topped 12.5 metres in length.

The average size of limousine tenders built by Compass Tenders has increased by approximately 10% - from 10.3m in the period of 2016 – 2018 to an average of 11.2m in the period from 2020 – 2022.

“We’ve built 20 limousine tenders to date, with an average length of 10.9 metres,” says company founder and CEO, Richard Faulkner. “Looking at more recent years however, one trend is clear – tenders are getting bigger.” The UK-based company recently delivered two 12.5 metre tenders to Lurssen’s latest launch, the 160m Blue. Prior to that, a 12m limousine was designed and built for a superyacht support vessel, and Faulkner advises that there’s another 12.5 metre limousine tender currently in build.

The last 10 years have seen tender design become far more considered and refined, with mothership-matching limousine tenders becoming a more and more popular choice. This increase is largely attributed to the general increase in size of the motherships, but it’s also due to the more versatile role a superyacht tender is required to play. “Owners want to travel between the superyacht and the shore in luxury, in a tender appointed to the same superlative standards as their superyacht and often in complementary style,” advises Faulkner.

What gives a limousine tender its appeal, as opposed to other tender options, is its enclosed guest space, sheltering passengers from the elements, come rain or shine. The interior cabin space can be air-conditioned or heated to suit the operational climate, meaning that transfers are as comfortable as possible.

A limousine tender is a mini-motoryacht in its own right and is often specified with a high-end package of amenities. “On the larger limousines, this can include shower and toilet facilities, a more comprehensive galley area for on-the-go refreshments, and integrated audiovisual systems,” advises Faulkner. “They also have SeaKeeper stabilisation systems, better seakeeping qualities, more options for the seating layout, and they have full standing-height headroom,” he adds.

Compass are well experienced at incorporating intricate interior details to their limousine tenders, such as pattern stitching on the seating, custom material selections and stylistic lighting recessed into the hull topsides, deck and seating.

And it’s not only the design that has had to adapt to these lengthy new requirements, but construction materials and propulsion methods, too. Faulkner advises that they’ve seen a marked move away from jet propulsion, and the introduction of stabilisers to smooth motion, both underway and at anchor. “We are using more elaborate and detailed tooling to produce various components, and each time it’s a refinement and advancement on the last – we are continuously reviewing, researching and progressing in order to remain at the forefront of tender design and build,” comments Faulkner.

The custom creations that come from Compass Tenders are all built to achieve an optimal fit onboard the mothership, meet the desired speed and range for use, exceed the needs of the owner and complement the aesthetics of the mothership.

“Also working with the mothership’s exterior stylist on the design of the tender, ensures that the design characteristics of the parent superyacht are echoed, and the result is a completely unique vessel that, quite literally, operates in perfect partnership with a united aesthetic as well as optimum performance and usability,” said Faulkner.

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