A custom tender, of high-quality build and unparalleled design, ranks highly on the luxury to-do list of many a discerning superyacht owner. Compass Tenders have become well known for their ability to answer that request, with attention to detail and the ability to deliver on the most specific of requirements.
We talked to the team at Compass Tenders, the company responsible for some of the most exclusive tenders for the largest and most iconic superyachts on the planet. We sat down with Richard Faulkner (Owner/CEO) and Ed Wingate (Head of Design Department and Manager) to understand their design philosophy and approach for custom builds.
How do you go about designing a custom tender for a client? Is the mothership the primary source of inspiration or are there other factors that come into play?
Richard Faulkner (RF): From the first initial contact with the owner’s team, our first objective is to establish the intended use for the tender, outline what its ‘duties’ will be and beyond that start to look at what design aspects will suit it best.
For limousine tenders, we absolutely take inspiration from the mothership to complete a design; the key is to incorporate staying accents as the whole thing scaled down doesn’t tend to work. Historically, we have worked with leading superyacht designers and stylists to execute our limousine tender builds.
What makes a project successful
Ed Wingate (EW): Good communication between all parties, namely client’s representatives, client’s designers, the build management teams and crew, when possible, is essential at the start of a project. If the clients are experienced in yachting this helps a lot, as they know what they want and more importantly what they don’t need, onboard. There can be strong temptation to pack too many features into a tender especially when the owner’s representative isn’t sure what they want; therefore, the development of a sensible and fully achievable wish list from the outset is paramount.
What are the biggest challenges you face in the design process?
RF: Generally, the hardest custom tenders to design are the open ones. These tenders tend to have to perform many different tasks and duties for both the owner and crew. Some design aspects are challenging to replicate on open tenders; however, we are confident we can fulfil the client’s wish list, which can be extensive and all encompassing! If the mothership is over 90 meters, our job becomes easier as we can usually create more than one open tender, which means outfitting each for a specific duty and not having to compromise.
What inspires you and your designs?
RF: My inspiration comes from wanting to give my clients a practical and stylish solution for their luxury transport ashore in a Compass Tender. In the forefront must be comfort and safety and we are proud to have an excellent reputation for tenders with excellent sea keeping qualities. Further inspiration comes from working with leading designers and stylists to create the ‘perfect’ tender to compliment their super yacht master pieces. Needless to say as a lover of cars, the automotive industry provides inspiration as well whether it be from Aston Martin, Bentley or Porsche and I am often looking at how we can incorporate design accents from that sector as well.
What design trends are you seeing in the industry?
EW: Trends and fashions are cyclical, but there is a noticeable trend in recent years of transforming functions, dual purpose, with large complex moving parts and hinges. I believe this trend will stick as clients’ expectations are growing. This is something Compass Tenders have been doing in calculated moderation for a number of years now, from hydraulic three-part bow doors, to flush three-part glass sun roofs. With complex moving parts, there is always the risk of malfunction and this is our primary concern; hence, not overdoing things just to satisfy a trend is a focus.
What types of tenders are in demand at the moment?
RF: As yachts are getting larger, they are anchoring further and further offshore. Transport to land, especially in the evenings, takes place via limousine tenders that have become a more significant part of the volume of custom tenders we build today.
Look into the future and tell us what you see?
RF: Looking forward to the next 10 years, I see hybrid drive solutions starting to pave the way towards fully electric powered tenders, particularly in the limousine tender sector of the market. As a result, we are investing a great deal in both our electric powered and hybrid solutions, which will permit the owner to leave and approach the mothership or port in near silence.
Compass tenders will be presenting their new range of semi-custom limousine tenders at the Monaco Yacht Show. Stop by their stand at TT21 to find out more.