Shopping for a new tender
A couple of weeks ago I shared that, come the end of July, Rebecca and I will be living aboard and working on a Leopard 4600. One of our current jobs is to research and decide upon the great many upgrades that the boat will be receiving before we make her available for crewed charters next season. The largest of these upgrades, both in size and in dollars, and the most urgent given that the Leopard does not come with one, is a new tender.
While most of the bareboat charter vessels tend to be supplied with 10′ RIBs with 8 HP engines, Michael, the boat’s new owner, is looking for a tad more. He wants a center-console RIB with a suitably sized engine, and who are we to argue?
A lot of research went into finding the perfectly sized RIB (rigid inflatable boat) for the job. We needed to take into account the number of people that the tender might need to transport at any one time, the maximum length that can fit between the hulls of the catamaran and also the capacity of the Leopard’s davits. With these things in mind, we selected a 13′ aluminum-hulled RIB from AB Inflatables, one of the more popular manufacturers in this area.
The aluminum hull offers a significant weight reduction over the fiberglass models, a feature which is very important for us. I had read about some issues with early models but the people that I know who presently own the aluminum RIBs love them. We also came across the website of another Leopard 4600 charter boat and they are using the identical RIB as their tender. Great minds think alike, right?
Sexy, isn’t it?
Where will we be acquiring this dinghy? From Budget Marine in St. Maarten. Budget is the official AB distributor in the area and once I got ahold of the manager of the store, I found him to be extremely helpful in looking after our needs. Now, as for engines, I wish I could say that I’m having an equal supply of luck but I’m not. I’m still working with the various Yamaha dealers to pin down exactly who will be getting our money for a new outboard. Even though we won’t be taking delivery for a little over 2 months, I’d really like to have these decisions sorted.
By the way, we have already had 3 inquiries for charters based solely upon the one post that I made here on our blog, and word of mouth. That is exciting! Wouldn’t you like to be one of the first to get a ride like this behind out new tender?
Note: If you haven’t already read it before, check out my related post titled The Perfect Dinghy.