Custom superyacht tenders make a splash designed by BYD Group
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 4:53 PM
From floating islands to sports fishing boats, the team at Spain’s BYD has experience of designing most types of vessel. But the Barcelona-Palma de Mallorca based naval architecture firm has particular pedigree when it comes to superyacht tenders, with dozens of custom and semi-production projects under its belt.
BYD naval architect Tia Simó believes that his team’s wide-ranging skillsets are the reason for the firm’s success in the rarefied superyacht tender market. “We work daily on superyachts as well as on production boats, and this gives us the best of both worlds,” he says. “We can combine the performance of a smaller boat with the features and quality of a superyacht, all without losing sight of costs. It is really all about keeping comfort, seaworthiness and performance in mind to produce a balanced design.”
Designs like the 11m sport limousine, built in Dubai by Palm Composites using a lightweight epoxy sandwich construction. Gleaming white topsides, a luxurious privacy glass cabin and a generous forward cockpit for short harbour runs all combine in a sleek package capable of 40 knots, yet easily craned aboard and stowed in the mothership’s garage.
Or the V1 Tender Taxi, which represents 10m of blisteringly fast comfort, combining transfer speeds of 40 knots-plus with silky handling and striking, modern looks. It also features a host of original design elements, such as top-hinged companionway doors and swivelling armrests that offer deep padding one side and a luxurious drinks holder on the other.
“This tender was designed as a production model for V1 Yachts in Dubai,” says Simó. “We drew two versions: an open tender and a taxi tender - both equipped with diesel jets and built in lightweight composites. We spared no detail to create a very comfortable interior space, so that guests can enjoy their transfer in perfect ease, no matter the conditions outside. I’m particularly proud of the elegant lines, which should look as good in 20 years as they do now.”
BYD boasts a team of experienced interior and exterior designers, plus engineers and naval architects. It adds up to a full-service design bureau which is as sought after for refit and upgrade work as it is for new builds. Although they make ample use of cutting-edge technology, the design process begins with the refreshingly simple act of putting pen to paper.
“First of all, we draw up an ‘envelope’ of the client’s requirements and restrictions,” says Simó. “Regardless of whether it’s a custom or production project, we always move on to sketching ideas on paper, or sometimes on a tablet by hand. Only after throwing dozens of ideas on the board do we select the combination that we like most as a team. We share the result with the client for approval, before producing CAD drawings and 3D renderings. Occasionally, a client will even ask for animations to bring the concept to life.”
BYD has no ‘house style’, preferring to approach every project with a blank sheet of paper. The most important consideration is inevitably the design of the mother ship, which limits the dimensions of the tender and imparts styling cues. Beyond that, says Simó, “we love simple and elegant lines that never get outdated. We prefer to avoid decorative materials that perform no function, but we like to emphasise technical elements that become a design feature. We also love to mix natural materials and high-tech lightweight composites like carbon.”
It is an approach that has landed clients as diverse as Nuva Yachts, V2 Boats and Platinum Yachts Marine.