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Old 08-06-2014, 07:51   #1
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Using a Center Console as a Tender

So we have been looking at the types of tenders we want to get when we finally take off from the Caribbean.

We came across the AB Mares 10.5' center console RIB and very much like the idea with the kid, dog, gear and ease of use. It also allows for greater exploring with more comfort.

My question is how many people are using center console's as their tenders with sailboats in the 40'+/- range?

A 12' regular AB is about 160lbs, the mares center console is about 220ls, so only a difference of about 60lbs. That doesn't seem like too much weight difference to me. Surely normal davits could handle that. Wouldn't it?

We are thinking about throwing a Yamaha F20 on it, which is a very common outboard that we've seen and only about 100lbs, so easily taken off the dink and put on a stern rail like every other outboard when underway.

Thoughts? Comments?

Particularly interested in hearing from people that use a center console as their tender with a monohull.
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:56   #2
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Re: Using a center console as a tender

Tow it behind you.
I have seen skiffs and CC fiberglass boats in the 15' to 17' being towed behind sailboats. Makes for perfect tenders and you can sell the davits on ebay
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:00   #3
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pirate Re: Using a center console as a tender

Have you considered a jet rib.. no OB being stolen to worry about..
They do one with a dry weight of less than 200kg
BWM Ribs - Jet Tenders
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:14   #4
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Re: Using a center console as a tender

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Have you considered a jet rib.. no OB being stolen to worry about..
They do one with a dry weight of less than 200kg
I was not familiar with BWM prior to your post but we have Williams ribs and love them. Also have one Avon Seasport Jet Rib. And familiar with Aquascan. There are a lot of arguments pro and con on jets. Many center around the engines. Some of the original jets were Yamaha engines as used in Waverunners and the early versions of those gave considerable trouble but those have improved greatly. Today, Williams and Avon use Weber gas engines and Yanmar diesels. We're not familiar with the BWM engines but the diesel version appears to be considerably lighter than the Yanmar and also offered on smaller boats than others offer diesels. BWM appears to have been doing this a long time. Interesting that BWM, Avon and Williams are all in the UK.

Others criticize getting moss and other debris in the intake and having to go under to clean it. We've found that must be to running too shallow even for jets as we've never had the problem and put hundreds of hours on our jets. Others criticize getting service on them. Again we've not found it a problem but certainly it's not as available as on an outboard. It is very important to flush them after use and the routine maintenance is greater than on an outboard. But then most of us already have inboard engines on the boat. Then there's the outboard advantage of easy engine replacement. That is a legitimate point. One final criticism is that most have small fuel capacity and therefore limited range at their higher speeds. Now seldom do we run at those speeds as ours will all run around 40 knots. I notice the BWM, as do ours, have limiters you can set so less experienced users will stay slower.

We love jet ribs. If you can accommodate one they have some unique advantages. Starting with no prop and the risks to those around it. Also balance as the engine isn't hanging off the back. Even better balance in getting in and out of one. And easy to store. Look at the height. No outboard hanging down. None to remove. One reason jet ribs have gained such popularity is sporty power boats that use garages and won't accommodate anything else, brands like Riva for instance.

I'm not sure how much of an advantage no outboard to be stolen is, as protecting the entire rib vs. theft is still an issue, depending on how you store it.

Just something worth considering. We love jet ribs. I'd guess in the last 18 months we've put 400-500 hours on them. Many feel strongly the other way but we find either they've not actually used them or they had early models which much like early jet skis gave more trouble. The use of jets is certainly nothing new as jet boats have been long used in some fishing areas and were used in high performance sport boats in the 70's. Plus look at the number of jet skis.

I would love to hear more from Boatman regarding his experiences and knowledge of BWM. We find the carbon version very interesting and obviously haven't seen one. There's a brand, Carbon Craft, outrageously priced and we don't know if they've actually sold any or just shown them. Certainly some advantages to the light weight but imaging quite a cost too. Also not sure if the balance and stability would be the same. So, tell us all you know, Boatie.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:18   #5
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Re: Using a center console as a tender

So is the price difference the biggest factor in less people using CC tenders?

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Old 08-06-2014, 09:32   #6
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Re: Using a center console as a tender

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So is the price difference the biggest factor in less people using CC tenders?

Sent from my LG-E980 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
Tender purchases and choices are very much driven by price and by weight. Now for console models center vs. side that becomes personal preference. The same console would weigh the same and cost the same. It's just the center console is generally a larger console so weighs and costs more.

But there is one other issue. That is passage. Ribs are generally very narrow and being able to get around a center console on a small rib may be difficult. However, our ribs are center console and we find it no real issue. So design is a factor.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:38   #7
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pirate Re: Using a center console as a tender

Absolutely none..
But someone was running round Cascais in one and I thought it looked neat.. also did not know BMW had gone into boats so did a search and found out..
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:41   #8
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Re: Using a center console as a tender

I have a 3.4 meter Avon RIB with wheel steering -- we call it a jockey console but I guess it's the same as what you're calling a center console.

It has a 25 horsepower Mariner two stroke which is incredibly bulletproof.

I have mixed feelings about it as a tender. On the one hand: the wheel steering and comfortable seating make it possible to cover much greater distances in the dink. And at 25 - 30 knots obviously your exploring range increases even more

On the other hand, and as it turns out, I rarely use it at high speeds or over long distances. There are speed limits in every harbor in this part of the world which has you put-putting along using two out of your 25 horsepower.

And despite the light two-stroke, the whole rig is fairly heavy, and the Simpson davits which carry it are easily the most troublesome piece of equipment on the boat .

Another thing: Although such a rig may look a bit like a "proper little motorboat", 3.4 meters is definitely too small to be a proper motorboat. I have used mine a bit in the open sea and I've crossed the Solent four times with it between Cowes and the Hamble, once in somewhat lively weather. You can theoretically covered some miles in it, but it does not have the stability for any kind of serious use as a motorboat.

So I have thought about ripping out the jockey console and going to a lighter, tiller-steered 15 horsepower engine. Or selling the dinghy altogether and buying something with an air floor which I can store on deck, and getting rid of the cursed davits.

One thing stopping me is the fact that with 25 horsepower and wheel steering, my dinghy should be very well capable of hip towing the mother ship in case of engine failure (God forbid). I've never needed it for that (thank God), but it is somewhat comforting to know that I can do this if necessary.

So I guess my advice to you would be that -- yes, wheel steering and a big outboard are really great things if you have opportunities to roam in your dinghy. For simple shuttle service to shore from an anchorage, it's massive overkill. And -- are your ready to carry a few hundred pounds of gear off your transom? At sea in rough conditions?

I have lusted after jet RIBs like Avon's ones. That would really be fun for blasting around the islands. They are basically just jet skis with hulls and tubes around them. But they are still much heavier than a RIB like mine with an outboard. So for my boat, that's out of the question, although we are 54' on deck and 25 tons loaded! What size boat would you need to carry a jet RIB? I dunno; a pretty big one, or a trawler.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:50   #9
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Re: Using a center console as a tender

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Absolutely none..
But someone was running round Cascais in one and I thought it looked neat.. also did not know BMW had gone into boats so did a search and found out..
It's BWM not BMW.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:03   #10
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Re: Using a center console as a tender

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What size boat would you need to carry a jet RIB? I dunno; a pretty big one, or a trawler.
Well the lightest Williams is 638 pounds. Avon's smallest around 770 and BWM's around 600 except the carbon version around 400 but I imagine quite a bit more expensive and known nothing about it's stability.

Most trawlers 50' or more can easily handle 600-700 pounds with most having around 1000 lb davits or cranes. Smaller trawlers sometimes can depending on the weight of the trawler itself. 700 pounds of rib is less than 100 gallons of diesel fuel so not significant on them. It's 3 to 4 passengers.

However, sail boats have much different issues on weight and weight distribution. Therefore, I'd think it would probably be a significantly longer sailboat to take that weight and not hurt performance.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:06   #11
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Re: Using a center console as a tender

If you go with the center console what do you plan on doing during passages? I know a lot of people like putting their dinghy upside down on the bow instead of leaving them on the Davits in case they get swamped. Seems like trying to store it on deck may be difficult but maybe you dont ever plan to.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:15   #12
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Re: Using a center console as a tender

RE towing. Until I got my davits I towed out 3.10 RIB, since your above it's hull speed, but not yet on plane, you wouldn't believe how much drag there is towing one
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:58   #13
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Re: Using a center console as a tender

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Well the lightest Williams is 638 pounds. Avon's smallest around 770 and BWM's around 600 except the carbon version around 400 but I imagine quite a bit more expensive and known nothing about it's stability.

Most trawlers 50' or more can easily handle 600-700 pounds with most having around 1000 lb davits or cranes. Smaller trawlers sometimes can depending on the weight of the trawler itself. 700 pounds of rib is less than 100 gallons of diesel fuel so not significant on them. It's 3 to 4 passengers.

However, sail boats have much different issues on weight and weight distribution. Therefore, I'd think it would probably be a significantly longer sailboat to take that weight and not hurt performance.
Monohull sailboats 40 feet and up would not have any trouble with that amount of weight as such, but hung off the stern will cause trim problems. But the main problem is not breaking the davits in heavy seas and heeled over. Trawlers don't heel, and don't typically go out in weather which we still consider fun

A big plus of trawlers is that they offer a superb solution to tender storage, something which is a curse on most sailboats under about 75'. Crane it up on deck -- done. I can't imagine why you would want davits on a trawler, when you can store the tender on deck. I'd have a jet tender, too, if I had a trawler.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:03   #14
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pirate Re: Using a center console as a tender

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It's BWM not BMW.
So.. I'm disclicsex... sorri..
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:09   #15
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Re: Using a center console as a tender

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A big plus of trawlers is that they offer a superb solution to tender storage, something which is a curse on most sailboats under about 75'. Crane it up on deck -- done. I can't imagine why you would want davits on a trawler, when you can store the tender on deck. I'd have a jet tender, too, if I had a trawler.
You're correct that most larger trawlers do, but still a lot of tenders carried on platforms and davits. And most cruisers such as Princess, Sunseeker, Ferretti in the 50-60' range also don't have cranes. The trawlers with flybridges generally have cranes. Others may or may not. Many smaller trawlers have cranes but would not accommodate a jet tender on their decks.

Now I personally am in total agreement with you on crane over davits. I can assure you that even on a 60' power boat in rough conditions the tender on the swim platform can become very problematic as the wash gets it. A thousand pounds hanging as weight beyond the transom creates balance issues on some fairly large power boats.
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