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November 28, 2018

Leveraging niche market, Hodgdon splashes two tenders for European megayacht

Courtesy / Hodgdon Yachts
Courtesy / Hodgdon Yachts
Hodgdon Yachts' tender division this week launched a customized 31-foot 2-inch Venetian limousine tender for the owner of a megayacht being built in Germany.

The launch of two new tenders for a superyacht under construction in Germany signals a thriving niche market although one facing increasing competition — for the Damariscotta superyacht tender division of Hodgdon Yachts.

On Nov. 27, Hodgdon Tenders launched a 9.5-meter (31-foot 2-inch) Venetian limousine tender and an 8-meter (26-foot 3-inch) Venetian center console tender.

Hodgdon Yachts, in East Boothbay, was founded by the Hodgdon family in 1816 and is still owned by the same family.There's growing demand in the superyacht tender market, fifth-generation yard owner Tim Hodgdon told Mainebiz.

"There's a lot of growing competition as well," he added. "The strength of the dollar is an obstacle because most of the competition is in Europe and other parts of the world."

Both tenders were designed by Michael Peters Yacht Design of Sarasota, Fla., according to a Hodgdon news release. They'll be delivered early next year to boatbuilding yard Abeking & Rasmussen, which is constructing an 80-meter motor yacht for one of its customers, Hodgdon said.

One yacht, two tenders?

Courtesy / Hodgdon Yachts
Courtesy / Hodgdon Yachts
Hodgdon Yachts’ tender division launches a customized Venetian limousine tender.

Why doe one yacht need two tenders?

"One is a limousine, which is designed for him [the boat owner] to transport guests and himself from shoreside facilities," explained Hodgdon. "It's like having a Lincoln town car — it's a chauffeur-driven limousine. They would use the other tender for water sports, going to a beach perhaps, fishing — it's more of a sport boat."

Inspired by Italy's water taxis, the Venetian series is semi-production, and allows for customization to complement any superyacht, according to the yard's online marketing material.

Over the course of 200 years, Hodgdon has built boats ranging from the early 20th century Arctic explorer Bowdoin to the 100-foot superyacht Comanche, which in 2016 shattered the west-to-east transatlantic monohull sailing record. Comanche was specifically designed, engineered and built to be a fast racing sailboat, with its advanced composite materials optimized to be as light as possible so it could sail fast.

In recent decades, Hodgdon diversified its services. Today, the company's divisions include Hodgdon Yachts, specializing in custom sail and power yacht construction; Hodgdon Tenders, building high-quality superyacht tenders afloat; Hodgdon Yacht Services, offering full service boatyard services and refits; and Hodgdon Defense Composites, building specialized defense craft.

The design of the two tenders launched this week are semi-custom versions of the existing Venetian line, said Hodgdon.

Backlog of work

"They're the identical look and styling as our Venetian line, but a little different configuration," he said. The yard has previously built larger and smaller versions of both the limousine and center console tenders, for megayachts ranging in size from 70 meters to nearly 160 meters. The size of the tenders is dictated by the size of a particular superyacht's tender bays, he said.

The yard has built about 15 tenders to date, and recently signed three new contracts, he said.

"We have a backlog we're working on, and other proposals we're bidding on," he added.

According to the release, the limousine tender features mirrored windows that electrically raise and lower, port and starboard hull side doors that swing open for easy aft side boarding, and a power roof that lifts for full headroom height. The luxury cabin — with heat and air conditioning — feels spacious and allows for comfortable seating for up to 12 guests. The center console tender matches the look of the limousine. The design, layout and performance capabilities were tailored for beach use and water sports.

"We're thrilled to be delivering two more high-quality tenders and beginning the construction of others," Audrey Hodgdon — director of sales and marketing and the sixth generation of the family to be working there — said in the release.

Upon delivery, Hodgdon's service and support team will re-commission the tenders and provide crew training.

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