The many reasons to carry out a complete tender refit

Offered By EAMS Yacht Tender Center

In need of a new tender? Then you may need to consider a waiting period of one year to 18 months for available engines and accessories.

Due to COVID-19, the marine industry has been facing big problems with the stock of marine engines of all types (outboard, inboard, diesel and petrol), and spare parts. According to most manufacturers, it could even be worse in 2022, with a price increase from 7% to 20% on some products.

Taking all of this into consideration, now is the perfect time to look into the option of a complete tender refit.

If you have an old tender in reasonable condition, then removing the engine and stern drive, or opening the jet pump, will allow you to inspect all mechanical parts. Before removing the engine, we recommend carrying out a compression test and an oil test, as that will give you a good insight into the general condition of your engine. Once this has been done, you will have a clear idea of an approximate cost for the refit.

 From there, you may need the following quotes:

  • Quote for a complete general engine service
  • Quote for a complete stern drive or jet pump service
  • Quote for a complete electrical check or refit
  • Do a complete cleaning of the bilges and have them painted if necessary (it’s always better to keep original gelcoat than to paint the bilge area as gelcoat lasts longer and is easier to clean)

Turbocharger of a superyacht tender by EAMS Yacht Tender Center

Engine service tips for tenders

There are many important things to consider when getting a tender engine serviced, including:

  • Complete oil filter and engine oil change
  • Fuel filter exchange
  • Sea water impeller, thermostat exchange, fresh water-cooling pump check and air filter (check exhaust pipes and eventual leaks, check or change gear and gas cables or electric controls)
  • Exchange of all belts including timing belt (corrosion on pulleys and tensioner must be checked)
  • Exchange of all anodes
  • Renewal of heat exchangers (oil and cooling), with a complete dismantling, cleaning with acid and exchange of all seals
  • Renew alternator and starter motor and have them serviced by a qualified specialist (this should cost a quarter or a third of the price of a new one for the same warranty)
  • Have the turbocharger checked by a proper specialist (usually 30% to 40% cheaper than a new one)
  • Have the injectors checked
  • While the engine is out checking the dumper is important as it can often be damaged
  • Clean the fuel tanks
  • Change and check oil leg, stern drive or gear box. Any white colour shows water inlet, so check the metal dust residue in the oil. Any stern drive needs to be checked every 100 hours
  • Check transom bearings and seals as well as corrosion on union and transmission shaft

It is also important to check all electrical looms and connectors while the engine is out, as these are usually made of very small pins that are prone to corrosion. Usually, we recommend changing all rocker switches and brakers with new connections as well.

It may not be a big financial investment but it’s worth the effort to avoid the inconvenience of failure during a busy season.

Full tender engine service with EAMS Yacht Tender Center

Tender bilge pumps, paintwork and fenders

Make sure your bilge pump systems are working correctly and in perfect condition, as it is common for tenders to suffer due to poor original installation. Most of the tender’s bilge pumps are submersible bilge pumps, and with this type of system it is impossible to dry the bilges. This can cause mechanical and electrical corrosion, and ultimately results in break downs.

Always try to have a minimum of two or three bilge pumps and ensure that at least one is a diaphragm pump. This will allow you to dry your bilge compartments perfectly and avoid so many troubles in the future. If your bilge compartments are kept dry and you spray WD40 on all mechanical parts every two weeks, your engine will be kept as new.

Depending on the condition of the gelcoat hull and deck, it may be worth looking into partial repairs or investing in a full complete paintwork. Complete paintwork involves a lot of dismantling of accessories but this is the only way to get a perfect result. Masking around accessories can be a bad decision, as after a few weeks or months of use, the paint can start to peel and will not look its best.

If the tube or foam fender is tired or disformed, go for a new tube or a completely new foam fender covered with Hypalon fabric. Your tender, once the job is finished, will look like new.  

Fiberglass and paintwork on a tender

Tender upholstery and swim ladders

When it comes to upholstery, a complete new set of cushions and backrests can completely change the look of your tender.

It is important to check for stainless steel damages and have them fixed and polished. Most tenders have swim ladders at the stern, where you can find the propellers, jet pumps or outboards – this can make boarding from the water very difficult. Investing in a wide, custom foldable swim ladder at midship would be extremely beneficial and a lot safer for your guests.

If you pair a low-profile tender with garage storage that does not allow high free board, then you can expect complaints from guests when they get unnecessarily wet. Installing a foldable, removable bow dodger is an ideal option for both guests and owners, as it will prevent clients from getting wet whilst cruising or getting back on board the boat.

Complete tender refit price and convenience

New inboard diesel tenders can cost between €80,000 and €300,000 (c. $79,000 and $336,000) depending on the size of the tender. A complete tender refit, however, comes at a much cheaper price, ranging from €45,000 to €100,000 (c. $50,000 and $112,000) depending on the size and the work involved (the engine and paintwork can be the most expensive).

Instead of waiting for a new tender to arrive, a tender refit can be carried out in only two to three months and won’t require any lifting arrangements or garage layout changes.

You know how easy or difficult the handling of the craning is, as you have been using your tender for years. A refit ensures there’s no risk of new bad experiences!


Want to read more from EAMS Yacht Tender Center?

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