Three of the best alternative tenders on the market

Lighter, smaller and more versatile, the latest batch of alternative tenders offer plenty of advantages, writes Dave Marsh


At the other end of the spectrum is the BoatBox International (BBi) 650 Leisure Tour, or BoatBox for short.

This ingenious device blends a large car roof box (650 litres) with a small rigid tender that is light enough at 23kg to throw over a shoulder.

BoatBox on car roof

Despite its compact size – 1,800mm long by 590mm wide – it is buoyant enough to carry a load of up to 125kg, roughly the weight of a typical 80kg man plus two dozen magnums of champagne (or if needs must, a small surly teenager instead).

BoatBox’s website suggests a 30-pound thrust Minn Kota Edura 30 electric outboard at £130, but given that the tiniest 2.5hp petrol outboards weigh as little as 13kg (substantially less than the aforementioned teenager) I cannot see any reason why these could not be used instead with appropriate restraint.

BoatBox is constructed of double-skinned ABS, and the air between the two skins provides enough buoyancy to keep it afloat if it capsizes.

BoatBox outboard

If you’re happy with black or green, you’ll get a penny change from £1,000, and there are very few extras to ponder other than a more vibrant colour such as ‘Adventure Red’ at £50 extra, and the outboard bracket – oars, rowlocks, and a seat are all included.

To keep its contents safe on the car’s roofrack, it is fitted with four locks, one in each corner. It also sports a built-in jockey wheel, so you can save on repeated trips by filling it full of gear and dragging it along.

I thought it might appeal to owners of very small and very large boats alike; as the only tender on a similarly tiny mother-ship, or as a second tender on something larger.

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