It almost sounds like a challenge when boatbuilder Dries Wajer tells me that no request is too crazy for a superyacht tender. “We always make it work,” says the Dutchman with typical nonchalance of the Wajer yachts he builds in north Friesland. From matching the design of the mothership to accommodating a unique cruising plan, Wajer relishes the challenge. And though the brand has been running for nigh on 30 years, it operates at the cutting edge.
Take the brand new Wajer 38|2, for instance – the smallest in the yard’s line of achingly stylish, semi-custom motor yachts. Yes, it has Wajer’s signature lines, luxurious finish and boasts speeds up to 46 knots. But what really sets this pocket yacht apart is the option to specify foils.
“This new foil assist on the Wajer 38 and 38 S is developed by Van Oossanen Naval Architects,” explains Dries Wajer. “Sailing these foiled Wajer tenders makes for a more comfortable ride as they literally fly over the waves. The brand-new adaption of foil technology ensures a totally different sailing experience, meaning enhanced comfort, less slamming and better overall performance. The foil aid is placed amidships on the hull and lifts the boat, greatly improving sailing comfort and reducing fuel consumption while still reaching top speed.”
These are features which ideally suit the boat to the superyacht market. Preliminary technical research by Wajer has shown that the foil assist reduces fuel consumption by 10-20%, while maximum speed increases by 3-6% at equal power. In a world where owners are more conscious than ever of their environmental footprint, those are big headlines.
Wajer is keeping its in-house technicians busy on this account, looking at ways to make their yachts more sustainable. It is no secret that all eyes are on the progress towards electrification made in the automotive industry. “As far as we are concerned, tenders powered in a more environmentally friendly way are the future,” says Wajer. “Internally, we are already preparing our yachts for this, our innovation team will ensure that the Wajer tenders become more and more sustainable in the future. A hugely interesting challenge that we'll share more about later.”
Like her big sisters, the Wajer 55 and 77, the Wajer 38|2 has design at its core. With sleeker lines than her predecessor, suspension seats and a bigger windscreen for better protection (she does do 45 knots, after all), the boat is nominated for a BOAT International Design & Innovation Award 2021.
The superyacht connection is also evident in the relentless quality of the finish and the willingness to accommodate an owner’s every wish when it comes to lay out and special features. It’s hardly surprising to learn that one in three Wajer boats is commissioned as a tender to a larger yacht. “Comfort is becoming more and more important for owners, and they want to be able to go from A to B quicker,” says Wajer. “Using the tender as a day cruiser for day trips is also becoming more popular with superyacht owners.”
They are capable too, and Wajer yachts have appeared as tenders on cruises from the Pacific to Antarctica. A 38 has already been towed more than 50,000 miles in support of the 54m mothership Kamalaya. Another was equipped to deal with extremes of temperature to suit her for a challenging itinerary on the part of the 76m explorer yacht Yersin. And it’s not just about the smaller boat. “The 55-footer – especially the 55HT – is becoming more and more popular as well,” says Wajer. “It offers more protection from wind, water and sun and because it’s bigger, it’s more comfortable in the waves.”
Back closer to home, the yard is planning a full calendar of events between the Netherlands and the Med next year to mark its 30th anniversary. From a start-of-the-season sail to Amsterdam down to an Owner’s Challenge rally between St Tropez and Ibiza, there is plenty going on. “Our 30th anniversary is an extra chance to turn out big, especially after the COVID-19 rules limited us all so much in 2020 and 2021,” promises Wajer.