Why the 39 Yachtline is much more than a tender

20 April 2021· Holly Overton

Fun, fast and made to last, Life Proof Boats’ 39 Yachtline is a triple threat.

Life Proof Boats had already perfected its Pleasure Craft line but wanted something that was a step up from its standard models. Named the Yachtline, the new series was designed for owners seeking something a little more exclusive but without departing from the heavy-duty, high-performance hulls of its American boatbuilder. The 33 Yachtline was the firstborn and took two years to perfect with the client. "The product was so great that we decided we wanted to evolve it to a larger platform,” says CEO Micah Bowers. 

And so the 39 Yachtline was born, designed as a full-cabin tender and excursion boat for a bigger motor yacht. It looks like a large RIB, but its aluminium hull is perfect for the oversized pad eyes and harness necessary to tow it behind the mothership.

To call it a RIB, though, would be misleading. A traditional RIB has a cylindrical collar inflated with air whereas Life Proof Boats uses a D-shaped collar filled with closed-cell foam. The result is a hull form that provides all the benefits of its inflatable cousins (buoyancy, stability and impact protection) but without the risk of rupture and air loss. “If you stabbed it with a knife or put a chainsaw through it, the collar stays fully intact,” explains Bowers.

The foam-filled collar comes as standard across the entire fleet along with a drop-down bow door for loading and unloading and a reinforced aluminium plate bow for safe beaching. Although, most things on board can be tailored to suit the client such as the finish, layout, engines and electronics. "We could create an endless amount of designs," explains Bowers. “Because we are an aluminium boat builder, the ability to tailor to the client's needs is easy for us to do."

The interior layout, for example, could centre around a sizeable galley, interior dining area or suspension seating for longer trips (pictured) depending on the individual requests of each owner. And here lies another advantage of the collar geometry: with traditional RIBs, half the flotation sits inside the boat and reduces the amount of usable space on board, but by using a D-shaped design you gain all that room back for customising as the owner sees fit.

As a boat built with practicality at its core the Yachtline 39 features a number of clever "tools" that can be optioned in too. Dotted around the cockpit are small stainless steel plates that act as a multitool for fitting a flag, downriggers for fishing or even a BBQ. And for improved safety, Life Proof Boats created a step feature cut into the collar instead of stepping directly onto the floatation when boarding, which can sometimes be slippery. An oversized hinge in stainless steel flips a section of the coaming down, creating an instant, easy boarding step inside the cockpit. When underway, the step can close to provide more gunwale height for owners with small children in tow.

On one particular model, the owners wanted to run diving operations from the boat, so Life Proof Boats designed a swim platform along the transom with concealed pull-out ladders and fixed side handles for divers climbing back aboard. Kayaks and paddleboards were also a must and were stored atop a hingeing rack that sits above the Yachtline's trio of outboard engines.

One of the coolest features of the whole design is that the boat can be digitally controlled and opened via a wireless key fob that unlocks the boat just like you would a car. Everything else, from the electric sunroof to the lights can be controlled via an interior panel. "At the touch of a button, it can be set to daytime cruising, night cruising, dock attended, dock unattended, at anchor and other modes," says Bowers.

The Yachtline 39 is designed as a souped-up, no-nonsense tender that is truly life-proof. “You can run up on the beach and don’t have to worry about damaging the boat or scratching off any gel coat,” says Bowers. In fact, Life Proof Boats is so confident in its product that the builder offers a lifetime warranty across all its hulls. “Being an aluminium boat, it’s just going to handle whatever you put it into.”