Williams' Evojet 70

5 images

All images: Williams Jet Tenders

What ever happened to Williams Jet Tenders’ 7m Evojet 70 RIB?

7 March 2024 • Written by Andrew Johansson

What ever happened to Williams’ Evojet 70? It’s never really gone away, and as Williams ramps up its production, Andrew Johansson gets his hands on the British tender builder’s flagship to find out more...

I make my way down a short pontoon on Dorchester Lake, nine miles south of Oxford, England, and my first impression of the EvoJet 70 is that it seems eerily familiar. It looks like part of the Williams Jet Tenders family and features a stylish black T-top that immediately captures my attention. This 7-metre jet-propelled RIB, which Williams introduced for the superyacht market a few years back, is the largest boat to come from the prolific British brand of tenders.

As I step on board, Tom Dowdell, Williams’ head of marketing, confirms that it is essentially the same boat that the company displayed at the 2020 Düsseldorf Boat Show, following its 2019 Monaco show debut. However, the builder has made refinements for production quality and prompt delivery. One of the changes, Dowdell says, was editing the options list.

“Customers are still able to customise it to match the parent yacht, but we’ve refined the original options list to achieve better delivery times,” he says. “In terms of design, minor detail changes have been made to further enhance aesthetics and make it more commercially viable.

“It is a complex product to manufacture, and with the challenges of Covid-19 and supply issues affecting the industry, we decided to pause production for a short period, but the demand was there,” Dowdell continues as we discuss why Williams stopped marketing its flagship shortly after the boat’s noted debut. As it turns out, since its launch, the factory quietly built and sold nine units. “We received several inquiries while it was offline, which gave us the confidence to bring it back and put things in place to scale up production. We’ve seen greater growth in the larger end of the market and want to meet the demands of customers.”

This time around, I get to try it out. I begin my run around the scenic lake near Williams’ headquarters, applying the throttle to the single 250-horsepower Yanmar 4LV diesel engine that powers the Williams 220mm jet pump. I take it easy at the start and familiarise myself with the responsiveness of the throttle and steering; the boat easily carves its way through the water. 

I push the throttle – which Williams designed for this boat and built in partnership with Ultraflex – and I begin to pick up speed. On plane, it easily hits a cruising speed of 25 knots. Feeling planted and secure, I zigzag across the water and push the boat further with each turn. At a maximum speed of 35 knots, the trees lining the banks of the lake flash past and that’s how I get a true sense of just how fast I am going. Confident now, I make tight turns and the EvoJet delivers a fun and punchy performance, maintaining its track as long as I keep the power up; as with any waterjet propulsion, no power means no steering.

The good performance underway is due in large part to the low-profile boat’s deep-V hull design. “We have a steeper deadrise on this boat compared to our other boats,” Williams’ development director, Dan Bloice-Smith, tells me. “Most of our products are 20 degrees, whereas this is up to 22 degrees. A bit more chine as well but you really feel that extra deadrise when you are out on the sea in terms of staying planted.”

The hydraulic steering has a customised system to keep the lock-to-lock (the number of complete turns the wheel takes from one extreme to the other) down, which improves responsiveness and gives the driver a feeling of confidence. “Typically, this boat is going to be crewed. However, part of our USP is that it still needs to be a boat that the customer can jump on board of and have fun with,” Bloice-Smith says. “It can’t be non-responsive and unconnected. It needs to have the Williams Jet Tenders feel to it.”

Above my head as I hold the wheel, is that remarkable 44-pound foldable carbon-fiber T-top. Assisted by gas struts that sit on aluminium legs, it can be lowered – as well as the helm – to reduce the air draft (and allow a tight fit in a yacht’s tender garage). When upright, this smartly designed T-top is a central anchor point for the awnings that can be deployed fore and aft to offer complete sunshade coverage for all passengers. There are also mounting points for a boarding pole and folding seats, making it easy and safe for up to 13 people to board from the bow, stern or side.

While longer and more beamy than all other Williams tenders, the EvoJet 70 retains the essence of what makes them what they are – fun, punchy and practical. It will feel familiar to those who know Williams. And with orders coming in when it was off the market, I feel confident that we’ll see many more EvoJets serving the 40-metre-plus yacht market for which it was intended.

Williams' Evojet 70
LOA: 7m
Beam: 2.6m
Draught: 0.3m
Dry weight: 4,409lb
Fuel capacity: 52 gallons
Power: 250hp Yanmar 4LV diesel
Propulsion: Williams 220mm jet pump
Max speed: 35 knots
Passengers: 13
Price from $260,000

First published in the March 2024 issue of BOAT International US Edition. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

Read More/Why has this jet-powered tender become so popular?

Sponsored listings