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Carbon-fibre future

AST – Yachts & Composites launched its full carbon-fibre tenders at this year's boot Düsseldorf, positioning them as the "unsinkable tenders" that are lighter and will outlast their competitors.

Written by Jeni Bone

01 February 2024

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At boot Düsseldorf, AST – Yachts & Composites presented two new models in the world premieres, the ASTender 340 Revolve and ASTender 400 Center Console.

Based in Germany, AST – Yachts & Composites specialises in lightweight, full carbon-fibre tenders. The model sizes of semi-custom tenders currently span 2.8 to 3.4 metres, or from 30 to 71 kilograms hull weight.

Launched at boot 2024, the ASTender 340 Revolve boasts full carbon-fibre construction. The rigid carbon construction of the 340 Revolve is lighter than any RIB on the market.

The construction will neither deflate nor age in the sun. Its gelcoat is as easy to take care of as on any GRP boat. The high-quality commodities used ensure longevity with a minimum of maintenance.

The stiff hull with its optimised shape needs 35 percent less power than a RIB and creates fewer emissions. That’s why it can be perfectly propelled with an electric drive. The extra buoyancy of the foam sandwich and the waterproof compartments makes the ASTender unsinkable.

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The absence of inflatable tubes makes the ASTender the most spacious on the market, with room for for a large sunbathing area. The wide hull shape provides enormous stability and allows easy boarding. The high freeboard with the deep-V keel offers dry and comfortable rides, making it the perfect companion for all your endeavours.

AST introduced the 340 Revolve with the 15-hp electric engine from Mitek, a game changer in its field. The Revolve is the only sterndrive able to rotate on its own axis to switch from On to Off mode. It’s pitched as the answer for everyone asking for jets and/or garage and platform fitments since the engine does not extend the length and height of the overall boat while storage.

According to its manufacturer, this engine is lighter, is faster, has significantly more range and is a lot cheaper than available electric jets.

The ASTender 400 Center Console also made its global debut at boot 2024. With a hull weight of just 85 kilograms, the ASTender 400 Center Console offers luxury travelling for up to seven passengers with a comfortable console steering and large sunbathing area.

Thanks to its modular design, the customer can choose between several deck layouts, as well as tiller or remote steering, different (or actually no) consoles and several options.

Distributor for the range of ASTenders in Australia and New Zealand, Carbon Yachts attended the launch at boot 2024. Chris Hrones, Director at Carbon Yachts, praised the fully-carbon tenders for their “durability and lightweight”.

“The brand is marketed as “unsinkable tenders”, and they will have a longevity that no RIB tenders can match,” he said.

“In terms of lightweight, the 280 model weighs just 30 kilograms without an engine, and can be lifted by one person. It has a four-passenger capacity and is priced from around $23,000. It’s a premium product and you get what you pay for.”

Features that will interest the Australian boating market include the option for a jockey seat on the 280 and 340 models, so drivers can sit in the middle and steer.

“A rubber rail or fender is standard, and all models have six handles and four davit points for lifting, which will appeal to people who want to use them as a tender on a larger boat,” Chris stated.

“All the ASTender models that have cushions are upholstered in Sunbrella fabric for maximum protection from the elements. They all have non-skid flooring, with the option of flexi teak upgrade.”

Company founders Thilo Keller and Catarina Jentzsch started their business making carbon-fibre foiling dinghies, manufactured in Potsdam, just south of Berlin.

Thilo invented the ACC – Automatic Cant Control, the first stable foil system for A-Class catamarans – and has been sailing and racing A-Class catamarans for almost two decades.

Thilo has 20 international titles to his name and is always pushing the technical boundaries of this development sailing class.

Not only did he build his own boats, he also started his first production facility in 2010 at the age of 23. Thilo majored in naval architecture and specialised in hydrodynamics and yacht design.

Their first foiling dinghy, a single-handed dinghy with the trickled-down foil system from A-Class racing, was a success with 120 boats built in the first two years of production. In 2020, they presented their first rigid carbon tender with the pedigree of their racing yachts.

“The ASTender is another example of AST’s capabilities to build boats by sailors for sailors,” they state.

The 2024 Sydney International Boat Show, from 1 to 4 August, will be the Australian launch. Carbon Yachts will have the full range on show, including the electric 340 Revolve, with a top speed 25 knots and range of 120 nautical miles at cruising speed, and the 400 Center Console.

Contact Carbon Yachts on info@carbonyachts.com.au for more information.

 

ast-yachts.com
carbonyachts.com.au

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