A reputation for excellence
From its humble beginnings working out of a garden shed in the 1990’s, Williams Jet Tenders has grown to become the world’s leading producer of prestige jet tenders. Taking the strategic decision to establish a presence in the yachting industry in 1996, the two brothers, John and Mathew, used their mother’s maiden name for their company. Building wooden boats in a garden shed at their home, the company used UK sourced components whenever possible, and otherwise designed parts from scratch.
In 1997, Williams Jet Tenders launched the first of many boats: the Tahoe 20 Jade, which emerged from the company’s workshop in Oxfordshire. Powered by a single V8 inboard engine, Jade was based on the classic Italian and US runabouts of the 1950’s and 60s. To gain further traction within the shipping market, the company attended its first boat show at Henley-on-Thames in 1998; here Jade was displayed on a stand and boat trailer, both of which were built at Williams Jet Tenders’ workshops. In the same years, Jade underwent further promotional activities and was tested by Classic Boat magazine and Motor Boat and Yachting.
In 1999, Jade’s bigger sister, Izana, a 33-foot boat powered by twin V8 engines running through Z drives, was launched. Closely echoing the style of 1960s Italian lake boats, Izana was also modernised with a cutting-edge hull shape and engineering configuration. Designed by Tony Castro, the hull was further engineered by Williams Jet Tenders. Appearing in the London Boat Show in 2000, Izana was delivered to her owner in France, where she plied the Cote D’Azur for more than a decade before moving onto Montenegro.
Following the success of Jade and Izana, Williams Jet Tenders made the strategic decision to progress into a wider market. The first example of this can be seen with the Ski Rib jet tender in 2002; originally developed to fit the Fairline Targa 43, the Ski Rib jet tender proved majorly successful, with more than 100 jet tenders supplied in two years. In line with this growth, the company moved premised to a factory in Berinsfield, Oxfordshire, and Roy Parker joined Williams Jet Tenders as a shareholder. At its new facilities, the first of a new generation of jet tenders, the Turbojet 325, was built. Transforming the tender market with its innovation and powerful four-stroke Weber engine, the Turbojet 325 was well-received at exhibitions. As such, the company expanded the range with a 285, 385 and 445, which enabled Williams Jet Tenders to offer a tender for most yachts between 45 feet and 100 feet in length. This proved to be a good decision, with production increasing to 900 boats per year.
Further innovative developments were in the pipeline, with Williams Jet Tenders launching its first diesel tender, the Turbojet 505D, in 2009 – a milestone that was the catalyst in the company’s expansion into the superyacht market and its collaboration with engine manufacturer Yanmar. In 2011, the expansion of the diesel-powered range progressed, named Dieseljet, the company’s portfolio within this area includes 445D, 505D, 565D and 625D. One year on, Williams Jet Tenders designed the Tender Launch System to launch and recover the Turbojet range into production yacht garages.
In 2014, further developments were afoot, with Williams Jet Tenders beginning a collaboration with engine manufacturer BRP for the launch of the Sportjet range of tenders. Two years on, the company launched the revolutionary Minijet 280, which was powered by a BRP ACE 900 engine and opened up the potential for Williams Jet Tenders to progress into yachts between 38 foot and 45 foot. The smaller and lighter model has been making waves, with customers appreciating its uniqueness, quality, powerful performance and engineering design excellence.
The most recent development for Williams Jet Tenders is the expansion of its SportJet range, with the new SportJet 345 and 395; launched in September 2017, these boats up the sociable and feature-filled SportJet package to a whole new raft of yacht owners, with the 345 and 395 capable of fitting on yachts of 50 feet and above. Created from a strict design brief based on years of customer and OEM feedback that has been gathered at boat shows across the world, the Sportjet 345 and 395 have all the hallmarks of a Williams tender, while also delivering a sociable layout that means more passengers can be carried than the equivalent Turbojet unit. Having achieved this feat, the company has created a tender that isn’t just a functional load carrier, but also enhances the yacht ownership experience on all levels.
Key to making these changes possible is the BRP Rotax ACE 903 engine, which enabled Williams Jet Tenders to re-imagine the layout of a 3.4 metre tender while also creating a smooth running, mid-engine boat that is able to move all guests on-board the parent yacht with ease.
Currently building an average of 800 boats annually, the 66 employee strong Williams Jet Tenders anticipates more of the same as it continues to buck trends and focus on the design, engineering and building of high quality, innovative tenders. Seeking to grow and take on more staff in response to market demand, the company will also continue with its apprentice scheme, which began in 2014 with the Powerboat Workshop for 14 and 15-year-old children. The annual course is run over five consecutive Saturdays and gives youngsters the opportunity to build a radio-controlled powerboat while using many of the techniques used on a Williams’ tenders. From there, the company launched its apprenticeship scheme, where school leavers work towards an NVQ Level 2 qualification as well as gaining valuable experience in the Williams factory.
With quality, performance and innovation at the heart of Williams Jet Tenders, the company is certain to remain in a class of its own over the coming years, with more innovation to come.
Williams Jet Tenders
Global leading producers of prestige jet tenders
Entered a new partnership with Bombardier Recreational Products
Launched two new vessels in September 2017