Titian Tender Review by Motor Boat & Yachting

“The exquisite synthesis of speed and style”

Credits: Nick Burnham

We had an email last week at MBY Towers and it simply said, “Would you like to come and have a go on this?” and it took us about half a second to reply “Yes” and the reason for that was twofold. Firstly, it came from Dave Cockwell who builds some of the most exquisite boats in the UK and secondly, it had a photograph attached of this [Titian Tender].

So this is a ten-and-a-half metre, a custom-built one-off. It’s a cold moulded wooden hull. In fact, the whole boat is worked with a chic veneer finish.

“This boat is ten and a half metres long.”

It’s got a pair of Yanmar 320 horsepower diesel engines, running on jet drives. And the idea of it is to be a really exclusive one-off day boat for the Mediterranean. So it’s the kind of thing you’d use running up now and then on the Med around San Tropez, going out for picnics and just having a great time on the water in something that’s really different.

Now, the style and the concept of this boat is quite traditional but when you get onboard everything’s bang up-to-date. So you’ve got your traditional beautifully wrought wooden areas like this [handrail] and right next to it, you’ve got a fully electronic touchscreen system.

“It’s got a pair of Yanmar 320hp diesel engines, running on jet drives.”

So the whole boat is controlled from here. Everything from the Bimini to the lights, to their heads, even the engine hatch is controlled from here, all on a touchscreen. But the detailing is particularly exquisite and a great example of that is things like, on the foredeck where normally you’d have caulking in between the teak, on this boat, you’ve got beautiful copper strips and that’s a herringbone pattern that comes right across the foredeck and then it’s echoed in the floor just here.

But one of my favourite features on this boat is the anchor system which is a custom system built specifically for this boat and it’s like something out of James Bond.


Now the inside of this boat is as exquisite as the outside. Clearly, it is very much a day boat cabin but that said, you have got enough room here to sleep. This [seating] will convert to a double bed. You’ve also got a very nice galley area, it’s got a one burner hob and a very high-quality oval and even a coffee machine and of course, there’s a fridge and a sink in there as well.

This whole area is air-conditioned and there’s a heads over on the starboard side. But what really shines through down here again, is the exquisite detailing and a perfect example of that is this headlining which is actually screen-printed silk with original artwork. We’ve also got down here some very clever details like the lighting is all in set. You’ve got little coat hooks positioned just up here that flick out to the sides if you want them.

“It’s got some exquisite detailing like the headlining inside which is actually screen-printed silk with original artwork.”

And what’s really nice is things like the copper inlay in the floor-wide sections which matches the deck and even where the drawers and things like that are, it’s got the same effect there so it matches the outside of the boat. It really is absolutely exquisite. Anyway, beautiful boat to look at, but what I really want to know is what it drives like, so let’s go and find out. 

Now, intriguingly Dave Cockwell suggested that he gives me a quick demonstration of exactly what this boat will do before I get my hands on it because apparently, it’s quite impressive. So we’re putting the camera at Dave and we’ll see what he can do with it. Here we go. [test drive by Dave Cockwell]

Okay, so it’s my turn to have a go now and I’ve been told to be very sensitive to the throttles so we’ll nudge her forward and in fact, it’s not really going into gear because there are no propellers, the are Jets running constantly, all that’s doing is redirecting this thrust out of the back of the boat so we start moving forward. So although you control it like a conventional boat, what’s happening at the back is quite different.

Open to throttles then, yeah. There’s a serious amount of grunt there. A lot of power! So there’s 640 horsepower running straight to those Jets and what’s interesting is, the controls are really minimalist. There’s a steering wheel, there’s throttles and that’s it, there’s no trim tabs, there’s no hard drives to trim, you just open the throttles and go.

Now, the speed is already at 32 knots and that is a really easy cruising gate, that’s not trying at all. So let’s wind her over and see what she’ll do.

The speed of 32 knots is a really easy cruising game.”

What’s nice is that the bow stays really level, there’s no lifting up and dropping down as the wind picks up, that’s now running at 38, now 39 knots to top out at about 40 knots.

But what I’m quite interested to try, is that handling. And what I’ve been told is that at pretty much any speed I can just throw it into a turn and then it’ll go. I’m not quite brave enough not to try that 40 knots.

We’re about 34, so let’s try that. Here we go! Yeah, that is really impressive! It’s like a big RIB, it just grips and goes! Of course, there’s cavitation at all because there’s nothing to cavitate. It just keeps pushing no matter what, there’s nothing to let go. And if you gun it in a turn, you just turn sharper and the grip is absolutely phenomenal! But I think what I most like about it is the way the boat rides because it’s a wooden boat, it’s really absorbing the shock in the water beautifully. And there’s a different feel to this kind of boat, it feels absolutely brilliant!


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