EYOS Tenders Playing Key Role in Expanding Expedition Market

John Apps

Working behind the scenes on a number of new expedition ships, EYOS Tenders is helping cruise operators with their zodiac needs, garage designs and designing systems to quickly get boats in the water and passengers aboard them.

With landing limits in Antarctica, it becomes vital for expedition operators to get guests on and off ships as quickly as possible to maximize time ashore or in zodiacs.

Meanwhile, space aboard is at a premium, meaning zodiac garages need to be cleverly designed to maximize space with zodiacs often being double-stacked vertically.

John Apps is at the helm of EYOS Tenders, tracing his cruise experience back to the early 1990s when he was an expedition team leader and zodiac driver in a small Antarctica market.

Apps started out as a zodiac driver aboard the Caledonian Star and was eventually was named ship operations manager for Quark in 1998, running a fleet of ships for both the Arctic and Antarctic Seasons, and pioneering many firsts such as the First Arctic and First Antarctic Circumnavigations.

Zodiac Loading

Apps then set up his own yacht tender company, EYOS Tenders, and now has a firm place in the expedition market.

“We are offering set up, start to finish, garages for zodiacs, how to setup kayak operations, and even lifting gear,” said Apps, noting EYOS provides the equipment, design and consulting on operations. “We have a big warehouse where we can build a mockup of a garage.”

Apps said he had just finished a garage mockup for a new expedition ship, with the setup set to include zodiacs, lifting gear (cranes) and even a high-speed excursion boat.

“The most important thing is speed at getting (passengers) in and out of the boat,” he said, “we get them on and off as quickly as possible.”

Gangways then are more complex than just some metal and railings, having to survive in sometimes harsh conditions while promoting efficiency. Quickly and safely being able to dock (tie up) a zodiac has become a key point in expedition operations.

Apps said most zodiacs last around five to seven years when being used regularly in an expedition environment.

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