10-foot Tender Launched an Entire Boat Company 10 Years Ago
By Chris Burk
In 1994, Roger Dunshee and his wife both
retired for several years, were cruising the Bahamas in their 37-foot
Tayana sailboat. One typical evening turned out to be not-so-typical as
they were stepping into their tender headed out for dinner. For the 14th
time in as many days, his wife complained about how unstable and wet the
little boat was. She asked, “How come you can’t build a better tender?”
Dunshee’s response was classic to his inventive and curious personality.
He thought about it for a few minutes and retorted “I CAN!”
Immediately, he began researching why his little boat was so unstable
and invariably splashed them all the way to dinner and back every night.
He came across the catamaran-style hull or “cat” and began tinkering
Within a matter of several months and
after researching many of the cats on the market, Dunshee commissioned a
small catamaran tender to be built to his exacting specifications.
That original 10-footer was designed so well that Dunshee’s cruising
buddies immediately wanted one, and another, then another, then
Dunshee then launched an 8- and 14-foot model to accommodate his growing
list of existing and new friends and, suddenly, discovered he was no
As it turns out, Dunshee’s very determined “I CAN” exclamation that
evening was the ignition for an entire boat company; 10 years later,
Twin Vee, Inc. is the largest builder of power catamarans in North
America with 9 different sizes in 16 different models ranging from 10 to
This past month at the Miami International Boat Show, Twin Vee
introduced a new flagship to its line: the 36-foot Twin Vee Ocean Cat
3612. One prominent boating editor labeled it ‘The best riding 36-foot
boat on the water.”
Although the 8-footer is no longer available, Twin Vee keeps the
10-footer around because the company comes from the cruising world. The
company knows it is The Perfect Tender and knows firsthand how
badly cruisers need this boat.
The proper tender will allow the cruiser
to anchor his big boat in the good anchorages. Then, he will use the
tender to make a safe crossing to town or to visit nearby dive
locations, sites by water, and other boaters.
One of the most important decisions many cruisers make is the type of
‘cruising boat’ to live aboard and many are choosing catamarans. Another
critical decision is the type of tender to service this home away from
home. The tender can make the cruising experience delightfully wonderful
or completely miserable because so much of your life, as a cruiser,
revolves around the tender.
The tender serves as your taxi as well as your daily station wagon,
carting you and your loved ones from place to place. It moves groceries,
friends, supplies and even your laundry. Very importantly, it also makes
a great lifeboat
There are a number of items to look for
in an ideal tender. First, it must provide a dry, soft ride. It should
also be fuel-efficient, as fuel is sometimes hard to come by.
Tow-ability is also important. The tender’s efficient hull should tow
straight and keep drag to a minimum. Also, it should be equipped with
duel towing eyes and the ability for easy lifting onto davits.
Very importantly, the rubrail should be a
soft material with a foam center so it does not mark the topsides of
your larger vessel, ship, or anything else for that matter.
The 10-foot Perfect Tender by Twin Vee meets these requirement and then
some. It was designed with safety in mind as it has a foam-filled,
self-bailing hull and comes with a limited lifetime hull warranty. The
rubrail is THE rubrail all cruisers want, made with a foam core and soft
nylon-webbing exterior. The efficient hull keeps sailboat drag under a
knot. In addition, its efficient hull will allow the tender to scoot
along at 23 MPH with two adults in the boat.
The 10-foot Perfect Tender by Twin Vee has, no doubt, served more
purposes than first anticipated. In fact, one customer purchased it
specifically to do his laundry: the Starboard sponson serves as the
‘wash’ and the Port sponson serves as the ‘rinse.’
The 10-foot Perfect Tender by Twin Vee appears to have all the
requirements true cruisers need in a tender.
No wonder such a capable 10-foot boat was the beginning of a remarkably
successful catamaran boat company started only 10 years ago.