Text by Barry Thompson
Williams Jet Tenders have been designed as the perfect motoryacht companion. When it comes to a very compact RIB especially conceived to fit into a tender garage or transom platforms, the Williams 285 Turbojet is a perfect match.
Williams Tenders were established in Oxfordshire, England in 2004 and quickly became market leaders in four stroke turbojet tenders. This world recognised brand is now available in New Zealand through importer Sports Marine. The 2.90m 285 is one of two models in the Turbojet range, the other the slightly larger 3.30m, 325. Both have the same 1.70m beam and a stowage height of 0.76m (low profile) to 0.96m. However, if you have the space, then Williams also offers other petrol and diesel jet tenders from the Minijet 280 through to 7.1m Evojet.
Power for the Turbojet range comes from a 90hp Rotax ACE 903 engine through a very compact jet unit. This is tucked away under the helm console, which hinges up well out of the way should you need to get in for maintenance or service. With safety in mind, the Turbojet comes with a fire suppression system located in the engine bay. Just ahead of the engine is a 40-litre fuel tank.
The 285 Turbojet is an absolute pocket rocket with a top speed of 40 knots. While most small jet tenders take a bit of driving to get sorted out, not so the Williams 285 Turbojet. Right from the first time I engaged the jet unit the boat was as easy to drive as any outboard. Gone was the need to correct and recorrect the helm at low speeds. The boat tracked perfectly and at all speeds was easy and very predictable to drive. One of the reasons is the fact the boat is fitted with small plastic fins at the rear of each sponson. These help to stop the hull sliding sideways at all speeds. It was a fun boat to drive. I liked the driving position, which made me feel very secure at speed. I still made sure I ran with the kill switch…just in case. The instruments are easy to read, the throttle is well placed, and the steering is effortless.
Coming alongside the dock or a boat, it is always prudent to remember that the jet unit is consistently producing thrust, even when it is in neutral, so you will find the boat is always wanting to move forward. For a novice jetboat driver, Williams includes a power limiter to help new drivers learn safely how to steer and control the boat.
The grp hull and inner liner are surrounded by Hypalon tubes. Fabric handrails on the tubes are ideal for anyone sitting upfront, plus there are a couple of webbing handholds below the forward seat. The boat is designed as a four-seater with a single driver’s helm seat right aft against the transom and seating for 2-3 forward. There are a couple of fold-away backrests which can be moved out of the way when not required. Okay, the internal spaces are tight, but considering the actual dimensions of the 285 Turbojet, I think Williams has done a great job in maximising the space. There are no storage lockers but then it’s the sort of boat that doesn’t need them.
Should you take on any water, there are three drain bungs in the footwell, one forward and two aft. You pull out the bung and once the water has drained out of the floor, replace the bung. Failure to do so will mean water will refill back into the footwells. Also, if you are going to tow the tender behind your boat, make sure you close off the towing valve, otherwise the engine space will flood, causing serious damage. A bilge pump is also standard in the 285. Being a yacht tender that may be deck stowed, the Turbojet comes with four lifting points. Williams can even supply strops, so you know you have everything set up right for the boat’s weight (300kgs) and balance.
Williams has made sure that the 285 is multi-purpose by adding a towing eye on the transom and a retractable stainless steel ladder above the jet unit. Great for towing the water toys around the bay with easy access back aboard.
While the standard boat has white and grey tubes and a white console, you can up-spec the Williams 285 with a variety of tube colour options, upholstery upgrades to match your boat, and you can even have your boat name embossed in the upholstery. There is also a teak option for the floor, side consoles and platform. The standard finish is white GRP, but it doesn’t quite have the same bling factor as the teak or faux teak finish.
While the Williams 285 Turbojet is undoubtedly designed for a specific market, it does have the versatility to be used as any other tender would. Williams work in close partnership with many of the world’s leading yacht manufacturers, to ensure they have models fit for purpose. Size is a criteria when it comes to fitting in to a tender garage and Williams know how to fit a big package into a small space. Compact, agile, fast and finished to the highest standards to match the mothership, the Williams Turbojet 285 meets its design brief in every aspect.
Sports Marine are expecting their next shipment of Williams Jet stock in early November 2022 with a 280Mini Jet, 345 Sport Jet and two 325 turbojets arriving.
- Make & Model: Williams TurboJet 285
- Manufacturer: Williams Jet Tenders
- Priced From: $NZ70,032
- Type: Jet RIB
- Construction: GRP/Hypalon
- LOA: 2.90 m
- Beam: 1.70 m
- Weight (Dry): 300 kg
- Height: (Std): 0.96 m
- Low Profile: 0.76 m
- Engine: BRP Rotax Ace 903/90hp
- Top Speed: 40 knots
- Fuel capacity: 40 litres
- Contact: Sports Marine| [email protected] | Auckland: 09-274 9918 | Christchurch: 03-379 9208 | www.sportsmarine.co.nz