Test driving the first Falcon Tenders hybrid limo Miss Wonderly
October 13, 2022
Katia Damborsky marvels at the seductive styling, silent comfort and impressive green credentials of Falcon Tenders’ debut limo
It’s an overcast and windy day in London. The River Thames looks dirty and dull. Tugs and Uber Boats produce billowy waves that bounce off the river banks and make the water choppy.
Conditions don’t appear ideal for a test drive, but Falcon Tenders’ Miss Wonderly is waiting for me at Luxury London Afloat, a boutique boating event at St Katharine Docks. The marina is packed with shiny white yachts vying for attention. Amid the hubbub, the low-profile 10.6 metre looks ready to discretely whisk a superspy back to M15. How can I resist?
Falcon Tenders, her builder, is the brainchild of industry stalwart Mark Pascoe. It’s a new company, but Pascoe and his team have decades of experience in boatbuilding. This tender was developed over two years as a one-off, full-custom project, a showpiece for the fledging boatbuilder and a fancy ride for superyacht guests.
“We get immense pleasure from building boats,” says Pascoe, Falcon’s founder and CEO. “It’s the challenge that makes it special.”
Part of the challenge of this particular project – and its appeal – reside in its advanced self-charging, plug-in hybrid electric system. As important as this is, there is more to this challenge. Falcon took every step to make its first boat as sustainable as possible yet luxurious enough to be seen in the company of a 100-metre superyacht. The hull and superstructure are in composite (fibreglass and foam sandwich) with a plant-based epoxy resin, for example. “In this day and age, who isn’t trying to be more eco-conscious?” Pascoe says. “It sounds a bit of a cliché, but we’re really trying to bridge the gap between performance and ocean preservation.”
Her poised silhouette is a joint effort between superyacht designer Michael Leach and Falcon, while the tender’s slick interior styling has been crafted in-house. She is named Miss Wonderly after a central character from the 1941 noir movie The Maltese Falcon. The name suits her. As soon as I step on board I feel I should be discussing something mysterious over Martinis.
Long strips of Bluefin LEDs contour the low superstructure and teak aft deck. She’s been painted to superyacht standards with Awlgrip Black Blue and Signal White. Her sleek, dark roof conceals a large cabin accessed via a pair of wide hatches fore and aft that slide open soundlessly at the touch of a button.
“The key to a limo is getting guests on board as seamlessly and as quickly as possible, perhaps in inclement conditions,” Pascoe explains. “So one of the main features [to consider] is, how efficient are the doors? How quickly can I get in and out?” Pretty quickly, as it turns out. A set of steps ushers me down into a saloon that’s delightfully cool and remarkably quiet once the hatch glides shut behind me.