The majority of superyacht garages include toy staples such as jet skis, paddleboards and kayaks. However, superyachts are increasingly seeking novelty and taking advantage of the latest technology to take the on-board experience to another level. Here, we look at some of the latest watersports toys to hit the market in 2018.
Inflatable docking systems
Inflatable docking systems (pictured above) give superyachts a convenient additional space to store jet skis or other water toys during those days at anchor when the toys are being taken out regularly. These inflatable platforms are strong, stable, forgiving of less-than-perfect parking skills and are often used by guests as an additional sunbathing area. From product conception and design in any shape or size to manufacturing in Hypalon or PVC and branding, manufacturers are making it easy to create custom inflatable docks tailored to any yacht’s requirements.
“Inflatable docking systems have been around for a while and now custom inflatable docking systems are very popular,” says Tom Addoms, director of sales and marketing at FreeStyle Slides. “However, marine-grade faux teak docks that can support thousands of pounds are the latest superyacht accessory. Owners love the extension for lounging off the swim platform and it can be used to support tenders, jet skis, Seabobs, sea planes, submarines and ATVs. We are even working on a helipad.”
FreeStyle Slides manufactures its own faux teak for the docking systems and hand-lays using marine-grade rubber non-skid for long-term durability and performance.
Seabobs are high-performance electric watercraft that allow the user to ride on the surface and underwater at speeds of up to 20kph – with or without dive gear. They are installed with high-performance engines and lithium batteries that offer four hours of use. The concept has been popular among superyachts, allowing guests to easily explore life underwater wherever they are anchored without the hassle of diving equipment.
New for 2018 is the SEABOB F5 SR. The high-performance version has an overall performance increase of approximately 10 per cent added thrust and is operated with seven power gears. The bonus is that it offers the SEABOB-Camsystem as standard, with two integrated cameras, a built-in storage system and a WLAN transmission module, which means guests can record their underwater exploits and have a lasting memory of their superyacht experience.
Guests won’t need to worry about finding surf if there is an electric flying surfboard on board. With advances in lithium battery technology and wireless communication, and a desire to create a new and exciting experience for its clients, Lift saw an opportunity to create a new product and watersports category. The eFoil is essentially a mix of all the experiences extreme-sports enthusiasts know and love: surfing, hydrofoiling and snowboarding.
The eFoil has been developed with a user-friendly focus. A wireless hand controller gives the user complete control, with the ability to adjust speed easily. By simply pressing the throttle, users can travel up to 25mph or automatically shut off the engine by releasing the lever. Useful content such as speed and battery-charge percentages are displayed on the screen. The waterproof controller also floats and comes with a strap to keep it secure.
Furthermore, unlike gas engines, a silent electric motor delivers no lag and maximum torque on command. The instant response allows the user to have complete control over the motor, with no delay from rider input to motor output, making the ride safer and smoother.
The Freefall Slide
Inflatable water slides have also been popular in the superyacht market, particularly appealing to charter yachts entertaining families with young children. Many different custom-made, sealed-air inflatable water slides are available from different manufacturers, but coming soon from FunAir is a new addition to the market – the Freefall Slide. It is a one-size-fits-all, with the added adrenaline of a freefall into the water. The advantage of the freefall nature of the slide for superyachts is that it is not bound by the rail-to-waterline measurement.
Remote operated vehicles (ROVs)
For those guests who would prefer not to get wet but still want to see what’s going on beneath the surface, it is possible to send a remote-controlled submersible underwater to film an activity in great detail. The concept has taken off with the scuba-diving community, and with many superyachts offering diving operations and other submersible equipment such as Seabobs on board, guests may be keen to have such a device available.
“[We] can supply a full range of ROVs capable of diving up to 300m,” says Josh Richardson, managing director at Superyacht Tenders & Toys. “The ROV comes with all accessories to include thrusters, tether, case, high-output camera and control console.” The ROV models that the company has available are from DOER, ECA, Forum, Ageotec, Oceaneering and Saab.
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