Posted: 6th December 2016 | Written by: Josh Richardson
Watersport toys have become an integral part of the experience with superyacht charters providing exhilarating water-based fun for all the family.
A growing number of manufacturers are also continuing down the route of inflatables, designed with practical and fast deployment, sensible packed down sizes and easy storage options as priorities. With rapid developments in drop stitch fabric technology, inflatables continue to get bigger, allowing the design of new and innovative water toys that are stretching the boundaries.
Yachts have also evolved, with the availability of more space for stowing this seriously fun stuff in transom garages, on oversize swim platforms and on upper decks with davits for launching.
“He with the most toys wins” and the desire of charter yachts to have a full inventory of inflatables means making the right selection. Superyacht Tenders and Toys (SYT&T) is currently working with leading inflatable experts able to advise on the right choices to satisfy every charter guest's wishes and expectations, bearing in mind the practicalities of storage, launch and recovery by the deck crew who have to manage them.
Every inventory needs to start with a collection of towables that can safely accommodate multiple riders of all ages. Towabels from donuts to tubes, and everything in between, are equipped with industry leading features such as heavy gauge PVC lining and reinforced handles, ensuring optimum performance and longevity with small packed down sizes.
Many guests and crew also want to stay on top of their fitness while onboard. Full inflatable water playgrounds can be created with trampolines, climbing frames, volleyball courts, climbing walls, sea pools, and runway platforms, creating an exciting aqua park experience to challenge even the most athletic of individuals.
The yacht slide remains the most popular inflatable, with every new model becoming easier to launch and recover. Each slide can be custom made for the individual yacht taking into account the deployment area, with the option of different colours and the addition of the yacht's name or logo. Popular stock options between 4-9m are also available off the shelf.
Superyacht Tenders and Toys has also teamed up with Freestyle Slides, creators of the world’s first sealed-air inflatable yacht slide in 2008, custom fitted to motor yacht Lazy Z. Since then, the FreeStyle Cruiser yacht slide has become a worldwide phenomenon with the most comprehensive line of bespoke inflatable products in the industry with over 1000 units sold.
“Clients always want bigger, better toys that weigh less, require less storage space and inflate and deflate in mere seconds, which presents quite a challenge,“says Tom Addoms, Director of Sales and Marketing at Freestyle, “We are constantly innovating our products and manufacturing materials to accommodate these requests without compromising on the heavy duty durability and manufacturing strengths for which FreeStyle Slides is known.”
For a host of fun, off the shelf inflatable options like Gladiator Jousts, Slides, Blobs, Golf Rings, Platforms, Loungers and Climbing Walls, SYT&T works with FunAir Inflatables, founded to build high quality products for the megayacht market.
John Courtney, Director at Fun Air is passionate about their products, saying, “We are a team of people that work hard, play hard, love the environment, and love each other. Our team invites you to join the fun.”
But it's not only about the fun and there are some important practicalities to consider. To protect the transom of the mother ship from jet-ski’s, tenders or Seabobs and provide a safe place to dock, or to add additional deck or chill out space, inflatable docks are becoming an essential piece of kit for every yacht out there. They can be a quick, relatively low cost off the shelf purchase or custom built up to any size and shape.
Clay Builder, Director and Co-Founder of Nautibuoys Marine Platforms says “Our whole business specialises in creating modular inflatable docks and platforms that add that extra space to any size yacht. The platforms are designed to not only make water sports more accessible but, also, to make relaxing in comfort at water level possible. We wanted to provide the perfect base for family and friends to enjoy all the toys while also protecting the yacht.”
With advances in technology and innovation in the world of yacht toys, the realm of possibilites is endless. The desire for pure, easy fun in the water continues to inspire novelty in the design of inflatables and, based on demand over the past two years, it's a trend that's set to continue.