The Definitive Guide to Sea Toys Aboard: The Simple to the Outrageous
Yacht chartering conjures thoughts of serene days basking under the sun, lounging on huge sun pads and being served your drink of choice by your very own steward. Maybe you envision a hand-tailored picnic lunch brought to you by tender to your private cove or dining under the stars on the aft deck with light, soothing lounge music playing in the background. These are indeed visions of a leisurely, laid back and rejuvenating yacht cruise. However, there are many more “active” oriented individuals chartering yachts and wanting to kick it up a notch in fun and excitement. Look no further than below decks to the yacht garage where a plethora of sea toys are found on charter yachts.
Whether you want to settle back and read a book, work on the perfect tan or want to pump up the adrenaline and experience new and fun water toys, yachts provide it all. The line-up of sea toys can be endless and incorporates those perfect for family-friendly activities to some that require very high skill to operate.
Some of the most common toys found on the majority of charter yachts will be family-friendly and in general, require little room to store aboard. These can range from very easy to use with no or little experience required such as; snorkels, floats and towables by the tender such as inflatable tubes and banana boats. Some experience and a bit more difficult to master water toys fall in the category of items such as water skis, Paddleboards (SUPs), windsurfers, kneeboards, Sea Bobs, kayaks and canoes. Often many of these are part of the yacht’s sea toys inventory or can be rented and placed aboard.
Not all yachts will have the capability of securing some sea/water toys for a cruise, depending on the size of the toys (if storage allows), the degree of difficulty to use and the owners expense to rent or purchase one. The larger the yacht, in general, the better chance of obtaining your desired toy for your cruise. If not apart of the inventory of the yacht then there is always the possibility of renting one for the cruise if room is available aboard to stow away securely.
Kiteboarding and Kite Surfing are small enough to be aboard many yachts but do take a bit more skill to handle. Looking similar to mono water ski, these boards have a kite that hovers above and propels you across the water with wind power or even elevates you above the sea. Professionals often do flips in the air with one handle casually on the handle with the rope that leads to the kite.
Kayaks, similar to a canoe, is a small watercraft that has a cockpit where you face forward with legs extended straight in front and uses a two-sided paddle. Canoes have an open shell and you face forward with legs bent and use a one-sided paddle. Both are often found aboard large charter yachts. Kayaks and Canoes provide silent and serene ways to pass time in secluded bays or to peruse busy shorelines with the ease of gliding over the seas. It can be a mode of transport to a beach as well, so bring a little bag with some useful items to enjoy the time ashore.
The market of available new types of leisure water toys and equipment has enlarged drastically in keeping up with the ever-growing charter market and with private yacht ownership. The main audience is for family-oriented toys. Increasingly popular and apart of many yacht’s inventories are inflatable toys, as they can easily be blown up and deflated for storage. Inflatables can range from slides, trampolines, swings, to full small playgrounds.
One of the most sought after is the Water Slide. Popular for all family members, one just slides down from the sundeck into the crystal blue waters below. Various sizes and styles are available to fit most yacht designs. Therefore, if not a part of the yacht’s inventory, they can be easily rented and placed aboard. Also, you can get free-standing in the sea inflatable slides.
The Sea Pool is a great way to keep a nice and safe swimming area of the sea just off the yacht protected from jellyfish or anything the full netted area can keep out. The net is submerged into the sea and it is connected and surrounded by inflatable decks that are great for relaxing and sunning.
A combination of slide, climbing wall and play area comes in a compact form called the Air Playground. This inflatable island combines many activities in one and can dock your personal watercraft directly to it.
One of the best for the family of all ages is the BigAir Blob. The BigAir Blob is a huge inflatable air cushion which one jumps on one side and the other person is thrown up to 10 meters high in the air. Flying in the air is exhilarating and exciting for all. The Blob is specifically designed for yachts with a special cradle to securely stabilize it. You can also outfit the Blob with an additional climbing wall that attaches to the yacht and once you climb to the top you jump into the blob.
The Zorb is a bit more unusual and not too easily found. It is an inflatable orb you get in and walk on the water as it spins under you.
For cruising on top of the sea the Electric Surfboard is making its own waves on the yachting scene. Powered by a small but efficient electric motor they are quick and agile and due to their construction, lightweight.
The SeaBob is designed in the “James Bond” fashion of shooting around the water without the need of flippers. It is a water sled propelled by a motor and is easily maneuvered by shifting one’s body weight. Whether gliding along the sea surface or taking a short dive to get under the sea, it is a great deal of fun. They can reach up to 20 km/h.
The thrill-seeker and more advanced skilled client may enjoy the Hydro – Flyer group of sea toys. These make Hydro-flight accessible. One, the Zapata Flyrider, is unique in that it can take up to two people for a flying jet ski experience. Cruising at speeds of up to 35mph, it is not for the novice enthusiast. Fly boards using water jet power to propel the rider is connected to the personal watercraft, but still demands a good set of balance skills. These are light and easy to store. Using fewer dexterity skills, the JetPack, allows you to fly above the water in a seated position. All of these can offer a true adrenaline rush.
There are many other very high-tech toys like all kinds of submersibles with state-of-the-art technology on the market and being developed, but in the most part not offered to the normal yacht charterer.
Whether you are looking for the speed of motorized sea toys such as the Wave Runner, high thrill offered rides like on a Flyrider or just fun sedate water toys like floats, there are so many options for the yacht charterer to experience. Yachting has expanded the horizons of on the water fun.