The selection of water toys available on board is often one of the major discussion points when narrowing down yachts for brokers or managers when looking at available charters with clients. As the world shifts towards a more health-focussed understanding of fun, we have noticed that there has been an increase in challenge-hungry adult charterers, eager to master the latest invention and share their experiences with instagram followers capturing that best pic.
The rise in social media use has undoubtedly played a part in the popularity of certain water toys and the growth of companies such as Superyacht Tenders and Toys (SYTT) who specialise in the outfitting of the latest and greatest, with Instagram and Facebook serving as the perfect visual outlets for creating targeted campaigns. A perfect example is the adrenaline-fuelled Flyboard, which propels the user up to 15m in the air and has amassed 246,889 #flyboard posts on Instagram. Everyone wants to see it and by association this can only be good for all companies involved.
Social media can be instrumental in creating anticipation before a product has even been launched, as evidenced by the recent Flite Board and Lift Foil campaigns which have propelled the electric hydrofoil surfboard to stardom, with every client wanting one. Endorsed by professional surfers, hydrofoils have been called the future of water sports, enabling users to foil over the surface of the water fast and quietly. That said none have been delivered yet, with SYTT ordering 2 nearly 2 years ago and nothing yet delivered. Over promised and under delivered? This is often the issue with social media and the hype surrounding it. SYTT are presently advising clients to keep their cash until SYTT themselves have ridden, driven or flown any toys to avoid disappointment.
A desire to document the charter experience has been welcomed and accommodated for by many owners who have begun investing heavily in professional video equipment on board, including drones and GoPros, often having imagery available on a large screen on board afterwards . Many tenders are now well set up to record the action such as on a Ski Nautique which can film the best moments when wakeboarding or surfing, with intelligent systems that only record when the boat is at speed and the rider on the wave.
There has been a recent increase in management companies starting their yachts’ own personal Instagram account, which can feature footage filmed on board during charters and the onboard toys are one of the main focuses of these acounts. As owners and charterers become increasingly younger, the notion that the ultra-wealthy seek privacy above all else is clearly changing in accordance with technology and the 21st Century practice of sharing content amongst followers.
It is no surprise that the world is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of an active lifestyle for both physical and mental well-being. The superyacht toy sphere clearly seems to have adapted to the notion that charterers are becoming more health-conscious with the array of new active toys supplied. Items such as the Hobie Mirage Eclipse SUP where you stand and pump your feet to generate forward momentum whilst also pulling your hands against the handle bars is, in effect, a cross trainer with the best view of any gym in the world. It is hard not to get involved and excited as manufacturers dream up the latest and greatest active toys.
Items such as the inflatable waterpark are increasingly popular with charterers offering the opportunity to create a bespoke outdoor workout incorporating climbing walls, trampolines, and paddle board yoga. Careful selling is required to ensure that the waterpark is within the means of the deckhands though! Many owners want more and more and it is simply not possible for crew to get them all out in time. Some of the recent advances by companies such as FunAir with their RapidFlate valves have aided quick setup times.
Taking up limited space on board, thus working for 30m or 100+m yachts inflatable toys are a fantastic and growing way for owners to add value to the guest experience and increase a yachts’ popularity in a saturated charter market. Endorsed by Bear Grylls, the inflatable TIWAL sailboat assembles in less than 20 minutes and offers charterers the chance to try their hand at developing a new passion for sailing and having a fun workout at the same time. The MiniCat is also a popular inflatable sailing boat where kids and adults alike can get a good experience. The inflatable Schiller Bike has also risen to fame amongst the growing community of avid cyclists worldwide and is a regular seller at SYTT.
Without doubt a good selection of toys on board can be complimented by a crew that are able to help the charterer get the most out of the novel experience. Fitting the right toys to the charter guests skills is important, and thus yachts often have qualified instructors on board. SYTT have long given all tuition on toys supplied to ensure crew are best placed to assist clients.
A charter experience should be designed to provide a haven whereby guests are able to fully de-compress and relax with family and friends, in whichever way they reasonably see fit. In most circumstances, the water toys on board will certainly positively influence which yacht a client chooses to charter, specifically where children are involved or where clients are active individuals looking for new and innovative experiences. Endorsements by professional athletes and inventive social media campaigns will certainly propel new toys into the limelight, and assist with brand exposure amongst a niche, tech-savvy market where owners are keen to try the latest thing. Let’s ensure that yachts have the best recommended toys by the experts and ensure everyone has positive experiences. Also let’s not forget that he who has the most toys wins! Or more importantly gets the most charters…..