From Boat International
1 Lift eFoil
There are some basics it is taken for granted every superyacht toy box will play host to: a great Jet Ski or two, a few surfboards and, of course, some water toys for the children. However, if you want your garage to be truly up-to-date heading into the New Year then there a few new launches from 2017 you shouldn't be without. Click through to tick off our list of the best new toys that came to our attention this year...
Electric surfboards are nothing new, but throw foiling technology into the mix and this futuristic water toy is suddenly taken to the next level. The Lift eFoil is sure to turn heads across the world when the first units are shipped out in September. Nine years in development, this all-carbon board is the brainchild of company co-founder, engineer and all-round watersports enthusiast Nick Leason.
The easily replaceable lithium battery can deliver up to 60 minutes of on-water fun at speeds of up to 21 knots. A choice of interchangeable foils allows for a wide range of flying sensations and when the battery starts to run low, the eFoil will switch to an economy mode to help you get safely back to shore. The hand-held throttle controller displays speed and battery levels and the unit is wirelessly linked to the silent electric motor via Bluetooth. What’s more, the eFoil will cut out automatically if the controller is more than three metres away from the board or submerged in water, thus eliminating the risk of a runaway surfboard causing havoc. Available in a choice of lengths (1.67 metres or 1.52 metres) and colours (black, blue, green or purple), the eFoil is priced at $12,000 and the first limited edition units can be secured for a refundable deposit of $6,000 – a small price to pay to see jaws dropping wherever you surf.
Lift eFoil, $12,000, liftfoils.com
They are usually strung between trees but hammocks could just be the perfect craft for laid-back parties in secluded coves or lagoons. Hammocraft has been perfecting its product – a lightweight aluminium frame that sits on an inflatable paddleboard or kayak – for decades, and it is now available to the public. The various frames hold differing numbers of hammocks, which are all easy to put together and collapse to fit in a single bag. In a welcome nod to safety, the hammocks are suspended by a “slot-and-knot” system that means they can be disconnected swiftly in the event of a flip. You can buy just a frame but we’d recommend splashing out on the paddleboard or kayak kits that include everything you need. The new $2,725 Kayak Kit, for example, comes with two Perception Tribe 3.5 metre sit-on-top kayaks and ENO Single Nest parachute nylon hammocks and is designed for rocky bottom, light chop, rocky shoreline and variable conditions.
From $895, hammocraft.com
3 Gemini Zapcat FF-15
When they’re off duty, some of the Land Rover BAR team hit the water on Zapcats. If you were a fan of the Z10 and the EVO-1 Zapcats, the brand has a new catamaran inflatable racing boat, the Gemini Zapcat FF-15. The secret to this super-fast inflatable is its light weight and shock-absorbing tunnel hull design. This means the Zapcat is an exceptionally stable inflatable, capable of dealing with extremely rough seas and large surf.
The two-passenger FF-15 comes with a 50hp outboard engine and weighs less than 150kg including the motor. You can opt for a standard configuration but there are several modifications and extensions you can select. Choose between left-handed or right-handed control, spec your own colours for the tubes, or swap the floor panels from wood to a composite material, for example. However, it is unlikely observers will be able to view your bespoke choices for long as you scream by, skimming a foot or more above the water. As Giles Scott, Land Rover BAR’s tactician says: “They’re epic fun, fast and very cheerful.”
Zapcat FF-15, £10,000, gemini-marine.co.uk
4 Seabreacher S
The follow-up to the original Seabreacher - the custom toy that looks like a swordfish - Barcelona-based brand Charterdart has been working with crew to develop the new Seabreacher S. Specifically designed for yachts, the Seabreacher S is part of a growing trend for semi-submersible toys. Users sit inside the sealed cockpit of the whale, shark or dolphin shaped vehicle and use the easy-to-learn controls to flip, dive, jump and roll through the water. A bubble-style screen allows for panoramic viewing while a 300 horsepower engine gives a top speed of 60km/h, an in-built stereo system provides entertainment and an AIS tracking devices means you'll never get lost.
Seabreacher S, POA, charterdart.com
A French company has hit upon the novel idea of producing a craft that can travel both above and below the surface of the ocean. The Platypus semi-submersible has been designed with shallow underwater exploration in mind. It’s essentially a catamaran with the addition of a central water wing fixed by mechanical arms to the rest of the boat. Once activated, those arms swing down and submerge passengers up to 1.5 metres underwater.
The six-metre Platypus can reach up to 14 knots on water but is limited to three knots when below the waves. It has space for an on-board Nardi breathing system, so there’s no need to bring individual tanks, and you can even communicate with fellow divers using the Ocean Reef masks. You can also choose between conventional fuel or electric power, and there’s a digital periscope to let you check the environment before any action. Interested? You can pre-order the Platypus now. Prices range from €60,000 for the basic model to €150,000 for a “pimped” version.
6 Pukas LED surfboard
When Juan Mari Indo heard there was to be night surfing for a competition in Spain, he struck upon the idea of creating a special board that would light up and put on a show as the surfers did their tricks in the water. The end result was the limited-edition LED surfboards from Pukas, which let the rider program in the colour cycles and flashing patterns for a personal display in the waves.
Indo inlays RGB LED light strips into the surfboard, then they are sealed in by glassing over the top of them. The light strips are then operated by remote control and the whole board is charged much like you would a mobile phone. Before you head into the breakers, choose your program: want to feel warm? Go red. Highlight your eco credentials? Switch to green. Or match the ocean with a corresponding blue light display. As each board is made bespoke, expect a waiting time. The price will depend on the level of illumination incorporated.
Pukas LED surfboard, POA, danielsurf.com