He who has the most toys wins.... here are just 10 of the best toys for the serious powerboater...
A powerboat is at its best when used to the utmost. That means a keel band for beaching, some baitwells for fishing and a secondary tank for long-distance cruising. But what about watersports? Not only will a wakeboard tower enable you to tow a wakeboarder, but it will also allow you to mount your lights, your boards, your speakers, your VHF aerial, your rod holders or even your solar panels out of harm’s way. It looks great, it helps keep your deck clear and it adds a fresh dimension to your powerboating. Even if you think your boat makes the fitting of a tower impossible, the bespoke options at Wakeboard Towers UK might well fit the bill.
Salt water is astonishingly dense stuff, particularly when a hull smashes into it at 40 knots or more - and on most boats, a great deal of the force of an impact is absorbed through the bodies of the passengers, so how about some suspension? British company, Scotseats, has been producing commercial shock mitigation seating for 12 years and boat seats (mainly for Redbay RIBs) for six years. They provide ‘up-and-down’ protection with a spring-assisted damper on a swingarm and side-to-side damping with a ‘shuffle’ suspension system, aided by mitigation foam in the seat base. Effective, affordable and beautifully built, they are a great asset on fast powerboats.
The ICE (Integrated Control Environment) console from Shockwave is an astonishing piece of equipment. Available in various configurations to seat anything up to ten people, it provides 16 inches of travel in the vertical axis and around 3 degrees of pitch and roll dampening. In action, that not only eradicates a great deal of the shock and vibration incurred underway, but it also makes it easier to control your instruments because they move in time with your hands and eyes. Small wonder it was used for the first ever RIB crossing of the Northwest Passage by TV adventurer, Bear Grylls. If you use your boat hard and your wallet can handle the £40K price tag, powerboat gadgets don’t get much better than this. Contact Shockwave Seats.
Yeti Tundra 236 coolbox
I know what you’re thinking - a coolbox is hardly a powerboat accessory to die for, but in the form of the range-topping 236-litre Yeti Tundra, it really is a great product. Not only will it keep your food and drink cold for up to seven days at a time, but its range of accessories makes it extremely versatile. You can add a cushion to turn it into a two-man seat; strappings or chocks to anchor it to your deck; a hard-wearing lid to turn it into a stepping platform; or a selection of ice packs to refrigerate its contents for a week at a time without the need for a power source. For picnic boaters, fishermen, party people and those in need of extra seating, it’s a fine gadget and carries a price tag of just under £400. Contact Coolboxes UK.
Fladen Flotation Suit
While it’s very easy to spend a fortune on a set of high-end foulies, the serious powerboater would do better to look at the world of commercial boating. Designed for fishermen, rig workers and other offshore professionals, Fladen Flotation Suits offer warm, breathable, one-piece protection, plus built-in buoyancy and secure neoprene fastenings for use all year round. Built from nylon with high-density, closed cell foam, each suit comes with a fleece-lined hood, SOLAS reflective tape, a storm flap over the zip, a safety whistle and an integral belt. In fact, even the most basic version complies with European regulations concerning buoyancy, visibility and hypothermic protection for immersion suits - and with prices from just £100, these things are an absolute steal.
The Digital Media Locker from the marine entertainment experts at Aquatic AV is a very neat solution for those keen to carry their delicate e-music on board their open boats. With a waterproof rating of IP65 and a two-way remote with a 40-foot range, the Media Locker also includes a 288W amplifier and stainless steel mounting hardware for a simple flush-mount installation. It also comes with a pair of pre-amp outputs - and supports not just iPod and MP3 but also US and European FM radios. For dry, reliable on board tunes in a fuss-free package, this is just the ticket, pricetag £239.
Subwing flying machine
The Subwing is a very exciting invention. You simply tow it with your boat via a line, while the man in the water hangs onto the wings. He can then either cruise along the surface or angle the fins to dive beneath the waves. Once below the surface, with the boat running at around two knots, the ‘rider’ can go up, down and sideways with great manoeverability, even spinning with just minor adjustments on the wings. Built from super stiff carbon-fibre (or glass-fibre) with rubber and stainless steel fittings, the Subwing is available in several models to suit your budget. All you need is a dive mask, a boat and a deep breath… and £500.
Introduced in 2005, C-pod is an advanced security system that not only displays your boat’s position on your phone or computer but also feeds you live data about your on board gear - from battery voltage to speed, bearing, equipment malfunctions and flooding. You can even manage your boat remotely by activating (or deactivating) electronic equipment while at home or on holiday. You can get alerts sent to ten different recipients by email or text message and all data is saved on C-Pod’s servers, enabling them to transfer information to authorities around the world. You do need a subscription (which adds around 159 Euros per year) but the value of this multi-faceted boat management and security system is not in doubt. Contact Reliance Yachts.
Sea-Doo Aqua Lounge 6
Space on a powerboat is always tight, so how about extending your accommodation with an inflatable island from BRP? The Sea-Doo Aqua Lounge 6 is a platform that attaches to your boat. Built from heavy-gauge, four-chamber PVC, it comes with seating for up to six people, plus an anchor bag and rope, a full compliment of drinks holders, a built-in MP3 system with waterproof speakers and a puncture repair kit. You can even buy several lounges and lock them together to form a bigger platform. People tend to think these things are only for tropical waters, but I’ve used one at midnight in the icy wilds of Finland and it was utterly fantastic. Price: from £600, see Seedoo Inflatable Island for details.
The Safety Torque System is designed to stop you ruining your day, your gearbox and your prop by striking a submerged object. It is basically a reusable hub and driveline protection system that automatically releases and resets in the event of an impact. It absorbs the shock load and slips, protecting your expensive drive shaft, gears and prop from serious damage and enabling you to re-engage drive and get yourself home, without a vast repair bill or any need to call the rescue services. Now that’s clever.
If these aren't enough, and you want more toys to add to your wishlist, see Top 10 Coolest Superyacht Toys.