WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT
With camera ready drones from suppliers such as DJI and GoPro, technology is playing its part in keeping the superyacht toy market hot. Where the market is clearly slowing down is a guest’s desire to go waterskiing. Ten years ago it was all the rage but today the sport is almost extinct on board superyachts with guests preferring to wakesurf and wakeboard.
The simple thrill of a towable has now been replaced with a vast array of other more exciting toys. Captains are reporting that their guests seem to be adopting a weekend warrior attitude where they look for toys which are a quick thrill but with no skill in a way that will suit everyone especially on charter yachts.
Vitalij Reidel at OLO Boards agrees saying, “Most of the toys on the market now did not exist in the same way 10 years ago. There has been a great development in the variety of toys. Obviously, pretty much every Yacht owns a jet ski nowadays. So maybe this is a segment that may see a little decline.” Jetskis and petrol jetboards are becoming less popular, says Romina Ruoss at Lampuga. She adds, “This is because of maintenance issues, noise and pollution.”
So what will the future bring to the superyacht toy market? “More and more electric toys,” says Josh Richardson. “There seems to be a lot of investment into this area.”
Emmanuel Bertrand, says, “We are moving towards activities that, while remaining accessible, require a certain amount of technical expertise and know-how. The guests seek to challenge each other, to undertake activities close to nature, to play with the elements.”
Romina Ruoss believes, “The future of superyacht toys is simple. Electric, good run time, quick charge time, small, light, compact and believe it or not cheaper. Even the biggest superyachts are buying all of the cheaper boards and toys now. Vitalij Reidel says, “I am of the opinion that we are going to see more and more electrically powered toys on the market. As the battery technology advances there are endless possibilities in creating new and exciting water toys. What counts at the end is that our superyacht toys offer joy, excitement and entertainment to our customers.”
But what is it that has made having toys on board become such an important issue for yacht owners, their guests and those who charter the yacht? Josh Richardson thinks, “A lot of it is that people are more health focussed and enjoy getting out of real life and onto the water where there is also less distractions from real life. It is one of those moments you can focus on enjoying yourself without every social media and email bleeping in your pocket every 5 seconds. The industry has embraced it as a selling point for owners. I guess the trend of younger owners are also more adventurous and physically fit too.”
Emmanuel Bertrand says, “Guests are looking for special experiences. Their stay on board must give them a break from their daily life. Activities offered on board are designed to do just that and allow them to experience sporting adventures, new experiences and new sensations to share with friends and family. Burgess reported that one of their clients, who had chartered one of their superyachts, had spent his time sailing the Tiwal 3 with his son. When it came to the following year’s charter, this customer had made it a condition that the new yacht had a Tiwal 3 on board.”