|Water Slides: The Newest Must-Have Megayacht Charter Toy|
|Written by Kim Kavin|
|Wednesday, 14 December 2011 09:38|
About 10 years ago, everybody who was anybody wanted a charter yacht with Wave Runners. About three years ago, everybody who was anybody wanted SeaBobs in the toy box. Last year, I started hearing about standup paddleboards as the most-requested charter toy.
At last week's Antigua Charter Yacht Show, water slides were the talk of the docks.
Apparently, more and more charter clients booking yachts larger than 125 feet are beginning to request giant, inflatable water slides. One broker told me that a megayacht captain in the Bahamas recently ordered one because his boat lost two upcoming charters to a similarly sized and priced yacht that had a water slide. Even longtime, well-respected charter yachts are adding them to their collections, to ensure that repeat clients continue to return. The photograph at right shows the new slide aboard the 161-foot Feadship motoryacht Teleost, which already has an outstanding charter reputation and looked terrific at last week's show.
From what various megayacht crew told me, these slides are no small shakes. Each one must be custom-ordered to fit the design of the yacht itself so that guests can slide safely from the top deck, which is a good two or three stories above water level. The cost for each slide is therefore in the ballpark of $25,000, a few crew told me.
That's the equivalent of three Wave Runners or a SeaBob-and-a-half, and the slide takes up more room in the lazarette, so the yacht must be big enough to stow it, too.
I have yet to experience the thrill of sliding down one of these inflatable monsters, but the crew I spoke last week with said they're an absolute blast. Given how much clients seem to enjoy them, I expect that we'll be seeing them on more and more megayachts for charter in the near future.
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