They’re the star of the show — and a deck crew’s nemesis! Is it possible to call a truce?
It goes without saying that guests get really excited about the watersports, however, these activities can be an exhausting effort for the deck crew if not managed well. Here are some tips to get the most out of your toys.
1. It is true that the toys bring out the “WOW” factor in any charter, but in my experience, it’s best not to bring out and display everything on Day One. Rather, keep the excitement growing throughout the charter by bringing out a new toy or inflatable every day. This way, you reduce your workload at the same time
2. This might go without saying, but pack up all your toys and inflatables at night. If the weather unpredictably changes, the anchor starts dragging, or some emergency occurs, having toys out will delay your response and could be very costly.
3. Use a pump in the “suction” function to help you fold those inflatables as small and neatly as possible. Be sure there is no water in the inflatable because the water will pass through and destroy your pump.
4. Check inflatables regularly, even when not in season. The last thing you want is to inflate your slide or lounger on a charter, only to find it has leaks and is covered in mold. X14 is a great product to remove mold, just be sure to wear the appropriate PPE.
5. If you plan on purchasing large inflatables such as slides, design them around your boat’s functionality. Ideally, have these large items near davits. This will not only shorten set- up and pack-up times, but will save your deck crews’ backs as well.
6. On discovering a leak or puncture, I suggest using a good two-part Hypalon adhesive. My go-to is Polymarine. Make sure the surface is sufficiently cleaned, then apply on both sides, allowing the adhesive to go tacky before clamping together. That being done, a professional repair as soon as possible is also recommended.
7. Offer a “water taxi” service for your guests. Create a Seabob run back and forth from the slide to the swim ladder — it’s sure to be a massive hit.
8. If you don’t have a splash mat, I highly recommend one. It’s not only great for guests lounging in the water and kids having hours of fun playing tag, but it creates a great platform to perform Jet Ski instructions and training.
Chief Officer Wesley Walton has been working on yachts for almost a decade and recently earned his 3000 GT Master’s License.