Once the anchor is dropped and the ship is gently swaying, the turquoise waters of the anchorage offer much more than a paradisiacal natural swimming pool. SeaHelp presents the best toys and rental models for small and large water sports enthusiasts – fun and adrenaline guaranteed.
If sailors a few years ago still made derisive remarks about water sports enthusiasts who on their stand up paddling boards give the impression that they could walk on water, the inflatable SUPs are now firmly part of the equipment of many touring yachts. Paddling through the bay is not only fun, but – with the right speed, wind and waves – also quite sporty and strenuous. It is very elegant who does not get into the small inflatable dinghy with the roaring outboard motor in the morning to fetch bread ashore, but goes on the SUP across the anchorage into the harbor. A waterproof bag keeps T-shirt and shorts dry and doubles as a shopping bag for the return trip across the water.
Snorkel, diving goggles & Co
Who sails over the water, the beauties of the underwater world often remain hidden. But in the back boxes on deck is enough space for diving fins, goggles and snorkel. So right after arriving at the anchorage, take out the swim ladder, put on your fins and off you go into a world of sea grass, fish, shells and rocky outcrops, in which, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to make out the rowing arms of an octopus. Meanwhile, there are snorkeling systems that combine a full face mask that covers the entire face with a snorkel. (For example, at Decathlon).
Experienced divers with enough space on board take their complete diving equipment including tank with them and go into the depths. Attention: Since one is rarely alone in the anchorage or a popular snorkel spot, the blue-white pennant “A” should then be placed on board, which signals internationally that divers are in the water. In addition, inflatable small floating buoys, attached to the diver’s vest, help locate his or her position.
Speed with the diving scooter
Unfortunately, not quite cheap and with a dead weight of about 25 kilograms also not quite light are diving scooters, battery-powered swimming boards, with the help of which you can plow through the water at a speed of about 15 km/h and go to depth. In order not to dive too deep involuntarily, the desired diving depth can be programmed beforehand, so that the diving scooter automatically pushes up again when the maximum diving depth is reached.
If you let yourself be pulled through the water by a diving scooter (e.g. by SeaBob), you will experience a fascinating underwater world in fast forward in the anchorage. But be careful: the effort it takes to hold the diving scooter in the water with outstretched arms for a longer period of time should not be underestimated. Back on board, the batteries of the diving scooter are recharged for the next use.
Air mattress was clearly yesterday. The new inflatable water toys are shaped like pizza slices, flamingos or even – the very latest – unicorns in rainbow colors. And they are impressively large. So big, in fact, that a bellows or electric pump for on-board use is a very good investment. As with the good old “Luma”, you can only drift across the water on these floating mythical creatures to a limited extent in deep relaxation in the anchorage. Either the wind drives under the unicorn’s rainbow-colored tail and blows it over, or good-humored fellow sailors capsize the dream of big girls. What follows is not infrequently a merry struggle for the inflatable travel companion, which finds space again limp and airless below deck when leaving the bay.
Donuts and other floatables
When a motorboat with a bulging donut or sofa in tow races across the water in rapid curves and at the appropriate speed, accompanied by the enthusiastic shrieks of passengers clinging to the platform and relentlessly exposed to the spray, many a sailor with limited engine power of his own looks enviously after this water fun. Hardly anyone can resist the fun potential offered by the durable “water toys” – theatrical capsizes included. But even at just a few knots of speed, moored to the stern of a sailing yacht, the water toys known in the trade as “floatables” are great fun for sailors young and old. A solid life jacket provides the necessary safety in case contact is lost with the bobbing, bouncing, bucking banana, donut or even the sofa.
A sailing yacht can be a floating diving tower in the anchorage. From the bow pulpit you glide elegantly with a header into the water, who is too high, jumps from the ship’s side into the cool water. Alternative for balance artists: Pull the spinnaker parallel to the deck up to the shroud, climb artfully and then glide from the nock in as stretched a posture as possible full of grace into the water. Could be that the side berths distribute A and B grades for the performance offered.
Simply flying over the water
For a long time now, there have been kiters who understand sailing and, above all, the yacht only as a means to an end, to comfortably get to the best kite spots. The two sports complement each other: especially when the wind gets fierce and some prefer to stay in the anchorage rather than take off for the next stage destination, the conditions are perfect for the small boards with the colorful kite kites.
And what will remain an unattainable dream for most hobby sailors is now also possible for everyman kiters: foiling. The art of surfing over the water on small skids. The so-called lift-foils are equipped with an electric motor, so that it is possible to float almost silently over the water. Even beginners quickly learn to glide over the water on the boards. To have fun, it needs neither wind nor wave.
Motorcycle to sea
Only those who have a really large yacht at their disposal have the option of being able to store a jet ski in the stern area, where various water toys can be stored in the garage. For all others, it remains to go to the local rental shop on the beach. After presentation of the sport boat license and a deposit, the high-powered driving fun can begin. Depending on the model, a passenger can also take a seat on the pillion.
In the sky with jet propulsion
In the practice phase, the use of flyboards, which allow tech-savvy water sports enthusiasts to propel themselves vertically upward using the water-jet recoil of a jet ski, still looks like something that takes a little getting used to. The look is more reminiscent of the clumsy handling of a stirrer, with everything splashing wildly through the counter. But if you get the hang of it, you can fly on two water columns up to 9 meters above the water surface. And has so not only a completely different perspective on the anchorage, but also the admiring views of the surrounding safe. Unfortunately, only in combination with a jet ski to operate and therefore correspondingly large, heavy and expensive. But where jet skis are rented, there are often also flyboards.
Dinghy on board
Turned upside down on the forecastle, there is room for a small optimist; rig and sail, as well as the oar bag, fit on an unused bunk below deck. With the help of a neck harness with three points and a halyard, the little boat can be comfortably craned over the side of the ship – off goes the discovery tour for small sailors. With the Opti it goes into even smaller bays, grottos or even directly to the beach. If no more junior sailors are on board and there is enough storage space, an inflatable dinghy can also be taken along, e.g. from Tiwal.
If there’s no room on the yacht for another boat, it’s worth going to the rental service on the beach. In addition to Laser and other one-man dinghies, Hobie Cats are usually rented, on which two people can race across the smooth waters of the bay with lots of fun.
The ultimate water fight
Water bombs are bad for the environment. But a water battle between two yachts, conducted full of verve, with the help of a slingshot attached between the forestay and the mast, the small projectiles achieve a considerable range, is also not to be sneezed at. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of laboriously collecting the small pieces of plastic again afterwards, invest in large, high-quality water guns with a voluminous tank. In order not to waste precious fresh water on board unnecessarily, it is directly reloaded with seawater again and again.
Almost meditative: fishing
When noisy children are having a family butt-bombing contest and splash into the water with strained body tension, even the most patient fish will take to his heels. But when it’s quiet in the bay, without lively outboards, splashing SUPs and buoyant unicorns, it’s time to unpack the fishing rod in the pushpit in peace. And to wait. To let your mind wander. And to hope for the gentle tug on the rod that signals that a very special feast is being prepared in the galley today.