Centre stage

Driven by the desire to deliver flexible solutions to enhance the use of the yacht’s aft decks, the Nautibuoy team have created a balance between innovation and safety

The Nautibuoy platforms are now into their sixth year of production and sales after having won the prestigious DAME award in the Deck category back in 2015.

Business has moved on at a fair pace over the past six years, with Nautibuoy bringing more ideas through from conception to build and market launch.

They have 18 patents pending, 36 registered designs and 24 pending designs. Nina and Clay are from the crew side of the business so know the general day to day issues crew are faced with. The Nautibuoy products are all developed with this in mind – to make the yacht crew’s life easier and to bring more practicable solutions to the yacht’s operation.

It all started with a single platform; designed to extend the aft area of the yacht to give the guests and owners a larger area to relax or to tie the toys and jetskis to. That one simple idea seems a long time ago now as the range of Nautibuoy platforms has grown year on year.

But it’s not just about patents and designs, there is also the important safety angle that the team take seriously.

The whole system is modular and very versatile. The unique Air Toggle connection system allows multiple platforms and docks to be connected in any number of configurations, depending on the requirements and water activities on any given day. The stability is produced by the four ballast bags on each platform with a unique patent pending quick and easy dump mechanism, which eases the recovery for crew members.

The Air toggle means that there is a safe, entrapment free connection between the multiple platforms, free of any hard parts where you might stub a toe or attachments that might require polishing. Being modular the set-up and design of the platforms can be altered dependent on the guests’ needs on any given day, this flexibility in configuration is key, and when you create the jetski dock or attach the C-Docks for the seabobs. This extended adaptability is priceless. Having a number of the smaller platforms rather than one large custom platform also means they can be easily stowed.

Another important and practical element of the sturdy platforms is that they have no hard angles or cleats sticking out that could cause damage when being set-up or recovered. The anchor loops are made out of durable Dyneema (the world’s strongest fibre) with the stainless D-Rings on each corner reinforced with Kevlar. NautiBuoy mention this is actually over spec’d, but this means the connections can easily take the weight of jetskis and smaller tenders with complete confidence. The platforms can be anchored off beaches for guests to relax on and use as a base to snorkel from. Plus, they can also be towed, with the ballast bags emptied or in the upright position from one location to another.

This is one of the product’s main selling points. The PE foam surface gives the appearance of real teak, which means that the platforms are not just functional, they are a practical and stylish addition to the yacht when used as a beach deck extension. The other benefit that with a unique and fitted protection cover, the platforms can be used by crew as a maintenance or detailing platform in the water.

But they’re not just pretty
– they’re tough as well. NautiBuoy’s exclusive and extensively researched process of bonding the PE foam to the platforms ensures that there is no delamination and no bubbling in the heat. The foam is glued and stitched to prevent any peeling, even with repetitive knocking from watersports equipment. The platforms were tested in large ovens at 60 degree centigrade for six hour periods. As well as the PE foam being UV resistant, the foam remained at a comfortable temperature and did not absorb the heat, making them still usable even in the hottest of tropical climates.

Initially, the platforms were presented to the market as a single flat bed extension to the after section of any yacht. Over the past few years after many discussions with captains and owners, the offering has lead to multiple additions. The platforms come in four sizes now and can all be inter¬linked, thus giving the users the ability to create any shape or size of extension that they wish. There are many additions for specific toys such as the C-Dock for seabobs, fliteboards, jetskis and even amphibious aircraft.

The possibilities are endless, however, upon talking to Nina and Clay we find out it’s not all about developing new elements for the Nautibuoy range. “Of course safety and manufacturing processes are also very important to us,” Nina explains. “They say Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but we go further than any other manufacturer in our space. After actually working on the yachts themselves, we know how important it is to have the very best in terms of durability and to concentrate on the minutiae. This simply delivers an A1product and that’s what we do at Nautibuoy. It has been a lot of work, but gaining Global ISO Safety Recognition was important to us. We’re not just talking about Europe, we comply to EVERY ISO regulation across the world. The platforms go through rigorous testing procedures and have the second air chamber for safety, which is provided by the air toggle. After all the Nautibuoy platforms are used in every continent in the world.”

The latest product launched in Dusseldorf 2020, was a special clamp fitted on to the side of a platform to hold an umbrella or sunshade. This innovation, once again extends the use of the basic platform. With the comfort seats already available as a popular accessory, the platforms can be used as a relaxation area, and an area for parents to sit in comfort and watch the children play in the water. But what about the blistering sun? Enter the latest improvement from the Nautibuoy Lab. The solid and durable umbrella holder. This device simply clips on to the outer edge of any platform, giving the ability to place a sunshade pole into a secure holder. Easily fastened, this accessory enables the platform users to sit and relax in the shade. A simple, but brilliant addition to the growing range platform accessories. To wind up, Nina and Clay warn us to watch out for new product launches later this year…

For more details Tel: +44 (0)1364 643 921
or visit www.nautibuoymarine.com