RISE ABOVE THE REST
ONBOARD talks with Peter Emmons, Technical Manager at Superyacht Tenders and Toys about their mission to design and manufacture best-in-class superyacht inflatables
What inspired the concept for Superyacht Inflatables?
We’ve been designing inflatables for almost a decade. Yet in recent years, particularly with the advancement in materials technology, we found ourselves becoming
increasingly frustrated with the lack of innovation and environmental awareness throughout the industry. Regularly we would propose creative solutions to obstacles that our suppliers just weren’t able to accommodate. With such versatility in our team and decades of experience in the yachting industry, we decided to develop our brand, with our own manufacturing — giving rise to Superyacht Inflatables.
What is your long-term aim with Superyacht Inflatables?
For all its charm and splendour, yachting presents one of the most unforgiving environments for any exterior product to withstand. Therefore, our overarching aim is to create custom inflatables with extreme durability in mind (whilst meeting the expected superyacht aesthetics and inevitable storage issues). We’re already offering inflatables with the highest degree of abrasion and saltwater resistance over any comparable product on the market, but we’re also developing solutions that can be repurposed at the end of their working life.
What features do you incorporate as standard?
We’ve learnt the hard way through our own experiences of working on superyachts and that’s why we only use soft loop ties on all our inflatables. This prevents paintwork damage and eliminates corrosion. We’ve also developed a super-safe quick zip system making our modular inflatables effortless to set up. The advantages are two-fold, with the rigidity of the system substantially increasing safety. Finally, our non-slip removable covers can be printed in any design!
Where do you manufacture your inflatables?
We’ve moved away from production in China, investing heavily in a modern facility in Europe. This means our team stay in close control of all projects, avoiding the pitfalls and frustrations faced when manufacturing on the other side of the world. It’s also vastly cheaper and quicker to distribute our finished products to customers in the Med.
Which materials do you prefer to work with?
We are making great strides with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). This is a material that possesses a heap of technical and environmental advantages over the current industry-wide choice of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is inherently brittle and requires the addition of plasticisers to give it pliability. It’s these plasticisers that leach harmful chemicals into the ocean. TPU on the other hand is a fully melt-processable thermoplastic, which by its very nature, is highly flexible. Despite its high price to produce, we are determined to manufacture inflatables for the superyacht market that are almost entirely recyclable. Not only does our premium grade TPU not leach, is also resistant to oil, grease, solvents and chemicals and has excellent tensile strength and abrasion resistance.
What are the most frequently requested inflatables?
We work with a large number of yachts to design and manufacture netted sea pools. We also have a lot of requests for super-size modular docks that increase the useable space at water level.
Do you get a lot of feedback from crew?
Yes, absolutely — in fact, it’s often the crew who first recognise the need for a certain product or custom feature. Portability and storage-friendly are nearly always their top priorities and of course, we’re only too glad to comply. After all, today’s crew are tomorrow’s captains!
Aside from sea pools, slides and docks, are there any other products we ought to know about?
The unsung heroes of the range are our Dynamic Links. These are the safest and most versatile way to connect inflatable docks and sea pools to your yacht. Made from super-strength Dyneema®, our Dynamic Links are ultra-strong, ultra-light and effortless to use.