Towable Toys – The need for speed, thrills and excitement has hit recreational boating with full force. Discussions once based on what power your engines could muster, or what islands you had been to, are now firmly focused on what “toys” your boat carries. The one-upmanship has certainly altered direction, too; it used to be all about size – now it’s all about how you use it.

Mind you, before you go crazy and order a four man submarine, a nitrox scubasystem and a helicopter, think carefully how you will be storing all these playthings.  Not every boat comes with a hydraulically controlled aft garage with room for jet skis and your 28ft tender for dive excursions, nor does every boat come with a special side door to launch your second 15ft tender.  And it’s not always possible to have separate storage rooms for your wetsuits, snorkelling gear and fishing equipment.  We also beg the owners of smaller boats with big dreams to double check the clearance required from main mast to bow sprit – the blades will make a mess of your rigging.

Of course, space constraints don’t really have to restrict your fun – a kayak tied alongside lifeline rails and launched on calm balmy nights can give as much pleasure as a short fast trip to the casino across the bay.   Rotomod are one of the best kayak manufacturers, offering a range of shapes and sizes.   The most important thing to remember when selecting a kayak is stability on the sort of water you will be in – too light and it will slide, making propulsion very hard work.   Another possibility for today’s boater is a range of inflatable kayaks, which are great fun and very stable in many conditions.  Stearns, one of the leading manufacturers of watersports equipment, has a 9ft self bailing inflatable kayak designed with flotation chambers to provide the stability of a hard-shelled kayak.  They also make a complete range of paddles, back supports, flotation vests and other accessories. Choose from high performance inflatable chest packs; neoprene vests for high flexibility watersports; camouflage (for duck shooting, perhaps?) type 1 commercial doggy vests; and for the little ones, branded Dora the Explorer and Scooby Doo life vests.

Stearns also manufactures high-performance towable toys.  The aptly named “in flight” two person towable will actually take off when your dinghy’s running at full throttle. If you have more than two (big) children to keep amused, then why not try the “triple–hex” towable for 3 people?

A selection of tow ropes of varying lengths is also available to maximize the fun.  All the Stearns towables are made to the highest standards using strong, 30-Guage PVC tubes with nylon coatings, foam filled handles and large valves for inflation and deflation.  Thrill and adventure on your cruising holiday? Nah… it’s just child’s play.