Six “Essential” Yachting Toys

If the adage "he who dies with the most toys wins" is true, then buying a superyacht is only the first step towards victory. The next step is giving your yacht your own personal touch, and these toys can help you do just that.


“Luxury subs?” Climate control, overstuffed leather seatnig and a sound system can make your trip to 1,000 feet beeneath the sea a cushy experience as you peer through the clear acrylic nose. The Discovery 1000, a 27-footer that seats four to eight, has a 24-hour running time, but as a life support unit it can keep you alive for 96 hours. $2.6 million. New for 2006 is the two-seater Tirton 1000, starting at a mere $1.24 million.


Helicopters are to superyachts what limos are to mansions: These days, most have one. Some even two. But which one to buy? The standard remains the EC 120 from Eurocopter, a smart little five-seater that weighs under 4,000 pounds and has a curising speed of 100 to 122 knots; it can go nearly 400 miles without refueling. Price starts at $1.5 million.


Sort of like the character Q in James Bond films, Sir Clive Sinclair is an iconic Brit who has invented everything from the pocket calculator to electric bikes. One of his more recent creations is the Sea-Doo Seascooter, which putt-putts along at 2 mph and can operate at depths up to 65 feet, making it a great option for snorkeling or shallow dives. The 12V battery lasts an hour and the entire thing folds into a package the size of a gym bag.


Since everyone has a helicopter, how about a hot air balloon? The crew of the Margaux Rose use her bow helipad to launch themselves into the air on still evenings. Hot air balloons come in all shapes and forms and range from $38,000 for a two-to-three man basket and a 77,000-cubic-foot envelope. One manufacturer is Lindstrand USA, managed by Phil and Lisa Kempner and based in Galena, Ill., which specializes in producing small balloons. or e-mail


Castagna recently debuted the Tender for land cruising: an open-air cabriolet with a 30-liter freshwater tank with shower and a 2000W Clarion audio system and extra spotlights (for beach parties). The striped soft top is by Missoni, while the interior has neoprene-covered seats to stand up to sun and saltwater. Lifting rings at each corner makes it easy to sling the car aboard. You have to buy the Mini Cooper (starting at $17,450) first, and then figure about $25,000 for the custom conversion.


The Polaris Flying Inflatable Boat (yes, they call it a FIB), uses a 64 hp two-stroke on an 11-foot hard-bottom inflatable with a 36-foot wing. The boat can reach speeds of 50 knots, soar to 10,000 feet and stay aloft for two to three hours. Cost? $23,900, training included. But, as the spec sheet states: No aerobatics allowed.