In association with SeaMax Easy
Those that own a yacht know more than most the sense of fun and freedom that comes with being aboard a spectacular superyacht...
A man’s yacht is his palace, and an impressive asset that can afford him, or her, access to some of the world’s most beautiful destinations and exclusive events. However, with limited space on board comes a difficult choice to be made when it comes to selecting tenders and toys to enjoy out on the water.
SYOG uncovers new realms of possibility in the yacht tender and toy sector, looking into foldable flying machines that are adaptable enough to be carried aboard.
Making the cut: Yacht tender and toy requirements
When selecting tenders and toys for a superyacht, quality, versatility, maneuverability, storage and after-sales support will all feature highly on the specification checklist. After all, they must not only look and act the part, but they should also be easily maintained and stowed for onward travel.
Strong, robust and lightweight tenders and toys will stand the test of time on board, while those that are super-maneuverable and versatile in their function will always be popular with the yachting set. Make the design storable and amphibious and there are no bounds to the fun that can be had.
But what makes for a great tender or toy for the superyacht owner who has it all? Put simply, it must be exciting; and if it serves as a practical means of travel simultaneously, then all the better.
Learning to fly
Once a yacht owner has conquered both road and sea, with the superyacht and supercar portfolio to prove it, recent additions to the tender and toy market again sees individuals taking to the skies. This high-flying trend satisfies the need for additional fun and freedom while aboard, as well as fulfilling practical requirements for ship to shore travel, and vice versa.
Not so long ago, design innovations within the aviation sector saw amphibious aircraft reinvented with foldable wings for easy transportation and storage, making it feasible for owners to taxi the water to secluded spots before taking to the skies in a bid to explore, entertain and impress their guests.
With 2004 changes to US regulations for small planes, and the introduction of the Sport Pilot License (SPL), aircraft manufacturers SeaMax introduced their addition to the amphibious tender and toy sector: the SeaMax Easy a small, ultra-light seaplane with foldable wings for easy, on-demand enjoyment.
Stefan Ghiorzo, world gliding champion said, “For those lucky people – [the] owners of a big yacht - SeaMax could be the ideal tender to store in the aft peak. She allows takeoff and landing in water, anytime and anywhere, to enjoy the world’s most beautiful coves and breathtaking landscapes from the air.”
With 130 orders having since been produced, Seamax Easy is the only amphibious currently in use across a wealth of industries, flying worldwide in a range of applications. It is this tangible success that has sparked superyacht owners to invest in this binary trend for further fun and freedom while on board.
Gustavo Saurin, CEO of SeaMax said, “Learning to fly is said to be one of the most challenging yet rewarding ventures to undertake in adult life, taking serious commitment and providing an unrivaled sense of accomplishment once achieved. As a pilot myself, I have to say that I completely agree.
“After the success of our first SeaMax aircraft, installed aboard a 67m Imperial Yachts superyacht, we’ve developed the SeaMax Easy with innovative folding wings so that she may be readily stowed aboard superyachts of 40m LOA and above.
“Taking off from, or landing upon the water next to the yacht, she allows owners the chance to enjoy the flying experience while out at sea, changing their point of view from ocean to overhead whenever the need arises. Furthermore, she offers a comfortable tender experience by air or water for up to two passengers.”
The SeaMax Easy has since enjoyed increasing success, recruited as a serial tender by Sanlorenzo and Epic Yacht, installed aboard the first 460EXP Sanlorenzo explorer yacht and a 28m superyacht from Epic, and also selected as a tender for a 70m vessel being developed by Marcono University of La Spezia and a nearby shipyard.
More recently, the SeaMax Easy has made its way on board the new OceaNemo range of Sport Utility yachts from Italian shipyard MC Yacht International, with the OceaNemo 44 set to stow a SeaMax Easy on board.
The beauty of an amphibian aircraft is in its flexibility: Ongoing innovation in aviation design has developed these unique aircraft as both short and long-haul travel options using ordinary petrol for fuel, serving the yacht owners of today well as a means of leisure and recreation as well as a means of travel, simultaneously serving two very distinct and desirable purposes.
Steve McCaughey, executive director of Seaplane Pilots Association said, “It [SeaMax Easy] makes seaplane flying affordable, and it gives us a fresh alternative to what we have experienced in the past.”
Categorised as a Light Sports Aircraft (LSA) in the US, and an Advanced ULM aircraft in Europe, SeaMax Easy is easily registered as an ultra-light flying machine that is operated simply by a yacht owner or an elected crew member with a microlight pilot license.
Gustavo continued, “SeaMax Easy allows the adventurous superyacht owner the chance to conquer the sky, as, together with purchase, we provide comprehensive training courses for those with no flying experience, or for those who need to extend their license to include amphibian flying, via our registered flying school.”
With her crane easily installed aboard during the build or refit stage, SeaMax Easy is simply lifted from the tender garage onto the water and vice versa, taking just 10 minutes for crew to unfold and prepare for take-off and storage.
Gustavo explained, “The SeaMax crane can be installed on the deck near to the tender garage by four anchor points, ensuring she is easily transported from the garage, where she requires a space of just 6.4m x 1.8m x 1.9m.
“When in place, she can taxi the water, or take to the sky in a relatively small space, providing the opportunity to explore the surrounding area from overhead where her aerodynamic lines and 100hp four-stroke engines grant a cruising speed of 85 knots and a range of 160km with only 16-litres/hour of fuel. When back on dry land, she is trailer-ready meaning that there are no hangar costs – she fits into any standard garage.”
International clearance: Crossing the borders
When travelling to meet with the yacht, it’s not always the most convenient option to fly in to the nearest airport, as onward travel will still be required to meet the vessel wherever she may be.
Gustavo explained, “Recent updates to pilot licensing legislation and small aircraft design innovation has made it even easier and affordable for those that are interested to safely fly themselves to their destination, wherever that may be. SeaMax Easy can be equipped with a transponder and radio devices for aeronautical communications, allowing her to use the runways at almost every airport in the world, when required.
“Similarly, she is fast and maneuverable on the water itself. Owners can therefore opt to travel to meet their yacht using SeaMax Easy as their primary means of travel, or alternatively they can meet her on the tarmac for hassle-free onward travel, as she is easily transported by road on her bespoke trailer.”