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Motorboat & Yachting - - Contents -

The Nautibuoy 800 in­flat­able plat­form, Love An­chor dog ban­dana and quick-dry Helly Hansen shorts

We had a lot of fun test­ing the Nautibuoy 800 in­flat­able plat­form. First im­pres­sions were that this is a very high-qual­ity prod­uct – the ma­te­ri­als and con­struc­tion matched what you would find on an ex­pen­sive RIB. In ad­di­tion, ours had the op­tional teak deck which pro­vided great grip and looked fan­tas­tic. Af­ter in­fla­tion, the plat­form was pretty rigid and didn’t de­flect much when peo­ple stood on it. Once launched, the plat­form did ex­actly what the man­u­fac­tur­ers claim, with plenty of style. Chil­dren loved play­ing on it, and it is more sta­ble than you might think, es­pe­cially with the bal­last bags de­ployed. Adults loved just loung­ing and sun­bathing on it, and it made an ap­pre­cia­ble ad­di­tion to the over­all sun­bathing space on a boat. The ac­ces­sories are great: the pair of loungers were supremely com­fort­able while the swim lad­der al­lowed every­one to exit the wa­ter grace­fully.

The plat­form is in­cred­i­bly ver­sa­tile. We used it as a buf­fer/dock for the ten­der, Se­abobs, sail­ing boats, SUPS and kayaks. Chil­dren used it for wrestling matches, foot­ball head­ers, gym­nas­tics and other games. It made a great mini dock for peo­ple wait­ing for their turn at wa­ter­ski­ing and fly­board­ing. Every­one loved just let­ting it drift from the moth­er­ship at­tached by a pair of lines for quiet sun­bathing, and putting a plate of canapés and a loaded ice bucket on board was very easy. You can even put a pro­tec­tion cover on it and use it for clean­ing the sides of the hull, and Nautibuoy sup­ply cleats at­tached to those suc­tion-cup han­dles so you can tie up to your top sides and work your way around the boat.

It is im­por­tant to choose the right size of plat­form for your boat. We had the 800 model, which is the largest at 4mx2m in­flated, on an 80ft boat. It weighs 42kg but rolls up into a sort of 2m-long body­bag, so can’t eas­ily be car­ried up and down stair­cases, and we had no deck locker that we were pre­pared to sac­ri­fice to store it in.

Out­side the su­pery­acht world, I think one of the smaller mod­els would make more sense and would be more likely to ‘jus­tify’ the stor­age space it takes up. For our Squadron 78, I think I would look at buy­ing the smaller 375 or 525 model. It’s worth re­mem­ber­ing that when you de­flate it, you have to roll it up and ei­ther squeeze the air out or use the elec­tric pump sup­plied to suck it out, and to do that you need a swim plat­form that is al­most the same size as the in­flated plat­form.

One im­prove­ment the man­u­fac­tur­ers could make is to fit a big­ger valve to al­low it to de­flate faster with­out us­ing the rather slow pump. It’s not cheap, but it’s a lot of fun and an easy way to add more deck space to your boat with­out the cost of a per­ma­nent ex­ten­sion. John Wolf Con­tact www.nautibuoy­ma­

The Nautibuoy plat­form proved a big hit with the kids as well as a re­lax­ing chill-out spot for adults

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