Beautiful Beast – Frauscher 747 Mirage
The Frauscher 747 Mirage is the newest day cruiser from the Austrian builder. The 7.47-metre boat delivers sporty handling and a smooth, wave-cutting ride. Extended water lines and dual spray rails settle the bow for stability at high speeds. It reaches a top speed of 104 km/h with the most potent of three engine options, a 430 HP Mercruiser 8.2l petrol engine. An optional bow thruster makes for easy docking and low-speed manoeuvring. The cockpit is lined with teak, with seating for up to six passengers. The backrests folds down to create a large padded lounge aft, and the cushion can be relocated to create an additional sunbed. Niceties include a stereo system with Bluetooth and iPhone connectivity, a small refrigerator, and a fold-up bimini top for shade. The 747 Mirage starts at about US $150,000.
Rare Bird – Deep Flight Super Falcon
The roughly US $1.7 million Deep Flight Super Falcon winged submersible – only three of which are currently in operation – is the ultimate water toy. Using principals of reverse lift, the 1.6-metre sub flies under water like a fixed-wing aircraft flies in the sky, its battery-powered thrusters pushing it downward as it accelerates to a cruise speed of 4-6 knots and to depths of 120 metres. All Deep Flight craft are positively buoyant, meaning they automatically float to the surface in case of mechanical failure. Though learning to pilot the sub requires a detailed training course, it is fairly intuitive to operate. Its two crew sit tandem with their legs extended, and the sub’s dual acyclic canopies give them both unrivalled views of the ocean’s depths and marine life.
Water Spark – Sea-Doo Spark
Sea-Doo personal watercraft have become essential water toys for yacht owners, beach-home owners, or just about anyone who regularly takes lakeside or seaside vacations. The Sea-Doo Spark is perhaps its most versatile model. Available in either two- or three-person configurations, the Spark is light enough to be towed behind even a small sedan, though its 899 cc Rotax engine gives it a potent power-to-eight ratio. It can reach about 64 km/h and it burns about 35 percent less fuel than most competitors; it is able to operate for about 4 hours on a single tank. Priced starting at US $5,000 (MSRP), the Spark is available in a variety of vibrant colors and with plenty of customization options and upgrades, including multi-color geometric paint schemes and Sea-Doo’s patented Intelligent Brake and Reverse system.
Underwater Power – Seabob F5 S
Seabob underwater scooters are practically requisite aboard mega yachts and at many Caribbean beach resorts. Users hold onto the device (and are secured to it via a safety-release belt) and it pulls them using battery-powered water-displacement propulsion. The US $13,000 Seabob F5 S can reach speeds up to 20 km/h on the surface and 15 km/h below water, and it can dive as deep as 40 metres. Steering grips, trigger thrusters, six power levels, and a heads-up colour display give users the utmost control of the experience, which can last a full hour on a single charge. Seabobs are the ideal companions for diving, snorkelling, or simply cruising around the water.
Powered Surf’s Up – Jetsurf Ultra Sport
Over the last few years, the recreational powered surfboard has spawned a global professional circuit, with boards that can reach speeds as fast as 60 km/h. The Czech company Jetsurf is among the leading manufacturers and produces boards for professional and recreational riders. Though designed for more casual users, its US $15,000 Jetsurf Ultra Sport model still tops out at about 48 km/h and zips through turns. Like the other Jet Surf models, it is shaped more like a wakeboard than a surfboard and features a small low-emission gas-powered engine; the handheld control device is tethered to the board and runs on a rechargeable battery. The Ultra Surf’s 2.5-litre 86 cc motor allows for about 1.5 hours of riding. The Ultra Surf is simple to learn and so fun that buying a pair of them is likely to incite some amateur competition.
Under Pressure – IWC Aquatimer Deep Three
Form meets function in the IWC Aquatimer Deep Three, which utilizes a complex mechanical system of internal spring membranes and levers to display the wearer’s depth with a blue indicator on the left side of the watch face. Meanwhile, a pawl keeps a red mark in place on the same dial to indicate the greatest depth achieved (down to 50 metres); a button on the side of the case resets the depth. This system allows divers to accurately time their decompression stops. And with a matte titanium case, black rubber strap, antireflective sapphire glass, and a sturdy but understated design for the case and watch face, the Aquatimer Deep Three is sophisticated enough to pair with both causal and formal attire.
Video Extreme – GoPro Hero4 Black
The miniature, rugged video cameras from GoPro instantly turn any activity – from extreme sports to snorkelling – into something that must be captured in high-definition. Among its newest cameras is the $500 top-of-the-line GoPro Hero4 Black, which beautifully captures high-frame-rate 4K video, 12-megapixel photos, and professional-grade audio, and it offers a number of settings to adjust the image. With built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the camera easily syncs with a supplied remote and the GoPro smartphone app. Accessories include high-impact cases, one waterproof down to 60 metres, and GoPro offers mounts for everything from bikes and boards to hats, helmets, and even dogs.
As a staff editor at both Robb Report and TONEAudio magzines, Bailey S. Barnard has a keen eye for craftsmanship and quality. He is also a self-proclaimed tech junkie and hi-fi nerd, a lover of music and movies, and an aspiring novelist.