Easy Yacht Solutions Part 1: Interview With Captain Ashley

Easy Yacht Solutions Part 1: Interview With Captain Ashley

During our recent attendance at the Palma International Boat Show, we were fascinated by the creative ways in which smaller yachts utilize their limited space, especially to house their water toys. It requires careful planning and often structured organization in order to make it work, and we saw many creative uses of space for this purpose.

In a previous article, we spoke to Captain Kevin Van Luijn of M/Y Sherakhan about various ways that yachts can use their small spaces effectively for water toy storage during the season. In Part 2 on this topic, Captain Ashley Oberholzer of charter yacht M/Y Lady Amanda, takes time out of his busy schedule to speak with Ocean Premium about simple yet effective methods he uses for storing water toys on his small yacht. M/Y Lady Amanda is well known in the industry for her armada of fun water toys, which offer her charter guests unique experiences onboard. Read his interview below.

Motor Yacht Lady Amanda At Anchor


How do you Store Water Toys in the Small Garage on Your Yacht?

We have two Seabobs, one on the bottom shelf and one on a foldable shelf just above. The two chargers, one fast and one standard, are on the walls (fast for quick charge and standard for electronic resets). The rest is for PFDS (personal flotation devices), paddles, remotes, and free diving gear in a net. There’s a floating line and a swim ladder. All packed away as a puzzle box.

We also have spread the toys around the boat and have a garage on the bow for bigger, less used inflatables and very light toys (aka wakeboards, Flyboard boots etc..)

What have some of your challenges been over the years?

Organization…which order to get things out. With each new toy we have to move things around. Also switching heavy toys for smaller lighter ones. Maintenance and repairs during the season is also a challenge.

What are the safety concerns to consider when deciding on type of toys and where to place them in a small garage?

No fuel, no gas / no water on electrics /state of the lithium batteries and keeping everything clean to avoid corrosion, which leads to damage and danger. (Also, rusty metal parts that can harm crew handling toys.)

Does having a small garage influence captains to rent more than to purchase?

Not in my case, as you still have to manage the toys you rent. Except if you mean jet skis, which I think is a good idea to hire if you have a big party of people wanting to use, but that comes with a responsible guide.

Does limited space mean that you need to offload the toys or store them off the boat during the winter or shipyard period, so that you have more space to do winter projects?

Yes it does. A storage garage or container is very useful and at the end of the day, you save money. You can also send them to an approved water toys storage company that will winterize and de-winterize the toys correctly.

If the toys are indeed left on board, how often should they be maintained?

Monthly checks should be done if not in use. Winterizing all toys, including tenders and jet skis, are non-negotiable. Remove batteries and put on trickle charge or winter mode.

Motor Yacht Lady Amanda Water Toys Display
Photo Credit Motor Yacht Lady Amanda

What are some of the key points to consider when organizing and storing water toys in a small garage?

  1. Ventilation, water evacuation, and that electrics stay high and out of the water splash zone. With lithium batteries, if they are stored correctly and checked regularly, they should be fine. You can detect lithium battery damage and corrosion visually, but to be safe…remove them. Hopefully there will be a better, safer model to replace them soon. Items with lithium batteries are stored in dry, well ventilated cupboards.
  2. Hauling and launching procedures and their order.
  3.  Saving the crew’s backs from getting hurt.

What are some points owners should consider when purchasing water toys for a small garage. 

Size, weight and utility of the toys.

What are some of the steps your crew has taken in consideration of your limited space on board?

They minimized equipment in the main garage, made mini ‘garages’ in spaces close-by to split the equipment quantities, and also added rails on the inside of the garage door to be able to hang things whilst they dry.

Have you ever done a refit on a yacht with a small garage? Were any of the refit projects ever targeted towards water toy placement or storage?

We made the Bbq into a battery charging station, and an electric draw away from any water source, with maximum ventilation.

Speaking of storing toys, in your opinion, has there been an increased interest in e-foils on yachts? 

Absolutely every year the use has increased. Now if you don’t have one you are missing out.

Do you recommend inflatables ( eg. Slides, aqua parks, kayaks etc) for yachts with small garages?

Yes, you just need to organize it correctly and pick the right ones in order to make launching and hauling easy.

M/Y Lady Amanda is a 30m super yacht with an impressive selection of water toys. She has been under the command of Captain Ashley since 2017, and is available for charter this summer in the Mediterranean.

Ocean Premium is committed to helping yachts find workable solutions for their water toys on board. We can help you to choose the right toys for your yacht or luxury resort. We have numerous rental and sale options of the most popular toys for charters.


 Motor Yacht Lady Amanda

Photo Credit Motor Yacht Lady Amanda

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