The Rise of the Beach Club
That once underutilized space in the stern of the boat – often a dumping ground for dive gear, excess snorkels, and inflatable kayaks – has over the years morphed into something much more exciting and user-friendly. Enter: the beach club.
We’d have to dig into the archives to find exactly who could lay claim to the first official “beach club”, but when builders and designers began looking at alternate uses for the transom area – apart from a lazarette with storage and engineer’s quarters – the designs aboard larger boats began to transform.
It started first as a tender garage – circa 2003, 256ft (78m) Royal Denship Pegasus VIII (ex-Princess Marianna) – an area that opened onto the sea and even welcomed in seawater to form a 40ft (12m) swimming pool, in which the tenders were launched and retrieved. We’ll save commentary on engineering and safety aspects of the tender-launch-and-retrieval design for another post, but suffice it to say, designers, captains, and owners soon decided that the area could be much more useful if transformed into a guest space.
Builders over the years incorporated opening hull sides – a pioneer here being Lazzara Yachts, whose signature fold-out balconies created quite a stir when they were introduced to the industry aboard the LSX92 at the 2008 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
The Beach Club Today
Today, beach clubs are all but standard on the larger yachts, where the number and size of the water toys are increasing and indoor/outdoor living remains ever in demand – the 213ft (65m) Heesen, Galactica Star (link: https://bit.ly/2S3IIom) incorporates a bar, day head and lounge area in a wide, open space where two hull openings – port and aft – allow for simultaneous tender operations and watersports. Incorporating everything from bars and lounge chairs to saunas, steam rooms, and exercise rooms, the superyacht beach club is now one of the most popular areas onboard.
Inevitably, it wouldn’t be long before we would begin seeing beach clubs pop up on smaller yachts – a very exciting offering for owners who longed to enjoy superyacht amenities and styling in a smaller package.
Westport Yacht Joins the Beach Club Game
American production yacht builders Westport Yachts embraced the beach club trend when they introduced the W 125model (link: https://bit.ly/34tnTW6), pictured below, which boasts a departure from the builder’s traditional exterior styling, a gyro stabilization system, a full-beam master stateroom, and a beach club. Here, the transom lifts reveal a wet bar, seating area, and access to the aft technical area. The swim platform can be further extended to allow for well-sized water access areas for all guests to relax, swim or play.
And So Do Horizon Yachts…
GRP infusion pioneers Horizon Yachts of Taiwan have introduced a line of high-volume, fast displacement yachts in the last three years that give owners in the 80 to 125ft range four enviable features: a stable hull design, an on-deck master, incredible interior volume, and…. a beach club.
Unveiled at the 2019 Palm Beach Boat Show, the Horizon Fast Displacement FD77 (link: https://bit.ly/2PvE00R) pictured below features a five-stateroom layout – including an on-deck master – and a beach club. Spanning the yacht’s 22ft 8in beam, the beach club features a galley with a small stove top and microwave, refrigerator, icemaker, washer/dryer, and television as well as a built-in settee and dining table. A hydraulic swim platform provides an extended area on which to prep dive gear or simply lounge within view of the watersports fun.
With a 75ft version of the FD Series – featuring four staterooms including an on-deck master as well as a beach club – scheduled to launch in January 2020, and a beach club already incorporated into Horizon’s V68 model (link: https://bit.ly/2Et1oFY), there’s no question that the beach club trend is a design feature that is enjoying that “trickle-down effect” and will serve to bring even more fun onboard these fantastic mid-range yachts.