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 Special Features of a Parasail Boat (Parasailing Boats: Speedboats on Steroids)

If you’ve ever been parasailing on a commercial parasail boat, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the powerful boat that launches riders into the air. This is no regular speedboat. Indeed, a commercial parasailing boat is much like a deluxe speedboat with state-of-the-art features and architectural extras that help keep riders safe. Other functions help it maximize the crew’s ability to improve the parasailing experience in every weather condition.

Most commercial parasailing boats have a large platform at the stern where riders are strapped into their harnesses below the parachute. This platform ensures flyers are harnessed properly and that all crucial lines are free of knots and snags. It gives a wide-open area for riders to become acclimated to the harness, as well as a safe spot to touch down upon landing. Without this platform, the lift-off and landing processes are significantly more cramped, giving more opportunity for potentially dangerous errors. Most platforms are covered in non-slip decking, increasing safety even further.

Another boat feature that is central to a parasail boat’s operation is a reliable hydraulic winch system. The winch is what lifts the parasailors into the air and reels them back in after the ride is over. The winch should have speed control and a brake to ensure complete control at all times over the tow line. Basically, speed control ensures the winch can move at the optimal speed for weather conditions and the individual rider, while a brake system eliminates the winch from freely spinning out of control. The best winches feature a self-aligning drum, which lays the tow line back onto the drum neatly without a guide. Rope guides are a high-maintenance addition that malfunctions far more frequently than a winch with a self-aligning drum.

A parasail boat must also have a reliable method to deploy the parachute that is necessary for parasailing. Since parachutes are neatly folded and stowed between trips, before anyone can parasail, the parachute must be deployed. Deploying the parachute is a crucial part of a parasailing trip’s success. If the parachute isn’t lifted and inflated immediately, it could fall into the water, where the water’s force quickly cripples the parachute as it is dragged. Some boats feature automatic inflation masts that the boat’s captain can operate without a deckhand, while other boats feature a pulpit from which the crew can manually inflate the parachute. The method of inflation varies according to each company’s preference, but it is generally thought that hand inflation is the most preferable method. This is likely the case since hand inflation is a maintenance-free endeavor that avoids undue wear and tear on parachute lines.

Understanding the inner workings of a parasailing boat is most applicable to those professionally involved in parasailing. However, as a consumer, it’s important to be able to identify the unique features of parasailing boats that keep riders safe in all weather conditions. You wouldn’t want to buy a speedboat by mistake! These special boat features are what define the modern parasailing experience and continue to propel its popularity.

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