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OCTOBER MOON 180° FULL VIEW SNORKEL MASK
Octobermoon snorkel mask provides a 180° viewing area with full face design. Easy to adjust size and comfortable on your face a great unrestricted view with anti-fog and anti-leak technology. It's view really is amazing. It surprisingly fits pretty well on small heads too ... and you don't have to worry about water getting into kids nose and mouth. Japanese made of non-toxic silicone and German Bayer PC. See it here.
GILL OS2 OFFSHORE JACKET
We just took delivery of the new Gill OS2 Offshore jacket. This Offshore jacket is the big brother of the Gill Onshore and Coastal jackets. It will keep you comfy and dry in the worst weather conditions on your boat and is stylish enough to wear it anytime even on dry land.
A versatile performer capable of standing up to the toughest offshore and coastal conditions while keeping you dry and comfortable, the new Gill OS2 is made from our hydrophobic, laminated moisture-management fabric that's 100% waterproof and windproof, also featuring a hydrophilic coated layer that transports moisture away from the skin. This durable 3 Dot fabric, creates an incredibly waterproof, windproof and breathable protective shell. This jacket is everything offshore protection needs to be.
- Outer: 100% Nylon, Main Lining: 100% Nylon, Mesh: 100% Polyester, Fleece: 100% Polyester
- Fully taped seams for a waterproof seal
- Fully lined with mesh drainage panels
- Rollaway fluorescent hood with volume adjustment for improved fit
- High cut thermal collar provides safety and warmth with full face protection
- Fleece lined chest pockets with water resistant YKK zippers
GULL CAT REVISITED
Some time ago we featured a product called Gull Cat which is designed to keep the birds away from your boat. Since that time we have received the new and improved Gull Cat and we put it to the test. What changed with the product – A/ realistic fur was added to the entire body of the cat. B/ Both S/S tail spring and neck spring were changed so that the lightest breeze or movement on your boat triggers the tail and neck wagging.
This product works great for keeping Gulls, Canada Geese and Blue Herons off your dock and your boat. They won't be visiting your boat anymore ... but they may still visit neighbouring boats 30' away or more. You couldn't say the cat is realistic looking. It's somewhere between a house cat and a lynx. Not something a bird would take lightly because the cat looks really mean and the snarling head is looking somewhat upward at the sky. So use one of these and the gulls will be someone else's problem. If you are trying to keep geese out of a marina you are going to need a bunch of them though. Unlike other decoys, so far the birds don't seem to get used to the gull cat because of the constant movement and realistic fur moving around. It is advised that you move the cat around from time to time just to keep the pesky birds off balance.
Now Blue Herons ... if you happen to have a local bird frequenting your dock presents a different set of problems. Blue Herons don't like to land on boats as much as they do like your dock. They tend to frequent the exact same location every time and they tend to crap at that location actually favouring bundled dock ropes, electrical cables and they crap big time, almost like a cow and more than any human could expel. They love crayfish and frogs but these are big birds and they will take squirrels, chipmunks or even small cats if they wander along the shore in range of the silent deadly hunter. The Gull Cat is too much for even a big Blue Heron to handle ... so we suggest you clean up the heron crap and put your Gull Cat exactly on that spot if you want to move the Heron to a new feeding/resting location away from your dock ropes.
It has been reported that eagles and ospreys have on occasion have carried away Gull Cats thinking they had scored a large and tasty meal. The Gull Cat body accepts a standard water bottle. Don't fill it with water, fill it with steel nuts and bolts. If you have large birds of prey frequenting your shoreline this added weight will keep them from flying away with your Gull Cat.
Overall the Gull Cat does a great job. Gulls are smart birds, so as the season moves along we'll let you know if it ever stops working. I have heard that using a paintball gun with the clear cartridges is also a great non-lethal way to chase away gulls. Give one a whack and they tell all their buddies and go somewhere else. Stringing fishing line around can work, but it is not legal and endangers the bird and can often entangle and kill the bird.
FENDERGRIP OFFERS AN EASY SOLUTION FOR ADJUSTING FENDER LINES
Adjusting fenders when coming into port can be a pain. It takes some serious time and planning to get ready for docking and hopefully tying all the fenders at the right height for the dock. In bad weather no one wants to go up top and be playing with fenders while the boat does it's rock & roll thing. Fendergrip is a product that makes a lot of sense for boaters. Fendergrip is lightning fast and you can leave your fenders safely stored on the rails when they are not deployed. Use two Fendergrip's to store a fender on a rail or lifeline and you can deploy the fender horizontally against a pilings or vertically against a floating docks or rafting with other boats. Letting the fenders down and making last minute adjustments right as you come along dockside or up against a pylon is a breeze.
It's so easy, it will change the way you think about fenders and docking!
The easy push button Fendergrip provides instant fender height adjustments, with a positive no slip lock to hold the line in place. The patented Fendergrip's design uses your line's strength to hold the fender on the boat and there are no straps, hooks or suction cups to reduce the load your fender lines can handle. No more tying fender lines by hand guessing on position and height ... get instant adjustment with the push button of a button. The Fendergrip will work with any fender line from 9 mm to 13 mm.
Only the very best materials are used to make the Fendergrip. Two types of UV protected DuPont ® Delrin® are used, one is fiberglass filled for durability in high stress areas. High grade stainless steel hardware is used exclusively. Each Fendergrip is hand assembled, inspected and tested before packaging. And the Fendergrip comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty. West Marine customers have given Fendergrip a 5 Star recommendation. They run about $22 a piece and most boats will use six Fendergrip adjusters. Check them out here to order online www.fendergripcanada.com or call 1 855 381 5508.
MANTUS CLIP ON BOAT LIGHT
Mantus Anchors offers the Snap On Light: Rechargeable LED light for use on the boat, the light cam locks on the boat railing. Features soft LED light, changing brightness, red light. The light charges via a USB and is water resistant to IPX 5.
- Rechargeable led light that SNAPS to the rail
- Warm LED light designed to give the cockpit a cozy feel
- Red LED light to aid with night navigation
- SOS Flashing Mode
- Charging Station for Mobile Devices
- Battery indicator light displays the battery level and charging status
- USB - IN port for easy recharging and USB - OUT port used to charge mobile devices.
- Reliable, strong, durable but light construction designed to withstand falls over 6 feet.
PLANNING ON TRAVELLING SOUTH ? - GREAT LITTLE WATER MAKER
The new Rainman system from Australia is a portable plug in and use desalination device that is useful for cruisers who don't have the space for an integrated full fledged water maker on their boats. The desalination system comes in two modules ... a pressure-supply unit and a reverse-osmosis unit.They can be set up on deck easily – by dropping two hoses overboard (intake water and brine disposal), connect the two units together with the pressure hose and a water line connecting to your water-tank fill fitting and your making fresh pure water. Pressure supply units are either electric ( 230 V or 115 V AC) or gasoline driven (with a 50cc Honda motor). The reverse osmosis unit contains two membranes and produces up to 32 gallons per hour.The pressure supply module has just one 5 micron pre filter for intake water.The system's simple plumbing makes it easy to make water with no complex valves to worry about. Systems from $3,550, Rainman Technology
DAVIS ANCHOR SNUBBER
The Davis Anchor Snubber is designed to absorb shock and keep your anchor set and the anchor chain quiet. It attaches to chain or rope rode. It's two 316 stainless pin shackles fits most anchor chain. Looks tidy with it's black expandable sleeve. More effective than a simple rope snubber. These snubbers and other Davis products are now distributed by Woodard and Company (905) 569 1495
MANTUS ANCHOR SWIVEL
The Mantus swivel is stronger than grade 40 chain. The integrated shackle eliminates side loading and the pin on the chain side of the swivel is the strength limiting part since the geometry of the chain determines the pin size. Mantus swivel features an oblong pin to maximizes the pin strength.
This slim hex head design (with holes for safety wire) offers a slimmer profile making it easier for translating through your bow roller. The unit is made of cast 316 L polished stainless steel.
The best part of this set up is the D shackle which allows a large turning radius without dragging the anchor shank around.
They have 3 models for Imperial chain 1/4 - 5/16 $65, 5/16 - 3/8 $85, 3/8 - 1/2 $130. See the animated video here
EASY TO STOW THROW RAFT
The TD2401 is the only type IV inflatable throwing device currently on the market approved by the US Coast Guard
9 times smaller than the ring buoy (packed)
5 times smaller than the square cushion (packed)
Compact fits in a ditch bag)
Back-up buoyancy for use with a life jacket
Can be thrown inflated or in packed position
Highly visible in a search and rescue situation
U.S. Coast Guard Approved
Cost is about $140.
See it in action here Details are here
HAWKEYE HAND HELD SONAR
This depth finder give you instant depth readings from 2.5 to 199 feet, but at the press of a button the display will also give real time temperature (water or air) and fish readings. Use it in the winter to shoot through ice before cutting your hole. Use it in the summer as a range finder and temperature meter. Use it as a backup depth sounder for your boat. The HawkEye H22PX is a really handy piece of equipment to have onboard or in your dingy. About $100 at HawkEye retailers.
Side-Scan Fish Detecting Sonar - There is no guessing where the drop-offs are or where the fish are hiding when you use the H22PX. One press of the button allows you to scan an area for drop-offs, ledges, or hiding fish within 199 feet . }
Shorelines & Docks: Aim the sonar from any shoreline: river banks, creek banks, pond banks, lake banks, etc..
Dock, Jetty, Pier: Use the Manual Mode to suspend the depth finder from docks, jetties and piers.
Float Tube, Kayak, Canoe: Use the Automatic or Manual Modes from float tubes, kayaks or canoes or set inside the hull and shoot through the hull for depth and fish readings.
Boat, Raft, Tender, Dingy: Use the Automatic or Manual Modes from boats, rafts, tenders and dingy. Or set inside the hull and shoot through the hull for depth and fish readings.
PWC: A perfect primary depth finder for your PWC.
Ice Fishing: Shoot through the ice before drilling your hole to check the depth or see if there are fish and suspend in the hole while fishing to keep on eye out for passing fish.
Diving & Snorkeling: Use it as a range finder while diving to tell how far away distant objects are. Instantly know how far from the bottom you are. Point at the surface and you'll know how far underwater you are.
URBAN OPERATORS BONEFISH
The Urban Operators Bonefish is a tool is lightweight but robust and is made from titanium and features 7 tools in 1.
Comes packaged with the heather grey Urban Operators felt pouch.
Available in a variety of colours
SKYMATE WIND METER
Now you can have the weather information quickly wherever you need it. The Skymate provides accurate wind speed, temperature and wind chill readings in a flip out design that fits in the palm of your hand. Made from marine grade metal and rated water-resistant to three feet the LCD unit is. 8 3/4" x 1 3/4" open, 5 1/2" x 1 3/4" closed. Includes lanyard and 400 hour Lithium-ion battery. One-year warranty. Available at West Marine for about $90.
Dress Up Your Fenders
For the first time we have put fender covers on a boat because we had tons of white bumpers to use up and we wanted dark fenders against a navy hull (and we had black lines). It sounds fussy, but it makes the boat look tidy and pro. Besides that, it hides the stains on white bumpers that won't come out even with Magic Eraser. So we used the Taylor Made polyester knit covers and we were surprised how durable they were ... even when rubbing on concrete.
You can wash them in cold water and detergent to keep them clean, and Taylor makes them to fit almost all sizes of fenders. For boats that are Awlgrip or Imron painted they are a must have, because they keep the paint from degrading where the fenders rub on the boat.
We like Taylor Made products and in our experience they stand behind everything they manufacture. All sizes run between $35 – $60. 8” X 20” by example are under $50 and you can find them at most marine stores.
Blue Performance Accessories
For many years we have used Blue Performance rope clips to organize our dock lines on the boat.
With our new boat, one of our first purchases was these Blue Performance rope clips. Because the boat is a centre console and storage space in the head area down below is at a premium we elected to use Blue Performance wall mounted bags throughout to organize our safety equipment and various boat paraphernalia. Originally we were going to velcro an ACR ditch bag along the one wall but we reconsidered and opted for an organized matching look using two cabin bags on one wall and a sheet bag on the other.
These bags are inbound to us now and they were ordered from Binnacle online marine store. Blue Performance products are probably well known to many sailors but they should be of equal interest to power boaters. Their products are not cheap but they are very high quality and functional and manufactured in gray rip stop material. They manufacture a very broad line of products that are all practical for various intended uses on the boat. Most of all they make a real quality product that really works and looks like factory professional.
Scare Away Those Gulls
Our current boat dock has a problem with Gulls creating a mess on the docks and in the boats. I can tell you from experience that Osprey bird kites and owl decoys don’t work. Fishing line strung all around seems to work but it looks kind of odd and can get in the way. I came across this product which seems to have good reviews on many form sites – the Gull Cat. So this mean looking life like cat has fur that gets blown by the wind and a head that bobbles and a tail that wags very easily when a current or wind moves the boat. A water bottle inserted inside the cat gives it some weight but we have heard of a few that were carried off by eagles.
We have ordered one to try it out and we will report back to you. Right now the newly improved model is on backorder until mid October 2015 but in the mean time check out their website
Important Fire Extinguisher Recall
About 4.6 million Kidde fire extinguishers in in the U.S., and 175,000 in Canada, are being recalled. The manufacturer, Kidde, has received 11 reports of the recalled fire extinguishers failing to discharge as expected. Kidde is providing replacements and boaters should immediately contact Kidde for a replacement fire extinguisher.
This recall involves 31 models of Kidde disposable fire extinguishers with Zytel® black plastic valves. The recalled extinguishers are red, white or silver and are either ABC or BC rated. The ratings can be found to the right of the nameplate. Manufacture dates included in the recall are July 23, 2013 through October 15, 2014. A 10-digit date code is stamped on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom. Digits five through nine represent the day and year of manufacture in DDDYY format. Date codes for recalled units manufactured in 2013 are XXXX 20413 X through XXXX 36513 X and 2014 are XXXX 00114 X through XXXX 28814 X.
Name of Product: Items affected are Kidde brand, black plastic Zytel® nylon valve disposable extinguishers - both ABC and BC rated models manufactured between July 23, 2013 and October 15, 2014 and sold between August 2013 and November 2014. The affected fire extinguishers are white or red in color and are either ABC or BC-rated. The Kidde logo and serial number are located on the nameplate. The date code is an ink jet 10-digit number stamped on the side of the cylinder near the bottom. Digits 5-9 of this number convey the day and year of manufacture. Affected units will have the following five digits in a date code:
2013: XXXX20413X through XXXX36513X
2014: XXXX00114X through XXXX28814X
The models are as follows:
FULL HOME 110
ELITE 10 HOME
MARINER 5 G
Hazard: Kidde has identified a quality issue with black plastic Zytel® nylon valve disposable fire extinguishers. In a small number of instances, Kidde found that a supplier built a component that is out-of-specification. When the lever is pressed and released multiple times, the extinguisher may fail to fully discharge as designed.
Kidde fire extinguishers come standard on many boat models and they are commonly sold in hardware, marine and automotive supply stores.
Kidde: toll-free at (855) 283-7991 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.kidde.com and click on Safety Notice for more information.
Anti Fatigue Mats
If you are standing at the wheel of your boat during long cruises and getting achy feet and legs, an easy fix is to install an anti fatigue mat that can be made with a closed cell foam or gel-filled cushion. One of our favourites is www.seashocks.com at $199 - a very high tech durable solution for Captains at the helm. Sea Shocks is a product of SKYDEX Technologies Inc. Size is 17 1/4" x 32 1/4" x 1 1/2" and they weigh 10 lbs. (Due to the unique development process of Sea Shocks, they are only available in one size). Most other mat brands are under $150 and also well worth the investment by saving your knees and feet from taking a pounding. Other popular mat brands include Foot Cush, Sea Dek and Aqua Shox. Anti fatigue mats can be used anywhere where Captain or crew stand for long periods of time while cruising or fishing.
The Latest Run-Down On Technology From Raymarine
So in this video (taken at the Parkbridge VIP presentation) we show the latest navigation and marine electronics features that Raymarine offers. The presentation is by Roy Shipley of CMC Electronics – Esterline. I know Roy fairly well and he has sorted out satellite issues on my boat that couldn't be addressed by my local marine electronics tech. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone in Canada more knowledgeable than Roy when it comes to sorting out marine electronics (especially Raymarine, KVH & Flir). Now I have to apologize to Roy because there's one instance in the video where I call him Ray instead of Roy. Chalk that up to a seniors moment brain fart. Anyways this video is great primer for those that want to see how quickly marine electronics are evolving and how “user friendly” naviagtion plotter interfaces are becoming.
Light Weight Compact Life Raft
You don't have to be an offshore sailor to need a liferaft. Georgian Bay in rough weather with a sinking boat, might have you begging for one. Winslow Life Raft Company is a leader for marine life rafts for the recreational boater, built with only one thing in mind ... to save your life. Winslow delivers minimum weight and maximum protection. Winslow is able to provide a lighter weight ISO9650-1 compliant life raft without compromising safety. Each life raft is meticulously handcrafted and individually tested for safety and performance.
All Winslow marine life rafts are vacuum packed in Winslow's UltimaWrap which provides a barrier to moisture and atmospheric contamination and extends the life raft service to a full 3 years between scheduled maintenance. Winslow offers many packaging options including hard packs, valise packs, and canisters for deck mounting. With three different marine life raft models, racing, offshore and coastal ... Winslow makes a marine life raft to meet any requirement that you may have. The Ultra Light Offshore four person version we looked at is only 32 lbs. and fits into a Pelican hard case 9.5" H X 14" W X 24" L. For outdoor storage you'd use a deck canister in a stainless steel rack, but the size is similar to the hard pack. The raft has twin buoyancy tubes, CO2 and manual inflation systems, ballast, system survival equipment and a water activated interior and exterior light. Very nice package. winslowliferaft.com/ultra-light-offshore-ulo
On The Water Internet Solution
Glomex WeBBoat is an integrated 3G/4G/Wi-Fi internet antenna system that provides high speed internet throughout a boat in an easy way via a single unit with minimal cabling. An integrated SIM card slot provides for 3G & 4G connectivity and the unit switches to use WiFi signals when available to save cellular data fees. 4G range is up to 10 miles.
Inside the 10” diameter X 12” high Glomex radome there are two diversity antennas 4G, Wi-Fi antenna, a router and an access point that allow you to connect up your boat is just a few minutes. Just insert your SIM card in the waterproof external slot and connect by Wi-Fi or by Ethernet cable all your devices (iPhone, Smartphone, iPad, tablet, PC). WeBBoat also has a Control App (for iOS and Android) for easy system setting and status.
Glomex website information is HERE. In Canada you can purchase WeBBoat from Brewers' Marine Supply, Hamilton Ontario 905-529-4114 email@example.com
Nomad Device Charging Cable
How many times have you got to your boat and discovered you forgot the charging cable for your smart phone or tablet? Nomad makes a flexible adapter the size of a house key that adapts standard USB to Micro USB or Apple Lightning connectors. It's there when you need it, and out of the way when you don't. Having a charging cable with you is critical when your going to be out at anchor for a few days and there's little chance you would forget your keys... so this solution works perfectly. USB ports are almost universal worldwide and not only are they on every laptop computer but also on most modern boat TVs, and often as an accessory jack in your boat. You can charge your device up at the dock or by generator without bringing the full plug in adapter and cord.
Nomad uses the high grade plastics like polycarbonate from Bayer and a rubber elastomer from Dupont to ensure the adapter is flexible enough to work in hard to reach places. You can twist it around 360 degrees. The metal used for the adapter contacts is scratch proof so you don't have any protective caps to keep track of.
You can buy Apple certified Lightning version or Micro USB for $29. Order them online HERE. These neat little devices are very popular so sometimes they have a backlog of orders.
Mantus Anchor Bracket
Here is another great Mantus product. I have wondered for years why someone has not produced a “great quality” secondary rail mounted anchor bracket and the Mantis version is the best functional version I have ever seen to date. So many brackets you see look kind of home made ... but the Mantus bracket looks like it came factory with the boat. This universal bracket allows you to store an anchor of any design on the rail in your cockpit or on the bow. Tight flitting rollers eliminate any movement, yet the anchor easily slides into the bracket. The rollers adjust and allow you to customize the bracket to snugly secure the shank of any anchor design. The unit is quality 316L polished stainless.You can order it online HERE for $199.
Mantus Universal Deck Key
Mantus Universal Deck Key is a multifunctional tool that opens all types and sizes of deck fill lids, and shackles. The tool is universal for all deck fill fittings and it is easy to use. The Mantus Universal Key is a stainless steel (316L) so it will not corrode or wear with time. It a tool that every boat captain and every marina gas dock should own. Available online for just $23. at www.mantusanchors.com/mantus-universal-key
Run Dry Impellers
Globe Marine is manufacturing impellers for most engines that can run dry for up to 15 minutes. These tough impellers will get more service life than standard neoprene water pump or diesel fuel impellers . The impellers come with the correct gaskets and O-rings. Globe impellers are made of Brandonite, a high strength, elastomeric material with self lubricating compounds for run-dry protection and improved resistance to sand and dirt to keep you going in the most difficult conditions. Blue coloured Globe impellers are water and red are diesel fuel. They are not that much more expensive than neoprene impellers so if you want the assurance that your boat impeller won't overheat and disintegrate, this is the way to go. www.globemarine.com
Accon Marine has come out with a new line of boat cleat that flush mount to the deck. The heavy duty 316 stainless steel cleats simply pull up when they are needed and push down out of the way so your not tripping over them. Great for a stern tie point on a swim platform by example. They make them in two sizes 12"Â and 15". The 12" cleat measures 3.7" at it's widest pointÂ and it extends 6" deep. The 15" cleat measures 5.3" at the widest point and 7.1" deep. Cleats can be thru bolted or stud mounted. the 12" cleat is about $350. and the 15" $760. The 15" is the largest flush mount cleat on the market that we know of, and it can take a load of up to 61,000 lbs. Some boat manufacturers are starting to put these cleats on as standard equipment. www.acconmarine.com
Rocna Non Roll-Bar Anchor
A new design from Rocna Anchors offers the greatest possible compatibility across a wide range of vessel bow configurations, particularly powerboats with an enclosed bow roller assembly. The new anchor will be previewed at the International Boatbuilders' Exhibition & Conference September 30th/2014 before making its official debut at the Marine Equipment Trade Show November 18th/2014.
Rocna Anchors designer, New Zealand sailor Peter Smith, has been designing, building and sailing boats since the early 1960s and experienced the same anchoring problems that are still prevalent today â€“ unreliable anchors that make boaters feel insecure. "Your anchor should provide you and your crew with reliability, security and confidence," said Smith. A lifetime of nautical experience worldwide was poured into an anchor, initially conceived for Smith's own use, which became the original Rocna.
Despite the great success of the Rocna, some boat owners have difficulties accommodating the roll bar that is fundamental to its design on their bow. The new anchor is an ideal alternative for these boaters because removing the roll bar combined with a carefully designed shank ensures a snug fit on the bows of a range of vessels. Platforms, bowsprits, prods, stays, and other protrusions are easily cleared. The shank shape also encourages self launching and easy retrieval on most bow rollers.The new anchor offers a unique combination of shank and fluke geometry, which in conjunction with a roll-palmâ„˘ at the rear of the fluke, self rights the anchor on the seabed without the use of either a roll bar or a large mass of tip ballast. This development enables a larger fluke surface area directly equating to more holding power and security on a comparable weight basis.
The anchor is available in hot-dip galvanized steel or polished stainless steel in an large range of sizes from 4 kg (9 lb.) to 55 kg (121 lb.) And like the traditional Rocna it features a lifetime warranty against breakage and bending.www.canmet.com.
Nautical Cutting Boards
Here's a neat and handy item to have on board - a cutting board with your boats name or logo inscribed in the wood. The boards have real cleats for hand holds and they range in price from $70 â€“ $170 depending on size. Engraving on any board is $12. They have stock nautical designs that your boat name can be added to, or they can do custom engraving from your logo or the artwork you provide. These would make great gifts for boat owners. You can get the boards all Maple or multi stripe Maple & Mahogany.
Engine Room Wet Vac
Wallace Marine Services Inc. designed a central wet vacuum system for your boat. The vacuum itself is approximately 10â€ť by 10â€ť and has many uses and it saves dragging a wet vac aboard all the time. It's perfect for cleaning out any compartments where standing water can collect or when you are doing repairs and have to empty out a shower sump or drain. There's a separate sump pump for overboard grey water discharge. The unit has a three valve manifold for different areas on the boat it can be plumbed to (but only one manifold/location has suction at a time). The pump is rated at 2,400 g.p.h. and has easy access to the strainer basket for cleaning. www.willyvac.com
Quick Solution For Stern Tie To Shore
We all can all relate to the pain of dragging out a couple hundred feet of rope from a locker to stern tie your boat when it's at anchor. The stuff is typically all tangled and slimy. Quickline offers flat rope on a stainless reel that can be mounted almost anywhere and it takes very little space and can be reeled out quickly. Just grab the end, jump in the dinghy and away you go to shore.
Multiple uses include stern anchor rope, stern mooring line, dinghy towing or whenever extra line is needed quickly.The flat rope is designed to stretch and absorb sudden loads. Available in either polyester nylon or floating polypropylene, in three line lengths of 135', 200', and 265'. Includes standard mounting hardware (for 25-30 mm railings) and winding handle that can also be used in a standard winch. Optional single stanchion mounting bracket, or oversized rail clamps are available. You see this product at most boat shows and HERE is a link to their website.
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We replaced our TV with a bigger Smart TV in the boat and input wise we no longer had the spot for the IPod input to the sound system. I use my IPad Air as a third chart plotter (Navionics) and I also use it as my main ITunes play device. I have it mounted off the hardtop in the helm on a Sea Sucker vacuum mount. I really didn't want the wires running down from the unit to the input in the glove box so the answer was to go wireless and kill two birds with one stone. So the MS BT100 Fusion Marine Bluetooth Module/Switch is just the trick. It allows me to switch back and forth between the hard wired Smart TV and the IPad Air to the receiver/amplifier. Whether the IPad is on the Sea Sucker mount, in the cockpit or sitting out on the docks it's a pleasure to play disc jockey and play the tunes wirelessly through the excellent array of 8 JBL speakers ... and when conditions permit to crank the tunes up, it's the closest thing to live music I can find on the water. These Blue Tooth conversion units are about $100. and Fast Forward Audio in Midland did the installation.Â Â Â
Drainman Bilge Pump
Tired of bailing out your dingy after a big rain? The Drainman will pump it out for you. Insert the Drainman in between your boat and its painter and then place the attached hose at the bottom of your dingy bilge and as the wave action causes the boat to pull at the painter, webbing in the device alternately compresses and releases a bellows which empties out the water. Under windy conditions the system pumps up to 660 gallons in a day. Even with a very mild breeze your going to empty your dingy out quickly. $45. www.jamestowndistributors.com
Odeo Mk3 LED Flare
The Mk3 provides a similar light pattern of an incendiary flare by emitting a red LED light. It won't emit heat and it isn't explosive and will last six hours on three AA L91 lithium batteries. The electronic flare is visible from over three miles away. It's also lightweight and waterproof and you don't have to replace it every few years so there are some savings over time. Added bonus is you can test it without using up a flare. Coverage is full upper hemisphere plus 20 degrees below horizontal. It floats! Light Source is 21 independently driven diodes. Pulse Duration programmed flicker with a break to transmit the SOS signal. Usually about $185 at marine retailers. More info at www.odeoflare.co.uk/
Inexpensive Thermal Imaging
FLIR ONE is a new thermal imaging device that slides onto your IPhone 5 or IPhone 5s. Thermal imaging makes the invisible world of heat energy visible to your eyes. Everything around either emits or reflects heat energy. With FLIR ONE you can look around an anchorage and see boats in complete darkness. The list of uses is long and will grow as users discover thermal night vision. FLIR ONE has been designed to fit on the latest iPhone 5 and 5s models. It is unlikely that FLIR ONE will fit on subsequent models of the iPhone as new phones will likely have a different form factor. FLIR ONE is useable with your iPhone 5/5s, even if the SIM card has been removed. FLIR will be producing the device for other select phones including some Android phones. Currently FLIR ONE can only be purchased through the FLIR ONE website for US based customers. FLIR ONE will also be available for everyone in Apple stores soon. FLIR One retails for under $350 and weighs just 3.9 ounces, and displays directlyÂ on your phone's screen. Visit www.flir.com/flirone
Magicezy Gelcoat Repair
Check this out. It is a one part nano spider crack filler and chip filler for gel coat. The word nanometer (Nm) bases itself on the sizes of individual atoms where 1 Nm is a billionth (10 -9) of a metre. Most paint coatings are ground to the micron level (1 millionth of a meter). Nano-particles are thousands of times smaller. Nano particles are used to engineer surface coatings like pigments and polymers at a molecular level. Conventional coatings have particles which have spaces between them that are large enough to allow dust, dirt, and scratching. Nano-particles are so microscopic that they bond together closely creating a type of film which prevents anything from penetrating the nano particles. This results in UV resistance, mold resistance, structural integrity and colour stability.
There is a separate product for spider crack repairs (Hairline Fix) and chip repairs (9 Second Chip Fix). No more mixing of gel coat. Both products come in many different colours. We have not tried the products ourselves yet, but they are getting good reviews. A very inexpensive way to fix hairline cracks in non skid which can be very time consuming otherwise. There is a levelling device built into the end of every tube. Check out this video:
You can visit their web site HERE and you can order the products online HERE
IPad Power Pack
On our boat, our iPad's are used for a variety of tasks. My Air is used as a third plotter on a Sea Sucker mount (see previous article this page) and of course it gets used for email and more recently it runs through a Bluetooth switch so I can sit on the dock or anywhere on the boat and take advantage of my iTunes play list. The only problem is that out at anchor, it takes a lot of generating time to recharge the iPad and there is nothing worse than having your iPad run out of juice right when your in the middle of a good run of your favourite music.
The Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation external battery for iPhone, iPod and iPad includes a special high output battery the provides very fast charging. It charges at up to four times the current offered by traditional 500mAh batteries. The Powerstation can also switch between a 500mAh charge, a 1mAh charge and 2.1mAh charge ... which is great for iPad's. It can be used to play your device as it's charging. Available at the Future Shop for $79. Mophie also makes a splash proof 6000mAh (pic shown) which is they way to go if you want serious power for $99, and some weather protection to boot.
Colourful Boat Shoes
Looking for a boat shoe that isn't boring? SWIMS is a UK company www.swims.com/MEN/Shoes.aspx that makes a wide variety of boat shoes in traditional and non traditional styles that double as water shoes. And guess what? You can throw them in the washer to clean them. The neat thing is the colour combinations are very unusual and until they catch on everywhere other folks on the dock will be asking where did you get those boat shoes. In Canada you can order them online at www.shopstyle.ca/browse/mens-shoes/Swims . They will run you $150 â€“ $200 depending on the shoes you choose. WE have heard that they are comfortable but they don't break in like a traditional boat shoe. We have also heard that the loafers with laces ... that the laces that are darker colours lighten over time.
Here is the founders story :
Growing up with four distinct seasons in Norway, I never let go of the black rubber galoshes that my late grandfather passed on to me. In 1999 they accompanied me to a milder, but still rainy Paris. Wearing Chuck Taylor's Converse and galoshes, I got around the severe rainfall that autumn. Not surprisingly, my footwear became the subject of many jokes around the art school I attended. Later, while living in New York, I blended in with an image-conscious culture that defied slushy streets, freezing winds and pouring rain. Naturally, this resulted in a lot of discomfort and many ruined pairs of shoes. A few more Manhattan winters went by while I searched for the right product before I finally took matters in my own hands and decided to develop SWIMS - The Modern Galosh! A stylish solution, embodying the essence of practicality: Wear your favourite shoes, slip on SWIMS when the weather is rough, slip them off when you arrive at your destination. Enhanced comfort is assured and your shoes are guaranteed to stay shiny.The SWIMS galosh is the product of my own experience, my appreciation of functional design, and my odd fascination with big city rain.
Boat Table Project
The table in my boat had some scratches and one of the trim pieces had come off ... and I thought it was time to refresh it. I wanted something a little different so I ordered a marquetry compass rose from Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis MD for about $60 plus shipping.
The laser cut rose comes with an epoxy backing that holds all the little pieces of walnut, cherry and ebony woods. I brought the table and marquetry to Wye Marina and they sent it out to a sub contractor who made a template and then routed table to the exact shape and depth to take the compass rose.
Once the compass rose was epoxied into place, the table went back to Wye where Larry, their fiberglass expert, put several layers of epoxy resin spray and then many layers of varnish were applied with wet sanding between coats and then rubbed to a deep glass like shine. The results are beautiful, and make for a very durable and unique feature in the boat.
Lumitec Underwater Light Installation
We decided to put some underwater lights on our 345 Boston Whaler for several reasons. 1/ the boat is a down east look fishing style boat and everyone knows a fishing boat needs underwater lights 2/ we do a lot of swimming at anchor, and it's nice to see into the water when your swimming at night 3/ underwater lights look cool whether your at the dock or out at anchor.
After some research we chose the Lumitec Sea Blaze 3 lights because they had a good reputation online and because they were the best value for the highest Lumen output. Lights that have similar Lumen output were typically three times the price of the Sea Blaze 3. To be sure there are some very high end stainless steel and bronze cast underwater lights but the problem is you have to mortgage your house to buy them ... and after all these lights are not necessity, they were just a cool thing to have.
The Lumitec Sea Blaze 3 comes in a brushed bronze aluminum housing. So one thing you do have to be careful off is that you remove any metal based bottom paint where the lights will be mounted so that the housing doesn't become an anode of sorts. Once the lights are on, you can recoat the bottom paint around the housing leaving just a 1/16â€ť barrier of 3M 4200 between the light and the housing (tape around the housing when you repaint). Also be sure to use the nylon washers with the the screws provided to isolate the stainless screws from the housing. If you do those two things you will never have a problem with corrosion.
So we had Wye Heritage Marina install the lights and they did a nice tidy professional job. The nice thing about these lights is that your only drilling a 1/2â€ś hole through your hull to mount them. When you screw down the housing use liberal amounts of 3M 4200 (not 3M 5200) in the screw holes, back of housing and main mounting hole. In our case the units were wired back to an extra switch on the main panel at the helm.
Nice thing about the Sea Blaze 3 is there are no driver boxes and the units are all self contained. We went with the blue although other colours are available including white, green and multi color. If your boat was in the crystal clear Bahamas you might choose white ... in murky water, green shows best ... but who wants green lights. There are 8 LED's in each light and they will last for 50,000 hours which is a pretty standard lifespan in the industry. They are IP-67 compliant. When they are surface mounted they are only .79 â€ś off the hull and the units are 3.88 â€ś round. These lights unlike many others can be run out of the water when you are testing the installation. Out of water the lumen output automatically drops back to reduce heat output. The units will operate 10 â€“ 30 volts DC and they draw 2.7 amps at 12 volts.
You can buy these lights at many marine chandleries or online for about $300 each ... and the installation of lights wired back to the helm should take about two hours per light. So all in, it will set you back a grand for two lights in most installationÂ cases. We went with only two lights between our triple 300 HP Mercury Verado's but to be honest having another two outside the engines would put on a better show. Details are at www.lumiteclighting.com
Do you have few social drinks on the dock or at anchor? Who doesn't?
If you've had a drink or two and want to head out to or from an anchorage you shouldn't risk being unsafe or being caught by the law. You could get a DUI, lose your license, get a big fine and your going to end up in front of a judge and very likely be left with a criminal record. So how do you know if you're over the legal limit to boat?
DRIVESAFE personal breathalyser can tell you whether your blood alcohol is over the limit. Blow into it and five seconds later you will know if you are safe to be at the helm of a boat. It's small enough to fit in a pocket. DRIVESAFE collects a sample from the breath provided and analyzes it using advanced platinum fuel cell technology ... an electrochemical sensor analyses breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) providing accuracy and reliability.
The tester is user-friendly with single button functionality ... one button to power it on, to test and to turn it off. It can be used in the dark. When you blow into the disposable mouthpiece, a tone sounds to let you know that you're blowing hard enough, and it ends to let you know when you can stop. It's also easy to understand. It displays your test results in three different ways simultaneously. It will show you your exact breath alcohol concentration in numbers and in graph form. At the same time the screen will light up with a color indicating a pass (green), a warn (amber) or a failed result (red).
The fuel cell sensor used in the DRIVESAFE breathalyser is considered the standard in law enforcement. It is extremely precise and it is the most accurate breath alcohol tester at the $250. price point. Visit their web site for more information mydrivesafe.com
Anchor Marker - Anchor Buoy
This neat little unit sits in a cradle bolted to the top of your anchor. When you deploy your anchor it bobs to the top on it's wire lead and winch's itself to the right level. A built in solar panel powers the motor via a lithium battery. The battery also powers the night time solar lights.
When you bring the anchor up as the anchor rises Anchor Buoy reels itself back in to it's cradle on top of the anchor. No more need to deal with messy lines to put down an anchor marker and the lights mean it can be seen at night, There is also a hoop system that will allow you to use it as an anchor retrieval system if your anchor ever gets lodged at the bottom. Each solar charge allows two days without sun before recharge is necessary.
Click to enlarge
It is pretty durable and will take the smacking of another boat hitting it. We haven't tried it ourselves, but it seems like a great idea and they have certainly put some thought into it.
Removing Hard Water Stains From Windshields
So you have your boat all spit and polish except after the final rinse dries you are left with hard water stains on your glass windshield. These hard water stains are hard to get off once they are left to dry in the hot sun because essentially they are mineral stains. Vinegar along with some elbow grease will do an average job to dissolve the minerals but you will most likely be left with some spots.
What we have found that works really well is Scrubbing Bubbles ... yes the same cleaner you would use to clean a glass shower. You can buy it at almost any grocery or hardware store in the cleaning products aisle. The bottle has a little built in battery pump so you squeeze the trigger once and it disperses a few squirts of cleaning foam.
It is easy to cover a large expanse of glass in a hurry. The foam clings to the glass and does it's thing. Just leave it for a few minutes and hose it off or for really tough stains you can give it a light scrub with your soft bristle boat brush and then hose it off. After you hose it off just use a windshield squeegee. Spotless windows and it's an inexpensive solution that works.
Trintec Marine Barometers
Barometers are instruments for measuring air pressure. Air pressure is created by the weight of the air above. Air pressure will vary with weather changes and altitude. Dry, sunny weather is associated with high or rising pressure. Wet, stormy weather is associated with low or falling pressure.
The earth's atmosphere thins with increasing altitude. As altitude increases, there is less weight in the air above, so the air pressure decreases. Although different locations will have different altitudes, all local weather reports will give a barometric pressure adjusted for it's specific altitude. In this way, altitude-caused differences will not falsely show as weather-caused differences.
Before you begin to use a barometer, you must set it to match your local barometric pressure. Your local barometric pressure can be found from weather reports on radio, television, or from one of many sites on the internet. Adjust your barometer to match the barometric pressure from your local weather report. This is best done while the weather is stable
Trintec Industries Inc.Â was founded in 1984 as a manufacturer of unique aviation inspired clocks, watches and advertising products. Over the years the company has expanded from being primarily aviation focused and has developed numerous products which include a large selection of precision barometers and nautical instruments.
Their nautical instruments include Quartz Clocks, Tide Clocks, Aneroid Barometers, Fishing Barometers, Hybrid Barometers and Weather Stations.
The company holds more than two dozenÂ United StatesÂ andÂ Canadian Patents and develops and manufactures most of its products at its Ajax, Ontario location.
Trintec also produces many products licensed by the Cessna and Lockheed aircraft companies and currently sells its products to many of the worlds largest aircraft manufacturers and aerospace companies.
We really like the Nautilus Aneroid Barometer. It features solid CNC machined aluminum alloy with flat black anodized finish,
the case is bayonet mounted to the base providing a remarkably easy method for adjustments, replacing batteries or for storage.
The unit has a glass lens in a double O-ring seal for vibration, impact and thermal expansion protection and it is water-resistant to a depth of 100 feet! The unit has unique polycarbonate moveable multi-purpose index markers and weighs 2.5 lbs.
Sea Sucker IPad Mounting Bracket
When we were at the Miami Boat Show we purchased a Sea Sucker vacuum actuated mounting bracket (naked-mount-200). We made the decision to use and IPad Air in a Lifeproof protective case as a third plotter running Navionics software. The Sea Sucker has an actuated suction cup on both ends. You pump an air suction button a few times and it grips tightly to any smooth surface. If the suction gets week over time an orange warning bar shows and you pump it a few times to increase suction. Joining the two suction cups is a heavy duty flexible rod that is threaded to the suction cups.
We mounted ours to the vertical face above the helm at just above eye level. We use this IPad Navionics plotter for a really close up view and it's handy for checking email or using apps like Anchor Watch and weather apps. The IPad Air touch screen is right at our fingertips and the mounting bracket is solid so it's not wiggling around while underway. Information on the Lifeproof case is here . Information on the Sea Sucker is here. The Lifeproof case runs $110 (but you'll use it with your IPad on or off the boat) and the Sea Sucker bracket runs about $100.
MOJO Boating Shirts
For the past three years I pick up several new shirts at the Miami boat show at the MOJO booth outside the Convention Centre. They bring in a big motorhome and put racks of their clothing outside. I really like their clothing both by style and quality and the stuff doesn't wrinkle.
Their primary audience is the Florida sport fishing market. Many times I have had fellow boaters in Ontario ask me where I got one of their shirts. I buy both the button down and the golf shirt styles. They are quality made and dressy enough to wear anywhere ... including cruising on the boat. Even the buttons are custom MOJO and the logo, albeit discreet, is embroidered on every shirt.
At the past Miami Boat Show I got talking for a minute to Tim Mossberg the President of MOJO. He gave me his card and said that if I ever had aÂ problem with one of his fishing shirts to give him a call and he personally would make it right. I like that attitude in business ... a company that stands behind what they do. Their website is www.mojo-gear.com but the pics on the web site really don't do the shirts justice. If you are at the Miami or Lauderdale boat show go to their booth and check them out yourself.
Saving Boats With Severe Moisture Migration Problems
LA Boat Works has over 35 years of professional service specializing in all fiberglass structural repairs, transoms, stringers, osmosis repairs, buffing, detailing, media blasting. Owned and operated by Carl McBride, LA Boat Works is located in Lafontaine near Penetanguishene. They provide some unique services that you won't find in many other marine operations. It starts with their vision statement:
The vision of La Boat Works is to promote environmental responsibility and sustainability within the marine industry through innovation, recycling and restoration of marine and power sport equipment and other recyclable composite materials.
LA Boat Works is all about restoring boats when most marine operations would write them off as dead. And when a boat is really beyond restoration ... they recycle almost the entire boat including the fiberglass, so that the materials go to other uses in an environmentally responsible manner.
Boat owners often come to them with severe moisture migration problems that normally cannot be solved without tearing the decks or hulls apart for extensive work that is beyond economic sensibility. The most common problems are wet stringers, a soggy bottom or spongy floor. LA Boat Works uses their exclusive vacuum evaporation drying system and resin infusion process in cases where most repairs cannot be made without having to completely replace the existing structures. Using specialized equipment they vacuum out all of the liquid and emulsified coring material via suction holes and then reverse the process for drying along with evaporation vent holes added to let the remaining moisture escape as vapour. The final step is injection of West System epoxy resin through the same holes used for vacuum suction and drying. Once the process is finished the structure of the boat is as good as new. This process can be done at a fraction of the cost of tearing the boat apart and digging out all the damp coring.
The other unique thing they do is for those that have given up on their boat repairs. LA Boat Works will provide a tax receipt if you donate your boat. They in turn will repair your boat on their nickel or recycle it if it is the only option and the proceeds go to one of many charities they support. It's a triple win situation. The boat owner gets out from under a boat that he/she cannot repair and they get a tax receipt that they can carry over as a donation reducing their tax burden. LA Boat Works gets the repair job ... and the charity reaps the proceeds with the money going to help those in need. There is another winner â€“ the boat which more often than not gets saved from a slow death or a trip to the bone yard.
Of course LA Boat Works also provides the more conventional marine services like:
Secure indoor storage (Boats, RV's,PWC's snowmobile, ATV's, Toy Haulers, Cars)
Detailing (boats, RV's, PWC's, snowmobiles, ATV's, toy haulers, cars and other collectables)
Marine structural and cosmetic repairs
Recycled & reconditioned parts (marine & power sport)
Got a problem with your boat that looks insurmountable? Give Carl a call at (705) 533 2717 or visit his website at www.laboatworks.com
LED Lighting Retrofits
A low cost way to make your boat more energy efficient is to retrofit your halogen light fixture bulbs with state of the art LED (Light Emitting Diodes). Why would you want to do this? Well the main reason to do this on your boat is to save your batteries when you are not on the dock plugged in, and when you need lights on your boat â€“ like when you are at anchor. Why run your generator charging things up when you can reduce your energy use and drain on the batteries by reducing the lighting load by 80%. The other advantage is that most LED replacement bulbs will last up to 40,000 hours ... exponentially longer than halogen bulb life.
There is an LED replacement bulb for almost any application BUT we recommend that you leave your navigation lights alone as the fixtures are designed for lumen output with the halogen bulbs and navigation is one of those things that you don't want to fool with as a different bulb type would actually void the legality of the fixture for navigation purposes. The exception to that rule would be that you might want to replace your anchor light with LED anyway ... simply because anchor lights are on for long periods of time and they are energy wasters.
It is easy to replace most bulbs in fixtures. If you're not sure or you don't have time ask your marina to do it for you. The trick is getting the right replacement bulbs to provide the equivalent lighting to the old halogen bulb and that it fits the fixture. There are about 50 bulbs types but only about 15 are common, and in many boats you will find one bulb type throughout. For interior lighting choose LED soft white replacements for best colour rendition. Most of your retrofit will be interior because they tend to be on more at anchor when it is dark ... more so than any other bulbs at the helm. This is mainly because most boaters don't leave exterior lights on for long, as they attract bugs.
Cost wise the LED bulbs range in price, but tend to be in the $18 range per bulb retail. Wholesale is another story, and if you have a big retrofit project you might want to give us a call to discuss (705) 286 3656. On a boat, the issue is never payback in energy savings in your pocket book ... but rather payback with less generator time or engine use and longer battery time before recharge. HERE is a quick video on a typical fixture retrofit.
Gimballed Wine Bottle Holder
The Fix is a gimballed wine bottle holder we ran across at the Toronto Boat Show. The unit will swing in any four directions.
As many boaters can attest, sitting a wine bottle on a counter or table is a recipe for disaster. All it takes is one boat coming into an anchorage with a bit of wake and everything ends up on the deck or cabin sole. The fix will hold bottles (including wine bottles) securely and safely.
It comes in different rail connection sizes and can be adapted from 7/8' up to 1 1/4 â€ś stainless rail. While the unit is unfortunately not stainless steel, it is quality chrome plated and you shouldn't have any problems with it over many years of service. The bottle version will set you back about $80.
Miracle Grill Mat
Grill Mats are a great idea to keep the grill on your boat BBQ free of grime and for no-stick use for things like chicken and fish. You can even cook liquid type things like eggs on your BBQ without a pan.
The Teflon like PTFE surface is thin and allows the grill marks to show up on steaks and other foods. Baked on food just wipes right off and you can wash the mat easily with warm soapy water. It is safe for up to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). It can be cut to any size so that you can get a perfect fit in your Magma BBQ. There is no gassing off the Grill Mat and they are PFOA â€“ free.
They provide a 5 year warranty (you have to register the warranty online), but even if they last for a couple of years, they save a lot of time in cleaning grates on the BBQ. You get two grill mats and a baking mat in each 15.75â€ť x 13â€ť package. They run $20 â€“$30 a package depending on where you buy them. They are often found at trade shows but they are also sold online almost everywhere.
Sea Sickness Glasses
These glasses control sea sickness and they recently won a prestigious DAME international design award competition for new marine accessories. Sea sickness can be debilitating and a danger at sea. In extreme conditions almost anyone can get sea sick even if they have never experienced it before.
The glasses are called Boarding Ring and they are not much of a fashion statement ... but who cares when you're sea sick and feel like your going to die.
They are offered in various models including sunglasses and child sizes. Most models can be worn over existing prescription glasses. They work by providing a virtual horizon in the peripheral field of view. The liquid inside the glasses creates the horizon. Most interesting is that they work even AFTER the symptoms of sea sickness become apparent. They basically solve the conflict between eyes and inner ear imbalance to motion. They are said to be VERY effective but they are not to be used in conjunction with sea sickness medication. They run about $80. plus shipping.
Fast Find 220 PLB
The Fast Find is a waterproof 406 MHz Personal Location Beacon (PLB) that should be carried by individuals or kept on your boat, who are embarking on trips into areas around where there is little or no other form of communication. Unlike EPIRB the Fast Find is assigned to a person rather than a boat per say. The Fast Find PLB acts as your personal Emergency Location Beacon; it can be a last resort communication to the national and international search and rescue bodies.The Fast Find is designed as a direct communication, to the 406 MHz Search and Rescue satellite system and its signal indicates that you are in need of urgent response and assistance.
It is small in size and has rugged construction and powerful output. The Fast Find transmits the two signals simultaneously, one to the subscription free global 406 MHz satellite system, and the other (121.5MHz) is to speed up the local recovery response process. Once activated, Fast Find's signals will continue to transmit for at least 24 hours, at a powerful 5 watt output. The 406 MHz transmission signal ensures that a call for help gets through whatever the conditions. The pocket sized, waterproof beacon transmits at the press of a button, to alert search and rescue services and has a built in integral 50-channel GPS for additional pinpoint location to help search teams find you faster.
The Fast Find weighs just 5.3 oz (150g) and measures D 1.34"(34mm) x W 1.85" (47mm) x L 4.17"(106mm). It is extremely sturdy and designed to cope with temperatures as low as -20Â°. The Fast Find's battery has a storage life of 5 years after which it can be easily replaced.
When activated, the unique identification code in your PLB is linked to the registration database. This way, authorities can retrieve valuable information about you and your trip. You can pick one of these up at most marine chandleries that specialize in boat electronics for around $250. A buoyancy pouch is included.
Dock Box Solar Light
Here's a neat idea from Dock Edge. This LED light kit mounts on the lid of your dock box. When you open the box the four LED lights come on underneath the lid. The light box mount is sloped so that when the lid is open, it shines into the centre of the box. The small solar panel mounts on top of the lid and screws together to the lights below the lid. You have to drill small holes for the two pieces to connect through the lid. Very convenient at night when rummaging in the dock box. This light kit may have many applications on a boat where you have outdoor opening storage with lids such as bait storage wells or hardtop storage boxes. They run between $40 - $50 at various online retailers. Details are on the Dock Edge website HERE
Mobile Wind Smart Phone Device
The Swiss made Shaka Wind Meter plugs into the headphone jack of your Apple or Android smart phone (coming soon). No batteries are required. The device measures current wind speed , average wind speed, maximum wind gusts, ambient temperature, wind direction, GPS location of measurement, and a map view of other measurements that may have been taken near your location.
Coming soon will be social sharing of your measurements - your wind profile measurements that is. You simply download the app to your phone or tablet and plug in the impeller device and you have expert weather info at your fingertips. Great new weather tool for only $70 at http://www.shakaon.net/
Laser Flare Gun
North American Laser Flares has teamed up with both Orion and Olin with a product that mounts on 12 gauge flare gun models similar to a rifle scope. This proven laser flare unit does not require Coast Guard approval and could be a godsend if you were to run out of regular flares.
The Laser Flare attaches securely to the 12 gauge flare gun on a rail mount and is capable of attracting attention over 20 miles at night and 3 miles during daylight. The attachment of the Laser Flare does not interfere with the regular use of your flare gun. The Laser flare has battery power for 40 hours of use. Great insurance but not cheap at over $400 to own one of these neat safety toys.
Never-Wet Waterproofing Spray
Rust-Oleum® Never-Wet is a two-step product system designed to create a moisture repelling barrier on a variety of surfaces. It is suitable for use on metal, wood, aluminum, galvanized metal, PVC, concrete, masonry, asphalt, vinyl siding, fiberglass, canvas, leather, most plastics ... and more.
Never-Wet is a new superhydrophobic spray that makes everyday materials moisture and stain resistant. Never-Wet contains Nano particles that create a coating on which water beads in near perfect spheres, causing it to glide off the surface with almost no friction.They say it can even be used to waterproof a cell phone. The two-spray system was produced by Rust-Oleum in partnership with the Nano technology's developer, Never-Wet. the product sprays clear and dries to a flat light haze. The durable formulation is ideal for indoor & outdoor conditions. It dries in 30 minutes. Never-Wet Top Coat should be reapplied when water no longer rolls off of the surface.
Here is a review found online.
"Good stuff! Don't expect the world from it though...
After first use and getting a general feel for applying the coats I have to say there is a small learning curve in how to apply depending on the surface type. Smooth surfaces don't need much while porous surfaces require more base coat (Can 1). There appears to be a white residue that comes off to the touch after completely cured. The base coat looks to be the main ingredient and the top coat the catalyst or reacting agent as it is mostly Acetone (so says the contents label). My experience is currently with cotton, glass, aluminum and plastic. The plastic and aluminum turned out great! Completely as expected and almost untraceable on the aluminum in regards to the hazy residue that the finish creates; one could not tell it was on plastic. The glass test adhered incredibly, but even after full 12 hour curing was quite easy to remove by simply rubbing a finger against the surface with some pressure and the membrane peels off similar to skin. The cotton test was the least impressive as it did not completely repel all droplets (though this may be attributed to first use and improper application). The majority of the cotton shirt was extremely water resistant, but water still managed to penetrated some areas very easily (possibly through exposed cotton fibres not coated or missed); the real downer is the fabric (which had started out extremely soft) became hardened\stiff. Regardless the product performs incredibly! Just as advertised. I felt the directions could answer a few more questions and be more in depth, but hey that's what you have the internet for, right? Don't expect to put this on literally everything, though, the cans say on them "contents contain a chemical know to cause cancer and birth defects". So be wary when you are using this product and ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES & A RESPIRATOR! Perfect for outdoor use but I cannot say I would use it extensively in the home. If you don't care about anything I said before just be aware: THIS WILL CHANGE HOW YOUR CLOTHES & SURFACES LOOK (unless they are fairly light-colored)."
Davis FSR Waterline Cleaner
My friend Harold came back from earning his gold burgee doing the America's Great Loop and mentioned he found a good product to remove waterline stains from fiberglass. I had heard of Davis FSR but never used it. So I went out and got myself a jar. It works great and saves a lot of elbow grease. You just brush a bit on along the waterline stain and let it sit for a minute and then wipe it off ... then hose it all down when you are finished. You can buy the stuff at West Marine (or most marine stores). Davis also has a booth at most boat shows. It's a stain remover as opposed to a overall boat cleaner, but it does work well on those brown hard to get rid of waterline stains. Can't speak for whether it is eco friendly ... don't know what exactly is in it BUT it's a product you might use a small quantity of once or twice a year to keep your boat looking it's best.Ă‚
Deep Trekker Underwater Exploration
Jacques Cousteau would have loved to get his hands on one of these. We ran into this product at the Muskoka Boat Show and we were impressed with the manoeuvrability and versatility of this portable underwater submarine explorer.
This is not a toy ... it's quality built hardware that allows for real underwater explorati on without getting your toes wet. The operator can manoeuvre this device almost anywhere underwater including inside shipwrecks where it may not be safe for divers to go. The picture is clear and the applications this submersible sub camera boggle the imagination. It's already in use by governments, police, security companies and commercial operations like fish farms.
Want to inspect the bottom of your yacht? There is no easier way to do it than Deep Trekker. Want to check your anchor set 60 feet down. Send the Trekker down. This device is truly portable. It does not require an external power source or a suitcase full of batteries. It's small controller and wide angle viewing screen fits in your hand. The unit is maintenance free and it's high strength polyurethane tether can give you distances up to 400 metres. The two thrusters have internal pitching that allows movement in any direction from the control station. The unit has powerful lighting so you can see quite a distance underwater. You can buy professional units that have grasping pick up arms just like the manned exploration subs.
The base units that recreational buyers would use run about $3000. Not cheap but if you want to know what's going on down below it is one slick solution. Check out these videos . The video of the Trekker picking up the full beer bottle at the bottom of Lake Huron is cool as are the Tobermory shipwreck dives. They are located in Waterloo Ontario and their phone # is 519 732 3257 and their web site is www.deeptrekker.comĂ‚
Gost Watch System
The new GOST Watch HD 3G Package includes everything needed to remotely monitor all activities onboard your vessel from any computer or Smartphone with internet access, anywhere in the world. Watch live video remotely of your yacht exterior or view activities in the salon or engine room from any pc or mobile phone with internet access. Cameras can be set to record clips to the website based on motion detection and sent via email or text message to any computer or mobile phone. The system can accommodate up to 6 cameras per login. Take this LINK for more information.
SEE-MEE Rescue Strobe
The water activated/manual unit is a state-of-the-art rescue light that uses a microprocessor to combine all the recommended features of a rescue light into one product. When you hit the water, the light will automatically turn on into a strobe mode to attract rescue. When rescue is close, you press the switch and it goes into a steady light to direct rescue towards you. After rescue, you press the switch one more time to turn it off. The light will reset back to water-activated mode. Waterproof to 200 ft. Lights will burn at least 24 hours on one set batteries.
Waterproof to 200 ft.
Each unit has 2 LED lights that burn at up to 28 candela each, over 35 times as bright as required by the U.S. Coast Guard
In steady light mode, the lights burn for 24 hours on one set of batteries, 3 times longer than required by the U.S. Coast Guard
In strobing mode, the lights burn for 27 hours on one set of batteries, over 3 times longer than required by the U.S. Coast Guard
For use with 2 each AA Alkaline or AA Lithium Batteries
Comes with a hook-and-loop strap and lanyard.
Marinco has come out with a new wireless spotlight, perfect for retro fitting or providing boats with full spotlight control without the wiring hassles. The unit offers full wireless remote control. The spotlight will sweep around 360 degrees and has two rotation speeds. It also has full up and down control. It is available in 12 volt or 24 volt and comes in three finishes Ă˘â‚¬â€ś White, Chrome & Black. It even has an auto sweep feature so you can concentrate on navigating while the unit sweeps back and forth looking for hazards. It can also be set to broadcast an SOS signal. If you prefer it can be hardwired to the bridge instead of using the remote control. For details check out their web site HERE
Cordless Winch Handle
Here's a neat product for sailors. The WinchRite is a hand held electric winch handle that just drops into the winch socket like a conventional handle, but it does the grinding for you. The unit weighs about 6.5 lbs. and has a number of storage options. Using the AC charger it takes about one hour to recharge. The DC charger is a trickle charge so it takes longer. The winch will haul a main sheet up 6-8 times before a recharge is required. Of course smaller boats will get longer service and bigger boats, say over 40' may get less service before recharging. The units are in the $650 range. For more information visit their web site at www.sailology.com
Big Orange Saves The Day!
Once in a blue moon someone comes up with a product that every boater must have ... not a toy or a gadget, but something that is essential to your overall enjoyment of your boat. Holding tank odours are the nemesis of all boaters. No one wants a boat that smells like sewage and yet many boats have exactly that problem. Some manufacturers do install odour filters on their waste holding tank vent lines. But two things can happen and it happens to all of them sooner or later.
1/ the filter simply wears out over a few years and will not absorb gaseous odours venting from the tank
2/ the holding tank has been filled to capacity and the filter gets clogged
In either case your boat is going to stink. And if your trying to make a good impression with your neighbours at the marina or the guy rafted beside you at the anchorage, this is something you want to take care of the right way. Who wants to be next door to a boat that smells like sewage when your trying to BBQ your dinner or sipping cocktails? You can't mask holding tank odour with head chemicals Ă˘â‚¬â€ś you end up with a combination of septic odour and sweet smelling chemicals which is even more sickening than the crap in your holding tank. As your holding tank fills it has to push the gases and smell out somewhere. If it's a clogged filter it ends up in your boat ... and if it's a filter that is past it's service life or perhaps no filter at all, you are stinking up the air outside your boat.
You can solve the problem permanently and you can stop using head chemicals entirely providing you pump the boat out on a regular basis and use a proper high capacity activated filter like Big Orange. Big Orange filters are easily rechargeable, but because they are high capacity, they can last 5 years before you need to recharge the filter base medium. You never dispose of the filter Ă˘â‚¬â€ś you just replace the activated charcoal medium. You won't find a filter on the market with more capacity than Big Orange. And they are very easy to install and cost only $145. They also sell OEM Big Orange replacement filters for $115, if you want a direct swap for your boat manufacturer filter that came with your boat.
Your savings on chemicals alone will pay for the filter over a season or two. Your crew and boat neighbours will appreciate it too.
There is another holding tank issue that you should be aware of that can cost you MAJOR coin. When a tank vent filter is plugged it is not uncommon that when you have a pump out, with no way to equalize the tank, the poly holding tank can completely collapse or crack because of vacuum pressure. It can happen very easily and it does happen more often than you might think. The Big Orange has a built in auto bypass valve so when your tank is being pumped the valve opens to allow a slight vacuum break to equalize negative tank pressure.
Big Orange is a Canadian company in good old Ontario. Check them out at www.bigorangefilter.com or call them to order at (647) 237 1355
Dealer inquiries are also welcome.
Max Cooler Companion or Bait Trays
This is a great addition for most sizes of coolers that you might use on a boat. They are aluminum and powder coated white trays and they stack as organizers in your cooler for carrying food or as bait trays. You set them on a few inches of ice and they do a great job conducting the cold in the cooler. They come in two depths and many footprint sizes and multiple trays can interlock. Click HERE to see video.
The beauty is no more ice water getting into your food and you get even cold distribution throughout the cooler. It allows you more organized food storage and ease of content removal to drain out ice water. They are made by www.maxbait.com and can be purchased (and shipped to Canada) at Captain Harry's Fishing Supply www.captharry.com (305) 374 4661. I picked up two at the Miami Boat Show and had them shipped them to Canada.
Sea Sucker Vacuum Accessory Mounts
This is a really neat idea. These things vacuum mount to any smooth surface. You push the plunger and it sucks the air out. When you need to pump more air out for suction it shows up on the power indicator gauge on the little pump button. When these suctioned cups are purged from air they are really on tight and will hold just about anything. Once in a while though you may have purge more air to keep them stuck on tight. Click HERE to see a video.Ă‚
They have many accessory configurations including cup holders, party trays, dry box containers, electronic accessory mounts, grab handles, utility hooks, equipment racks, paddle board racks, fishing rod holders, fish cleaning tables and fire extinguisher mounts. They are made with UV resistant plastic , rubber and stainless steel. A six inch Sea Sucker is rated for 210 lbs. holding power. Check them out at www.seasucker.com
Sirena Water Wear
We ran into Tracy & Kim at the Miami Boat Show. My wife was instantly drawn to the colourful ladies fishing shorts. She loved the design , detailing and quality ... and she bought them.
They call these fishing shorts, but they are nice enough to wear into any restaurant. They come in two lengths and I'm told have a great fit. They are triple stitched with Teflon thread and they are 100% lifetime guaranteed. They are micro-fibre quick dry and stain resistant ... salt water friendly, pool friendly, washing machine friendly and fish guts friendly. Yes ladies you can make friends with these shorts.
They also come in some neat florescent colours like pink, green and orange Ă˘â‚¬â€ś plus blue rose, hana sunset, paradise punch and jaded camo. They have zippered security pockets, cell phone pocket, and secret key pocket, not to mention Velcro'd space for fish pliers.
These ladies from Texas have done a terrific job branding a quality product. Their web site is www.sirenawaterwear.com and their phone is (361) 749 2782. They can ship you some to Canada and they will be offering men's shorts soon. Not the cheapest shorts on the market at $86 ... but perhaps the best value, highest quality and best looking shorts for ladies that you will find anywhere.
Pleasure Craft Operating Cards Required by Law
The 2013 boating season quickly approachingĂ˘â‚¬Â¦have you received your boat operating license yet? Prior to April 1, 1999, a provincial driver's license was sufficient for owning and operating a pleasure craft out on the water, but those wonderful days of a single license for all purposes are over.
For all boaters in Canada, a separate "Pleasure Craft Operator Card" is required for piloting small to mid-sized boats. Boating licenses can be acquired through many different means, but one of the more well known is the BOATsmart! online boater's license course. The online course allows you to take the test from your own home via the web, and immediately print off a temporary card for use while you wait for your official card to be mailed out. This eliminates all of the hassles and time consumption in acquiring your Pleasure Craft Operators Card, and replaces it with a simple at home test, with instant issuance. For more information, please check out their website.
Keep Water Out of Fuel Tanks
Most boaters know water does a lot of damage to marine engines both gas & diesel. What they might not know is that most of that water gets sucked in as vapour through the fuel tank vents where it condenses in the tank. Diesel fuel with a bit of water is a great medium for growing bacteria that multiplies quickly and blocks filters. Biocides are required to control bacteria growth but the dead bacteria clog up Racors and filters as well. Best remedy is keep the moisture out.
H2Out is an in line filter that removes moisture from the air as it moves through the air vent to your fuel tank. H2Out reduces the requirement for biocides to kill the bacteria. The filter uses Desiccants which absorb the vaporized moisture from the air. Water vapour molecules form a molecular bond with the Desiccant and the medium can absorb 35% of it's weight in trapped water. The filter can be reused simply by placing it in an oven to dry out the Desiccant for hour at 325' F. The Desiccant turned pink by the water absorption turns back to blue again ready for use. The filters are available in a number of sizes for various applications. H2Out Canada is at www.h2outcanada.comĂ‚ 1 800 268 4186
Pet Overboard Alarm
Last year we watched a sailboat struggle for quite a while trying to get their dog back into the boat after he fell overboard. It is easy to have a pet go over the edge unnoticed and the boat carries on ... minus a cherished dog or cat. This is especially true of power boats where overboard noises are masked by engine noises.
The Safety Turtle pet immersion alarm latches to an existing pet collar with Velcro. The system consists of a base station and pet collar radio sensor. The radio sensor is rain or spray tolerant but if the pet goes over the alarm sounds. The sensor of course is waterproof and play rugged.
These units are for fresh water applications only (not salt water). The battery in the radio sensor lasts about 4 years. These units run about $226. Click HERE to visit their website.
In addition to this overboard alarm all pets on board should have life jackets just like humans. Pets fall overboard even easier than humans, so the life jackets should be on at all times when the pet is not inside the boat.
Iosso Mold & Mildew Stain Remover
Color & Fabric Safe! Removes mold, mildew and algae stains, bird droppings, spider droppings, tannin (leaf) stain, tree sap, tough dirt, grease and oil, most food & drink stains, blood stains and more. Recommended for use on Sunbrella awnings, boat covers, cushions, carpeting, inflatables, fabrics, vinyl and plastic. It is non-chlorine, biodegradable and has no harmful vapors. One jar makes up to three gallons of solution. One gallon of solution cleans 150 sq. feet of canvas. A 12 oz. jar is under $18.00 at JT's Top Shop in Midland (705) 527 6363.
Mustang Survival Launches Sentinel Series Boat Dry Suits
Mustang Survival has launched their newest boat crew dry suits designed for law enforcement and search and rescue (SAR) boat operations. Featuring Mobility Based Sizing™ and Rapid Repair Technology™, the new MSD634 and MSD644 Sentinel™ suits are ideal waterproof breathable constant wear boat crew dry suits for crew members who donĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t intend to enter the water but require hypothermia protection in case of accidental immersion.
The MSD634 is a boat crew dry suit ideal for regular duty and provides 1050 Denier Ballistic Nylon reinforcement in high wear areas such as the knees and seat.
The MSD644 is a heavy duty boat crew suit ideal for higher abrasion and abusive environments. Only 8 ounces heavier, the innovative 2-layer suit includes an inner GORE-TEX® layer and a heavy duty Cordura® outer layer reinforced with 1050 Denier Ballistic Nylon to protect the inner layer from damage. The outer layer can be easily removed for cleaning, repair and replacement.
Both the standard and heavy duty boat crew dry suits feature Mustang Survival's exclusive Mobility Based Sizing and Rapid Repair Technology. Mobility Based Sizing offers a large range of semi-custom sizes that optimize fit, comfort and functionality without the expensive custom price tag and long lead times. Rapid Repair Technology is an innovative repair methodology that enables users to self-repair minor leaks and self-replace neck and wrist seals to have their suits ready for use in less than an hour.
"We are excited to continue providing innovative and practical solutions to law enforcement and search and rescue professionals," comments Dave Abt, Public Safety Business Development for Mustang Survival, "based on the success and positive feedback we have received from the launch of our other Sentinel dry suits, we now offer dry suits specifically designed for boat crew professionals who require comfort and protection for their missions."
Mustang Survival has been providing lifesaving solutions for over 45 years. Mustang Survival is a leading supplier of quality flotation and hypothermia protection products to demanding users - from recreational boaters, fishermen, sailors and commercial mariners to the Coast Guard and fighter pilots.
Professional Yacht Detailing
For many people, their yacht is a second home, and it should always be treated as such. Just as people have their lawns cut and gardens tended; the outside of your boat should be taken care of. By keeping up with maintenance as your boat ages... keeping it in pristine condition can ensure maximum resale when the time comes. In addition to the aesthetic appeal of compounding and waxing, it also helps in the preservation of the hull gel coat and protects from sun and stain damage. This is the aspect of yacht detailing that helps the most with resale value. By preserving the condition of the hull and top sides, the boat will last much longer and look good too. Having a professional yacht detailing company take care of the services increases the effect of the detailing and ensures that nothing is missed. The same as expert landscaping can increase market value of your house, so can expert compounding, waxing and polishing increase value for your boat.
Maid to Anchor Yacht Services is company operating out of Southern Georgian Bay that offers high quality yacht detailing. They are a mobile company, travelling to yachts and offering various detailing services such as compounding, waxing & polishing across Southern Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario. For more information on their services and custom packages, please visit their website at www.maidtoanchor.ca, or contact them by phone at (705)427-5587.
Swim Platform Struts
Many production boats in the 30' Ă˘â‚¬â€ś 50' range do not come with swim platforms that will support tenders with motors in the 30 Ă˘â‚¬â€ś 50 horsepower range. Over time the constant flexing can cause spider cracks and even serious cracks that go right through the fiberglass platform. This usually starts on the platform skirt and works itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s way inwards across the platform or sometimes they start in both corners where the platform meets the stern of the boat. In any event it can cause a lot of damage and it is best to reinforce platforms before it becomes a problem.
We saw a brand new Meridan that had cracked it's platform just as soon as the dingy was pulled up with the davits a few times. Even with those great big marine plywood or balsa glassed in struts running below the platform, the twisting due to weight on one end of the platform can be disastrous. Our Sea Ray was fine with the Walker Bay and a 30hp Tohatsu 4 stroke but when we switched to a Zodiac with a 50hp 2 stroke Yamaha (only 90lbs. more weight overall) even with the SeaWeed davit system reconfigured for the Zodiac, it was too much for the platform because the take up side of the platform took the full weight of the Zodiac early, due to the shorter pontoon length behind the weight of the engine. Don't get me wrong Ă˘â‚¬â€ś we love the Zodiac but the dingy was on one set of SeaWeed take up rollers when the pontoons were completely off the water already. Not the fault of Zodiac - just too much weight on one corner for the platform design. And it's not just a dingy issue. If you have a whole bunch of guests out on the platform you can easily have the same type of problem.
Enter SteelNor Systems. They can custom fabricate swim platform struts for a reasonable price that will solve the problem and make your swim platform rock solid with weight distributed across the platform and no flexing. Fasteners to the factory struts and into the stern are bedded in with 3M 4200 and usually 4 struts will do the trick ... but on some platforms it might take 6 depending on the platform design and the factory glassed in struts.
David Steele owns SteelNor Systems in Midland and he is very thorough and capable in fabricating stainless. Their shop is located in what used to be the Doral factory on Hwy.#12 right near the Martyrs Shrine church. Their web site is www.steelnor.com or call (705) 527 7887.
A Ditch Bag Could Save Your Life
Imagine your heading across from Midland to Tobermory and in the middle of Georgian Bay your prop shaft breaks and spins out into the deep blue. Water is pouring in through the shaft hole and you can't even get down there to plug it up at this stage. It's only a matter of time before the boat sinks. So let's assume you have a dingy or life raft. Once the boat is about to go below the waves you will abandon ship and will hopefully be rescued at some point. This is where a ditch bag comes in handy. In all the chaos that takes place when a boat is sinking, there just isnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t the time to collect the things you will need to survive once your boat is sitting on the bottom. Boat fires are even more common and urgent and you need to get off almost immediately, as fumes alone can kill in seconds.
Many folks assume that a ditch bag only turns into a requirement when one is spending time on coastal waters or sailing across an ocean. In fact it can be a necessity anytime you are in a remote location or for that matter out of site of land. It's a low cost insurance policy on your life and that of your crew, and itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s easy to assemble.
Everyone has their own preferences for their ditch bag ... but the main thing is that it is keep handy above the waterline and not packed away ... so you can get at it in a hurry. Your crew should know it's location because as the boat sinks, the Captain will be busy with the Coast Guard may day proceedings and preparing the dingy or life raft to abandon ship and insuring the safety of all involved.
First lets assume you have an EPIRB - hopefully with GPS locator. That should float out and go off on it's own, but if you think to grab it as you leave the sinking boat take it with you and tether it to the dingy or life raft. Can't afford a EPIRB - then get a SPOT locator. Ideally you would have a portable waterproof VHF radio in your ditch kit as well ... but if not, make sure you grab the one on the boat to take with you as well. Don't assume you will be rescued right away. Without a GPS fix you are virtually a needle in a hay stack and many a sailor has gone to his grave not planning and thinking that it won't be long before help arrives. In other words, count on spending a night or two if the chips don't fall in your favour (maybe longer if the weathers bad). If your lucky you might eventually get to an island and make a campfire or find help.
If you have a Smart phone and you are in cell range, that phone can also be an invaluable tool especially if it has plotting software and GPS app available. Smart phone plotter programs that store the chart, even off cell coverage are preferable. Examples are Navionics or MX Mariner.
So what do you need in a ditch bag. Well first you need a waterproof bag that will float. Many companies make them usually in yellow or red. West Marine by example has them. Label the bag boldly EMERGENCY DITCH BAG.
Other things that are needed and would come in handy in an emergency are:
flare guns with rocket flares (yes a second set - one for the boat and one for the ditch bag)
4 smoke flares
red signal stick (use as flash light or flashing stick - Cdn. Tire has them)
LED waterproof floating flashlight
signal mirror (Cdn Tire Automotive Dept decent sized clip on vanity mirror)
Leatherman super tool or multi tool blade set
Duct tape or preferably brightly coloured Gorilla tape
floating strobe light
several life jacket collars in addition to the ones you should be wearing
snap light sticks (Cdn Tire camping Debt)
space blanket (also makes great reflector)
Purell hand cleaner
small first aid kit with bandage roll and antiseptic
small handheld air horn
couple of baseball caps
waterproof signal whistle
two bottles of water
some energy bars
portable radar reflector (option but you need one anyways for bigger boats so if it's not on the boat put it in the kit)
All in, you should be able to acquire all above for a few hundred $ if your resourceful - plus handheld VHF , EPIRB or SPOT unit.
Last but not least - if your boat does sink on Georgian Bay be thankful that you are not in the Caribbean with a dozen Hammerhead sharks circling as the boat goes down.
Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone
Cell phones are an amazing communication tool that allows you to contact anyone from almost anywhereĂ˘â‚¬Â¦ but what about the places where cell phones donĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t work. Many boaters come across this problem when out on the water. In the middle of large bodies of water most cell phones do not work, and this can cause a bad situation to turn worse. Satellite phones are a great communicator solution for yachters, as they are not bound to towers as cell phones are, and they are able to make calls from around the planet seamlessly. The Iridium Extreme sat phone is not only able to make calls from anywhere, but is also designed to be tough and cannot be damaged easily. Made to military grade durability, it leaves you with the confidence that the phone will work through anything you can throw at it. Another great feature of the Iridium Extreme sat phone is its GEOS Travel Safety Group supported automatic GPS-enabled SOS locator. This allows the phone to be traced from remote location in the event of an emergency. The phone also is able to produce a wifi hotspot to support other internet devices.
With all of the different features on this phone, it could be a staple piece of equipment for cruising so that you are always able to get contact in case of emergencies. For more information please visit their website at: www.iridiumextreme.com
All boaters know that their boat is an important part of their life, and it is a secondary if not primary home, and it can be protected as such. Cobra has come out with their new C-pod System. This provides a motion sensor on your yacht which, when activated, will send a message to your smart phone alerting you of any possible intrusions. The C-Pod provides you with your own Yacht Management System, allowing you to keep an eye on your yacht even if youĂ˘â‚¬â„˘re across the world. It doesnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t just cover yacht intrusions, if there are mechanical failures or malfunctions on your boat, the C-Pod will alert you allowing you to take the right actions to prevent any major damage.
The C-Pod not only covers emergency needs for your boat, it also allows you to remotely control various features on your boat. Such equipment as an a/c unit or a refrigerator may be monitored remotely to ensure energy efficiency. The C-Pod and its Yacht Management System from Cobra is a new and innovative product that no boat owner should be without. For more information visit their website at: www.cobra.com
Ultimate Marine Panels
Ultimate Marine Panels is a company that creates custom dash panels for boats. Due to technology updates in boat electronics, some gauges and screen locations may be left unused, while new spots will need to be added to accommodate new different sized equipment. If your electronics configuration is changing on your boat, Ultimate Marine Panels are a highly recommended solution. The dashes are custom made, and can be tailored for all boats. Ultimate Marine Panels can make dash panels to freshen up an old weathered dash, or they can make panels to fit with the new gauges that are being added to your boat. The dashes can be finished in elaborate and eye catching themes, or they can be made in a simple functional fashion.
Ultimate Marine Panels allows you to have a unique custom feature on your boat. The panels give a sense of transformation to your boat. With a dedicated team of designers working to create your custom dash panel, the finished product will be top quality, and made to fit your boat precisely. The dash panels also provide a sense of individuality for your boat. Even though other people may have the same boat model as you, you can take pride in knowing that your boat has this unique feature. Visit the Ultimate Marine Panels website at www.ultimatemarinepanels.com.
SeaDoo Sea Scooters Are The Ideal Boat Toy
What could be more fun than to be at anchorage on a hot sunny day and to be roaming around the harbour above and below the water with your trigger finger on a battery powered sea scooter? As a matter of fact, we will predict now that sea scooters will become one of the hottest new boat play toys that has come along in a long time. They are compact, easy to store, relatively inexpensive and light weight (under 20 lbs.) and a blast to play with in the water. They have some practical uses too, like getting down below to check your anchor set or checking bottom conditions. But most of all you'll have fun scooting around the harbour like Captain Nemo visiting your friends boats and making the neighbors take notice and wanting on of these gadgets for themselves. Folks will line up to take a turn! You can run a conga line with the driver in control and few behind hanging unto each others fins.
They are simple to use Ă˘â‚¬â€ś just put on your snorkel and fins and grab your neutral buoyancy scooter and point it the direction you want it to go and control the speed with the finger throttle. Most of these scooters will travel along effortlessly at 1.5 to 3 mph ... or faster than most can swim flat out with fin propulsion. Most will go about 2 hours on a charge so good idea to buy the backup battery. Canadian Tire sells the really low end beginner model for $199 but you'll want to pick up the SeaDoo GT1 (about $360), SeaDoo Pro (about $280) or one of the new more professional RS series which run up to almost 4 mph and have a 7 hour charge and of course cost more than lesser models (top of the line RS1 is about $1500). Here's some links that will provide more info and comparison of models http://www.seascooterexpress.com/ & http://www.seadooseascooter.com/ . And here's a You Tube video that will bring the whole picture together for youĂ‚ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKt8RkBLUTU
Shadow Caster Underwater Lights
Shadow Caster has created a new product that makes a fantastic addition to any boat, an underwater LED light system. This allows boaters to swim in the water at night and have the beauty and comfort of illuminating the surrounding water. These lighting systems are designed to go underneath the swim platforms of boats on the transom underwater, flooding the water 120 degrees directionally. The lights used are a high intensity LED, and are offered in a variety of different colours- clear, blue, green and red.
The lights are not always just added in for recreation and aesthetics, the LED lights are also heavily used by fishermen. Some fish are drawn in to the light coming from under the boat, and the light also helps by putting the fish in full view when being reeled in at night time. Different coloured lights have been shown to attract fish differently, with the green light being most effective.
Shadow Castor lights come in four different sizes, each offering different LED arrangements of 10, 17, 2 and 40 watts. The lights are well designed and made out of highly durable materials, housed in stainless steel, and are able to fit onto any boat transom. The lights are easy to install and the entire light housing simply mounts flat on the transom and requires only a small hole drilled through the hill to accommodate the wiring harness. The website is www.shadow-caster.com
Limited Visibility From The Helm In The Rain?
Who hasn't had a problem seeing out the windscreen on a rainy or humid day when the exterior glass gets beaded or fogged up. This can be dangerous when your trying to maneuver a boat in close quarters. So your opening windows or opening canvas and looking over windows and getting drenched in an effort to see. A new product called SNP is about to solve that problem. SNP is a clear, hydrophobic self cleaning ceramic shell that will last for a year or more and is applied by a foam pad in a circular motion and then buffed in several application layers.
SNP will improve optical clarity in all conditions by providing a self cleaning surface that is resistant to water spotting, oils algae, salt residue, mold & bacteria. It is silica based (not silicone) and has millions of micro glass and ceramic particles that air cure and bond molecularly to the surface creating an invisible 30 nanometer thick skin. Water and contaminants do not adhere to the surface. It repels water on the surface and it all slides off. It was developed for glass but is equally effective on any hard surface that you need to see through in rainy or wet environments. A two ounce kit with pre cleaner and applicator pad covers 50 sq. ft. and costs $29.95
Ka-band To Be Activated in 2014
Inmarsat, well known for it's satellite phone business has developed a worldwide wireless Ka-band broadband network that will be active once Boeing Company launches it's string of three Inmarsat geo stationary satellites in 2014. Ka-band offers greater bandwidth allowing downloads as high as 50 Mbps and uploads of 5 Mbps. Finally land based speeds on your boat!
Ka-band will require a antenna smaller than C-band with as little as two feet in diameter. The service called Global Xpress will compliment the existing much slower L-band satellites.The service will include Voice Over Internet Protocol and SMS services and will afford worldwide coverage at data speeds equivalent to the best current land based networks.
Every once in a while someone comes up with a really bright idea ... and Piranha propellers did just that. Piranha propellers use an aluminum hub with tapered slots that take individual Verton composite blades (nylon fiber & carbon resins) that slide into the slots. The hubs have a life time warranty. The blades are stronger than aluminum and if you hit bottom your typically not replacing all the blades (and not rebuilding a prop). The blades weigh less than 1 lb. each and can be changed in minutes. Even 3 replacement blades are cheaper than a replacement prop. In many cases the blades will absorb the shock of a hit, but in severe cases the blades are designed to break off, preventing possible damage to the gear case. The Piranha blades also show proven performance over standard aluminum props. They also have a HydroBite version which has edges on the blades that give the prop more traction in the water allowing better performance out of the hole. More info at www.canadapropeller.com.
Mold Or Mildew Problems?
Here's two new products that can prevent mold and mildew or correct an existing mold/mildew problem. Everyone knows mold and mildew love boats - especially fabric and soft surfaces inside the boat. Damp bilges naturally attract both and for some boaters this can turn into a nightmare when their stored boat starts to "grow" stuff over the winter.
Prevention: Kanberra Gel is a ventilated plastic container that contains gel that evaporates ... which is made from Australian Tea Tree Oil which is a natural killer of bacteria, fungus, mold and mildew and other spore related maladies. One 8 ounce container will protect a boat up to 40'. Great for heads and bilge areas too. When airborne spores try to attack and feed on cellulose and other organic matter the Tea Tree Oil vapors kill the spores in the air even before the spores take hold. A very inexpensive and naturally safe way to maintain your boat free of mold and mildew. The Tea Tree oil does not give off a heavy odor but a very light and pleasant smell. Check out www.kanberragel.com
Power Boost For Your Rocket Stick
Cruising around Georgian Bay using a mobile stick for your email and internet access gets better with a Data Card Antenna. The Panorama antenna clips on your laptop or stands freestanding and plugs directly into your mobile stick TS9 port to boost reception. Midland area and the eastern shore of Georgian Bay has 3G+ reception and this device will ensure that if the reception serves the area you will achieve a better signal, raising both upload and down load speeds.
There are many models but for a boat we suggest you choose an omni directional antenna. For the Rogers ZTE MF645 Rocket Stick by example you choose the 05TS9 Data Card Antenna. www.panorama-antennas.com is the manufacturer and a great local Ontario distributor where you can order online is www.antennashop.ca We received ours within two days of online order and they were very helpful over the phone in helping us choose the right antenna. At only $40 it's a bargain for increased reception when your on the move.
Fish Eyes Rod With Underwater Camera
Want to check your anchor set or determine whets going on with an anchor snag? Or maybe you just want to study the fish below the boat? The Fish Eyes Rod is a fishing rod with a colour camera that provides a live image back to the rod mounted camera. It's good to 25' depth and has a green fish light LED that lights up the water around the camera. The whole unit weighs 1.8 lbs. and 4 AA batteries power it. A really neat toy and conversation piece to play around with when your at anchor on those hot sunny days. Check it out at www.fish-eyes.com Available on Amazon for $60.
Switlik Rescue Platform
The MOM 600 is like a vacuum packed seat cushion, but when you throw it and it hits the water it opens to a rescue platform and sets off a strobe light. Is not a certified Life Raft but you can throw this 15 lb. cushion a long ways and it does the trick in providing a safe inflated platform to get out of the water. The platform is reversible with lifelines inside & out so you can get on it up or down and it doesn't have to flipped over. Raft is made of 13 ounce urethane coated nylon and inflates to 2 psi with support for 600 lbs. Switlik has been manufacturing aircraft and marine safety devices for many years. The MOM 600 costs about $1000 .... so it is a cheap alternative to a life raft (but not a full replacement) http://www.switlik.com/marine/mom600/tech-specs
Hurley Muskrat & Snake Guards
Did you know that your boats exhaust ports are an ideal home for Muskrats, Water Rats, Water Snakes and even Otters. Any exhaust port 3" or larger is at risk. Muskrats can really cause a lot of damage because they often visit in groups and try to nest up inside dragging weeds, mud and sticks up into the muffler. They don't care whether the exhaust port is above or below the water line - they are quite adept at swimming underwater to make their entrance. Here's the scary part - Muskrats and Water Rats will often chew their way through the flexible rubber/silicone exhaust coupling (see pic) and when that happens it can sink the boat. Many insurance companies have clauses that exclude claims from vermin damage. In any event when you get a muskrat up there a few things can happen.
they nest and just plug everything up and usually this harms your engine.
they eat their way through and cause damage in the boat (possibly sinking the boat) and they are very hard to get out once inside because they are timid and hide.
they often die in the boat if they can't find or eat their way out.
In any event, they cause thousands in damage and having these visitors is a nightmare situation. And guess what? ... you probably won't know you have a problem until the damage is done. Muskrats will travel an area and explore all kinds of openings that look inviting and they do not have just one home. The are very common and if you ask your marina dockhand if he/she has ever seen a Muskrat the answer is almost always yes. You are only likely to see them swimming in the early evening just before sunset or early morning just after sunrise when things are at there quietest. They swim very well underwater and if you are close they won't even be seen. Tell tale signs are sometimes weeds or sticks protruding from the port but usually the nest is up inside, if that's what they're up to - and not just exploring. They can find you in the marina or out at anchor. You don't want this problem! Larger exhaust ports can get the same problem on a bigger scale with Otters.
Hurley Marine Inc. best know for their dinghy davit system makes Muskrat Guards that will prevent this problem and we recommend every boat should have them. They are stainless steel and install in minutes without drilling or screws using rods that friction fit to the sides of the port opening. Typically you set them back a few inches and you won't even notice them in there. To measure the size you need, just take a piece of wire and bend it around inside and then pull it out and measure the circumference. Prices vary depending on size with the largest going for $249.95 set and the smallest 99.95 set. They also make snake screens for $15.95 that go with the Muskrat Guards if you have water snakes in the area. Visit Hurley's web site at www.hurleymarine.com or call them at (906) 553 6249
Fire Wire Flexible Grilling Skewer
Here's a neat product we picked up at the Annapolis Boat Show. You skewer your meat and veggies on this stainless steel wire and put it on your BBQ. Because you can curl it around and it is quite long you can cook double the amount on a Fire Wire than on a traditional skewer. The pointy end that you pierce the food to load the skewer hangs off the edge of the BBQ surface when you are cooking and it does not get hot. You can load your skewer and drop in to a baggy to marinate in the fridge before use. The stainless wire is very finely woven and does not collect food. It is easy to clean, dishwasher safe and 100% stainless steel. You get two wires to a pack for around $12. www.firewiregrilling.com
My wife was heading into town and I asked her to pick up a bottle of Battery Equalizer. On her return her comments were - "do you know how much this stuff costs ... $31.99 for 500 ml". Yes it's expensive - especially in Canada where Home Hardware (automotive department) among others sells it.
Battery Equalizer is a magic potion for preservation or restoration of vented lead acid batteries. The product reduces sulfating and can double a batteries life and produce more power with up to 80% less float charge. Now this works for all vented lead acid batteries but we all know that boat battery banks are very expensive and well maintained they might last 4 years. Poorly maintained with low fluid levels or overcharging they might last 2-3 years. My two battery banks plus the generator battery are close to $1000. to replace. If I can get up to 8 years from those same batteries together with better performance then the $40 bucks doesn't sound so expensive when I'm saving $500.
So how come more people don't know about this? Most of the heavy equipment fleet maintainers do. The average guy doesn't though, and the folks that manufacture batteries are no doubt thankful for that. Because of the battery life extension this product is considered green and environmentally friendly. Use it for relatively new and older batteries. Do not use it if the battery has shorted cells or malfunction problems.
So if you use 28 ml of this stuff in each cell every four years you will be significantly extending your battery life and saving money. If you use more you will not hurt the battery so it cannot be over prescribed (or under prescribed for that matter - even some is better than none). You are simply replacing evaporated fluid with Equalizer instead of distilled water. You can use it all the time if you want as a replacement for distilled water ... but because it's not cheap, you are best to follow directions and only use what you need to to prolong battery life. The one 500ml bottle will do for most boat double battery banks and get you going - you can buy another bottle in a few years time. Another great option is to treat your battery once and then use a second bottle to mix with a gallon of distilled water and use that as your regular top up fluid.
Clean Your Fresh Water Tank
The label says "Saves Marriages". I don't doubt it. Contaminated water tanks on boats can be a real problem. Chlorine smells and is brutal and hard to get rid of. We have been using this Head-O-Matic "Fresh Tank" product for a few seasons and it works really well and removes any scum in your lines and tank. You mix the powder with a bucket warm water and pour it in to your fresh water tank just once at the beginning of the season. It makes your water kind of effervescent & soft and you'll want to drink bottled water until you been through the first fresh water tank of the season. After that your water will be really nice and the tanks will be clean and my feeling is it cleans up the head lines and drains too, because that's were much of the used fresh water goes. Holland Marine Products (HMP) sells this stuff for $14 and you can call (905) 891 1639 and they will mail it to you. One bottle treats 60 gallons which is plenty to rinse through all yacht fresh water systems.
EZ2CY Alternative To Standard Vinyl Windows
When it comes time to replace your bridge canvas you might want to consider moving up to EZ2CY window enclosures which are much thicker and harder than standard vinyl. These windows are heavy duty and stay lifetime crystal clear just like glass. Scratches can be rubbed out and they will withstand the stress of bending and curving much better than regular vinyl. EZ2CY is about double the price of standard vinyl windows and you will find it in use on many high end yachts like Viking, Egg Harbour, Ocean & Riviera. In colder or inclement weather when the windows must be down, you have the real advantage of being able to see properly on the bridge, which adds a major safety factor when underway. It also just looks better and with no buckling like regular vinyl. EZ2CY is not sewn to the canvas it is bonded. It can only be installed by licensed service providers. Check their web site at www.EZ2CY.com to search dealers. Currently there is not a Ontario based service provider so this may be an opportunity for your local canvas shop to get licensed to install this premium product.
This is a nifty little devise that will float key chains, waterproof VHF handhelds or anything else you might drop into the water. Most floating key chains will not surface float more than a few keys at one time. This device is the size of a key fob and will float 2.2 pounds for 24 hours and it is lite at night. It is triggered when submerged it triggers and produces a tough gas filled rubber balloon that gets lite by LED for a minimum 24 hours. All this for $12.95. Visit their web site at www.yachtinnovations.com
Soot Buster Fuel Conditioner
We saw this product trade show demonstrated but we have no experience with it in real world conditions but it looks really interesting. The same folks offer other fuel polishing machinery and services. Basically it cleans your diesel fuel through a process they call Magnetic Cyclonification which breaks apart particulate matter in the fuel. Larger particles would either clog your filters or would not burn properly creating smoke, soot and loss of power. Soot Buster claims 4 Ă˘â‚¬â€ś 12% fuel savings, emission reductions and lower exhaust temperatures and less deposits in the diesel fuel system. They come in sizes for diesels from 60 hp up to 2000 hp. They fit inline between the fuel tank and primary Racor filter and come with a lifetime warranty. Because the excess conditioned fuel that is not being burned in the diesel engine gets returned to the tank, the continuous process also cleans the fuel in the tank through operation. Web site is www.adsfuel.com
We ran across these durable dry bags. Great for keeping things like electronics dry while cruising or for use a a floatable ditch bag (if your boat should sink God forbid!). Many different styles and colours are available. They are made with layers of polyurethane and backpack grade canvas sandwiched and fused together. These folks make military grade bags as well. There web site is www.drybags.com and they can be bought in Toronto at www.watersportsscuba.com
This is a great idea. This device uses a stainless steel vacuum sensor to determine in advance if your Racors are clogging up - before you get stuck without engine power in high seas when the waves stir up your dirty fuel. The vacuum sensor mounts in place of the top T on the Racor and sends a continuous signal to the filter alert station mounted in your bridge. In the event that your fuel filter begins to clog it sends and audible and visual signal allowing plenty of time for corrective action. A signal Filter Alert is $1000 and a double is $1200. Chances are though that if one filter is clogging, drawing fuel from the same tank the other is soon to follow. A great safety feature to have on your boat at reasonable cost. Check it out at www.digivac.com in the Marine sensor section.
Military Extreme Batteries
These batteries will outlast anything else on the market and are in use for military applications like F18's and Abrams tanks. They are indestructible and will last up to three times longer than conventional batteries. They use the highest quality materials and can be stored for two years or longer fully charged and will still start your engines. Available in a variety of case sizes and amperages these batteries provide superior cranking amps and fast deep cycle recharging ... so you can have your cake and eat it too. They are about double the cost of conventional batteries but typically last for ten years with up to four years warranty.They are totally sealed, so no spills and no refilling. If you want the best with total reliability this is it ... unless you have connections at NASA. They will ship to Canada. www.odysseysoutheast.com (954) 766 2571
Imagine your cruising on the Bay and a prop shaft lets go and the prop spins the shaft right out of the boat into the deep blue. Water is gushing in and you can't get under there with a mallet to hammer in a wooden plug even if you had one big enough. Enter the TruPlug solution. It looks like an orange safety cone but smaller. It is made out of flexible but tough closed cell foam. When you force it into an opening it expands on the other side of the hole. It will fit the biggest and smallest thru hull fittings. You can contort it and bend it around equipment that may be blocking your access. You can even carve it into odd shapes if you hole the boat. You can use several TruPlugs to seal large holes from running aground. It really is a must have inexpensive safety item for your boat. We first saw them at the 2009 Toronto boat show as they had just come to Canada. Because they were the only two for display in Canada they wouldn't sell them. A month later we bought two from Sobstad Sails & Marine in Barrie Ontario - they are the distributor. You can order them ahead and pick them up 1 800 713 9197
Tree Frog Pad
This neat stick on pad will hold cell phones, gps, handheld VHF vertically and will hold a laptop on an incline. In fact it will hold just about anything with a few pounds of weight even on a vertical surface (as long as it is smooth) on a boat. The pad wonĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t harm finishes, has no solvents, secures to any flat surface and will release with slow steady peeling action. It is also impervious to water. So if your like me and you are forever looking for an empty cup holder on the bridge to set your handheld VHF Ă˘â‚¬â€ś this could be your answer. Note: I use a silicone mat (the kind you use for baking) under my laptop where it is stationed on a table in the boat. It works well to prevent sliding but the Tree Frog will work even better and for sailors, even if you turn the boat upside down it will hold the laptop for some time and prevent itĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s destruction. If you use a laptop on the bridge of your yacht as part of your navigation package this is a great way to secure it to a table when your underway in big waves.
Fox 40 Sharx Whistle
Fox has been the leader in rescue whistles for many years. The Sharx 40 is 120 decibels and can be heard for miles over ambient sounds. It works wet or dry and can be blown in any orientation. It is made of durable polycarbonate co-molded with elastomer. This whistle is available in different colours and it would be great idea to have one tethered to each life jacket you use for emergency use. Available at most sporting goods and hunting provision retailers.
This is a product that every boat owner should have on board. Rescue Tape is a self fusing silicone based tape that is great for emergency hose or electrical repairs. It has 950 PSI tensile strength and insulates at 8000 volts per layer. It can withstand 500 degree (260 degrees Celsius) temperatures and remains flexible to minus 85 degrees (-60 degrees Celsius). It is impervious to fuels, acid, solvents, salt water or UV rays. Great for making a water tight seal on electrical connections or an emergency leak repair on an engine hose. Use it on anchor chain or rope to mark the rode scope for an easy way to tell how much rode is out when anchoring. It comes in many assorted colours and runs into the $12 per roll range. Best place to find it is at boat shows ... they usually have a booth somewhere, or Google it online.
Wet Spot Marine Water Softeners
Are you tired of mineral deposits being left on your boat after it has been washed? Is the water you use inside the boat leaving the surfaces looking lack luster? Are you concerned about the damage hard water can do to water lines and pumps? If the answer is YES to any of these three questions then you need a water softener for your boat.
There are many dockside water softeners on the market and some work better than others but we can can give you the thumbs up on Wet Spot because we use one ourselves. An added benefit is the softener will pull the dissolved iron out of the water too. They basically work like your home water softener where resin carries sodium. When it comes in contact with calcium & magnesium it attaches to these minerals and produces soft water. The resins can last up to 30 years and there is a 12 year performance warranty on the unit. The recharging kit comes with the softener and it takes about 15 minutes to recharge the unit once per month with rock salt.
There are no wires or electricity involved ... you just hook it up inline to your dockside water system and the water pressure does the rest. We use quick fit connectors so we can put the unit away or recharge it quickly without unthreading the hose connections. It comes complete with the hoses you need to connect the softener and charger. You can store the charger onboard or in your dock box and the softener can stay right on the dock. In the Georgian Bay area you can pick up a Wet Spot softener at Bay Port Yachting Centre in Midland (705) 527 7678
If you are a serious cruiser then you know the value of a good anchor. The fact is most boaters like to sleep at night knowing that their ground tackle will hold fast if the weather blows up unexpectedly. Not all anchors are created equal. Some do better than others on particular bottom conditions, but only a few are exceptional in all weather and bottom conditions. Rocna is one of those exceptional products that comes along once in a "blue moon".
Rocna was invented by Peter Smith, an experienced long distance sailor from New Zealand. It's proto-type was developed and tested extensively over four years in real life cruising environments. The anchor is designed for rapid penetration and will typically set in three feet - there is an excellent video on the Rocna web site www.rocna.com demonstrating the anchors capability. The chisel blade, skids, weight balance and roll bar ensure that the anchor rights itself on landing and corrects to the right attitude to dig in. Due to it's geometry the anchor will not trip out with a wind shift or under extreme load. Rocna anchors are constructed using high tensile steel in the shank and are hot dip galvanized (including the inside of the roll bar). Rocna is also available in stainless steel.
Many magazines including SAIL have tested and ranked Rocna as the top overall anchor. I use a Rocna 25kg (55 lb) anchor on my own Sea Ray 450 (51'5") Sedan Bridge. Rocna's are available in sizes for small boats all the way up to 150 foot yachts. You can visit www.rocna.com for more information on the Rocna anchor. In North America Rocna is distributed by Canada Metal (Pacific) Limited and local dealers are listed on the Rocna website at www.rocna.com.
This is a nifty low cost product that can save you from losing a jammed anchor. For those boating on Georgian Bay you know there's lots of rock and deadheads to snag an anchor. One way is to attach aĂ‚Â floating buoy to the anchor at the plow end so that if it gets stuck you can go out in your dingy and tug it out the same way it went in. Problem is, every time you fasten and throw the buoy out you need to adjust it for water depth or it's floating all over the anchorage.
So along comesĂ‚Â Anchor Saver. Anchor Saver is essentially a fuse attached to the end of your anchor shank that will break in the event that the anchor is jammed and it won't break free. Once the fuse link breaks the rest of the linkage is stainless steel cabled to the plow end of the anchor and you can pull it out theĂ‚Â way it came in. The fuse has sufficient strength to maintain its integrity when normally pulling the anchor out but if it really gets stuck and it won't give the fuse link,Ă‚Â as designed, will break. The whole set up is stainless steel. If the link breaks with a stuck anchor the S/S cable is ample to pull it out from the plow end. TheseĂ‚Â Anchor Savers are available in various sizes for boats from 14' to 42'. They are located in Florida and offer online sales.
Night Navigator 3 combines three cameras in the same unit - High Resolution Thermal Imaging, Intensified Night Vision, High Definition Day Camera. The cameras are in a gyro stabilized mount with 360 degree continuous rotation. Because the images are stabilized there is no jumpiness to the view. Offshore the Thermal Imaging is often used at night to avoid whales by detection of water spouts. Want one for your boat? They are only a mere $135,000.
These are shorts with waterproof pockets so you can put your wallet in your pocket and go for a swim. The other great thing is they are comfortable and can be worn as everyday shorts or swim trunks.
This is a throw-able floatation device that looks like a yellow football. When you open the safety clip and throw the football (life saver) when it hits the water it inflates to a horseshoe shaped buoyancy device. Life Saver was developed by the Swedish Sea Rescue Society. The whole package weighs only 28 ounces.
Luma-Vu Underwater Camera
This camera mounts just like underwater lights - through the hull of a boat. The hole size is 2 1/4 inches and the camera view is 92 degrees in all directions. The camera can be removed without breaking the waterproof seal. The signal can be hooked up to your electronics that support video inputs including television. Imagine eating dinner while watching what's going on underneath the boat. Sure would be useful in Georgian Bay so you can keep an eye on the rocks down there. Cost is about $1200.
Henri-Lloyds Waterproof Bag
A totally waterproof gym style bag with a vacuum release valve that allows you to squeeze the air out of the bag to save space. Bag holds 55 litres/space and is made of Thermoplastic Polyurethane. Available at West Marine stores for under $90.