Browsing: Gear

Cruising Life
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How To Care for Your Seacocks: Ignore Them at Your Peril

Nothing is more vital to the integrity of your boat than its seacocks. Have a problem with one of them, and you literally could be sunk. Depending on the size and type of your boat, you could have a few, or quite a few, down in your bilge, but you’ll certainly have them for your engine(s), genset, head(s) and other equipment. It’s also a good idea to have a mallet and tapered plugs, sized to fit, ready to go in case one of them totally fails. Here’s a good story from Sea about how to care for seacocks and how…

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Best Water Toys of the Year – On, In and Under the Water

Here’s a best-of-the-year list that’s fun, and that can give you some ideas about what to put under the tree in a few weeks or to add to your boat for the next cruising system. It’s a list of the best water toys of the year from New Atlas, and it covers some “toys” that we’ve already written about (the Aston-Martin/Triton personal submarine, for example) and many that are brand new: Take a look at the Scubalec wearable jet drive that you strap to your wrist, pictured above left, to give some extra boost to your next underwater experience. The…

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Ride on Water with a New Hydrofoil Bike from New Zealand

This is a hoot. Not exactly a cruising boat, but maybe something to give you a little exercise – or even take you ashore – when you anchor out. The 44-pound Manta5 is a hydrofoil water bike that lets you ride on the water. The two carbon fiber hydrofoils create lift (think of the America’s Cup boats in Bermuda), while a 400-watt motor provides enough power to reach a top speed of 12-mph. The battery lasts for about an hour, or you can just keep pedaling manually forever. The whole thing folds up to fit in a car trunk, or…

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Worried About Docking? Protect Your Boat Like Royalty

Worried about hitting the dock when you’re coming back to your slip? Well, who isn’t. But here’s something new to protect your boat, in addition to all the fenders that you’ve already hung over the side. It’s called ParmaFender, and it’s actually an air-filled series of chambers that act as fenders along the side of the dock, so you won’t have to worry about scratching your hull the next time you come home. ParmaFender also offers another benefit, as you can see in the picture above. King Harald and Queen Sonya of Norway don’t have to worry about stepping over…

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Kidde Recalls 40 Million Fire Extinguishers. Here’s What To Do

Kidde is recalling more than 40 million fire extinguishers with plastic handles, including some that were sold 44 years ago. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says the extinguishers can become clogged and can even fail to operate in an emergency. So far, there has been one death reported due to a Kidde extinguisher that failed in a car fire, plus 16 injuries, 91 reports of property damage and 391 reports of the extinguishers either not working at all or not working properly. The recall affects 134 models made from as far back as 1973 and as recently as this past…

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Neiman Marcus Offers Special Christmas Gifts for Cruising Boat Owners. Well…

In the mail today, we just got the new Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, all 273 high-gloss, four-color pages of it. Don’t ask why we got this homage to high-end spending; I don’t know either. But, leafing through to see how the much-more-affluent-than-I-am are living, I did find some items that would be useful to cruising boat enthusiasts. On page 73, for example, under the “For Dad” heading, how could any boating dad resist the Funboy Yacht Pool Float (pictured above)? The catalog says it is made with “heavy-duty vinyl with day bed for two, cooler for drink/storage and cup holders,”…

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New, Fun 45-mph Seakart: “The UItimate Sea Toy”

Just launched at the Monaco Yacht Show, the Seakart 335, a combination of a RIB, a jetski and a yacht tender, is billed as “the ultimate sea toy.” It may be, but whatever it is, it looks like a lot of fun. Powered by a 110-hp or a 180-hp gas four-stroke Yamaha jet engine, the Seakart can hit a top speed of 45 mph, and hold up to five people – two in the bow and three across the stern. It has fiberglass parts and inflatable Hypalon tubes, so it is appropriate as a yacht tender as well as an…

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Now! Flush Your Head from Your Smartphone. Hmmmm

Here’s something you might not have thought of before. Now, thanks to Raritan, you can flush your head using your smartphone or tablet. And the new app making all this possible is up for an innovation award at the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) in Tampa later this month. Raritan’s new Bluetooth Flush Control manages a toilet from up to 50 feet away using a wireless panel or free Android or Apple app. For builders and refitters, the problem is that traditional toilet control panels are often wired through parts of the boat with limited space; they’re hard to…

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New Aires Inflatable Kayaks by Walker Bay: Light, Sturdy, Fun

The new Airis Inflatable Kayaks by Walker Bay just look like fun. The fact that they’re light weight, fit into a backpack and are easy to use on the water are all just icing on the cake. The kayaks seem like the ultimate in portability. The three models – Play, Sport and Tandem – fold up and fit into their own backpacks. Then you can stow them in a lazarette or lash them on deck until you’re ready to use them again. They only take a few minutes to inflate, and they have a patented AirWeb high-pressure construction to make…

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BBQ Grills on Board: Which One’s Best for You?

A lot of us think that it doesn’t get much better, at the end of the day, than to fire up the grill on board and barbecue a steak, some fresh fish, burgers, almost anything. Somehow, almost everything tastes better when it comes off a grill. But, if you don’t have one yet, what kind of grill should you buy for your boat? Charcoal? Electric? Gas/Propane? They come in various sizes, with various costs, ranging from the $150 level, for a small stainless steel grill that you clamp onto a handrail or slide into a rod holder, to several thousands…

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