Category: Good Gear (non electronic)

13

Bilge pump switches, tough boats, and safe 2020 wishes to all

“NO ELECTRONICS” as a product feature? Is that where we’re at as the decades turn? But I also deduced evidence that these new-to-me USS Ultra bilge pump switches actually are ultra reliable. Despite premium pricing, the excellent marine chandlery in Rockland keeps plenty of Ultras in stock, and so they’re probably installed on some of the many nearby commercial vessels. Which especially includes the growing fleet of tough, handsome, and well-equipped offshore lobster boats that I’d like to tell you about…

1

Foulfree from Propspeed, clean transducers without biocide

Boats that spend a lot of time in the water typically have bottom paint applied to reduce fouling growth. Transducers are in the same water as the rest of the boat, but most bottom paint can’t be used on transducers. Unfortunately, the paints compatible with transducers aren’t as effective. Propspeed, the New Zealand based company that makes coatings for props, shafts, and underwater lights, has introduced Foulfree for transducers. Foulfree is a foul-release product, not a biocide and it’s the first product certified by Airmar for use on their transducers.

12

Snagging lobster pots & a DIY hookah solution

With winter setting in fast, it’s nice to remember summer, even a cruising hassle like snarling lobster trap gear around Gizmo’s running gear. During my 48 years in Maine waters, the catch has increased from 20 to 120 million pounds and the pot buoy systems have gotten significantly tougher; so snagging one has become much more of a hazard. But the grin above is not just because I’d finally cut away this particular mess; I think I’ve found a reliable snarl solution that will even work out in the remote Maine islands that lobsters, lobstermen, and cruisers all appreciate…

2

2019 IBEX Innovation Award Product Winners Announced

The 2019 IBEX Innovation Awards, managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI), were presented at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) during the annual Industry Breakfast on Tuesday, October 1st. Eight BWI judges with various technical backgrounds in boating selected the new product winners from over 100 entries submitted by marine trade companies – the largest program to date…

0

Made in Maine: kayak rack, winter boat frame & more

I’ve gone to the Maine Boat & Home Show in Rockland for all 17 years (so far) and never failed to discover many things of interest. I had no idea, for instance, that a floating kayak and canoe rack even existed though it was designed and built right in my home town. And this entry includes other unique products made by very small companies in Maine that you too might want to know about…

20

The continuing search for a great boat ebike, Sondors Fold edition

My interest in electric assist bicycles has not waned a bit since I wrote about my boat ebike research early last year. In fact, I now own five, including the two Sondors folding models above. I’ve also learned a lot more about what to look for. I will share the possible downsides but be forewarned that I’ve become an ebike evangelist…

6

Weems & Plath PRO 7×50 binoculars, customized for monocular vision

Several years ago I noticed that Weems & Plath had introduced a line of binoculars that seemed to offer good specifications at reasonable costs. But it took me until last fall’s Annapolis Show discount to take the plunge, and then it took some customization work to get where I hoped to. It’s an interesting story, I think, but to tell it I’ll have to reveal two more personal idiosyncracies…