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Category: Good Gear (non electronic)

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Eco bottom paint testing, back to copper and Irgarol

I did hire a diver to clean Gizmo’s bottom last September, but he said he found very little hard growth. So it seems fair to say that the water-based copper-free Pettit Hydrocoat Eco did well in that department…But I’m sorry to report that even the extra Zinc Omadine biocide did not prevent the brown slime from growing fairly thick at Gizmo’s waterline just a month or so after launch…

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Gizmo 2016, Pettit Hydrocoat Eco round 2 and Gadget redo

Gizmo_2016_Pettit_HydroCoat_Eco_2_cPanbo.jpg“You’re pretty late, aren’t you? I heard that a lot recently! There are many reasons for Gizmo’s late launch last week — travel, getting old, boatyard miscommunications, etc. — but perhaps the most interesting one is what it took to properly retest Pettit Hydrocoat Eco bottom paint. Modern anti-fouling paint can be more of a technology than I realized and I’ll also have to admit to some classic boat owner denial. Plus, I’d like to show off some improvements to the good tender Gadget

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TBF: Spinlock, Humphree, Actisense, Victron, GC Rigging, and Minn Kota’s must see

Spinlock_Lume-on_DAME_winner_cPanbo.jpgIt’s easy to understand and appreciate Spinlock’s new Lume-On lifejacket illumination lights. The $20 pair should stick easily to the underside of any inflatable bladder (as long as you can get access) and then use the bladder’s translucence to nicely diffuse their flashing LEDs if and when they are water activated. It seems a small cost in money, weight, and hassle for an added aid to person overboard recovery, and thus Lume-On won a 2015 DAME Award in the safety category. It also shared the overall DAME award (the Grand DAME?)…

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Teak Isle, Boat Outfitters, and Qi wireless phone charging

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Yes, you can have wireless phone and tablet charging built into your boat right now. What’s more, the Qi wireless charging standard that’s powering the demo above is picking up support at a rapid rate, and the company building it into boat cabinetry is top drawer (so to speak). In fact, you should know about Teak Isle and its DIY retail outlet Boat Outfitters even if you don’t give a hoot about induction charging…

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Gizmo’s awning AC and Muvman sit-stand stool

Gizmo_awning_AC_cPanbo.jpgToday it’s wet and gray here on a mooring float in Northeast Harbor, but we’re enjoying a distinctly non-electronic improvement to Gizmo’s gear list. It’s a new awning that stretches from the cabin brow to the bow pulpit, letting us keep the hatches open despite the rain bursts. Yesterday, when it was sunny and fairly hot, the awning shaded the forward cabin top and the main cabin’s large forward windows. If it gets really hot, I’m pretty sure that the combination of the awning plus the see-through “Florida curtains” over the other big windows and maybe a small fan will make the boat as comfortable as the air conditioning unit. Actually more so at anchor or moored, since we won’t have to run the generator (that’s no longer aboard anyway)…

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Gizmo’s Ocean Armor topsides & Pettit Hydrocoat Eco bottom, the testing begins

Gizmo_5-2014_Ocean_Armor_topsides_cPanbo.jpgCheck out the evening gleam on Gizmo’s flared bow. I think it’s impressive for a gelcoat surface that’s seen a lot of weather over 14 years and, better yet, the pros who applied the “nano polymer wax replacement” were also impressed. There’s more detail on the new coating called Ocean Armor Pro Maxi All Gloss further along in this entry, and also my experience with an initial application of Pettit HydroCoat Eco bottom paint, which seems like another winner so far…

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Shaft Razor long test, with a look at the competition

Shaft_Razor_line_cutter_installed_on_Gizmo_cPanbo.jpgThere are still patches of icey snow left from a memorable March in Maine, but I enjoyed a recent afternoon wandering around the boatyard checking out shaft cutters. Pictured above is the Shaft Razor that’s been protecting Gizmo from line wraps since the spring of 2010. Like my stainless rudder it picked up a lot of barnacles last fall, but that double set of super-sharp serrated teeth were still quite effective. The Shaft Razor is also a good value that has required zero maintenance, and while I saw some interesting competition around the yard, I wouldn’t trade…

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Long tests: Interlux Pacifica Plus and Torqeedo Travel 1003

long_test_2_Interlux_Pacifica_Plus_cPanbo.jpgThat’s a darn impressive photo, I think. When Gizmo was hauled on November 22, she hadn’t been out the water since May, 2012, and most of that copper-free Interlux Pacifica Plus bottom paint had already endured a seven-month test in 2011, as I wrote about then. So after more than three seasons, most of the running surfaces are still slick (and probably still self cleaning when the boat occaisionally goes fast).  I did use the remains of the original two gallons to re-paint the belly band before the 2012 launch, Gizmo lay in cleansing Carolina fresh water from November that year thru May of this year, and I scrubbed the belly band from the tender last July. But notice how almost no barnacles or mussels — the critters that can really slow a boat down — adhered to the Pacifica Plus…

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Interlux Pacifica Plus, the seven month test

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Antifouling bottom paint is a tricky subject, especially now that we’re rightfully paying more attention to the health of the waters it works in and the health of the people who apply it. So I was happy to experiment with copper-free Interlux Pacifica Plus this season, and the results were better than this photo looks. In fact, I may well use it again next year, but I would like to understand more about what chemistry actually constitutes a safe and effective bottom paint…