by Sail Staff, Posted August 9, 2010After years of manufacturing orange liferafts, Viking Life-Saving Equipment is now making its rafts fluorescent yellow. Viking made the switch after extensive testing showed that yellow shows up better against the grays and blues of the ocean, as well as in fog. Viking has incorporated the color into its upgraded RescYou line of rafts, which also features a blue inner lining that is said to have
by Sail Staff, Posted November 4, 2005The Shackle Dog—so called because its inventor thought it resembled the family pooch—is a simple piece of anodized aluminum. You can’t open bottles with it or use it as a screwdriver. You can only open or close shackles. But it does that simple job very well, and, at $4.95, there’s no reason to be without one. Shackle Dog; 203-312-0071;
by Sail Staff, Posted December 9, 2005Here’s a sailing oxymoron for you—comfortable cockpit. It’s a rare boat that doesn’t need some kind of cushioning in the cockpit if you’re sailing for more than an hour or two, and even if your rear end is pampered with cushions, the shallow, poorly angled coamings on many boats don’t do your spine much good. Made by the cockpit-cushion manufacturer Bottomsiders, Coamingsiders fit over wood or
by Sail Staff, Posted December 9, 2005Whoever said that it’s better to give than to receive obviously hadn’t set eyes on these beautiful Myerchin knives. You might buy one as a gift, but you may well end up keeping it for yourself. The $98.95 BW300 and $102.95 BW300P (with serrated blade) have a sandalwood handle and double-lock mechanism that prevents either the stainless blade or the 3-inch spike from closing on your fingers.
by Sail Staff, Posted January 9, 2006Hoisting a wet and wriggling dog onto a boat is no joke. This nifty canine boat ladder from Paws Aboard not only lets Fido get himself aboard after a cooling swim, it gives him a chance to shake himself dry before he reaches the cockpit. Measuring 16 inches by 64 inches, the $219 ladder folds away for storage. It looks like it will work best on boats with low freeboard or when deployed from a
by Sail Staff, Posted March 9, 2006There’s a recurring theme with modern sailboats (and many not-so-modern ones)—a lack of stowage around the cockpit for those small items that are part and parcel of the sailing life: sunglasses, paperbacks, sunscreen, candy bars, winch handles, odd lengths of string, cruising guides, and so on. The Dutch-made Blue Performance line of sailboat accessories addresses this problem and many others.
by Sail Staff, Posted March 9, 2006Walker Bay’s rigid polypropylene dinghies are a common sight around the country’s waterways and coastlines, where they’re used as sailboat tenders and fun boats. Now the company hopes its attractive new inflatables will meet with the same success. Its Genesis line of RIBs have light but strong plastic hulls and either PVC or Hypalon removable tubes; some of them have folding transoms for easier
by Sail Staff, Posted April 9, 2006Sea Breathe’s new 2300-F floating dive compressor will supply air to two divers. Powered by a 12-volt sealed battery, the “electric snorkel” will let you dive down to 25 feet for up to 60 minutes. This looks like a good alternative to carrying scuba tanks on board. Not only would it lend a new dimension to snorkeling, but should you need to clean the bottom or untangle a fouled propeller, you’d
by Sail Staff, Posted July 9, 2006For many years I’ve carted my sailing gear around in a Gill cargo bag. Now Gill’s luggage line has been updated and expanded. A prime example is this extra-large bag with wheels. The $139.99 Rolling Jumbo Bag is made from PU-coated polyester, and among its many useful features are a waterproof compartment for wet clothing and separate pockets for footwear. How nice to be able to keep your stinky