Category: Good Gear (non electronic)

11

Cordless tools make marine electronics installs easier and faster

I’ve just completed an entire electronics refit on a 60-foot boat without ever plugging in a power tool. Besides never having to find a working AC outlet, and never tripping over a power cord, I think that my families of drills, drivers, saws, grinders, vacuums, and heat gun with interchangeable lithium batteries made the job faster and neater. There are many decent cordless tool families to choose from these days, but some detail on my experience may help you make the right choice.

8

SV Delos, much more than fun in the Pacific

“Another interesting bluewater cruising boat smartly visiting Camden in October,” I thought to myself, “but what’s up with that giant VSAT dome?” Yes, I failed to recognize one of the world’s most famous cruising boats until I ran into an excited passenger schooner captain/friend waiting for the Delos crew to come ashore. But many more boaters than I envision Delos perpetually adventuring to exotic Pacific locales; for example, check this 2014 Episode #22 video that’s drawn 4.3 million YouTube views…

18

My love letter to a Milwaukee M18 Wet/Dry vacuum cleaner

I’m a tool guy; little gives me more satisfaction than finding one that makes my work easier. You may have noticed a red, toolbox-like thing with a hose sticking out of it in several of my recent project photos. It’s a Milwaukee M18 cordless wet/dry vacuum that has become an integral part of nearly all my projects, making them easier and tidier.

11

Marine toilet paper, Scott Rapid- Dissolving a winner

I’m clearly not the only person who can barely focus on anything beyond the endless onslaught of bad news — 2020! — and thus I relish the opportunity to deliver even a tiny slice of the good stuff: There really is a marine toilet paper that’s reasonably nice to use while also dissolving so well that it may never clog your boat’s head. And the fact that I used almost 16 rolls of a tissue that fails on both counts suggests…

21

A dry bilge for $50

Water in the bilge, even small quantities, is a recipe for bad smells and generally unpleasant results. Every boat I’ve owned accumulated water somewhere that a traditional bilge pump couldn’t entirely remove. I’ve long been aware of commercial kits designed to completely dry bilges, but the problem never got high enough on my list to spend the money. Recently I came across an article on how to build your own dry bilge system and decided to give it a try. The results are impressive and the cost low.

3

Propspeed Foulfree transducer protection, first impressions

When Ben Stein wrote about the new Foulfree transducer “paint” last November, I wondered how much coverage came out of that little $35 tube. I can answer that question now. In the scene above, I’m about to apply Foulfree to six transducers — the two loose and four already fixed to Gizmo’s bottom — and to my amazement, I only used about a third of the tube. So if the stuff really…

19

Quality crimp connections, the right tool makes all the difference

I think we’ve all heard the wisdom about the right tool for the job and how much easier it can make it to complete your task. I have something of a tool habit, so I frequently use this wisdom as an excuse to go buy another tool. But, sometimes the cost of the “right” tool is high enough to cause me to try some intermediate steps first

5

MIBS2020: Seakeeper 1 small boat gyro stabilization

The Seakeeper 1 is the newest and smallest member of Seakeeper’s lineup and though a smaller model of a product isn’t always exciting I think the Seakeeper 1 deserves attention. With a $15,000 list price and a target boat size of 23-29 feet the Seakeeper 1 aims at a high volume segment of the boating market and brings the price down to about 10-20 percent of the cost of the boat.

14

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…