Sailing Gear

Having the right kind of gear aboard a sailboat is essential, not only to its performance, but the safety of the crew. With this in mind, SAIL not only reviews a wide variety of equipment, including foul weather gear, life jackets, sails, rope, electronics, paints and spars, but recognizes the very best of the best every year through its Pittman Innovation Awards.

SAILMON

Electronics and Navigation

Gear: SAILMON Model VII Instrument System

SAILMON Model VII instrument system For racers looking to beef up their onboard systems, the Model VII from SAILMON offers an ultra-bright sunlight readable display with an integrated high-performance racing computer that offers grand-prix level software, 2D plots and fully configurable layouts. The 7in unit can be mast-mounted or installed at the helm, on a Read More

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Electronics and Navigation

Gear: Larson Electronics 18-Watt LED Spotlight

Larson Electronics 18-Watt LED Spotlight For those looking to add some much needed light to their boat, the 18-watt handheld LED spotlight from Larson Electronics is a good choice. The spotlight’s housing is constructed from precision-machined aluminum that is powder-coated to hold up to the marine environment. The spotlight pumps out 1,530 lumens and operates on 120 Read More

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Safety

Emergency Signaling Devices

Today there are more devices than ever before that allow mariners to call for help when in distress, but how do they work, and which is the right one for you? On March 30, 2014, the coordinates 179W were transmitted from Andrew Taylor’s AIS MOB device after he went overboard during the 2013-2014 Clipper Round Read More

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Maintenance and DIY

Boat Cleaner’s Tool Kit

Back before I got into the magazine business I cleaned boats for a living, roaming the docks of Newport, Rhode Island, with various and sundry brushes, chamois, rags, polishes, waxes, soaps and the like. Over the many hours (and dollars) spent in the aisles of the local West Marine I found a few products that Read More

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Pittman Innovation Awards

Vetus Rimdrive Bow Thruster

The propeller and the outer ring connecting the tips of the blades also serve as the motor’s rotor, and the stationary windings are in a tunnel module that slides into a boat’s structural tunnel tube. As a result, there is no bulky motor to install inside the boat, only a compact interface module. Read More

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The SOS Distress Light from Weems & Plath is currently the only electronic flare approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, though there may be more on the way soon

Electronics and Navigation

The Rise of Electronic Flares and Distress Signals

For as long as people have been taking to the sea, they’ve needed a way to signal for help, guide rescuers to them in dire situations and terrible conditions. Since the mid-1800s up until recently, the go-to device for this has been the pyrotechnic flare. And with good reason, they are very effective, they burn Read More

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Electronics and Navigation

Gear: Garmin gWind Transducer

Garmin gWind Transducer The gWind transducer uses a three-blade propeller to provide accurate true wind speed readings in light air, while its twin-fin design offers a stable true wind angle reading for when you’re trying to squeeze out a few extra knots when heading around the marks. The included GND 10 black box connects the Read More

Powered winches fine-tune sail shape without straining muscles

Sail, Rope and Rigging

Powered Winches Take the Strain Out of Sailing

Like thousands of other sailors, I scoffed at powered winches until a rock-climbing injury reduced my right shoulder to an arthritic mess. So, while I love to spin handles, I’ve realized that powered winches are my friends. And I’m not alone. Most medium-to-large cruising boats I saw at last year’s United States Sailboat Show at Annapolis either came fitted with some (or all) powered winches, or Read More

2016

TackingMaster

  One of the toughest parts of sailboat racing, especially for newbies, is keeping track of windshifts and visualizing how they affect your strategy and tactics—issues that can be especially critical on today’s demanding windward-leeward race tracks. Enter the TackingMaster, an easy-to-use, mechanical instrument (no batteries required!) that not only helps you determine the favored Read More

2016

Seldén S-series Winch

  Seldén’s S-series winch simplifies tacking and makes handling a loaded sheet easier and safer by allowing you to tail the line to your heart’s content with it already running through the self-tailing mechanism and the winch handle in its socket—no more having to pop in the handle or thread the loaded line while you’re Read More

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