New Gear – January 2006

Click here for the 2006 FKP Gear Awards from the February issue

Dog Saver

Hoisting 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 scoop transom. Paws Aboard Inc; 877-987-7297;

Two Point Five Horses

The latest in Suzuki’s line of four-stroke outboards looks like a welcome addition to the ranks of small dinghy motors. The DF 2.5 weighs in at 30 pounds and is claimed to have 25 percent more power than competing motors. It offers the usual four-stroke advantages
of quiet running, frugal gas consumption, and cleaner exhaust fumes than two-strokes. It comes only in a short-shaft version and has a forward-neutral shifter. Suzuki Marine; 714-996-7040;

Flexible Epoxy

Pettit’s FLEXpoxy is a marine-grade epoxy resin that retains a degree of elasticity once it cures, rather than becoming brittle like most other epoxies. Pettit says this property makes it ideal for sealing hull-to-keel joints, as well as for a number of other applications both above and below the waterline on fiberglass, wood, aluminum, or steel boats. It can be drilled, filed, sanded, and painted and has a 12-month shelf life once opened. Reportedly, it won’t drip, sag, or run. It comes in $19.95 and $59.95 kits. Pettit Marine Paint; 800-221-4466;

Switched On

A boat’s engine-cranking and domestic batteries are on separate circuits so that the starting battery isn’t accidentally drained, but you need to be able to combine the power from both batteries to help start a reluctant engine. Usually this means installing either three single switches or a four-position (off, 1, 2, both) selector switch; either way, it’s all too easy to leave the switch in the wrong position. The Dual Circuit Plus battery switch from Blue Sea Systems removes that possibility. You just switch it to “on” and the engine will charge both batteries while loads will be taken only from the house battery. Switch over to “combine” if you need both batteries to crank the engine. Available in 200- and 300-ampere ratings, $34.53/$41.93. Blue Sea Systems; 360-738-8230;

Chock Full

Having seen a sharp-edged bow chock nearly saw through a mooring line during a fall northeaster, I’ve begun to take an interest in these unglamorous—but important—items of deck hardware. Schaefer’s new line of stainless chocks have deep, wide openings with gently rounded jaws that will be easy on dock lines and are big enough to handle chafe gear. They also have hidden fasteners for a neat appearance and better waterproofing. Schaefer Marine; 508-995-9511;

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