New Gear – July 2006

Fear No Fire

The one thing you shouldn’t do with a fire in an enclosed space—like an engine bay on a boat—is to add more air. Smell something burning, open the engine compartment, and whoosh, say goodbye to your eyebrows, and maybe to your boat. That’s why I like this simple install-it-yourself Fire Port ($8.74). If you ever see flames through the transparent window, just puncture it with the nozzle of a fire extinguisher and blast away. MarineEast, 732-477-7484,

Compact Cooling

This new air conditioner from Dometic won’t cool your entire boat down—unless it’s a rather small boat—but it’s ideal for a sleeping cabin or a small saloon. The self-contained 3,500-Btu unit measures 91/4″ @ 15″ @ 8″ and will fit in a locker or under a V-berth. It’s powered from the boat’s house batteries via an integral inverter that also lets you connect other 115-volt appliances to it. It draws 30 amps of DC power and costs $1,699. Dometic Corporation, 800-321-9886,

My Friend Flicker

Sometimes you see an idea that’s so elegant in its simplicity that all you can say is, “Damn, why didn’t I think of that?” Seldn’s $155 Backstay Flicker is just such an item. It’s a fiberglass rod that bolts to the masthead crane on a fractionally rigged boat with a heavily roached main—the kind that always hangs up on the backstay. At its outer end is a small block through which the backstay is fed; as the boat tacks or gybes, the tensioned rod lifts the backstay to allow the mainsail to slip past without catching on the stay. Seldn Mast, Inc. 843-760-6278,

Pate Protector

The follically challenged sailor has a pretty hard time of it. Out on the water the sun’s rays always feel twice as powerful as they do on shore, and they show no mercy to a balding cranium. Ordinary sunscreens tend to melt off and run into your eyes, but according to the makers of Bald Guyz, their SPF 30 sunscreen will stay in place atop your crown instead of making your eyes sting. They also make a shampoo and a moisturizing gel; prices go from $4.99 upward. Bald Guyz LLC,

Roll it on Board

For 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 deck shoes apart from your clean gear. Gill North America, 770-945-0564,

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