New Gear – October 2006

Light amusement
Part of the fun of sailing at night is learning about the light combinations displayed by other vessels. “Two whites one above the other, plus a green and a red, that means—aaarggh!” The novice crew aboard will probably feel much more relaxed with a LIGHTrule in the cockpit. This $24.99 quick-reference tool shows 60 different light configurations as you’ll see them from the cockpit and includes a magnifying glass. Weems & Plath,

Get a Grip
Tired of searching for the right wrench? The Bionic Wrench, a wrench/pliers hybrid, comes in three sizes (6-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch) that collectively cover 38 metric and SAE wrench sizes, from 1/4 to 11/4 inches. Just squeeze it, and its six steel teeth grip a bolt head evenly on all sides. The Bionic Grip can also fit around objects that are impossible to put a standard wrench on. From $28.95.
LoggerHead Tools, 888- 564-4374,

Locked and (Spring) Loaded
Camcleats can be awkward to release under load, which is worrying when there’s a squall line bearing down on you. Spinlock claims its new PXR camcleat is the “easiest cleat to release.”

It features a three-stage adjustable spring; you preset lighter settings for lines that are constantly adjusted and use stronger settings for seldom-tuned lines like halyards. The PXR comes in two sizes; Spinlock also makes mounts and swivels for the PXR that enable it to be used in various deck, mast, and cockpit applications. From $41.50. Oceanair Marine Ltd, 877-774-6562,

LED There Be Light
Nite Ize’s new LED bulb replaces original AA-battery Mini Mag-Lite bulbs and comes in four colors, including night-vision-preserving red; the white LED bulb is also available in an upgrade kit ($9.99) that creates push-button control. Nite Ize reports that its bulb increases battery life to 20 hours (up from 5 hours for the incandescent bulb); using LEDs with C- and D-cell Mag-Lites produces even bigger battery-performance gains. From $8.99. Nite Ize, Inc., 800-678-6483,

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