New Gear – September 2007

Edited by David Schmidt

Swing Time

Nothing beats lounging in a hammock with a good book after a sail. Cool Net Hammocks recently introduced its namesake product, which is easily set up via a three-point connection system. The hammock can be attached either forward of the mast (attaching to the forestay, the mast, and a shroud) or behind it (using a shroud, the mast, and the backstay), depending on your boat’s layout. The hammocks are well built, easy to rig, can be stowed in a compact bundle, and can provide plenty of relaxing downtime. $129.95. Cool Net Hammocks, 904-241-1464,

Soft Touch

How many times have you found yourself sailing in a spitting rain that’s not wet enough to warrant an offshore jacket but is cold enough to require some protection? The Atlantis Grand Prix Softshell Jacket is made of stretchy, ripstop polyester with a weatherproofing membrane and a brushed polyester microfleece backing for comfort; it works well as both an outer layer for misty, light rain and an insulating layer under heavier-duty gear. Other features include waterproof zippers, generous pockets, and an athletic cut. Available in men’s and women’s sizes. $200. Atlantis Weather Gear, 877-333-7245,

Sliced and Diced

Besides nationality, what do the Swiss America’s Cup syndicate Alinghi and knife manufacturer Wenger have in common? Answer: A partnership that has produced a well-thought-out, sailing-specific knife. The Alinghi Knife features the best pliers I’ve ever seen on a folding knife, a locking blade, a line gauge, various screwdrivers, and a spike—all designed to help you MacGyver yourself out of tight spots. In addition, the knife is treated to ensure that it won’t rust, even when exposed to salt water. Two models are available. $135. Wenger,

Pocket Processor

Having a back-up wind instrument is a good idea for big-boat sailing; for dinghy racing, having a wind meter can make a huge difference, especially in challenging, shifty conditions. Speedtech Instruments’s new WindMate wind/weather meters can take a number of wind and weather readings (model depending), including windspeed, temperature, wind chill, wind direction, and cross-wind and head/tail wind, plus 48-hour history, weather reports, and barometric pressure. All units have a tripod fitting for more accurate readings and a durable case. Four models; from $60. Speedtech Instruments, 703-430-8055,

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