Gear

Channel Surfing

by Sail Staff, Posted February 6, 2009
When I started sailing, 50 years ago, electronic gear was a rarity. In fact, a knotmeter was the only electronic device aboard the first boat I sailed on. Obviously, things have evolved a lot since then. An onboard TV was once the sole province of the wealthy, but now they’re becoming increasingly common, even on fairly small boats. Some cruisers hate the idea, while others can’t do without
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Easy Options

by Sail Staff, Posted February 6, 2009
Here’s good news for foredeck crews who have to deal with hectic sail changes and less-than-ideal sheeting angles. Harken’s new high-load snatch blocks feature an innovative soft-strop attachment system that makes life easy. The blocks currently come in four sizes (safe working loads of 5,070 pounds, 10,805 pounds, 18,080, and 26,460 pounds), and should work well in such static-line applications
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Lobster Pot Payback

by Sail Staff, Posted February 6, 2009
Wherever you sail, you know all too well how easy it is to get something tangled around some appendage of your boat. The Hooknife, from Sailor’s Solutions, has multiple effective cutting angles and makes it easy to free your keel, rudder, or prop from abandoned fishing tackle, plastic bags, discarded cordage, or (heaven forbid) your own sheet or guy, without having to go swimming. This tool will
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Sheltered Existence

by Sail Staff, Posted February 6, 2009
Looking for a dry bag that can also serve as a grocery carrier or an adventure pack? DeMar Designs’s new Cortez backpack is well worth your attention. The backpack features open-mesh construction (with some nylon paneling), a generous vertical zipper opening that allows top-to-bottom access, accessory pockets, compression straps, an internal pocket for a hydration unit (not supplied), a removable
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2009 Pittman Innovation Awards

by Sail Staff, Posted February 3, 2009
As sailors we pit ourselves against the unknown, working to negotiate safe passages through ever-changing oceans and lakes and rivers in weather conditions for which the term “variable” should be considered a euphemism. While each passage or race is unique, one aspect of sailing is universal—namely, that innovation and new technology combine to make our sport easier, safer, and just plain more
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