Gear and Reviews

The Giving Season Page 3

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$ Rechargeable Shine. Few things are finer than sitting in the cockpit on a starry night, nursing a glass of wine and sharing conversation. But sometimes it’s nice to <I>see<P> the other person (or the dishes that you’re serving and enjoying) as you soak up the ambiance. Black Diamond’s Apollo lamp features a 3-Watt LED lightsource that’s powered by either AAA batteries or a rechargeable battery that gives off a maximum burn time of 60 hours of luminescence per charge. The Apollo also features a dimming switch to allow you to create the perfect mood; a red, yellow, or green LED light that’s located on the unit’s base indicates remaining battery strength. Best yet, the Apollo comes equipped with three legs to stand on, and an easy hanging point. $49.95. www.bdel.com

$$ Forget Me Not. Here’s a stocking stuffer that packs a LOT of remembrance, in the form of an omni-directional 360-degree high-intensity strobe light. While nobody likes to think about MOB situations, ACR Electronics’s manually activated Waterbug SOLAS Firefly 3 strobe ranks as some of the best visual MOB protection one can have, aiding both the MOB and those back aboard. The unit features an easy-to-use sliding power switch, which can be operated in cold temps with gloves, and is visible for at least one mile (more if the viewer is above the horizon). The unit comes with integral slots for attaching straps, is waterproof to 33 feet, and, provided the batteries are fresh, will operate for at least 8 hours at 30.2 degrees Fahrenheit degrees. $89.99. www.acrelectronics.com

$$ Dry Hikers. One of the great things about sailing is that you never quite know where your travels will take you. If you’re a cruiser, there are usually trails to be hiked in far-flung destinations, and if you’re a racer you’ve undoubtedly found yourself ashore in not-so-ideal weather conditions, waiting to see what the RC will do. Sure, you could wear your foul-weather gear, but chances are good that muddy hiking trails or cluttered boulevards won’t do wonders for its waterproofness. Marmot’s PreCip jacket and pants are the answer. Built out of lightweight, waterproof, breathable nylon, the PreCip kit is designed to fit over fleece to give you the widest number of layering options. This minimalist gear packs down super small, making it ideal “just-in-case” kit. $99 for the jacket; $70 for the pants. www.marmot.com

$$ Mystery Science. According to manufacturer Weems and Plath, there’s a certain amount of mystery surrounding the “how-it-works” question when considering their Storm Glass. This unique, handsome bronze instrument comes filled with a proprietary solution and crystals, which rise up in the glass tube during certain weather events and settle back down during other conditions. While Weems and Plath mention that the “how” could be controlled by electromagnetic changes caused by weather and sun storms, there’s nothing new about this instrument, which was carried by the HMS Beagle (an earlier version, of course) during Admiral Fitzroy’s famous 1750 voyage. $160. www.weems-plath.com

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