Gear and Reviews

New Gear – April 2008

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Vision Quest Looking for one pair of go-to shades that will serve you equally well on the water, at the club, and on the ski slopes? Kaenon’s new Kabin model features simple-yet-elegant Italian styling and is made of injection-molded TR-90 plastic for durability and minimal weight. The Kabin’s ultra-grippy nose pads will hold the glasses securely on your face, and the proprietary SR-91 lenses deliver fantastic optical quality. $199 Kaenon Polarized, 949-574-7918, www.kaenon.com


Freshness Lock Keeping food and veggies fresh while cruising can be difficult, especially if the item’s packaging doesn’t reseal. Ziplock’s new Quickseals allow you to put a zip-slider closing system on any opened bag or box of food. They fasten easily to the original packaging via adhesive strips, and the zipper-closure system helps to keep the contents fresh and prevent spills. Talk about perfect kit for any cruising or offshore sailor! Freezer and microwave safe. $3.99 Neese Products, LLC., 800-705-6255, www.quickseals.com


Eternal Flame? Here’s one for the abandon-ship bag, or just for novelty. The Sunlighter is a simple device that allows the user to turn sunlight into fire. Simply clip the Sunlighter together, put whatever needs to be lit on fire—paper, a match, or a candle—in the holder, and point the unit’s concave mirror at the sun. This concentrates the sun’s heat enough to light up the object. The Sunlighter can double as a signaling mirror. From $14.95 Sunlighter, Inc., 877-449-0991, www.sunlighter.com

Illuminated Need to shed light on your engine without tapping your house batteries? Black & Decker’s cordless Bright Bar and Mini Bright Bar can provide focused light, area lighting, or 360-degree lighting to suit the space that needs illuminating. The units’ long-life LED bulbs are reported to provide up to 10,000 hours of bulb life, and an adjustable swivel hanging hook allows precise positioning. The unit has an easy-to-grip handle, a sturdy base, and is constructed with break-resistant materials. From $19.99 Black & Decker, 800-544-6986, www.blackanddecker.com


GEAR TEST: Musto Ocean Boots
By Peter Nielsen


About 10 years ago I acquired my first pair of Gore-Tex-lined sailing boots and the difference in the quality of my sailing life (and that of my shipmates) was immediately apparent. No more cold, clammy, rubber-encased feet; they still didn’t smell of roses, and the boots weren’t flawless, but they were a huge improvement nonetheless. Last year, a sailing trip to Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn promised extreme conditions that would call for extreme footwear, so I brought along a pair of Musto HPX Ocean boots.

These full-height boots have a waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex lining, leather outers on the foot part, and a tough woven nylon outer covering on the upperworks. Uniquely among seaboots, they also have built-in gaiters – stretchy waterproof nylon sleeves into which your pants can be tucked, thereby minimizing the chance of a shot of icy water up your leg. I was particularly taken with the soft, grippy sole, which is molded so that you still retain some traction even when your foot is at a slight angle to the deck.

I wore these boots nearly every day for two weeks in conditions that were always cool, mostly damp, and occasionally extremely wet. My feet remained dry and fragrant (well, they didn’t smell), and I found the boots very comfortable. Usually a size 10 and a half, I’d ordered size 12 boots to make room for thick socks and so that I could kick them off easier if happened to fall overboard. It was the right move: the extra toe-room contributed greatly to comfort and allowed me to layer socks.

The boots took in their stride repeated dunkings to calf-height while debarking from dinghies in rocky coves, and prolonged immersion while trekking across marshy ground. Highly recommended, if expensive at around $350-$400 depending on where you look. www.musto.com

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