Gear and Reviews

New Gear - August 2006

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Wish for Fish
Nothing tastes as good as a fish you’ve caught yourself. Trouble is, fishing from a sailboat can be a hit-or-miss affair—in my case, usually miss. Lure maker Darrell Primrose says that’s because sailboats typically don’t go fast enough to make big lures work properly. He reckons his $59 Sailboaters Combo Rig, which includes some handy hints on techniques along with a “Teaser Bird” lure intended to be irresistible to fish at slow speed, will fill your freezer in no time. We’re talking tuna, wahoo, and other big critters here. Note the lack of rod and reel—that’s because you don’t need them, according to Darrell. Ballyhood Lures, 714-545-0196,

Compact binos
Some of the crews on the Volvo Ocean Race boats were seen brandishing Steiner’s new 7@30 Navigator Pro compass binoculars during the U.S. stopovers. These lightweight (18-ounce) waterproof binos have a field of view of 300 feet at 100 yards. The light-gathering ability of the lenses is claimed to be similar to that of the bigger, heavier 7@50 binoculars usually recommended for marine use. $399 Pioneer Research, 800-257-7742,

Chart-topping DVD
Maptech has released a DVD containing 2,300 NOAA nautical charts and 730 river charts, along with GPS navigation software. The software lets you create waypoints and routes on a computer, and if you hook your GPS up to an onboard laptop, your boat’s position will be displayed in real time. It also lets you print out route plans and chart segments. Charts are arranged by region and can be updated gratis by going to Sure, you could download all these charts for free, but at only $50 this DVD will save you an awful lot of time. Maptech, 888-839-5551,

Kayak to go
Here’s another worthy addition to the long list of Cool Stuff to Have On Your Boat. Part inflatable, part folding boat, the Yakka 120 kayak can carry 265 pounds of prime sailing beef. From its packed-down dimensions of 59 inches by 30 inches, the Yakka extends to a 9-foot, 5-inch kayak. It won’t replace a proper tender, but it’s ideal for early-morning stealth runs around the harbor. $599. BIC Sport North America, 508-291-2770,

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