Gear and Reviews

New Gear - January 2007

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Edited by David Schmidt

Automatic Airbags
For years, inflatable PFDs have provided sailors with a comfortable way to stay safe without wearing bulky gear. But there are more than a few stories of unwanted deployments. And how would you pull the jacket’s back-up manual “inflate” tab if you were knocked unconscious while getting tossed in the drink? Mustang Survival’s new Auto Hydrostatic Inflatable Personal Flotation Device automatically inflates once the unit is submerged in more than 4 inches of water, but won’t deploy prematurely if it is subjected to rain, waves, or humidity. Available with or without a built-in harness. From $249.99. Mustang Survival, 800-526-0532, www.mustangsurvival.com

Weight Watchers
Looking for a lightweight, silky-smooth block that won’t shy away from a serious workout? Schaefer’s new M-Series blocks come in three sizes (66mm, 82mm, and 100mm) with five attachment options (singles, webbing/lashing singles, stand-up spring, halyard lead, and foot blocks). The blocks feature Torlon rollers and Delrin ball bearings in the sheave. This combination, coupled with a computer-machined aluminum body, results in a featherweight block that can handle high loads with low-friction performance. From $130. Schaefer Marine, Inc. 508-995-9511, www.schaefermarine.com

Knotically Challenged
Knot tying isn’t easy, especially if you have small hands. With Nite Ize’s new Figure 9 rope tightener you can easily secure a dinghy to a car-top rack. Simply put the boat on your car, set up the closed-loop end of the Figure 9 (instructions are engraved on the aluminum device), pull tight, and drop the cord’s moving end into the Figure 9’s teeth. Two sizes accommodate rope diameters between 2 and 9 millimeters; it can be purchased with or without cord. From $1.99. Nite Ize Inc., 800-678-6483, www.niteize.com

Trailer Upgrade 2.0
Carpet tacked to your trailer’s wood boat braces takes forever to dry if you sail on the salty, and its looks deteriorate after a season or two. Snaptraxx’s new modular trailer bunk system easily snaps together and encases 2-by-6 lumber without any hardware. SnapTraxx makes two different polymer versions—one allows your boat to slip easily off the trailer once it’s immersed in water, the other grips the hull and holds it in place. $14.95 per foot. Snaptraxx, 585-943-4212, www.snapptraxx.com

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