|Kenyon Appliance Glass-Topped Cook Stove|
I first bumped into the SilKen Glass-Topped Cook top from Kenyon Custom in the galley aboard the Hunter 50CC at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, last fall. The cool thing is that it’s an electric-powered cooker that creates heat via induction: The cook top produces a powerful electromagnetic field that permeates magnetic cookware (you need special pots) to create heat. Rather than by means of the surface heat that conventional cook tops use, it’s the heat generated in the pot (in the atoms of the pot, actually) by Kenyon’s cook top that cooks the food or boils the water. As a result, there’s never a chance of burning yourself on the cook top because it doesn’t get hot. The safety benefits of something like this in a boat’s galley are obvious; according to the manufacturer, even when a pan is tilted 30 degrees, it will stay put, provided that it’s placed on the company’s SilKEN mat. The company says that small ridges around the edges of the mat’s underside hold the mat in place, while ridges around the mat’s upper side help to contain spills. Word travels fast. This cook-top system recently was named the Most Innovative Product at the 2009 Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam.
$1,000, (860) 664-4906, www.kenyonappliances.com
Courtesy of the Manufacturer| |Aqualink P.L.B.|
Nothing says “I love you” more than a Valentine that could save a life. And nothing could be more critical in a life-or-death crew-overboard situation than wearing a personal locator beacon. The Aqualink, the newest-generation P.L.B. equipped with a 406-megahertz GPS from ACR Electronics, alerts worldwide rescue services when it’s activated, and it’s small enough to fit in a Christmas stocking. It was recently approved by the F.C.C., and it features a bright strobe light to aid rescuers as well as multi-use GPS acquisition functions. It’s one of the smallest, lightest 406 GPS P.L.B.s you can get. It’s activated with a touch of a button, and it floats.
$500, (800) 432-0227, www.acrelectronics.com
Courtesy of the Manufacturer| |Boat Ramps app for the iPhone|
Now there’s an iPhone application that can easily direct you to over 10,000 boat ramps in the United States. When you enter a zip code or select a city, the Boat Ramps app provides you with a list of launch facilities in the area. It’ll even help with directions. Seems logical enough. The question is, when is a sailor going to circumnavigate using an iPhone as the sole navigational tool? App developer Derek Trauger reports that Boat Ramps has already been downloaded over 900 times. It requires at least iPhone OS 3.0 to operate.
$1, (386) 801-4364,
Courtesy of the Manufacturer| |Gill Crew Jacket|
A Jacket for Almost All Seasons
For those of us who don’t need expedition-weight foul-weather gear that’s designed for the Roaring 40s, the new Crew Jacket from Gill North America may be just the ticket. It’s made from a soft, smooth, breathable 2-Dot laminate waterproof fabric that reportedly improves breathability in comparison with traditional coated materials. It also has a fleece lining, fleece-lined pockets that can be zipped up, and a mid-height fleece-lined collar that’s perfect for keeping warm on cooler (but not arctic-cold) fall and spring days. All the seams are fully taped, so the jacket will protect you from the wind, water, and spray, yet the coat’s still light enough to be rolled up and stowed away in a small kit bag much more easily than heavier foulies. It’s stylish enough to wear to work or even out on the town, and it’s available in
lots of colors.
$115, (800) 822-6504, www.gillna.com
Courtesy of the Manufacturer| |TruPlug from Forespar|
Put a Plug in It
Some ideas-such as the TruPlug, developed by Artelier Studio LLC and distributed by Forespar-are just so simple that it’s a wonder nobody came up with them sooner. According to the folks at Forespar, the TruPlug is a “soft, cone-shaped plug designed to conform to the unpredictable shapes of most hull breaches.” Why didn’t I think of that? And aren’t all hull breeches necessarily unpredictable in shape? Anyway, unlike old-fashioned wooden plugs, the TruPlug’s soft cone shape allows it to be compressed by hand or cut to fit. Unlike hard plugs, these cone-shaped plugs can also be forced into hard-to-reach locations, yet they still work on most leaky seacocks, valves, through-hull fittings, and hoses. They’ve been tested in simulated situations, and several U.S. West Coast safety vessels have already used them to stop leaks in real-life situations.
$20, (414) 688-9979, www.forespar.com
Courtesy of the Manufacturer| |Ventus boat shoes from Sperry|
21st-Century Boat Shoes
Sperry still makes and sells lots of Top-Siders, the quintessential boat mocs that’ve been not slipping on decks for generations, but the company is most definitely not living in the past. As you see with the debut of its new Ventus boat shoes, these aren’t your father’s deck shoes. They’re made of a hydrophobic mesh and lining for excellent breathability-the model name hints at lots of vents. The midsole is designed for cushiony comfort. The removable foot bed has an anti-microbial treatment to reduce odor, and Sperry’s Hydro-Grip Rubber Outsole is nonmarking and designed for outstanding traction. If you want a highly engineered boat shoe that’s a bit more cutting edge than the ol’ standbys, try these on for size.
$110 to $120, (800) 247-6575, www.sperrytopsider.com