Life Aboard, Simplified

From easier boarding to better downwind sailing, this month’s roundup takes a look at onboard problem-solving gear.

August 10, 2015
Whether you have them aboard for exercise, recreation or transportation, ­kayaks, stand-up ­paddleboards, windsurfers and surfboards are on many cruising boats. The problem has always been where to stow them. Magma has just introduced a rack system that can secure onto stanchions or pulpits, adjust to a variety of water toys, and swing out of the way when not in use. $200;
If you depend on a wobbly step stool to climb from the dock to your boat and have ever thought that there must be a better way, then you’ll appreciate SailStep. The lightweight step hooks right onto the perforated aluminum toerail that is common on many production boats. When not in use, simply fold it up and stow it just about anywhere. $299;
A fouled anchor can ruin your day, and perhaps cost you your ground tackle. Designed to help you easily retrieve your anchor, the Anchor Rescue is a two-part system — one part stays on the anchor at all times, and the other is only sent down to the anchor when it becomes fouled. Check out the video on the website to see how it works. $229 to $349;
For serious downwind sailing, a pole is a must. Designed to maximize off-the-breeze efficiency for racers or cruisers, the new, lightweight carbon-fiber Velocity whisker poles from Forespar can be quickly deployed, adjusted and retracted as needed with the pull of a line. The poles can be adjusted to fit the clew position of almost any jib, genoa or asymmetrical sail. $2,185 to $2,895; unknown
Reserving a mooring in your favorite port just got a little bit easier. Using the new Dockwa app, you can now do it with the touch of a finger. You can enter your credit card information and the specs of your boat in advance, then search for available slips and moorings in a desired location based on the size of your boat and the available amenities. The app is new and still expanding, so some regions are better represented than others. Namely, you’ll find plenty of options in the Northeast and none (as of yet) on the West Coast. Dockwa is available free of charge for iPhone and android through the App Store, Google Play or
Primula cold brew coffee maker
The Primula features a tall, thin, borosilicate glass carafe, a large stainless steel mesh coffee filter, a lid and a “flavor mixer” that is basically an attached stirrer. The carafe is tall, about 12 inches, and sized to fit in a typical refrigerator door, so it will likely need to sit as low as possible in your boat’s icebox or fridge. Making the brew is simple.They recommend a typical drip grind, but all I had was a fine espresso grind. You slowly pour cool water over the grounds and enough to cover (about 40 ounces or so), then you put on the lid (which screws on and seems to seal well), and let it sit in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours.The concentrate lasts about two weeks in the fridge (or not, if you drink it like I do!). $34.99;
A dead boat battery can change your plans in a hurry. To solve that problem, Weego has introduced three lithium-ion powered portable jump starters. The smallest, the Js6 Standard will jump-start gas engines and power up laptops and other electronic devices. The two larger chargers, the JS12 Heavy Duty and JS18 Professional can handle larger gas engines and diesels up to 3.2 liters and 4.8 liters respectfully. All the Weegos include built-in LED lights and the two larger models have strobes for emergencies. The jump starters come with battery cables, USB cords and eight assorted laptop connectors. The units recharge in an hour and a half, and with a power loss of just 2 percent a month, can be stored charged for up to a year. They carry an 18-month warranty. $100-$190;

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