Innovation is the word that comes to mind when checking out all the new gear at last winter’s boat shows. From a life jacket that has both inflation and integral flotation to an emergency VHF antenna that can be stowed anywhere, these new items can make life aboard more fun, comfortable and safe.
Any well-equipped offshore sailor knows that they should have an emergency VHF antenna aboard. The trouble is the space needed to stow them. Solving this problem is the new inflatable emergency VHF antenna from Shakespeare. The 3dB antenna inflates quickly to 5 feet using a CO2 canister, yet can easily stow away when not needed.
This useful PFD has both integrated floatation panels and an inflation chamber that can quickly inflate if you need more buoyancy. Unlike most inflatable PFDs, no repacking is required — simply squeeze the air out and attach a new canister. The Khimera is slim, form-fitting and comfortable, and is suitable for a wide range of activities.
It’s a fact of modern life aboard: we rely on electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets for anything from navigation to entertainment, and those devices need to stay charged. If your devices have wireless charging capabilities, check out the ROKK chargers. They are designed specifically for the marine market and carry an IPX6 waterproof rating. The chargers can be installed under a surface, flush with a surface or on a bezel.
What’s better than showering off with hot water aboard after an ocean swim? Nothing. Now with the new 5.8-gallon water heater from Albin Pump Marine, even if your boat is on the smaller side, you can still enjoy the comfort of hot showers. The square water heater features a nontoxic ceramic interior coating and will keep water hot for over 10 hours once disconnected from shore power.
If your boat is small or your onboard power needs are modest (say, weekends aboard), check out this portable lithium battery from Dometic. It can be charged via a 12-volt socket, a solar panel or AC shore power. The PLB40 provides 40 amp-hours of power — perfect for an electric cooler — and has 12-volt and USB outlets. An LCD screen displays capacity, charging status and output.
Heading out for a coastal cruise but hate missing your favorite show or sports team? The WAVU W1 is an omnidirectional HDTV antenna with a range of about 35 miles. It weighs only 2.1 pounds, has a diameter of 14.9 inches and is 7.25 inches high. The WAVU W1 comes with cables, mounting hardware and power supply.
Nothing says spring like rolling on a fresh coat of bottom paint. Pettit Paint has released their HRT line of antifouling paints, which utilizes a high-density biocide and film modifiers to provide strong protection while minimizing buildup. The line includes multiseason Premium, copper-free Eco, water-based Neptune and seasonal Unepoxy.