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Immersion Suit and Other Things We Like

There are a number of situations you never want to be in at sea. The most severe involve survival suits, those reddish-orange neoprene numbers colloquially referred to as gumby suits. The premise of the suit is simple: a one-piece, insulated, full-body floatation device that keeps you alive until rescuers find you, no matter the temperature (well, almost).

Salty Spirits

It might be a tad hyperbolic to claim that the bar is the heart of a yacht. Then again, maybe not. It is, after all, where friends congregate, guests linger, and countless hours of fun are enjoyed. Which is why whether you've got just one in the main saloon or four spread throughout your megayacht, a well-stocked, well-appointed bar is an absolute essential. To make sure yours qualifies, here are

Ship Shape

Littlest Trainer
It may look like a basic sport watch, but the new Garmin Forerunner 405 is anything but. This GPS-enabled tool (approximately $300) doesn't just tell time, it tracks your training, too. When you're ready to head to shore and get your run on, the Forerunner'll keep track of

Stocking Stuffers

Fish Time

It's no Rolex, but the Humminbird SmartCast RF35 Fish Finder Watch is still pretty cool. This $79, waterproof wrist unit uses the company's "Advanced Remote Sonar Sensor wireless technology" (with a wireless range of 75 feet) to transmit real-time readings to its 11⁄4'' LCD display. The watch's sensor covers

In the Drink

Drum Protection

Swimming does a body good. It strengthens your muscles, works your lungs, and can be quite the tonic for your mind, too. There are, however, a couple of organs it can take a real toll on--your ears. Well, fear not infection phobes: Auricular protection does exist thanks to the Swimmer’s Ear Eliminator ($99.95),

Sunny Days

Protective Polo

The new Fast-Dri Pique Polo from Henri Lloyd may look like your standard issue T-shirt, but that traditional styling belies some decidedly high-tech features. The company's signature Fast-Dri fabric is lightweight, durable, and replete with a so-called Durable

Better Baggage

The Dry Bag

A dry bag is a dry bag is a dry bag, right? Not so, my friends. The new eVAC Dry Sack from Sea to Summit features a slight tweak on a fairly common design. You see, this dry bag's got the company's signature air-permeable eVENT fabric on its bottom, which means when you roll the sack down, air is pushed out of its base, allowing for easy compression

Fancy Feet

Classic Luxury

This may look like an old-school Sperry style, but don't be fooled: The new Gold Cup Toggle ($160) has been updated with some serious bling: 18K-gold-plated eyelets that won't corrode in the face of spray and salt. Now just because it's got real sartorial panache doesn't mean the Gold Cup skimps when it comes to performance. It has a

Space Savers

Seat Stowage

As a boat owner, you understand that space onboard is at a real premium, particularly if you're readying your vessel for a long trip. The Seat Organizer from Boatmates ($27.99) is a great space-saving tool: It lets you keep your boat organized without eating up extra room. This heavy-mesh pocket organizer with tab

Shady Business

Sticky Shades

Costa Del Mar Blackfins

Sun, wind, and chop are no match for Blackfins ($139 to $239), the newest offering from the sunglass gurus at Costa Del Mar. Hydrolite, the company's signature rubberized compound, lines the frames and bridge of this aggressive-looking shade. According to Costa,

Kid Control

Game On

When your kids aren't splashing around in the water, they're probably lazing in front of the TV or listening to their iPods. Fed up with the tube-and-tunes routine? Encourage them to—gasp!—play a board game. Deep Sea-Opoly ($24.95) is Monopoly with a twist: Players buy bodies of water, catch big fish, and duke

Ten Tools You Forgot to Pack

A requisite for any boater worth his salt is a tool kit that's stocked with all the old standbys—wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, things like that. But while conventional wisdom has it that quality trumps quantity, there's no harm in rounding out your collection of traditional tools with some more unusual offerings. Here, in no particular order, are ten gadgets you may not have thought to

Weight-less Anchoring

After many seasons of raising his 35-pound CQR anchor with an old-fashioned manual windlass, the owner of this Downeast cruiser got tired of cranking. So he decided to equip her with a state-of-the art electric windlass, one that would not only drop and weigh his anchor effortlessly, but do so via a wireless remote control.

Windlasses are matched not to

Fast 'n Foldable

Best Bike

GoBike Motion ELX 8

The GoBike Motion ELX 8 ($999.99) is a feat of modern engineering—a lightweight, aluminum-frame bicycle that folds up in 25 seconds flat. If that doesn't impress you, consider this: The ELX 8's telescopic seat

Floating Alone

Better to be prepared for the worst than to have to face the consequences.

Most of us visit our PFDs only once, when we take them out of their plastic wrappers and stow them somewhere out of the way. We don't think we'll ever need them, unless the U.S. Coast Guard pulls alongside for an inspection. And in most cases that's

Galley Gourmand

Portable Pots

Magma Teflon cookware

This nine-piece, stainless steel-and-Teflon cookware set from Magma reminds me of those Russian nesting dolls I loved growing up, only these stackables are practical. The set features three saucepans (plus a lid that fits all three), one stock pot, two removable

Personal Touch

Custom Covers

As a former prep-schooler from Connecticut, I've got a thing for monograms. On totes, sweaters, sheets—I love them all. That's why I was excited to see these embroidered fender covers from Cape Hatteras Custom Marine. While they certainly speak to my inner

A Moveable Feast

Cool Tunes

Why buy just any old cooler when you can choose a musical one? The Rolling Cooler/Audio System from Igloo ($149.95) is well insulated, holds as many as 58 12-ounce cans, and even plays tunes from your MP3 player. Don't own an iPod? Not to worry, this cooler also

Staying Dry


Gill: Atlantic OS4

I like two foul-weather jackets from Gill: the Atlantic OS4 (seen here), which has every bell and whistle, and the Key West. The former is made of a breathable waterproof fabric and is designed for freedom of movement under

Sole Performers

Step out in style in these sole performers.


Birkenstocks aren’t just for hippies anymore; now they’re for boaters, too. In fact, senior editor Capt. Bill Pike, who has foot problems (which he attributes to years of jumping onto docks

Anchors Aweigh

The test team launched, attempted to set, and retrieved each anchor at least four times over two days.

I’ve heard of boaters who choose an anchor based upon how good it looks in the roller. But the right anchor should do more than just look sharp. In fact, it should do more than secure your beloved boat to the bottom. When things

A Touch of Class

You wouldn’t dare furnish your megayacht with anything less than the best. Real leather seating in the dinette? Absolutely. Imported carpeting in the saloon? You bet. Eight-hundred-thread-count sheets on the beds? Of course! SunTwist, which specializes in hand-made blinds and shades, ensures your windows will receive the same treatment. You can choose from

Playing it Safe

Got a prized Rolex? Or maybe some treasured, heirloom jewels? Protect the valuables onboard with the same attention to detail you lavish on the exterior of your yacht by purchasing a safe from Doettling Luxury Safes. It specializes in renewing and restoring antique safes and also handcrafts humidors, cocktail bars, and gun cabinets. The safe shown here has an

Docking Magic

Want to dock your megayacht yourself? Better yet, want to look like a seasoned pro while doing so? Then add the Beier IVCS2000 to your electronics package, and you are sure to be the envy of all at the marina. The IVCS2000 is an integrated vessel-control system that lets you manage engines, rudders, and thrusters automatically with the push of a button or with a

Sterns Children's PFD

If you want something a little less heavy-duty, consider one of these two models, which I found to also be completely comfortable. The $75 Manual Belt Pack PFD, part of West Marine's "Comfort Series" line, fits around your waist like a fanny pack; you barely notice it's there. Inflated, it provides 22.5 pounds of buoyancy, which makes it a U.S. Coast

West Marine Belt Pack PFD

If you want something a little less heavy-duty, consider one of these two models, which I found to also be completely comfortable. The $75 Manual Belt Pack PFD, part of West Marine's "Comfort Series" line, fits around your waist like a fanny pack; you barely notice it's there. Inflated, it provides 22.5 pounds of buoyancy, which makes it a U.S. Coast

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