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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mustang Survival PFD

Let's start with the automatic-inflating PFD. The one from Mustang Survival, approved for commercial use, is top-notch. We tested it in the Hudson River and can confirm that it is comfortable, inflates almost instantly upon submersion, and provides heavy-duty buoyancy. If you were unconscious, it would have no trouble keeping your head above water; in fact we

Wondrous Wenger: Aquagraph 1,000 Meter Diver

Looking for a high-performance Swiss watch that's stylish and rugged but don't want to dip into the kids' college fund to pay for it? Then one of these from the maker of the famed Swiss Army Knife is a good bet. The $375 Aquagraph 1,000 Meter Diver offers many of the same features as some more expensive watches: It's waterproof to 3,300 feet, features a

Tantalizing TAG

If you're in the market for a high-performance marine watch, you simply cannot ignore the Aquaracer Calibre S from the Swiss company TAG Heuer. Designed with yacht racing in mind, it has a face inspired by sports car tachometers. TAG says the Calibre S is the first analog watch to feature two semicircular subdials with bidirectional hands. The Calibre S is the

Rockin' Rolex

Rolex, a sponsor of several offshore sailboat races and regattas and arguably la crme de la crme of high-end watches, has recently released three sporty but elegant beauties. The 31-jewel Yacht-Master (shown here in 18-karat yellow gold) is the priciest of the lot at $20,700 and features a special time-lapse bezel and Rolex's signature Oysterlock bracelet; the

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