For The Boat

For the Boat

Flexiteek

My general feeling is that fake decking is the nautical equivalent of vinyl siding: a low-cost substitute that weathers well but will never be the aesthetic equivalent of the real thing.

That said, I must admit that Flexiteek is better than real teak in a few key ways. For one, it’s lighter. And, according to the manufacturer, it never needs to be oiled

Upgrade Season

Summer is upon us, which means it’s finally time to get your boat ready to hit the water. (Hey, we can’t all live in Florida.) And while a full-scale refit might not be in the cards for you this year, there’s still plenty of new equipment available that you can add to improve your vessel. Whether it’s something as involved as replacing your old genset with a new one or as simple as adding a bilge

Custom Expressions

There’s no denying that boaters are a passionate lot. You take great pride in your own-the-water lifestyle and there are few things you love as much as your vessel. Well good news, boating fans. There are heaps of personalized accessories out there, from monogrammed koozies to customized chart art, that’ll help you show off that intense nautical ardor and pride of ownership. Yours is a great

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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