Gear | Bring On The Rain


Boat Waterproof Products

By Ann Dermody
Published: April/May 2012

We've all been there. That last wobbly step from the dock to your boat, legs splayed, arms laden with all the accoutrements for a day on the boat, when a small wake causes you to stagger, and … kerplunk, you hear that fateful splash. Inevitably the item you've just dropped in the drink is the most expensive/useful/irreplaceable one – that new GPS, the iPad you were looking forward to reading your charts on, your favorite sunglasses. But all may not be lost. We've compiled a list of useful items that were never destined to become interesting playgrounds for fish. They'll float, flicker, or just plain refuse to get water-damaged.

Photo of the SealShield Washable KeyboardPhoto of SealShield Washable Mouse

1. SealShield Washable Keyboard, Mouse, And Remote Control

A computer keyboard, mouse, or TV remote control, are not things you normally expect to survive a good dunking, but SealShield, a company that specializes in washable antimicrobial equipment, are inadvertently helping boaters with their dishwasher-safe products. If your mouse or remote can withstand several spins through the deep-clean cycle of your dishwasher (yes, we tried) it's not going to be disturbed by hitting the sludge and grunge under your boat. Even if your keyboard never falls in, it's deeply satisfying to get the toast crumbs and coffee stains out from between the G and H keys. Mice, from $34.99; Keyboards from $34.99; TV remote control, $29.99;

2. Stanley 5-Watt LED Waterproof Spotlight

Photo of the Stanley 5-Watt LED Waterproof Spotlight

When something uses the tag line "Dip It, Drop It, Dunk It" it's all but inviting a flying kick off a dock — which I happily provided — in testing out this sturdy flashlight. True to form it still worked, even after five minutes floating with the light pointing up in a murky lake. It's fully submersible up to six feet (useful if you need to check your hull in the water) and the light also features an energy-efficient LED bulb and up to 10 hours of runtime. At several pounds, wish I hadn't been wearing flip flops when I kicked it, though.
MSRP $59.99; found at most large home improvement stores

3. G-Form: Extreme iPad Sleeve

Photo of the G-Form: Extreme iPad Sleeve

With iPad sales hovering somewhere around 30 million to date, it's fair to assume that for many boaters it's their current favorite piece of technology. So you probably don't want to drop it from a height, or get it wet. Well, while that's still not the ideal, if you buckle your baby into a G-Form Extreme iPad Sleeve, you can do either – or both, if you're especially clumsy. The sleeve looks vaguely like a Spiderman muscle suit, is water resistant, and has been proven to protect an iPad from a 12-pound bowling ball and a 500-foot airplane drop. Even if it hits the deck from the top of your megayacht, or it slipped when you were using it to read the manual while repairing your mast, chances are it'll still boot up.

Photo of the ICOM M24 (Float n' Flash) Marine VHF

4. ICOM M24 (Float n' Flash) Marine VHF

It's been five years since Icom introduced the first floating marine handheld radio, and now they're adding the bells and whistles. Well, not literally, but they have added a flashing light which means dropping this VHF overboard in the dark could be a lot less expensive, given that it's easier to retrieve. The M24 is smaller and lighter than the original M34, and the bright red light will flash when dropped in the water, even if the radio is turned off. $179;

5. Rite In The Rain Journals And Notebooks

Photo of Rite In The Rain Journals And Notebooks

For the meticulous among you, there's nothing so disheartening as seeing all your carefully documented engine hours, gas prices, and lyrical waxing about where you've been, disappear from the soggy pages as your logbook dissolves when it goes overboard. That doesn't have to be the case if you start out with a waterproof journal to begin with. Rite in the Rain is a company specializing in all sorts of notebooks, journals, and sketch pads, in varying sizes that will happily take a dipping, without falling to pieces.
$5 to $20, depending on size;

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