Tom’s Tips on Finding Good Marine Products

1. Avoid products that are packaged to look like a similar well known tried and true product but that are not made by the original manufacturer.

2. Is it stainless? We generally know that you can check with a magnet to see if a product is stainless. But low grade stainless (which may be acceptable for some uses) will normally have considerably more magnetism than high grade stainless which should have very little.

3. Read the fine print on packaging. A few examples of what to look for are energy consumption, life expectation and light output of light bulbs, heat tolerances in tape, UV protective qualities in outboard portable gas tanks, and cure time of sealants and glues.

4. If you’re buying a flashlight or spot light, look for the icons and values from the new ANSI/NEMA FL 1 flashlight standard.  See “Now You See It”, column 144 in “Past Articles” in this section of the BoatUS site. ( )

5. Understand the issues. For example, there are many inverters on the shelf. But most are not true sine wave inverters. These cost less, but the AC electricity they produce won't operate all AC equipment or it won't operate it as well. As an example, it may not operate a printer/scanner. True sine wave inverters should operate anything within their power supply parameters. You may not need a true sine wave inverter, but at least be aware of the options.

6. Examine closely any welds. Sometimes, on anchors, for example, components are welded together. This may be fine, but examine the weld to see if it looks like a good job, that there are no voids and no signs of rust coming from within the weld.

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Boating and water sports involve risk. Any comments herein should be followed at your own risk. You assume all responsibility for risk or injury to yourself or others. Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive and also hold authors harmless from any and all claims which may arise from or be related to that use.

Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale

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