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Gear Up For A New Season

Boats are coming out of winter hibernation for commissioning. Now is the time to shop for new equipment and gadgets.

Say Cheese!

Kodak WPZ2 digital camera

Having a camera on the boat (even the one in your smartphone) is great for capturing memories, but there's always the risk it will get splashed or dunked. The Kodak WPZ2 digital camera is waterproof to 50 feet and boasts a 16-megapixel sensor, four times optical zoom, and autofocus. With the exception of the shutter release, all the controls are situated on the back of the body. If you can operate the camera on your smartphone, you can operate this camera. The camera has a built-in Li-ion battery and 8 megabytes of storage, which will quickly fill up, so you'll need to buy a standard micro SD/micro SDHC memory card that is at least Class 4 and no larger than 32GB. $149.99 | kodakpixpro.com

Hold On

Magnetic wristband

There's a certain sinking feeling you get watching a nut, bolt, or screw drop into the abyss of the bilge. Do you hold bolts and screws between your teeth when working on a project? If so, consider a magnetic wristband. The GRC-61 is constructed from ballistic polyester so it's as tough as, well, nails. The wristband is adjustable thanks to the hook-and-loop closure, and soft material on the inside protects against chafing. Inside are 15 strong magnets, able to hold small tools and fasteners with ease. $8.99 | amazon.com

Loud And Clear

GX1400 VHF radio

If you're looking for a no-frills VHF radio at a value price, check out the GX1400 from Standard Horizon. A large 31-by-55 mm dot-matrix display shows the selected channel and other vital information. In addition to all standard channels, there's NOAA weather channels with weather alert to help keep you from being caught out in inclement weather. There's a separate built-in receiver for DSC calls and an auto-polling feature to keep tabs on up to six other vessels simultaneously. NOTE: The radio does not include integrated GPS, so you'll need to connect to a chartplotter or MFD for the MMSI function to operate. $179.99 | standardhorizon.com

Pilot jacket

Warm And Toasty

In the spring, the early mornings and late evenings can be chilly and damp. A good jacket will keep you both warm and dry. The men's Pilot Jacket from Gill could be just the ticket. Made from a combination of polyester and nylon, it has two layers of waterproof material but remains both breathable and lightweight. The jacket also features fully adjustable cuffs, a full-length zipper, waterproof seams, and a rollaway hood. It comes in three colors (red, blue, and graphite) and a full range of sizes. $179 | gillmarine.com

Shake It Up

Nautically-themed salt and pepper mill

Dress up your table with these nautically inspired salt and pepper mills: fishing reels or sailboat winches. Made in the U.S., they're machined from marine-grade materials with stainless parts, so they'll stand up to life ashore or afloat. Each weighs 1 pound and measures 3.5 inches across the base and 4.5 inches tall. Buy individually or as a set complete with a teak base. From $140 each | offshoreclassics.com

Cabana red towel combo with pouch

Cool And Dry

These towels may feel a bit odd at first, but once you get used to them, you'll wonder how you ever managed with regular towels. The manufacturer claims the microfiber material dries up to 10 times faster than conventional terry cloth. Another plus is that the towels are sand-free, meaning any sand landing on the surface passes right through — perfect for a day on the beach. The towel fits in a small travel pouch, but when spread out, it's an extra-large 6 feet, 6 inches by 3 feet. $25 | dockandbay.com

Topics

lifestyle gear

Author

Mark Corke

Associate Editor, BoatUS Magazine

A marine surveyor, and holder of RYA Yachtmaster Ocean certification, BoatUS Magazine Associate Editor Mark Corke handles the magazine’s very popular Practical Boater section, keeping it full of easy-to-follow how-to articles. Mark has built five boats himself — power and sail – has been an experienced editor at other top boating magazines, worked for the BBC, has written four DIY books, skippered two round-the-world yachts, and holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest there-and-back crossing of the English Channel, in a kayak! He and his wife have a Grand Banks 32.