Marine Gear Must Haves

By Mark Corke

Treat your boat to a little bling! Check out these handy products that make onboard life even more enjoyable.

Shurhold Dual Action Polisher

They say hard work never hurt anyone, but I beg to disagree. After polishing my dad's boat many years ago, my arms ached for a week. Shortly afterward, I invested in a dual action polisher, and I've never looked back.

A proper dual action polisher slashes the work time and does a far superior job than what can be achieved by human power alone. Shurhold's Dual Action Polisher is just the ticket to keep your topsides gleaming. An ergonomic D-style handle, comfortable trigger grip, and a weight of just 6 pounds allow the user to operate the machine for long periods without fatigue. The variable speed control can be set anywhere from a languid 2,500–6,500 opm; the higher end is useful for grinding, the slower speeds for polishing and buffing. A 6-inch touch-tape backing pad accepts a variety of compounding and polish pads, available separately. $149.99 |

Yamaha F2.5-hp Outboard

Big engines may grab all the attention, but smaller offerings deserve some love, too. Available since March, the Yamaha F2.5, which gets its name from the amount of horsepower it produces, is an ideal companion for a dinghy, small sailboat, or as a kicker engine for a larger craft. Certified for sale in all 50 states, the engine meets the toughest emissions controls. An automatic decompression feature makes for easier pull starts. The engine tips the scales at only 37 pounds, and the long-shaft version weighs just a little more. Carry handles on the front and back add extra mojo to its portability. Yamaha tells us that the engine has a new oil leak-prevention system, so unlike previous models, the new F2.5 can be laid down on either side without leaking oil, a comfort if you regularly transport the motor in your trunk. $895 |

Costa T-Shirts

Costa reports that a staggering 20 billion plastic bottles end up in the ocean each year. Want to help save the planet and look stylish at the same time? Check out these T-shirts made from a 50/50 blend of organic cotton and polyester obtained from recycled plastic. Available in a range of snappy colors, each shirt comes with hand-drawn artwork screen-printed on the front and back. Each drawing depicts a natural and beautiful part of the world's oceans that the manufacturer is striving to protect. Show your support for the ocean we all love, and look cool at the same time! $34 |

Simrad HH36 VHF

Simrad HH36 Handheld VHF Radio

For the smaller boat, or as a backup to the main unit, having a portable VHF on board is a great idea. The HH36 from Simrad is a fully functioning portable radio that's waterproof, so it's ideal for center-consoles and open boats that tend to get wet. It floats, too, so it won't sink to the bottom if you drop it in the drink. It's DSC compatible; program in your boat's MMSI number, and even if you can't speak, you can activate the distress button on the front to summon help in an emergency. A large backlit display shows the channel you've selected. Best of all, you can display your track and position utilizing the built-in GPS. The HH36 is switchable between outputs of one and five watts, and Simrad claims a battery life of 11 hours on low setting, so you should be able to get out and back on a daylong excursion without recharging. $249 |

Aqualuma Spreader Light 4

Aqualuma Spreader Light 4

Well known in the field of LED underwater lights, Australian manufacturer Aqualuma also manufactures some rather stylish spreader lights. Ideal for use on most boats, the Spreader Light 4 is available with either a flush- or bracket-mount option. The bright white light, rated at 8,000 kelvins, is perfect for illuminating decks and working areas on boats of all sizes. A miserly current draw of less than 1.5 amps means that the lights can be left on for extended periods without fear of draining the battery. The body is constructed of aluminum protected by a very neat powder-coated finish to prevent corrosion. The lens is a scratch-resistant polymer that's super tough and durable. $300 |


With every little hole you drill into your boat, you risk creating problems for yourself down the road. Chief among these is water finding its way into areas that it shouldn't. What if you no longer had to drill as many holes in your boat? Weldmount is a fast-setting acrylic adhesive that can be used to bond metal studs, cable-tie lashing points, captive nut plates, and other assorted fixtures and fastening. Different adhesives are available for different applications. The strength of the adhesive is shown in spectacular fashion in videos on the manufacturer's website, where workers lift an entire engine by a single glued-on stud. $136 for a 157-piece wire-tie kit |

Docktail Bar

When you return to the dock after a hard day's boating, there's nothing quite so nice as a refreshing drink while the sun sinks in the west. The trouble is that many boats are simply not geared up with some convenient place from which to serve drinks. The Docktail Bar is a simple but clever device that satisfies the problem of where to place and secure adult beverages while you serve your guests. Made from white Starboard, the same stuff used to fashion everything from fish-filleting stations to transom steps, the Docktail Bar is designed to be slid into a convenient rod holder, which holds it in place while you mix and serve the drinks. It's available in several different configurations and mounting options, so there's sure to be one that fits your needs. No rod holder, no problem: Go with the suction-cup mount. $153 (plus mount) | 

— Published: October/November 2016

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