Clever Problem Solving Boat Gear

By Mark Corke

The latest products to make your boating life better.

Loverly Gloverly

The new Pro 365 glove from Fish Monkey is truly designed for folks who like to fish. These half-finger gloves check all the boxes for style, comfort, and durability. Padding in the heel, palm, and thumb/index finger area protects from line cuts when leadering a fish, even with braided line. Other features include a synthetic, breathable, stretchy fabric on the back of the glove and an extended cuff for increased UV protection. Although intended as a fishing glove, they might also be a hit with sailors who are looking for protection and comfort when handing lines, winches, and sail controls. Multiple colors available. $29.95 | fishmonkeygloves.com

A Cleat In A Jiffy

QUICK CLEAT rod holder fender cleat

Deck cleats are essential to boating, but they can be in the way when the boat is in use. Also, things easily get caught on them, especially on fishing boats where it's all too easy to snag a line while casting or retrieving. Aimed squarely at the fishing market, the QUICK CLEAT comes mounted on a stainless-steel tube that fits in a vacant rod holder. The cleat has a novel rotary cam design that allows a line up to half an inch in diameter to be secured with a flick of the wrist. In use, rotate the top part, insert the line, and release the cam to lock the line in position. With no knots to tie, almost anyone can position a fender with confidence. The QUICK CLEAT is available in two finishes: stainless steel for saltwater or polished chrome for freshwater use. They're also available in three versions to suit vertical, 15-, and 30-degree canted rod holders. Starting at $99 | quick-cleat.com

Breathe Happy!

Lightweight mini scuba kit

A snorkel is handy for working on a boat, but dive below the surface and the amount of time that you can stay submerged is limited by how long you can hold your breath. Scuba gear overcomes that issue, but it's big, bulky, and expensive. For odd underwater jobs like changing anodes, cleaning a fouled prop, or just spending some time with the fishes, this lightweight mini scuba kit from Mantus could be the answer. The complete outfit weighs a miserly 15 pounds, and the aluminum tank can be pressurized to 3,000 psi, good for 15 to 20 minutes of dive time at a maximum depth of 45 feet. In addition to the tank, you get a harness, first- and second-stage regulators, pressure gauge, and a waterproof bag for storage. Tanks can be filled at the local dive shop, or if you're feeling energetic, an optional hand pump can fill the tank in about 20 minutes. The harness has pockets for dive weights to fine tune static buoyancy. Proper training and scuba certification are required. $655 | mantusmarine.com

SOS-MOB

The problem with (and complaint about) traditional engine safety lanyards is that they limit mobility. Move more than a couple of feet from the helm and off pops the cord and the engine dies — a real pain when fishing or when you need to move about the boat. This is the primary reason why boaters say they don't wear lanyards.

Fell Marine overcame this problem with the MOB+ Basepack Multifob. A wireless base station is installed into the console in place of the standard lanyard-type switch. The other part of the system is a small fob, worn either on the wrist or attached to a lifejacket. Then, should the wearer become separated by more than 50 feet from the base station, the engine will cut out, and an alarm will sound on the boat to alert other crewmembers.

An additional smart feature: after 6 seconds, the engine(s) can be restarted by anyone else on the boat to get back to the person in the water, so no extra lanyard is required. Other features include MOB alerts for an additional three crew, though you will have to purchase additional fobs. $199.99 for base station and one fob | fellmarine.com

It's A Snap

Just about every boat has some canvas, and in many cases, it's retained with snaps — those ubiquitous two-part stainless-steel gizmos to which almost every boat owner has a love-hate relationship. On my last boat, I'd wanted a full boat cover for the protection it afforded. I was less than impressed, however, by the long line of shiny studs visible when the cover was removed. If only Surefas Compo Studs had been available then. Made from a super-durable polymer and available in a variety of colors, including several shades of white, there is sure to be one that will blend in with the color of almost any boat, making the studs far less obtrusive. Aside from the aesthetic, they're easy to install with a robust molded self-tapping screw. $25/pack of 10 | surefas.com 

— Published: October/November 2018


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