Friday, November 24, 2017


Here are some gift ideas for the boaters in your life. I use and/or own them and found them to be worthy of being on the boat.

I never liked those small Speedo swim googles. They never fit my face quite right and leak pretty badly disrupting my swimming workout. Then I found these Aqua Sphere Swim Mask Googles. They are comfortable, fit over the eyes and don't leak like the small googles I tried in the past. I've been using a pair five days a week for over a year in a pool and they are still holding up well. I bought another pair for on board the boat. I use these for swimming or quick checks of the hull and prop instead of dragging out the mask and snorkel. They could also come in handy checking the lines or anchor on deck when the winds and rains making inspecting the lines for chafe difficult. If you know a boater who likes to swim they should make the perfect gift.

I carried rescue flares on board BIANKA which I never hoped to use and never have. The problem with the flares is they go out of date. Which requires you purchase new ones every few years. Another thing is being incendiaries they can be dangerous in starting fires or damaging fiberglass if used incorrectly.  The SOS LED Distress light gets rid of those issues and meets the requirements night rescue signals. You can still carry flares if you want to. But, this SOS light will last a lot longer without any of the danger of pyrotechnic flares.  It would be a welcome gift for any boater. I bought one for myself and no longer have to worry about if my flares are up to date.

I don't have an elaborate stereo sound system on BIANKA. I prefer the sounds of nature over a powerful music system. But, when I do want to hear some tunes or check on some of the latest news this small radio and MP3 players fits the bill. It has great sound for it's small size. It can also easily fit inside my shirt pocket. It charges up with any USB charger and will last about five hours on a charge. It also has a micro SD card slot so you can play your own selection of tunes when you want. It also has a handy LED flashlight built in too. Even if your boat already has a radio this compact handy radio will come in handy for trips to shore or the beach. In addition to having one on the boat I also bought one for the house to use as an emergency radio

So these are a few quick gift ideas I can recommend for the boaters in your life or if you are a boat owner already you might want to buy it for yourself.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Back in October I found myself in Washington D.C. on the same weekend as the Annapolis Sailboat Show. Even though I never consider replacing my current boat and never feel compelled to go on any new models. I do like wandering around the tents looking at the wares and asking questions. After buying my ticket on line it was a quick forty five minute drive from D.C. to the Annapolis Navy Academy parking lot where I took the free shuttle bus to the show site. It was an unusually warm day for October so it was a little hot inside the tents:

There was not much I really needed on the boat but, I did spend a little time at the Raritan booth discussing the upcoming replacing of the head hoses and a new Macerator pump on BIANKA:

While there I did pick up a bottle of their excellent product C.P. (Cleans Potties) cleaner. That was available at a special boat show price saving me a few bucks:

Been using the product for years to clean the head area on board BIANKA. I also did a quick glance at the BETA Marine Motors on display:

I was thinking about when I visited the same booth back in 2007. It was when I was looking for a replacement of my dead diesel on board BIANKA. I seriously considered a Beta engine before my epiphany of converting my sailboat to Electric Propulsion. So glad I went with EP though instead.
I stopped by the Annapolis Hybrid Marine booth distributors of the Thoosa 9000 electric propulsion system used on my boat. I also stopped at the PropEle Electric Motors booth. To see their new EP Carry out board which I had pre-orderd a few months before.  Soon I was getting hungry and sweating from the heat. It was time to duck into the normally members only Fleet Reserve Club for lunch. The air conditioning felt good and the New England Chowder and fresh Pretzel for dipping into it hit the spot:

After lunch I checked out a few more booths like FORESPAR where I checked out their dingy davit system which I am considering installing on BIANKA at some point:

Another quick stop at the SAMPSON ROPE booth to get some information about  replacing BIANKA's aging wire life lines with some new high tech synthetic lines. After that the heat just about wiped me out and I decided to take the bus back to the car and head back to D.C. I did not get to see every booth but, got what I came for in terms of information. All and all not a bad way to spend part of the afternoon at the end of the season.