Six Simple Tools We Like


There are lots of expensive things aboard the average cruising boat that get very little use. EPIRBs, life rafts, drogues, storm sails, and spare anchors come to mind. But then there are the small, inexpensive things that we value almost daily. Their place aboard is secure, they’ve almost become part of the crew and if we lost them tomorrow, they would be replaced in short order.

6 Ratcheting crimpers

5. Colored tool bags

4. Nesting stainless steel bowls

3 . Oil extractor

2. Vacuum cleaner

1. Screwdriver

DSC_1135 368_8




Tips for safe boating with your pet

images (1)


Be sure to take these necessary provisions to ensure that your pet’s boat cruise is a happy and safe one.

• Identification Tag

• Familiarization with the Boat

• Safe & Easy Boat Access

• Flotation Device

• Proper Hydration & Staying Cool

• Going Potty

• Health Records

• Call Ahead




Real Boaters Anchor Out

Scrimping on anchors and anchor line is much like buying an expensive automobile with cheap brakes.

download (1)

Anchors keep you off the rocks if your motor or the wind fails. Anchors set up your boat for convenient fishing. Anchors can save your life in extreme conditions. Anchors and their lines, calledrodes, are the ground tackle that can make a critical difference. Unfortunately, most boaters fail to select proper ground tackle. Others buy decent rode (lines) and anchors and simply do not know how to use them.

Marina water tastes like it comes from a garden hose — which it does. In the South it smells like sulfur, and in the Bahamas you’re charged for it. The best water on Earth comes from the sky. Add a plastic through-hull fitting in your Bimini top and some clear hose to the tank, and you have a rain catcher. A short summer shower will fill your tank. Fire your water heater by running the engine, or install an on-demand propane heater.

Now the only reason for staying at a marina is companionship, which you probably get too much of during the week anyway. So, the next time I see you outside the inlet, I hope you’re on your way to anchoring out.




Boating group offers 10 tips to keep your boat from sinking



About two out of every three (69 percent) boats that sink do so at the dock or mooring, with the rest sinking while underway. Those were the findings of a review by the Boat Owners Association of The United States of its boat insurance claims files to identify the causes of boat sinkings. Its review found most sinkings were preventable.


To prevent a sinking, here are 10 tips from the group:

• For inboard-outboard powered boats, inspect sterndrive bellows annually and replace every 3-5 years. The shift bellows is usually the first to fail.

• For inboard-powered boats, check the stuffing box every time you visit the boat, and repack — not just tighten the nut — every spring.

• For engines with raw water hoses, replace them the moment they indicate wear — such as small cracks appear or when they feel spongy when squeezed. Rusty hose clamps should be replaced.

• Replace the engine cooling system impeller every 2-3 years.

• Inspect the boat’s cockpit and livewell plumbing — checking hoses, clamps and cracked or broken fittings. Make sure you can inspect all such plumbing.

• Take a look at all below-waterline fittings, hoses and clamps each season.

• Don’t forget the drain plug. It is all too easy to forget.

• Keep a good lookout and ask guests to help keep their eyes open for objects in the water. If you’ve grounded or hit something, consider a short-haul to inspect the bottom or drive gear.

• Always pull trailerable boats from the water when major storms are forecast. These boats generally have too little freeboard to stand up to any kind of wave action.

• Dock-line management systems that keep a boat centered in its slip can prevent snags that sometimes lead to a sinking.


Dragon boating for kids


Dragon boats will be back on the water this summer.

The Dragon Boat Association of Southern Alberta kicked off its youth dragon boating program earlier this week, which sees youngsters between the ages of 13-17 hit the water Wednesday nights at Henderson Lake from 6-7:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required for the program, which will cover everything even the most inexperienced dragon boaters need to know.

The youth program runs over six weeks, to Aug. 23, though Burton added the association’s boats do not come out of the water until mid-September, as open practices are held each Tuesday from 5:45-7 p.m.

Young people can pre-register by contacting Burton at, or through the link on the association’s Facebook page at

The next youth session is July 23.





A Solution For Hard To Reach Screws And Bolts



Almost everyone who has worked on a DIY or renovation project has applied too much torque and stripped a screw head clean. It can feel like a frustrating dead end, especially if you don’t have a specialized extractor kit on hand. But you might be able to remove a stripped screw using a very common household item probably already sitting in your desk or kitchen drawer…


DIY boaters often need to install a fastener in a hard to reach place, one so tight it can only be accessed with one hand. When in that situation, apply a dollop of grease to the end of your screwdriver. It can often hold the screw long enough to get it started. Super glue and caulk also work. Check back next month for more tips!




Keeping the boat in the water

It’s that time of year again, winter layup and in many cases around the US that may mean keeping the boat in the water for the occasional winter jaunt on a warm day. If you are planning to leave your boat in the water over the winter months it may also mean that you’re planning to put some kind of heater on board to get the chill out. Remember that these space heaters draw very high electrical current that puts a full load on your boat’s shore power system.


Make sure you inspect your shore cord to be certain it does not show any sign of corroded or slightly burned plastic around the terminals that could easily end up looking like the photo above. This is so easy to prevent and yet such a common problem. Check yours this weekend so you don’t end up as a statistic.





The New Snap-On Wide-Blade Screwdriver Is Perfect For Boats



Recently Snap-on, a leader in professional hand tools, introduced a uniquely designed wide-blade screwdriver for marine use. Their model SGD155BR screwdriver is perfect for those tight gearcase drain screws found on outboard motors and stern drive units. I purchased one of these tools as soon as my Snap-on rep received them from the factory and I was impressed by the size, fit, and quality of it. Because I work in coastal areas of Florida, encountering rusted, corroded, or salt-seized fasteners is a daily occurrence. Most screwdriver bits are not wide enough or thick enough to fully engage a majority of the drain screws.

The SGD155BR screwdriver is available through Snap-on tool dealers or may be ordered online through **** for only $19.75. If you work with gearcase drain screws or any other type of large headed fasteners, one of these super duty wide-blade screwdrivers belongs in your tool box.



The Shark’s Eye All-Release Tournament & Festival




The Shark’s Eye Tournament and Festival returns to the Montauk Marine Basin, July 11-13. Limited team entries are still available to compete for $10,000 in guaranteed prize money, provided by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, plus half of all entry fees, 100 percent of Calcutta and other prizes. Entry fee is $950. In 2013, teams tagged and released 64 sharks including 33 mako and 31 blues. Four of the sharks were satellite tagged.















Getting in and out of the water is one of he challenges and here we look at the Paws Aboard ladder, plus some alternatives. If you have a pet and want to take them boating try a Dog ramp, treat your pet to a swim.


paws aboard


  • Attaches to most boat ladders with three or more steps – and is easy to attach and remove (note: ladders over 14” wide require purchase of extension piece)
  • Portable, lightweight and durable
  • Slip resistant, ribbed design provides safe entry/exit for all pets
  • Reduces pain and strain for pets and owners
  • Measures 16 by 64 inches, and it folds in half for easy storage 


Landing Loop

Say goodbye to banged up knees, twisted ankles, broken arms and costly repairs caused while docking a boat. The Landing Loop™ can provide assistance while boat docking. It will extnd a docking line to a cleat or piling without requiring you to jump off your boat. With an 11 foot reach, the Landing Loop™ will become your favorite docking tool.


The Landing Loop makes mooring safer and easier in the absence of loafing dockhands.

Its unique, durable construction allows boaters to effortlessly capture any dock cleat or piling while the boat is safely away from rough dock edges.

Hook a sliding loop over the fork tips at the end of the 10-foot long extension pole and crewmembers can secure the loop over the cleat or piling without leaning or jumping overboard, risking an accident.

The heart of the device is the unique fork with polymer tips that hold the sliding loop until released by the crewmember.







Limited Time Special Offers!
Buy a Landing Loop™
Get a Float Kit free!
Ends July 20, 2014

Gadgets Unlimited, Inc