There are some things a boat simply can’t do without (think: motor) and then there are things we like to add to our boats. Electronics, fishing accouterments, Bimini tops, and so on. There’s also a class of boating gear that isn’t really a necessity to have onboard each and every time you leave the dock, and which you don’t bring aboard for comfort or ease of use, but which also unquestionably comes in handy when you need it the most. In recent travels, we’ve come across three items that fall into this category. Added bonus: they’re all relatively cheap, and easily acquirable by any boat owner.
- Weems & Plath Electronic Flare – At this very moment you either have flares aboard your boat, or you risk getting a ticket from the Coast Guard. Or maybe both, because flares expire and boaters always seem to forget to replace them. Now, however, we’ve found an item that fits the bill for a visual distress signal but doesn’t expire: the Electronic Flare. At $100 the cost is a lot less than a ticket (or for a couple sets of flares you’ll buy over time), and fulfills all USCG requirements for visual distress signals. The Weems & Plath Electronic Flare is visible from 10 nautical miles. That’s not nearly as far as a pyrotechnic flare, but on the other hand, pyrotechnics only last for a matter of moments while the Electronic Flare runs for up to 60 hours on a set of C cell batteries. Best of all, of course, is the fact that it never expires. For more information visit Weems & Plath.
- Cuda Gear Titanium Bonded Knife – On a boat, you end up using a knife for a lot more that just filleting fish. In fact, a quality knife boarders on “required” gear. But a quality knife costs big bucks, right? Nah—just look at the Cuda Gear 9” Titanium Bonded knife. We’ve had one of these aboard for over a year, and the knife’s ability to take serious abuse has been a bit shocking. This knife has been used for: chopping fish chunks while chumming and chunking; sawing through rope tangled around the prop, cutting fishing line, filleting the catch, and plenty more. It was used extensively in saltwater and we were careful not to rinse it unless it was about to fillet fish for food. It didn’t get scrubbed down nor dried off. And it spent time between fishing trips sitting exposed in a knife-holder on the boat, instead of being putting away. Yet it handled this abuse magnificently, and after a five minute clean-up with soap and a scouring pad, remains in good shape today. On top of it all, the Cudo Gear Titanium Bonded knife costs a whopping $20. Visit Cuda for the manufacturer’s take, or have a first-hand for yourself at one in action:
- Weego 66 –Small enough to stow in the glovebox or a console compartment, jumper batteries like the Weego 44 (which we told you about in Dead Boat Battery? Never Again!) can save a day of fishing that would otherwise be lost to a dead battery. But they have limitations, and can only jump engines up to 7L for gasoline and 3.5L for diesel. Hence, the new Weego 66, which can crank a whopping gasoline engine up to 10.0L and diesels up to 5.0L. The unit is water/dust resistance rated to IP65, the 66 is good for up to 1,000 charge/discharge cycles, starting/peak current is 300A/600A, recharge time is three hours, and the battery itself is a lithium-polymer. Visit Weego for more intel.