December 2011 Issue
Last-minute Gift Ideas
The Reese SoloHitch isn’t a new product, but it is a practical gift for anyone who likes to sail solo or avoid testy exchanges with their sailing partner. The hitch-trailer alignment system comprises two telescoping antenna rods (13.5 inches stowed, 43 inches extended), each with a yellow foam ball attached at the top and a magnet at the base. With one expanded rod placed on the trailer coupler and the other on the hitch shaft, the driver backs up until the balls are touching, and voila! You’re ready to hook up, sans the repeated backing-up attempts and back-breaking tongue shifting or the indecipherable hand signals and the back-and-forth yelling from a “helper.”
The chrome-plated steel rods are not made of high-quality metal, so chances are that they’ll need replacement down the road, but for $16 you can’t expect titanium.
Users should be careful not pull off the balls or bend the rods when extending them. The Reese hitch magnet is a simple solution at an affordable price that can help take the frustration out of launching a daysailer.