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Personal Gear & Apparel

Taking the Stink Out of Dry Suits

I’m a big fan of drysuits for cold weather sailing (see “Soul Drysuit 2-year Update,” PS February 2016). But I’m not a fan of the odors they can acquire after use. Worse yet, I habitually leave the gear on the boat, often wet and seldom rinsed. However, through a few tricks of chemistry I’ve been […]

Kicking Back in Keeper Pants

Ever since Under Armor convinced us that we couldn’t live without them, base layers have been all the rage in athletics. We’ve reviewed the classics in the past (“Nike Shows Its Salty Side In Base Layer Test,” PS January 2006), and we’ve got variety of these in our closet. We love these tight-fitting underlayers for […]

Even 2020 Yielded Some Great Gear

Once more, the bulk of the past year’s testing focused on maintenance products, safety essentials, and do-it-yourself substitutes for higher priced marine gear. Part of this was because COVID-19 derailed some of our more ambitious projects (don’t worry they are still on the slate). Part of this was because we continue to try to buck […]

Boxes, Dry Bags, and Tips for a Drier Life

Our staff are not marina hoppers. That leads to the occasional wet dinghy ride or exploration by kayak, and the constant risk of ruining expensive gear with salt water. We’ve used dry bags, Tupperware containers, dive containers, and even trash bags. Here’s what we’ve learned. What We Tested New bags from Gill, Mantus, and Watershed […]

Wool Sock Update

"Sailing Socks” (PS January 2019) compared polypropylene liner socks, cotton, fleece, wool and wool blends, both wet and dry. We reported heat loss over...

Winter Glove Report

Every ball player has a favorite glove. A deck shoe that sticks to wet gelcoat is highly prized. And when time comes to hoist...

Cheap Glasses Showdown

I wore off prescription glasses for sailing five years ago after donating one last pair to Neptune. Its not just the cost, but also the mental angst you feel. If underway, they are just gone. If at the dock, youll be fishing for them with a net or going for an unscheduled swim. Retention cords help, but if Im also wearing a cord on my hat, annoying tangles ensue. On the other hand, when a pair of drugstore glasses goes in the drink it doesn't ruin your day. And then I learned that the local dollar store had suitable glasses for a buck; Im wearing them as I type this. I wont win any fashion awards, but when I drop them or sit on them, its less bothersome than spilling a soda. I like that.

Liveaboard Sailors Laundry Hacks

At home, laundry is about removing grease, grass, and coffee stains without damaging the fabric of the clothing. Energy and water efficiency only matter in a secondary sense. Rinse water is plentiful, and the only water quality consideration is that it is sufficiently soft to avoid interference with the detergent and calcium build-up in the clothes.

A Plunge into Off-grid Solutions Old and New

What did we think of the mop bucket and spinner as a laundry machine? It made it neat and easy to launder single items in a repeatable way for testing. In fact, it was a good deal easier on the hands than wringing. However, you can only spin one item at a time, and as a result it was no faster or drier.

Stowing Clear Plastic Windows

Some clear vinyls are sensitive to scratching, as has been revealed in our multiple tests. And, if not protected from the sun, it can yellow and grow brittle over years. For years weve been directing readers to roll their clear plastic in cotton sheets to prevent scratching, but the patented Clearstow bag offers a more practical solution.The patented Clearstow bag is constructed like a giant ex

Doing ‘The Ditch’ Capt. Frank’s Way

Be aware that a less-experienced sailors report of a great anchorage with plenty of depth, or statements like We ran aground here! don't do you much good if they fail to include basic info such as their boat's draft, state of the tide, etc. Other sailors' facility reviews should also be taken with a grain of salt. For example: The dockmaster hates Algerian Snaggle-tooth Poodles (like our Fluffy), so were never coming back, and you shouldnt either!