The Human Shammy

The high-tech materials found in underwear and outerwear are making their way into the towel market. The Wick-er Warmup towel, made by Discovery Trekking Outfitters in Vancouver, is a polyester fabric that wicks water away from the body and then dries almost as fast as you can get it on a clothesline. The lightweight towel is made with Silver, an anti-microbial technology that kills bacteria, so the towel will not develop a smell, no matter how often you use it or how rarely you wash it. This Silver lining is permanent too; it wont wash out.

Practical Sailor Gets a Grip on Womens Boat Shoes

Often times in the personal sailing gear arena, women sailorsare left with limited choices-inflatable life vests and foul weather bibs come to mind. However, when it comes to boat shoes, the selection is endless for both the racer and the cruiser. We tested 13 pairs of performance sailing shoes from the most popular manufacturers. Granted racers and cruisers wont necessarily be looking for the same thing out of a shoe, but we found comfort, grip, and foot protection are key for any footwear to be worn aboard.

2007 Mens Athletic-Style Boat Shoe Test

Ignoring the traditional style boat shoe, sailing sandals, and even womens sailing shoes for the moment, Practical Sailor acquired mens athletic-style boat shoes (deck shoes), from numerous purveyors of sailing apparel. We chose the models we felt were most applicable to mainstream sailing activities on both wet and dry surfaces. Testers assessed each pair of sailboat shoes with non-marking soles for best grip, comfort, construction, foot protection, grip, weight, performance, and absorption. In our quest for the best boating shoes, several marine performance shoes climbed to the top. Several could clearly be classed as racing shoes that might not appeal to cruising sailors.

PS Advisor: Harness Crotch Straps

During our testing a of a harness without a crotch strap, the harness did ride up on the victim, but there was no tendency for the wearer to slip out. If the waist strap is tighter than the wearers shoulder width, its not possible for him to slip out. This answer begs the question: What about people whose tummy is wider than their shoulders? Harness waist belts should be worn as taut as is comfortable. If that practice is followed, then crotch straps should not be needed.

Chandlery: Bike Friday Road Tested

In February 2006, we compared four folding bikes, the Dahon Helios, the Dahon Cadenza, the Montague Paratrooper, and the West Marine Port Runner, with the Dahon Helios rated as our Best Choice. After the article ran, we received a pile of mail from readers offering their insight into folding bikes.

Fish Storage: Its in the Bag

If you like trolling while you sail, and youre good at it, youll inevitably land some fish too big for the cooler or ice box. Heres a powerboat-oriented product that might save you the trouble of spilling blood, and guts on your nice clean deck, just so you can put that oversized striper, wahoo, or mahi on ice. Enter insulated fish bags. We looked at three bags capable of holding a fish weighing 50 pounds, plus ice.

Bone Dry: Laptop Pack Passes PS Test

Necessity, as the saying goes, is the mother of invention. And sailors tend to be an inventive lot. So, its not surprising that when Ed Kriese, a veteran racing sailor and the owner-founder of Oceanracing.com, became dismayed at the lack of a reasonably waterproof backpack for laptops, he invented one.

Nike Shows Its Salty Side In Base-layer Test

Helly Hansen, Musto and Victory Wetsuits also measure up in our fabric test

Plunge Water Shoe

Our last wholesale evaluation of boating shoes was published in the Oct. 15, '98 issue. More recently, we evaluated newcomers to the market in...

Float-Tech

The Float-Tech PFD, which is offered in seven sizes, provides 27 lbs. of buoyancy, and its makers say that it's designed to turn...

Winterizing Your Boat’s Water System

Much of your winterizing success will depend on the initial condition of your existing water system. If it is nearly sterile (effectively chlorinated water), there may be too few bacteria and fungus present for infection to start. However, if you use less than 20 percent alcohol or glycol (after dilution with water left in the system) you are at risk of biological growth; the lower the concentration the greater the risk. This is the reason why vodka and other alcohol-based winterizing fluids should be avoided. In our testing these solutions acted like an invitation to a microbial feast.