Personal Gear & Apparel

The State of Our Soles

We've been wearing two styles of Body Glove deck shoes for about three months-the Bowline, which is a sneaker-type deck shoe, and the Whitewater,...

Boat Bags: Watershed, SealLine Dominate; West a Best Buy

Many of the gear and duffel bags labeled 'waterproof' in the marine catalogs failed our tests. However, after examining 26 models, we did find a few truly dry bags.

Personal Rescue Lights: Less Than Brilliant

ACR slightly outshone the rest of a dim group. These lights can help in a quick pick-up, but youre unlikely to see them beyond a half-mile in most sea conditions.

Sunglasses: MJ Commanders Lead Way; Serengetis a Best Buy

We prefer Maui Jim, but Oakley and Costa Del Mar also fare well in our test of 19 pairs from eight manufacturers.

Offshore Log: Seeing in the Dark

Two of the most important tools on our night passages through the Java Sea and South China Sea were our Fujinon FMTR-SX binoculars and our ITT Night Mariner 250 binocular-style night vision scope.

Lifesling Goes Throwable

Were safety conscious at Practical Sailor. Readers know that, from the numerous articles about our in-the-water and bench tests. We rarely fail to comment...

Foul Weather Gear: The New Suits Are Breathable, Dry, and Costly

In the early 1980s, W.L. Gore & Associates and Atlantis teamed up to create waterproof foul weather gear that was also breathable. They had...

Hobie, Nikon Our Picks Among High-End Seagoing Sunglasses

The importance of quality eyeware was publicly manifested by the Navy Air Corps in 1951 when it commissioned Bausch and Lomb to begin developing...

Optronics Blue Eye Shines Bright Among Handheld Spotlights

If youve ever powered down the Intracoastal Waterway at night in the rain or came into an inlet from the sea looking for channel...

Best Boat Shoes: Harken & Rockport

Anyone whos ever taken a spill jumping from a dock or launch onto the deck of a boat knows the value of good boat...

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!