Flashlight Death-Match

For good old fashioned reliability and brightness, we like Rayovac's Roughneck. Pelican's Super Sabrelite is a good choice for portability, and either of two LED models would make sense for your ditch bag.

Ego Case Boasts iPod Protection, Clear Sound

Late last year, Practical Sailor published an article about devices that keep iPods free of moisture, sand, and dust (see Practical Sailor November 2006). Only one of those products came with speakers instead of earphones-the iFloat from Brookstone-but it didn't have a water-resistant speaker, and the sound quality diminished significantly once the speaker got wet. Now weve discovered a worthy replacement: the Ego Waterproof Sound Case.

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.

The Best of Bottom Paints

Our Editors Choice roster would not be complete without the top performers in our semiannual bottom paints tests (PS October 2014 and April 2015). The most recent test looked at 55 different paints from Blue Water Paints, Interlux, Epaint, Pettit, and Sea Hawk. This years hard paint standouts were Interluxs Micron Extra with Biolux and West Marines Bottomshield. Made by Pettit, the West Marine-branded PCA Gold was the top ablative paint. Micron Extra and PCA Gold tied for best performance of the bunch.

Real Kids Sunglasses

Only a few sunglasses manufacturers featured in last summers test (July 2009) offer childrens sunglasses, and those shades are usually just scaled down versions of the adult kind. After experimenting with several different styles for kids ages 3-13, we found that the younger children, ages 7 and under, were a tough bunch to fit. Harder still were kids ages 3 and under. Uncomfortable ear pieces were a common complaint.

Looking Sharp

Nikon, West Marine top the field of binos under $300.

Engel Portable Freezer vs. Norcold Tek II

The December 1996 issue contained a special section devoted to refrigeration. It dealt with icebox conversion kits (Adler-Barbour was best), thermoelectric coolers (Coleman was...

Tether Lanyard Simplifies MOB Recovery

For years, safety advocates have touted the use of a four-part block and tackle attached to the end of the boom as the hoist of choice. It affords a great dockside demo, but put to use in a rolling seaway, a crew quickly notes that boat motion causes the boom to flail about and the hurriedly dropped mainsail further complicates using the boom as a hoisting tool.

Sailing Shorts Update

Practical Sailor tested and compared the Camet men’s Rio sailing shorts to the field of sailing shorts reported on in the March 2012 issue, including the Best Choice Gill men’s performance padded shorts. Testers looked at style, price, UV protection, construction, abrasion resistance, dry time, comfort, odor, and pads.

Plug that Chain-pipe

I was always amazed at how much water could seep through the chain-pipe and into Toscas anchor locker when a sea was up, or we were punching into a headsea-although punching would hardly describe the ungainly motion of a gaff-rigged ketch to weather. Wallowing? Submarining? Regardless, the chain-pipe was like a water main in those conditions …