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Personal Gear & Apparel

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.

Camet Wahine Shorts for Her

After a frustrating and fruitless day of shopping locally for gear appropriate for a 30-something woman to wear on the race course, Practical Sailor editors set out on a mission to find a pair of padded sailing shorts that: fit properly (unlike most womens board shorts, which seem styled for a 13-year-old); did not look like theyd been borrowed from a mans locker; and were fast-drying, comfortable, and functional (even when hopping around a racer-cruiser or hiking on a dinghy). We found few options, and most of those were made by Camet International, a California-based sailing apparel manufacturer.

Compact Scuba Kits for Sailors

In general, many cruisers prefer the freedom of snorkeling to scuba diving, yet there are situations when extending the time you can spend underwater becomes a safety issue.

Sailing Shoe Test Update: 2012

Whenever we report on sailing shoes or sandals (PS, Sept 2010, July 2010, June 2007, July 2007, Dec 2007), we get a heap of reader mail with recommendations for grippy, comfortable foot protection fit for sailors. Recently, the top reader-recommended shoes included styles from Crocs and Shoes for Crews. Curious to see whether these would measure up to our sailing-shoe criteria, we rounded up a few models from each maker. We added Adidas Boat CC Laces water shoes to the fray since they are the sportswear giants first foray into marine footwear. In total, we collected 10 different styles and put them through our standard shoe-test methods.

Foul Weather Jackets

The Henri Lloyd Rapid Coastal takes top honors among the coastal jackets, followed by the Best Buy, Ronstan's Inshore. Of the offshore jackets tested, we liked the Gill Atlantic best.

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.

New Kneewear Needs Help

At a recent boat show, Practical Sailor editors ran across some interesting kneepads made by Crocs, the manufacturer of those annoyingly popular brightly colored, clog-like shoes. Still sore from some serious knee time during spring maintenance, we decided to see whether the Crocs kneepads were an improvement over our homespun design (Duck tape and sponges). The Crocs are lightweight and made of the same thick, foam-like material as the shoes, which the company claims is buoyant, non-marking, anti-microbial, and odor-resistant. The stretchy elastic straps are adjusted with plastic buckles.

7×50 Marine Binoculars Update

A pair of top-quality 7x50 marine binoculars can be pretty pricey, but its an essential piece of gear on a cruising boat. Good binoculars offer superior optics, enhanced durability, and a long warranty. This binocular test update compares Steiners latest premium marine optics offering, the Steiner Commander XP, with the Commander V from Steiner, and the Fujinon FMTRC-SX. The Fujinon binoculars were the favorite in Practical Sailors 2006 test.All three marine binoculars in this test are waterproof and have a compass, a focus adjustment for each eye with a range of 5 to 5, 7x magnification, 500-millimeter objective lenses, and a rangefinder.

Looking Sharp

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

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...

Sizing Up the Autumn List

Some of the best sailing I ever had was September on Narragansett Bay, pretty close to heaven in my mind. But before we let a long September reach carry us away-and hopefully carry us through winter-its a good time to take out a pen and pad, and start to build the winter work list.