Deft Theft: Make & Find Your Own Marine Gear

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Heres a bet: Someone at the next boat show will try to sell you something you already have. With more time than money on our hands, the sailors innate resourcefulness kicks in. Here are a just some of the penny-pinching projects tech editor Drew Frye has undertaken to improve his sailing life

diy marine gear

Drew Frye

1. Home-built brackets. Cut from U-form aluminum stock, these home-made brackets can serve a number of purposes. This version locks the anchor chain and anchor in place when it is stowed on the bow roller.

diy marine gear

Drew Frye

2. Tablet navigation. While fancy electronics suites at the helm are great for those with plenty of disposable income, they are often unnecessary on smaller boats. This iPad holder is an old car phone mount and assorted parts. It fits as well as, or even better than, anything Frye could find elsewhere. PS recommends the iPad only as a supplement or backup to devices that meat National Marine Electronic Association standards.

3. For the occasional splicer, old knitting needles or fids made from bits of dowel can serve just fine. The splicing that Frye did for previous PS articles was carried out with this collection of nearly free fids.

Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on sailboats and sailing gear for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising. Its independent tests are carried out by experienced sailors and marine industry professionals dedicated to providing objective evaluation and reporting about boats, gear, and the skills required to cross oceans. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser who has been director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division since 2005. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, has logged tens of thousands of miles in three oceans, and has skippered everything from pilot boats to day charter cats. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida.

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