The Boats & Gear blog is overseen by our Boats & Gear editor, Michael Crowley. It explores new construction projects, electronics, gear and equipment for the commercial fishing industry.
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
All right. Listen up!
This Christmas business is getting right down to the wire. I know, you’ve been out hitting the stores with gift lists for the wife, kids, parents or girlfriend. That’s good.
But you also need to develop a list for yourself. You know better than anyone else what you need out on the grounds. Sure, you don’t want to spend the money, and you can get by for a couple more trips wearing those oilskins that only leak a little. Well, frugality is a good thing, but, heck, this is Christmas. It’s one time you can splurge — I don’t mean a case of Jack — and not feel guilty about it.
So, for the reluctant fisherman, I thought I would provide some suggestions, all from National Fisherman’s 2012 Boats & Gear pages.
We’ll start off with ditching those oilskins that have caught a few too many hooks, tested the sharpness of a dressing knife or are just plain and simply worn out.
In our August issue, Grundens offers its Deck Boss bib pants made of breathable, three-ply waterproof nylon that’s designed to withstand repeated encounters with barnacles, scallops, wire, you name it.
For a jacket and bib that are entirely different from the normal oilskins, check out the Stormr neoprene foul-weather gear from Henderson Sports Group in the September issue. This is a high-end neoprene that’s cut very thin, is a high stretch material and waterproof and windproof. There’s a microfleece lining on the inside, and the garments have about 5 pounds of positive buoyancy, which would help you stay afloat if you go overboard.
Something that’s not going to cost you very much — I knew you’d like to hear that — and makes good safety sense is SCRAMP or small craft motion program in the July issue. This is an iPhone app with a real-time motion display with stability indicators on your boat’s acceleration, heave, roll, pitch and yaw. Plug in the degrees of roll, pitch and heave that are acceptable and when those levels are reached an alarm is triggered.
If the worst happens and you end up in the water with no one around, you might wish you had purchased the Smartfind S10, an AIS man-overboard beacon that’s also described in the July issue. This is one of the first devices to work with AIS. Activate the S10 and any boat or shoreside facility with an AIS class-A or class-B receiver within 10 miles will display your position on a chart as a distress signal, the direction and speed you are drifting, and the course to pick you up.
Well, we will assume you don’t go over but are out on deck, plugging away — day after day, night after night — and not catching much. Nothing helps ignore the frustration, cold, and boredom better than good tunes blasting away. I wouldn’t want to try to select your music, but the April NF, featured ASA Electronics’ satellite-ready marine stereo. It has an AM/FM tuner, electronic–skip CD protection, and you can play any portable music device through the audio input.
So now go out and buy yourself a present. Remember, Christmas only happens once a year.
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