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Boating Gear Musts!

Boating enthusiasts had to have used these products aboard their own boats. The gear’s reliability over time is proven. And, like electricity, these items might be taken for granted – but if we didn’t have them, they’d be sorely missed.

Take-Apart Key Float

Whoever invented the buoy-shaped, take-apart key float should be applauded.  Bright and buoyant, it floats dropped keys. Take it apart and store your boat’s registration, fishing license or an “emergency 10-spot” in waterproof security. Free at many chandlers and marinas and with new boat purchases.

Baba Loo

Probably responsible for selling as many boats as the outboard engine, the Porta Potti has been a hit since Thetford debuted the first one in 1961. Needing little description, it provides the comfort many require.

Grip and Grin

The best handling tool used for toothy critters. Bluefish or northern pike are a nightmare in a net, but you can slide the BogaGrip onto the lip of the fish to keep it under control and use a hook remover to steer clear of losing a finger to those choppers. You can get it calibrated and certified by the International Game Fish Association for official weight recordings, though hoisting a fish by its lip could put unnecessary stress on it prior to release. But as an in-water release tool, there’s nothing that can be found that better keeps a game fish under control.

Rubber Clamp Jackets 

If you have grown tired of getting slashed and bloodied by the tag ends of hose clamps whenever you work in the bilge, the rubber clamp jackets are what you need. They are one of the best boating inventions of all time. And they’re cheap. 20 cents.

Fathom Lens

View the water in HD. There is no doubt that these improve fishing, and general boating because they make it so easy to see beyond the water. They replicate polarized lenses because they block yellow light, the hardest for the human eye to process, at 580 nanometers. (Visible light ranges from about 390 to 780 nm.) The detail is phenomenal.

Boom Town

Star brite’s Oil-Absorbent Maxi-Boom costs just a few bucks but can save you thousands in potential fines. Without them, the automatic bilge pump would discharge oily water overboard. They will soak up two quarts of oil and can be wrung out and reused.

Double-Jointed

Think about the ingenuity of the ubiquitous ratchet antenna mount. The two adjustable joints allow you to mount a marine antenna vertically straight on just about any surface — vertical, horizontal or angled — and quickly lay it down for a low bridge or to trailer your boat.

Power Knob

Edson’s Power Knob is the most reliable piece of marine equipment used; enabling you to spin the wheel lock to lock in a blink makes easy work of docking with hydraulic steering.

Smart Phone Protectors

The Wanganui is the easiest iPhone protector to stick into a pocket. The phone slides right in and seals tight with the Aquaclips — kind of like dogging down a hatch. The touch screen works through the plastic, as does the camera.

Deck Plates

The black Beckson plates are made of High Impact ABS for superior strength. These plates allow access under the deck and inside bulkheads to install items such as cleats and rail stanchions, as well as to service components like sending units for fuel gauges. Available in many colors and sizes.

Boat Stands

Boat stands, or poppets as they are called around the boatyard, are simply invaluable for proper long-term boat storage. Sure, you could use blocks and shims to prop up your boat, but using stands makes the job easier and safer.

If you have grown tired of getting slashed and bloodied by the tag ends of hose clamps whenever you work in the bilge, the rubber clamp jackets are what you need. They are one of the best boating inventions of all time. And they’re cheap. 20 cents.

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“Boating’s Best Gear of All Time | Boating Magazine.” Boating’s Best Gear of All Time | Boating Magazine. Web. 17 May 2012.