EP Carry

he EP Carry is the second generation of an electric outboard developed and manufactured by PropEle Electric Boat Motors in North Bend, Washington. It is designed specifically for small boats and weighs just 14.4 lbs, making it an easy, one-hand lift. The battery, in its case, weighs 6.3 lbs and will float if dropped overboard. . . .

HouseFly

The end flaps close off the ends of the HouseFly, sealing the the cockpit against cold or wet weather.

hen Kyle and I built SOLVI, a 20′ open sail-and-oar boat to take down the Mississippi River, we had plans for an elaborate boom tent, but, as many boat projects seem to go, we ran low on time and money and we had to scale back. I spent hours looking online for an affordable product . . .

Luci and LuminAID Lanterns

The lanterns all provide a board area of diffused white light.

There are two popular brands of inflatable lanterns: Luci and LuminAID. These inflatable lanterns have some common features: they float and are waterproof, compact for storage, and self-supporting when in use. The diffuse light they create is ideal for cooking, working on a boat, or playing games in a tent—a great advantage over the small beam of light created by a flashlight or headlamp. The latest models of inflatable lanterns have the ability to top-up batteries on electronic devices via a USB port. The lanterns we used on the Mississippi were Luci Original Outdoor 2.0s without USB ports for charging themselves or other devices, so we recently added two new lanterns with charging ports: a Luci Pro Series Outdoor 2.0 and a LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger.

Poseidon Sliding Seats

The seats are supplied without pads. Those are left to the rower to select to suit individual preferences.

I have been competing in open-water rowing with a traditional boat and a fixed seat for over 20 years, and several years ago I had the opportunity to row and compete in boats with sliding seats. I really enjoyed the increased speed and total body workout, so when I learned about the Poseidon sliding-seat system from Puuvenepiste, Finland, I was eager to have it installed in my 18′ Merrimack Screamer, LE BARON ROUGE. The boat was built by Doug Scott, a New Hampshire boatbuilder, using traditional construction techniques. It has a narrow flat bottom and four wide strakes on alternating sawn and steam-bent frames. I use the boat for open-water rowing races and was drawn to the Poseidon rig as a way to improve the boat’s performance without significantly altering its character.

Flexpoxy

Flexpoxy can be dispensed through a static mixer tip and emerge from the tip ready to use. The cartridge fits a standard caulking gun and takes XX pressure. The tip can't be allowed to sit idle for long—mixed epoxy with begin to cure and become too thick to flow. At the end of the job, the tip has to be discarded and a bit of epoxy goes with it.

With these requirements in mind we found our way to Flexpoxy, a thickened epoxy that comes in a 250mL, two-part cartridge that fits a standard caulk gun. Flexpoxy comes out clear on one side of the nozzle and a light purple color on the other, then turns a translucent white when it is thoroughly mixed. It is very convenient to have the cartridge dispense the proper amounts without having to measure the two components to get the right ratio. The resin and hardener can be dispensed through a static mixing tip and applied directly to the work surface, but what we like to do is dispense larger amounts onto a palette without the tip, stir it up, and apply it to large surfaces that needed to be bonded. We have also troweled mixed Flexpoxy into a small syringe to fill small checks in planks. Flexpoxy is highly viscous and doesn’t run, so there is no need to mix in fillers to keep it from sagging. We’ve used it without any additives for filets. The resin/hardener mix has a pot life of 20-25 minutes, sets in three hours, cures in 16 hours, and dries clear.

The Portable Buddy

The Buddy Heater will shut itself off if its sensor detects a drop in oxygen levels or if it tips over.

The Portable Buddy, a radiant infrared propane heater from Mr. Heater, is a practical way to extend the boating season. It’s not a 24/7 solution that will take you to Alaska, but I’ve used it for winter weekend outings aboard JUST ENUF, my Kohler-designed catamaran outboard cruiser, to warm the cabin, especially just before turning in. I usually turn the heater to the middle setting for 10 minutes, then turn it off another 10 minutes—it doesn’t take much to warm the cabin.

Helinox Chair One

Four tennis balls slit to fit over the chair's feet keep them from sinking into sand.

All of the aluminum tubes and junctions are linked with bungees, so there are no pieces to lose and the frame nearly assembles itself. The zippered carrying bag, also made of durable fabric, has two large loops that can be used to hang the bag from the chair for a handy storage space; it also has a webbing ladder that makes it easy to lash down or attach to a backpack. The compact package easily fits into our small hatch openings, reducing clutter in the cockpit.

Muck Boots

The Men's Edgewater II is rated for use in temperatures from below freezing to 65 degrees and has a deeply contoured sole for good traction.

The fashionable black and hot-pink boots have been 100 percent waterproof. Audrey is able to get in and out of our dinghies and keep grit out of the boat with a just swish of water on the soles to clean them off. What she likes best about them is that her feet stay warm because of the neoprene and the breathable mesh lining. She had a severe ankle injury a few years ago and appreciates the stable walking platform that the outsoles provide. The insoles offer good arch support, and the material around her ankles and calves is flexible for unrestricted mobility. The outsoles are flared so her feet do not sink into the sand as far as her water shoes did, and the boots are buoyant, helping float her feet up as she steps off the bottom.

Mantus Headlamp

A full charge on the battery is rated for 6 hours with the light on high, 20 hours on low, 60 hours for the red light, and 48 hours for the SOS.

The single large button is easy to operate, even with gloved hands. It has an advantage over my former favorite head lamp, which has two separate buttons for red and white lights, both small and hard to press separately one from another. When the button on the Mantus headlamp is pressed, the light cycles through all of the various modes in order: first red, then white low, high, and SOS. It’s the way the red light works that makes it a gem. When navigating at night, you’ll want a red light to preserve your night vision while reading charts, so the red light is always the first to turn on.

Sleeveless Sanding Drums

The the drive shaft has a diameter of 1/2" where it joins the fitting on the drum, but is reduced to 3/8" to fit most drills.

My main drum sander is a simple shop-made affair: a plywood box containing a salvaged motor fitted with a chuck to hold a 3″ sanding drum. With a 60-grit sanding sleeve on the drum, it’s a real workhorse when it comes to smoothing curves, but I don’t use it for finish work. Sleeves with finer grits are available, but they’re $4 apiece, hard to get on and off the rubber drum, and too stiff to smooth radiused edges. For finer work, I’ve been using sleeveless sanding drums. They are built around a rigid foam cylinder and hold strips of common sandpaper. The exterior of the cylinder is padded with a layer of 1/8″ neoprene. One end of the cylinder is fitted with a cast-aluminum flange and a steel axle. The ends of the sandpaper strip are tucked into a slot in the drum that leads to a long, round hole where a length of steel oval tubing rotates to secure the sandpaper

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