Guide posts are L-shaped and available in different widths and heights. Most are 40″ to 60″ high. They are simple to install—just attach them to the trailer frame with brackets and bolts provided, and set them between the uprights a distance about 2″ wider than the widest beam of the boat. Posts come in galvanized steel or aluminum; for bigger boats, steel is better able to sustain larger side loads.
I’d done a bit of research before buying the 1×30 belt sander at one of the local Harbor Freight stores, so I wasn’t dismayed when I first turned it on and discovered it had a lot of vibration. The drive wheel was, as I expected, the main culprit; I’d seen some YouTube product reviews about that very problem. So I put a sharp beveled cutting edge on the end of a flat file as a quick stand-in for a lathe tool and ran the sander without a belt or the table in place. A horizontal ledge on the frame served as a tool rest while I carefully worked the wheel to true, which took care of the vibration.
The day before after I happened upon the V-DrillGuide on the web, I had made a wooden block guide for drilling a pilot hole for a lag bolt to support a bathroom shelf I’d made. That guide was, like all the others that preceded it, destined for the pile of wood scraps that would go into the fireplace on a cold evening. The V-DrillGuide looked like a much longer-lasting tool.
One of our favorite uses for the Vac is cleaning up sanding dust left over from fairing a hull. It can also collect dust when its hose is attached to our random-orbit sander. With the hose switched to the exhaust port, we use the Vac as a blower to get debris out of bilges or to test the Sunfish sailboats that we restore for air leaks.
The pot is a 1-liter aluminum cylinder with nonstick coating and a base that connects it to the burner. It has a neoprene insulating sleeve to retain heat and a webbing handle so you don’t need a pot gripper. Welded to the bottom of the can is a corrugated aluminum heat exchanger that greatly increases the efficiency of the heat transfer from the flame to the pot, so much so that the flame doesn’t melt the neoprene. The burner has a built-in piezoelectric lighter; its isobutane fuel canisters are available in 100g, 230g, and 450g. The insulating sleeve has a window with an indicator that changes color as the water comes to a boil. It works, but you can hear when the water boils.
After some Internet searching we came across P.O.S.H. (Portside Out, Starboard Home) manufactured by Langman Ropes. It has a soft feel that’s easy on the hands and a natural-looking tan color that looks right with our boat’s bright-finished wood. The three- or four-strand polyester twisted line that is UV-stabilized, pre-stretched, and made with spun yarns rather than filament yarns—think knitting yarn versus monofilament fishing line.
The monitor and camera have robust housings with a nicely textured finish that provides a good grip even when wet. The mounts are well designed and easily adapt to fit different boats. The monitor screen is simple with few icons: mirrored or normal viewing, signal strength, battery levels of monitor and camera (once paired), and a screen brightness level that’s visible only when changing the setting. Five buttons across the bottom access all of the functions.
The translucent handle is a 50-lumen lantern that provides all-around, softly diffused light; very handy for sorting through gear prior to a dawn launch or when tending to camp duties before turning in during an overnight cruise. The handle can also glow red, good for illuminating a boat without compromising our night vision. One button cycles through the AR-Tech’s five functions, which, in addition to the lantern and flashlight functions, include a red flasher and flashlight plus the flasher.
The No-Spill Gasoline Can has been a great improvement. I bought the 1.25-gallon size. There are 2.5- and 5-gallon sizes, more fuel than I usually need and too heavy and awkward to hold out over the transom to get to the motor. The HDPE can has notably thick walls and is quite rigid compared to my previous cans. It has a translucent vertical stripe at each end for a quick visual check of the level of fuel in the can. Its fill opening is 2-1/8″ in diameter, providing a much better view into the can when filling than the 1-3/8″ opening of my previous cans.
The eTape16 takes my fallibility out of the process. It is a 16′ tape measure with an onboard computer and a digital readout. The 3/4″-wide tape has the usual markings in inches and centimeters, but between them there’s a row of what looks like a Morse-code message in rectangular dots and dashes. I’m guessing the markings pass by some optical scanner inside the polycarbonate case and translate them into the numbers in an LCD display powered by a 3-volt CR2032 button battery.